Champions Cup: Leinster v Montpellier

Leinster get their European campaign underway against the juggernaut of Montpellier at the RDS

Patrick Madden Sat, Oct 14
LIVE: Champions Cup: Leinster v Montpellier

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  • 12:17

    Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Leinster's Champions Cup opener against Montpellier at the RDS.

    The mornings might be dark, the leaves might be falling and the weather might be miserable - but at least the autumn brings with it the return of European rugby.

    In Dublin today are the might of Montpellier, an expensively assembled team of rugby-playing monsters from around the globe.

    They face a youthful Leinster side, missing some of their key players but full of vim and vigour.

    An intriguing afternoon awaits, and we'll be bringing you all of the action as it unfolds.

    Come on!!!

  • 12:22

    Leinster: Joey Carbery; Adam Byrne, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (capt), Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan. Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Jordi Murphy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Noel Reid, Fergus McFadden  

    Montpellier: Jesse Mogg; Benjamin Fall, Joseph Tomane, Frans Steyn, Nemani Nadolo; Thomas Darmon, Ruan Pienaar; Mikheil Nariashvili, Bismarck Du Plessis, Antoine Guillamon, Jacques Du Plessis, Nicholaas Van Rensburg, Kelian Galletier, Yacouba Camara, Louis Picamoles (capt). Replacements: Romain Ruffenach, Yvan Watremez, Davit Kubriashvili, Julien Delannoy, Wiaan Liebenberg, Benoit Paillaugue, Timoci Nagusa, Joffrey Michel.

  • 12:30

    Leinster, unsurprisingly, look significantly lighter and weaker without Johnny Sexton - he's the glue which binds this young side together. His dead leg picked up in the win over Munster last weekend means Ross Byrne is steering the ship today - no pressure.

    Isa Nacewa captains the side from inside centre today, with the bullocking Robbie Henshaw outside him. A calf problem means Sean O'Brien is absent again - the hosts will need a big performance from number eight Jack Conan.

  • 12:34

    As for the visitors, they're a fearsome prospect. The Top 14 side are missing their own star outhalf - Aaron Cruden picked up a hamstring injury in training on Thursday - but have serious strength in depth.

    They are stacked with ball carriers - Nemani Nadolo and Frans Steyn in the backline, captain Louis Picamoles up front. Leinster are going to have to do a lot of tackling.

  • 12:34
    Pre-match reading? You can see Gerry Thornley's preview HERE.
  • 12:40

    Some familiar faces in the Montpellier set-up today. Ruan Pienaar starts at number nine for the visitors, while former Scotland boss Vern Cotter is now in charge of the French outfit.

  • 12:41
    Remember, Leinster thrashed these 57-3 last season. Only four members of that Montpellier XV survive today - you'd imagine chances of a repeat today are fairly slim.
  • 12:42
  • 12:44

    Last night Ulster got their Champions Cup campaign off to a flyer, with Charles Piutau and Jacob Stockdale the catalysts for a fine second half display against Wasps.

    Les Kiss's side won 19-9 at Ravenhill - you can read Gerry Thornley's report HERE.

  • 12:46
    15 mins until kick off!
  • 12:59
    The teams are in the tunnell at the RDS.
  • 12:59
    And here come Leinster!
  • 13:00

    Wayne Barnes the ref today.

    Darmon has the ball in hand, and we're underway!

  • 13:02
    1 min: Montpellier lineout from the kick off. It's spun off the top to Steyn who has a first rumble through the middle. Ealy pressure form the visitors on the Leinster 22 - keeping it narrow and letting the big boys have a go. Sniper pass from Pienaar finds Fall on the right wing and Montpellier get up to the five.
  • 13:03
    2 min: Good, patient defence from Leinster. They turn it over on the five and Ross Byrne clears past the 10.
  • 13:04
    3 min: Leinster spoil at the lineout and move it wide left, where Henshaw decides to kick rather than use the hands. Fairly frantic start.
  • 13:05
    4 min: Great pressure from Leinster - first Ross Byrne and then Daly, who scrags Mogg as the Montpellier fullback looks to counter. The visitors have the ball on their 10 and Pienaar sends up a trademark boxkick - Luke McGrath is solid under it.
  • 13:07

    6 min: Leinster lineout on the visitor's 10 and they get good ball to Ruddock. First platform for Leinster, Henshaw making good, niggly yards on the right.  

    The Leinster move breaks down and Mogg clears long - poor hands from the covering Carbery who knocks it forward on the Leinster 22.

  • 13:09
    8 min: Picamoles pops to Pienaar form the scrum and they work it to Nadolo who comes steaming in off his left wing - good tackle from Luke McGrath. Luckily for Leinster, the ball squirms forward on the floor and they have a scrum to defend under their posts.
  • 13:11
    9 min: Booming counter form Nadolo who tramples over Adam Byrne on the right. Ouch. Montpellier ball inside the Leinster 10 but they're still struggling for fluency and it breaks down again.
  • 13:11
  • 13:13
    11 min: Nadolo dumps Adam Byrne again, this time off a short run up. Pienaar is dictating the tempo well - he makes a break through the Leinster middle but play is called back for a forward ball.
  • 13:15

    13 min: Scrum penalty for Montpellier after Furlong drops a knee.

