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Leinster Bite Back

Leinster Bite Back

The wounded Lion bit back at the RDS on Saturday and while Leinster’s task is still a huge one they restored a measure of pride with a hard fought win over Toulouse.

Leinster kept their hopes of a European Cup quarter-final spot alive with a crucial 20-13 win over three-time champions Toulouse at the RDS. They must now beat Leicester and hope that Edinburgh do them a favour against Toulouse.

Toulouse at least came away from a physically bruising but entertaining encounter with a vital losing bonus point for finishing within seven points.

The result means the French giants remain first in Pool 6 on 15 points, with Leinster now in second on 12 points.

In a tough match, Toulouse had lock Gregory Lamboley sin-binned for persistent infringements in the ruck, where Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman and Man of the Match No 8 Jamie Heaslip were outstanding.

Luke Fitzgerald crossed for the first try of the game in the 33rd minute, seizing a clever back pass by Felipe Contepomi, whose conversion added to an earlier penalty.

Toulouse clawed back three points through Valentin Courrent for a 10-3 half-time scoreline.

The second-half opened at a cracking pace, with Toulouse wingers Cedric Heymans and Vincent Clerc troubling the home side’s experienced backline.

But Lamboley spilled one pass with the line at his mercy and Toulouse came away with only a Courrent penalty after a good 10 minutes of pressure.

Fitzgerald bagged his second try just minutes after that penalty, a Keith Gleeson chargedown setting up a series of forward drives that ended with Gordon D’Arcy firing out a pass to the winger who stepped inside Clerc.

Toulouse’s Ivorian replacement Yves Donguy ensured a tight final 10 minutes with a try Courrent converted after a sparkling Heymans run split the home defence.

Contepomi had the final word with a drop-goal deep into extra-time, setting up a mouth-watering must-win clash for Leinster against Leicester next weekend.