Saturday 10 December 2016

Vincent Hogan: Sexton leads way in darkest hour

Published 23/05/2011 | 05:00

Like a stray breeze catching a top-hat, Jonny Sexton tossed his theory into the air.

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Northampton were tired. He'd seen it. The streak of malevolence in their scrum was beginning to take its toll. They kept going to ground, buying time, blowing hard. "Let's get the next score and put a bit of a screw in their heads," he said. Words with an undertow of desperation, no question. But Leinster needed something. And they knew of Jonny's gift for getting the genie out of a bottle.

In Murrayfield two years ago, he had given the team a history lesson. Talked them through a journey that, when explored, bore the obvious stamp of fate. His voice startled the officer classes and, when they subsequently returned to their dressing-room as champions of Europe, Malcolm O'Kelly asked him how he had known. He was a kid then, now he's a team magistrate.

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