Monday 18 February 2019

Sexton leads the way for Leinster

Leinster's Johnny Sexton
Leinster's Johnny Sexton

Leinster lead the try-scoring (19) and points-scoring (153) charts in The Champions Cup.

That man Johnny Sexton heads the Leinster lot with three tries ahead of captain Isa Nacewa, Scott Fardy and Cian Healy, all on two.

The rest of their try-tally is shared out among ten men, four of them forwards in Jack Conan, Josh van der Flier, Seán Cronin and Jordi Murphy in union with half-a-dozen fast men.

All of this reflects the many and varied threats spread right through the ranks.

When the out-half showed up on the inside shoulder of James Lowe to slide home against Glasgow, Niko Matawalu's knee caught Sexton around the head/neck injury.

The explosion of ecstasy inside The RDS, triggered by a moment of magic, was instantly muted when Sexton's hands reached for his head and the spectre of concussion hung over him.

He stayed down for treatment, responded to questions, performed exercises on request, climbed to his feet and returned to the game.

The exhale of relief all round the stadium that greeted his fitness to play once again shone a light.

The 32-year-old Leinster and Ireland field general is a central piece of any plans moving forward this season.

They won't win The Champions Cup without him. The same could even go for the PRO14, the way The Scarlets are motoring.

The big picture is beginning to look different for Sexton.

The number of one-on-one attackers, like Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Joey Carbery and Garry Ringrose, when fit again, are taking away the weight to create.

Sexton just has to be a facilitator and keep up with the kids.

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