Schmidt: We got out of jail15/10/2012 - 11:35:04
Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt admitted his team were lucky to come out on the right side of a 9-6 score line in their opening Heineken Cup match of the season against the Exeter Chiefs at the RDS on Saturday.
Argentinean fly-half Ignacio Mieres could have salvaged a draw for the English outfit with the last kick of the game but his long range penalty effort drifted wide allowing Leinster to claim a fortuitous victory.
Jonathan Sexton put the Irish province ahead with a penalty on 11 minutes. Having missed two previous attempts, the Exeter No10 Gareth Steenson found his range to level the scores 3-3 on the stroke of halftime.
The pair traded kicks over the second half before Sexton’s third successful strike took Leinster 9-6 ahead and despite applying some late pressure the Chiefs couldn’t find another score.
Reflecting on the game, Schmidt praised the defensive efforts of both teams but conceded that a draw may have been a fairer result.
"I thought both sides defended really strongly,” he said. “It's the first time in a long time we haven't conceded a try so that's something positive.
"As I've said before I think they're really well coached, they're a really tough side. I know we've got to go back there yet, I'm not looking forward to that because we got out of jail today.
"If anything a draw would've been a fair result maybe and in the end I think they missed one more kick than we did so it could have even gone their way so we were very, very lucky."
“We got exactly what we expected - they're really tough, tough to clear them out of the ruck, tough to even keep up with them - I thought they played across the field really well.”
The victory marks an improvement on last year’s Round 1 result which saw Leinster just about snatch a draw with a kick in the last minute against Montpellier.
A visit to Parc Y Scarlets is next on the agenda for the defending champions with the Welsh side looking to atone for the 49-16 defeat they suffered at the hamds of Clermont Auvergne over the weekend.
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