Heineken Cup 2012: Sexton impresses as Leinster beat Scarlets
Heineken Cup 2012: Ireland's Jonathan Sexton impresses in Leinster's emphatic 20-13 victory over Scarlets on Saturday
Jonathan Sexton stamped his authority as Ireland’s leading fly-half, producing another kicking master-class to guide Leinster to 20-13 victory over Scarlets in the Heineken Cup.
The 27-year-old kicked four penalties and a drop goal whilst setting up his side’s sole try of the day as the defending champions gathered pace in their quest to retain their European crown.
After getting the Irish side on the board inside two minutes with a penalty Sexton produced an inventive cross-field kick which unlocked the Scarlets defence and found Isa Nacewa who duly touched down.
Sexton, who has 32 caps for Ireland, will be looking to start all three of the 2009 Six Nations Grand Slam champions’ autumn internationals in November and this showing will have done him no harm.
Meanwhile keeping Sexton on his toes in the absence of Ronan O’Gara is Ian Keatley who impressed on his first Heineken Cup start in Munster’s 33-0 win over Edinburgh.
Keatley, capped twice by his country, kicked 13 points for the two-time winners as they bounced back from a disappointing opening-week defeat to Racing Metro.
The Scottish side were in contention at the interval, only behind thanks to the boot Keatley who kicked two penalties, but the second half yielded four unanswered tries for the Irish region.
Keatley almost added a try himself but he was halted just short of the line before the ball was recycled to flanker Sean Dougall who dived over.
With O’Gara a major doubt for the autumn internationals courtesy of a hamstring injury picked up last weekend in the Stade de France, Ireland coach Declan Kidney will be pleased to see Keatley filling his boots domestically.
© Sportsbeat 2012