Sexton pays price for going high on 106kg midfield beast
By Rugby Onslaught

Sexton pays price for going high on 106kg midfield beast

Leinster skipper Johnny Sexton must have been sick of the sight of La Rochelle inside centre Jonathan Danty by the time he was taken off the field in the final quarter of the Heineken Champions Cup final on Saturday.

The France No12 ran hard and often down Sexton’s channel, and perhaps epitomised La Rochelle’s direct and tireless approach to breaking down the Leinster defence in their last gasp victory.

There was one tackle attempt that was particularly interesting at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille and it came in the second half. Danty, with a head of steam, sent Sexton flying after the fly-half was caught with some fairly ropey tackle technique. A high shot on a 106kg centre running at full pelt rarely ends well for the tackler, and it did not on this occasion.

Questions have also been raised about the legality of some of Sexton’s tackles, as there appeared to be contact to the head of Danty. Equally, fans have raised a few eyebrows about the Frenchman leading with his forearm in some carries.

Leinster were leading when Sexton left the field in the second half, but were pipped in the final seconds by an Arthur Retiere try, and the Leinster and Ireland captain bemoaned his side’s performance.

“I am pretty lost for words. We didn’t play our best game and we weren’t allowed to play our best,” admitted Sexton.

“We will have to take a look at that before we can point any fingers. There were a few things at the end of the game that I don’t understand.

“It’s devastating, although fair play to La Rochelle. They came with a plan and I didn’t see them coming back after the lead we had built.

“But we didn’t clear our lines and we paid the price. This is an incredibly-hard competition to win and when you get to the final, it is the hardest game of the season.

“We had some chances that we didn’t take and we kept the scoreboard ticking over. It was just devastating to lose it in the way we did at the end.”

Yoe Rugby recently shared a video of the tackle: