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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 15 May 2021

'A draw probably would have been a fair reflection of the game' - Sexton

The Leinster out-half was man of the match as they beat Munster in Dublin.

JOHNNY SEXTON SAID Leinster felt a sense of having escaped after they beat Munster 16-13 at the Aviva Stadium to return to the top of the Guinness Pro12.

The southern province ended the game camped on Leinster’s tryline, but Leo Cullen’s men produced a big final effort to prevent Munster from grabbing a last-gasp victory.

Jonathan Sexton takes to the pitch 2/4/2016 Sexton was man of the match in Dublin. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“When you’re on your line with one minute to go, they score a try and win, you feel like you got away with it,” said Sexton post-match.

“A draw probably would have been a fair reflection of the game really and I think they would have taken the three, they probably just felt they needed a win in terms of their league position and to get into the top four.

“You can see where they were coming from, but if they had taken the three it probably would have been a fair result.”

Having watched his Leinster teammates lose 7-6 to Connacht in Galway last weekend, Sexton was encouraged by the defensive grandstand they delivered to hold Munster out in Dublin this rime around.

“We let ourselves down last week in that regard maybe,” said Sexton. “We didn’t probably show up with as much emotion as Connacht did and that was disappointing in an inter-provincial against the top team in the league.

“To do it today was obviously a step forward and there’s plenty of stuff to work on, it wasn’t perfect. We need to improve going forward if we want to win this league, but the most important thing against Munster is that you show up physically.

“I thought we did that and everyone was throwing their bodies on the line.”

Jonathan Sexton scores a try Sexton scored all of Leinster's points. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Sexton scored all of Leinster’s points, kicking flawlessly off the tee and also running in a first-half try. It was the excellent work of his forward pack that laid the foundation for that five-pointer, which involved Sexton colliding with the left post.

“Off the post, it was the hardest hit of the day!” said the out-half with a laugh. “I just didn’t see it, last minute I just saw it right there in front of me. I looked a bit silly but I laughed when I saw it on the big screen. Thankfully I got it in the end.”

Sexton appeared to be in pain just before he was replaced by Ian Madigan with three minutes remaining in the win over Munster, but he confirmed that there was no new injury involved.

“Cramp in the bottom of my calf. I’ve only had two sessions since the Scotland game, so it was the lungs really. I’ve been carrying a few niggles from the Six Nations, so I was trying to look after them. I ran out of gas with double cramp, both calves; it wasn’t fun but we hung on.”

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Murray Kinsella

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