Leinster 25 - 3 Montperllier: Leinster ladle out a lesson fit for unbeaten pool winners

Leinster clinched a home draw in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals courtesy of a three-try triumph over Montpellier at the RDS.

In blustery conditions, Sean O’Brien’s ninth-minute try settled any early nerves and man of the match Rob Kearney used his speed and strength to nab his fourth try of the pool stages.

Montpellier had no points to show for a long spell in the home 22, trailing 20-0 at the break with Fergus McFadden booting the rest of Leinster’s points.

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Joe Schmidt’s men went further ahead with a try from Cian Healy and Martin Bustos Moyano kicked a penalty for the visitors.

The result completed an unbeaten run through the six rounds for the Pool Three winners, who are guaranteed to be one of the top seeds in the knockout phase.

Leinster were forced into a late change with Ian Madigan coming in for Jonathan Sexton in his first Heineken Cup start.

Purposeful runs from front rowers Richardt Strauss and Healy pinpointed the chinks in Montpellier’s defence, and a short burst from O’Brien saw him muscle over from close range. McFadden added the conversion and a penalty to take the province into double figures.

From a midfield scrum, Isaac Boss and Gordon D’Arcy combined to send the full-back through the defensive line and, although Paul Bosch hauled him down, Kearney stretched out his left arm to get the touchdown. McFadden made it a seven-pointer but good ball retention from the visitors’ bulky forwards got them close to a first try, Mamuka Gorgodze thwarted by Leo Cullen and O’Brien.

Leinster held them up again through a series of five-metre scrums and assaults on their line, albeit with Browne being sin-binned for side entry at a ruck. It was a punishing period for the home forwards but the French outfit just could not break them down, with a steal from tournament debutant Jamie Hagan lifting the siege.

Montpellier captain Fulgence Ouedraogo infringed at a central ruck and McFadden rifled over the resulting penalty.

A sparkling run from Isa Nacewa helped Leinster lay down an early marker in the second half. D’Arcy went close to scoring before Healy powered over on a muscular drive.

Substitutions diluted the intensity slightly until a final spurt from both sides saw Montpellier get off the mark and Leinster fail to muster a bonus-point score.