    It's just inside the Leinster half - Pienaar is going to have a go - just fades wide on the left. As you were.

  • 13:17
    15 min: Leinster under pressure on their five but dogged work sees them awarded a penalty. Ross Byrne doesn't get much distance on it but Leinster win the 22 lineout and then work it up towards halfway. Sensible and solid.
  • 13:19
    17 min: Leinster scrum on halfway and they use the hands, Henshaw carrying on the left. Ross Byrne sees space in behind and kicks, before the covering Mogg returns it.
  • 13:19

    TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!!!!


  • 13:21

    Lovely return run from Carbery after he fields Mogg's kick and Leinster are on the front foot. They get quick ball and work it to the right where Carbery finishes the move he started, scything through on the outside shoulder and cruising over.

    Ross Byrne misses the conversion.


  • 13:23
    21 min: Montpellier looking for an instant response, building the phases on the Leinster 22. The hosts do well to slow the ball down, though, and Du Plessis spills it forward at the base.
  • 13:24
    22 min: That Carbery score was Leinster's 400th in the European Cup. It definitely won't be his last. Solid Leinster scrum and they move it right through the hands before Carbery releases.
  • 13:25
    23 min: Nadolo steams at Nacewa, who employs the schoolboy tactic of grabbing an ankle and holding on for dear life to great effect. Good tackle, and it gives Leinster a big lift.
  • 13:27
    24 min: Brilliant rugby form Leinster - slick hands through midfield and Nacewa slips off a lovely ball as Tomane comes steaming out of the line. Adam Byrne then makes a great dancing run on the right and the hosts are in the ascendancy.
  • 13:28
    25 min: Leinster up to the Montpellier five, Nacewa trying to force his way over with a mixture of guile and steel. Luke McGrath slips under the posts, and the ball slows down. Leinster building patiently, though.
  • 13:28
    TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!
  • 13:30

    Patient, brutal build-up before van der Flier is the one to barge his way over the line. Barnes checks with the TMO to see if the covering Guillamon got an arm under, and if the ball touched the whitewash - but it's a score.

    Nacewa taps the conversion over.


  • 13:33
    29 min: Again Montpellier look to build and dliver a response but he Leinster defence is miserly and they force a scrum on their own 10.
  • 13:35
    30 min: Dominant Leinster scrum and they have an advantage. Luke McGrath tries a crossfield to Adam Byrne who is forced out. Back for the penalty which is sent to touch on the visitor's 22.
  • 13:37
    31 min: Montpellier kick out on the full, Leinster scrum on the visitor's 10. Good scrum and they move it left, Pienaar doing well to wrap up Henshaw in midfield. Leinster building nicely again - getting plenty of quick, short ball inside the French 22.
  • 13:38
    33 min: Montpellier slow it down but Leinster retaining the ball patiently, waiting for their moment. Eventually though a blue shirt goes in of his feet and the visitor's are reprieved.  
  • 13:41
    34 min: Pienaar finds a good touch on halfway. Good spoiling from Leinster and Jack McGrath poaches it at the back. The hosts move it left, a big pass swung out to Carbery on theflank who does well to stay in play. Leinster building again but then great spoiling work from Du Plessis on the floor turns it over for Montpellier.
  • 13:43
  • 13:44
    36 min: Good turnover for Leinster in midfield but Montpellier pilfer it straight back and Pienaar emerges with it. He finds Steyn who steps Henshaw and barrels into the 22, but doesn't have the gas to go all the way.
  • 13:46
    38 min: Montpellier putting the pressure on five-metres out - Nadolo trying to barge his way over. He thinks he's scored, but Barnes awards a five-metre scrum. Replays look like it was a try - but the TMO was never consulted.
  • 13:46
  • 13:48

    Big Montpellier scrum and Picamoles looks to pop it to Pienaar. Luke McGrath tries to spoil it but the ball goes loose to Nadolo on the wing and nobody is stopping him from there.

    Pienaar slots a good conversion.


  • 13:50
  • 13:51
  • 13:56
  • 14:04
    The teams are back out. There's a bit of second half sun at the RDS.
  • 14:04
  • 14:04
    Ross Byrne has the ball in hand - and we're back underway!
  • 14:05
    41 min: Pienaar with a touchline box kick - he's just outside of his 22 and it goes out on the full. A collector's item and a good early platform for Leinster.
  • 14:07
    42 min: Good Leinster hands on halfway and there's a good break. Montpellier offside - Ross Byrne nudges the kick into the corner.
  • 14:07
  • 14:09

    Direct from Leinster, and very effective. Tracy hits his man at the lineout and Leinster look right. Ross Byrne loops up a kick which Mogg makes a hash of and Henshaw steals on the loose ball, crossing for one of the easier tries he'll score. Byrne converts.


