Johnny Sexton rues decision not to go for tries against La Rochelle

Johnny Sexton

Johnny Sexton has questioned whether Leinster should have turned down opportunities for three points and go for tries against La Rochelle.

La Rochelle needed a last-gasp try to beat Leinster and claim their first-ever Heineken Champions Cup title, although the Irish province didn’t score any ties at the Stade Velodrome despite leading on the scoreboard for the vast majority of the match.

Leinster kicked seven penalties in Marseille, which was almost enough to get them over the line, although they did have the opportunity to set up camp deep in La Rochelle territory and go for a try on numerous occasions.

Sexton was speaking at the post-match press conference and questioned whether they had made the right decision in opting to go for the posts rather than the try line when the opportunities presented themselves.

Johnny Sexton reflects on Leinster’s loss to La Rochelle.

“It was tough to take. There were a lot of things that didn’t go our way in the last 30 minutes when we were in control of the game. That’s the devastating bit,” Sexton said.

“We had plenty of chances to score. Maybe we should have been a bit more aggressive and gone for tries on a couple of those penalties.

“We decided to take the threes and keep the scoreboard ticking over. Hindsight’s a great thing. Everyone’s experts in hindsight. We made the decisions, and we were in control.”

Attention will turn to the URC.

Leinster don’t have much time to lick their wounds, as they take on Glasgow Warriors in a URC quarter-final this Saturday at the RDS Arena in Dublin.

Although a Heineken Champions Cup triumph was the priority for Leinster this season, they will now be extremely eager to defend their league title, especially with the introduction of the top four South African sides.

The final will be held in Dublin if Leinster make it that far, based on their first place finish in the table, although they have had a busier schedule than their URC opposition in recents weeks due to their European exploits.

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