Leinster hold on for gritty win over Lyon
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Leinster remain top of Champions Cup Pool One after a gritty 13-6 victory over Lyon on Saturday at Matmut Stadium de Gerland.
A try from Max Deegan and eight points from Man of the Match Johnny Sexton proved the difference between the two sides as Lyon struggled to turn possession into points throughout.
It was a good start for the visitors who took the early lead from the boot of Sexton after referee Luke Pearce awarded Leinster a penalty in kicking range on 10 minutes.
They extended the advantage after 21 minutes when a charge down from Josh van de Flier released James Ryan who took Leinster down to the Lyon 22.
From that, they worked the phases well before the ball reached Max Deegan on European debut to score near the posts, with Sexton adding the extras.
Jordan Larmour was given a yellow card towards the end of the first half but despite sustained Lyon pressure, Leinster held out to reach half-time with a 10-point lead.
The second half continued as the first half ended with Lyon dominating territory and possession but were unable to turn that dominance into points due to a string of errors.
They did eventually trouble the scoreboard on 67 and 78 minutes as Jonathan Wisniewski scored penalties either side of a Sexton three-pointer but it wasn’t enough for the hosts as they again fumbled possession under pressure in the final phases of the match.
Leinster return home for the first of their back-to-back matches against Northampton Saints in Round Three while Lyon will travel to take on Benetton.
Pens: Wisniewski 2
Pens: Sexton 2
Yellow card: Jordan Larmour (Leinster, 26)
Lyon: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Thibaut Regard, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Baptiste Couilloud (captain), 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Virgile Bruni, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Xavier Chiocci.
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Jonathan Pelissie, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 23 Rudi Wulf.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Max Deegan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 James Ryan, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Josh Murphy, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Dave Kearney.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales (England), Tim Wigglesworth (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)