  • 14:12
    46 min: Montpellier looking for a response through Nadolo and it takes three men to haul him down. Again, sharp linespeed from Leinster and they slow Montpellier down, forcing them back as far as the 10. Montpellier look right and Tomane engineers space for Fall but Leinster win it back and Furlong emerges with it.
  • 14:13
    48 min: Montpellier get good lineout ball but again Leinster slow them down in midfield and the ball goes loose off Picamoles.
  • 14:14
    49 min: Poor kick from Ross Byrne, looping it short and high to Steyn - but he recovers brilliantly, hauling the big centre into touch.
  • 14:15
  • 14:17
    50 min: Leinster on the front foot, Adam Byrne slipping a lovely ball off to Conan who surges into the 22. Patient build-up again from the hosts - Henshaw runs a good straight line and his offload to Luke McGrath just goes loose.
  • 14:20
    52 min: Solid defensive scrum form Montpellier - holding Leinster out on their five.
  • 14:21
    53 min: Tight call. Good build-up from Leinster again but a wide ball whipped out to Henshaw just strayed forward.
  • 14:24
    54 min: There's a break in play before Montpellier's scrum - they kick it back to Leinster but new man  Kubriashvili is in well to turn it over after a Cian Healy carry. Pienaar's penalty is straight to Adam Byrne though and Leinster counter.
  • 14:25
    55 min: Montpellier competing really well at the breakdown now, this time Tomane spoiling.
  • 14:26
  • 14:27
    57 min: Big carry for Nadolo, knocking Henshaw back, but the Ireland centre recovers brilliantly, hauling him down and turning the big man over. Momentum shifter.
  • 14:29
    59 min: Good move from Leinster and Luke McGrath angles a good grubber towards the corner but there's good cover.
  • 14:30
  • 14:32
    61 min: Montpellier secure lineout ball on the Leinster 22. Tomane carries into the 22 and now the visitors are on the front foot. Another good Tomane carry from a flat Pienaar pass and Montpeller are asking a lot of questions.
  • 14:32
  • 14:33

    The Leinster defence finally creaks as Nadolo receives on the five and bursts over with two blue shirts falling off him.  

    Pienaar converts. Game on.


  • 14:36

    65 min: Brilliant take from Daly above his head under serious pressure. Leinster kick for the opposite corner and Pailllauge does well to cover across, stepping Adam Byrne and making it up to the 22.

    Nadolo then goes early on Adam Byrne after a cute pass from Reid, Leinster penalty which is nudged up to the 22.

  • 14:37
    TRY LEINSTER!!!!!!
  • 14:38

    Bonus point try for Leinster, and it's another smart score. Scrappy from the lineout but the hosts move it wide. Henshaw straightens up and finds Carbery who draws his man expertly and finds Daly, who bounces the first tackle and has the strength to get over.

    Conversion is missed, but that's a huge score.


  • 14:41

    69 min: Monster tackle from Cronin, shunting Tomane back and out of the Leinster 22.

    Penalty for Montpellier, though, after poor work on the ground from Leinster. It's dead centre and just outside the 10-metre. Pienaar to reduce the deficit - nails it.


  • 14:43
    72 min: Monster hand off and carry from Conan, dragging Tomane from inside his own half up to the Montpellier 22. Poor discipline though and Montpellier have a penalty on their 22 which Pienaar clears to touch.
  • 14:46

    74 min: Cute kick in behind from Pienaar and a scampering Carbery just about gets to it and nips into touch. Lineout on the five for Montpellier and they set a maul.

    Yellow card Leinster!

    Penalty advantage for Montpellier and they move it left - where Adam Byrne sticks an arm in and is sent to the bin.

  • 14:47
    75 min: Montpellier opt for the five-metre srcum. Big test for 14-man Leinster here.
  • 14:48
    75 min: Clean scrum ball for the visitors and to absolutely nobody's surprise they feed Nadolo who comes steaming in off his wing, and is just about held up. Montpellier use the hands and Nagusa straightens up instead of passing - his eventual offload to Steyn going loose. Scrum Leinster.
  • 14:50
    77 min: Monster shunt from the Leinster pack when they need it most and they are awarded a scrum penalty.
  • 14:50
  • 14:51
    78 min: Nagusa spills forward as Montpellier look to counter. Leinster retaining the ball around halfway and they're awarded a penalty for offside. Nearly there.
  • 14:53
    79 min: Ross Byrne goes for goal with the penalty from just inside the Montpellier half - drops well short.
  • 14:54
    80 min: Montpellier turn it over inside their own half and look to break. There's a glimpse as Tomane carries down the left and pops off to Nadolo, but he runs out of room and kicks inside where Reid sweeps it up.
  • 14:54
  • 14:58
  • 15:09
  • 15:47

    Right then, thanks for joining today. Gerry Thornley's match report from the RDS is now live.

    See you tomorrow as Munster begin their campaign against Castres.