Unbeaten Leinster knocks Montpellier out
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Leinster finished top of Pool Three with a 100 percent record and top seeding in the quarterfinals as they knocked Montpellier out of the competition.
Last year's semifinalists Leinster started strongly and took the lead after a thrilling line break by James Lowe enabled Ross Byrne to dot down in the corner. He missed the conversion but soon added a penalty.
There was little happening for Montpellier until two quick-fire tries, both stemming from line-outs.
Bismarck Du Plessis drove over in a maul, then Yacouba Camara crossed after a nice offload by Louis Picamoles.
The hosts had their tails up at half time, but never looked like getting the two further tries they needed to secure a bonus point and keep their quarter-final chances alive. Robbie Henshaw's try was swiftly followed by a Ross Byrne penalty which restored Leinster's lead.
From a five-metre line-out, the Irishmen then scored again, James Ryan's wonderful handling allowing Sean Cronin to dive over.
That was the way it stayed as the visiting defence looked impenetrable against a fading Montpellier challenge.
Tries: B du Plessis, Camara
Cons: Cruden 2
Tries: Byrne, Henshaw, Cronin
Pens: Byrne 2
Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Kelian Galletier, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Nicholaas Van Rensburg, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Romain Ruffenach, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Mohamed Haouas, 19 Julien Delannoy, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Joe Tomane, 23 Jesse Mogg.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Isa Nacewa (captain), 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Dan Leavy, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Seán Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), Peter Allan (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)