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SU Agen (10) 13 - 25 (8) Leinster,
Stade Armandie, Agen,
Att: 9,000,
Referee: Tony Spreadbury (RFU),
Saturday 16th December 2006, 19:30

Leinster travelled to the south of France looking to complete a second victory in their double header versus SU Agen. The French side had rung the changes for this clash, with Leinster keeping faith in the same fifteen that began the game the previous Saturday in Dublin.

Agen took the lead after 11 minutes with a penalty and Gordon D'Arcy replied within four minutes to draw Leinster level. Leinster lost Hooker Brian Blaney after twenty minutes after he appeared to injure a rib, with Bernard Jackman deputising.

The first try of the match came about on the half hour mark. A good break from scrum half Chris Whitaker, who fed Hickie on the wing, who in turn put Jamie Heaslip in to celebrate his birthday in style crashing over the line. Gordon D'Arcy was unable to add the two extra points, and it appeared that Leinster would struggle to score the extra points from kicks at goal.

Agen were level just four minutes later, Rupeni Caucaunibuca chased down his own kick to touch the ball over Girvan Dempsey's head and run on to touch down. Jérôme Miquel added the extras and Agen took a 2 point lead, which they held until half time.

Shortly after the second half began Miquel stretched the home side's advantage to five points. Leinster's kicking problems continued as D'Arcy put a penalty badly wide. Leinster opted to kick for touch off their next penalty and from the line out good work between O'Driscoll and Whitaker sent Hickie in off the right wing to bring Leinster level on points. Girvan Dempsey took over the kicking duties and ignoring the jeers from the home crowd, slotted over the two extra points.

With only a two point advantage going into the last quarter of an hour, Leinster knew they were vulnerable to an Agen attack, but it was Leinster who scored the drop goal with substitute Andy Dunne sticking over superbly from thirty metres, to stake his claim for the Leinster number 10 shirt.

The win was assured and nerves settled deep into injury time with the Leinster pack driving the Agen forwards back for Ronnie McCormack to touch down, which Dunne converted. The last action of the match also denied the home team a bonus point and leaves Leinster with their fate in their own hands, going into the last two matches in Group 2.

Match Stats
  SU Agen Leinster
Tries Caucaunibuca 34 Heaslip - 30
Hickie - 65
McCormack - 80+6
Conversions Miquel Dempsey
Penalties Miquel (2) D'Arcy
Drop-goals   Dunne
Teams Pépito Elhorga, Manu Ahotaeiloa, Conrad Stoltz, Sylvain Mirande , Rupeni Caucaunibuca, Jérôme Miquel, Nicolas Morlaes (capt), Pieter Van Niekerk, Jalil Narjissi, Kees Meeuws, Wilhem Stolz, Kirill Koulemine, Matthieu Lièvremont, Colin Yukes, Thomas Soucaze. Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Denis Hickie, Christian Warner, Chris Whitaker, Ronan McCormack, Brian Blaney, Stanley Wright, Trevor Hogan, Malcolm O'Kelly, Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements Guinazu for Van Niekerk (46), Socol for Koulemine (53), Culine for Yukes (65), Fulton for Morales (71), Tiatta for Lièvremont (73) Jackman for Blaney (23), Corrigan for Wright (47), Dunne for Warner (80)

by Sarah Lennon, © 2006-12-16