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Leinster

  • McGrath,
    Penalty goals: Gopperth (4),
    Conversions: Gopperth,
19 - 7

Castres

  • Kockott,
    Conversions: Kockott,

Heineken Cup Pool 1: Leinster find daylight with victory over Castres

Last updated: 19th October 2013  

RORY KOCKOTT CASTRES HEINEKEN CUP

Rory Kockott opened the scoring for Castres against Leinster at the RDS on Saturday

JIMMY GOPPERTH LEINSTER HEINEKEN CUP

Jimmy Gopperth led the way for Leinster with 11 points as they beat Castres at the RDS

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Leinster seized control of Heineken Cup Pool One with a 19-7 victory over Castres at the RDS on Saturday.

Traditionally poor travellers in this tournament, the reigning French Top 14 champions leaked three penalties to Jimmy Gopperth before a converted try from Rory Kockott gave them a shot in the arm before the interval.

But Castres crucially failed to turn pressure into points in the third quarter and with centre Remi Lamerat in the sin-bin, Jack McGrath wrestled free to grab the game's decisive score in the 62nd minute.

Gopperth converted and tagged on a fourth penalty and frustrated Castres suffered a second sin-binning in the closing stages - replacement scrum half Julien Tomas saw yellow for a succession of crooked feeds.

There was a welcome blast of sunshine for the kick-off, replacing the earlier heavy rain, and Gopperth capped off a similarly bright opening for his side with a third minute penalty.

Rob Kearney did well to hack on a Gopperth cross-field kick before Castres broke from deep, Kockott and centres Remi Lamerat and Romain Cabannes all featuring in a rare free-flowing attack from the French outfit.

Control

But, for the most part, Leinster controlled the opening half hour's play and an offside decision allowed Gopperth to make it 6-0 in the 12th minute.

The New Zealander's third successful penalty rewarded a solid home scrum which included young tighthead Martin Moore, and Kockott snatched badly at his first chance to respond.

Castres stole an opportunist try from Kockott in the 33rd minute, the scrum-half streaking away down the blindside after a wheeling scrum and a well-timed feed from Antonie Claassen.

McFadden was left isolated as the visitors executed a two-on-one break and Kockott confidently knocked over the 40-metre conversion to close the gap to 9-7.

The addition of Karena Wihongi further boosted the Castres scrum and their dominance of the third quarter should have led to points, but Kockott sent a long range penalty wide.

Invitation

Leinster relieved the pressure as Luke Fitzgerald and David Kearney got ball in hand, the latter being the victim of a 'no arms' tackle from Lamerat that saw the Castres centre sin-binned.

Fourteen-man Castres showed no signs of wilting, but a tenacious turnover from replacement Eoin Reddan launched Leinster forward and needed no second invitation.

McFadden drew a defender to release David Kearney on the left and his brother Rob got involved in the Castres 22, before McGrath broke Wihongi's initial tackle and crashed over beside the right hand post.

Gopperth's conversion gave Leinster some much needed breathing space at nine points up, and the man-of-the-match completed his 14-point tally as Matt O'Connor's men remained workmanlike - if unspectacular - until the end.

They needed to be resolute in defence late on as despite losing Tomas in the 70th minute, Castres almost landed a losing bonus point with TMO Graham Hughes ruling out a lunge at the line from Pedrie Wannenburg who was adjudged to be inches short.

Victory gives Leinster the upper hand in Pool 1 after both sides entered the clash having won their respective games against Northampton Saints and Ospreys in the opening round.

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Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
14:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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