Monday 5 December 2016

'Completely out of touch, he symbolises the impotence of Leinster' – French media savages Johnny Sexton

Published 14/12/2015 | 14:43

A dejected Jonathan Sexton following Leinsters' defeat to Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
A dejected Jonathan Sexton following Leinsters' defeat to Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster slumped to their third successive defeat of this season's Champions Cup at the hands of reigning champions Toulon and a section of the French media has focused on the shortcomings of Irish out-half Johnny Sexton.

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The St Mary's man has struggled to find his rhythm since his summer return from Racing Metro and gave a performance well below his own lofty standards as Leo Cullen's side were defeated 24-9 at the Stade Felix Mayol.

The Top 14 kingpins will visit the Aviva Stadium this weekend but while Leinster are not yet mathematically eliminated, it is all-but-over in Europe's premier competition for the three-time Heineken Cup champions.

Sexton's performance was characterised by a number of errors and French media outlet L'Equipe wasted little opportunity in highlighting his difficulties on his return to France.

Ben Te’o is held up by Mathieu Bastareaud at the Stade Felix Mayol. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Ben Te’o is held up by Mathieu Bastareaud at the Stade Felix Mayol. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE

"Sexton, the idol of Ireland, who returned home, yesterday played as he often did during his time at Racing 92: transparent, making multiple poor decisions. Visibly, completely out of touch, he symbolises the impotence of his club,” they wrote.

“As in 2013, the Irish certainly won’t see the knock-out phase of the tournament. In the Celtic League, they are currently fourth, seven points behind Llanelli. The season is in danger of being a long one in Dublin."

Leinster sit bottom of Pool Five with one point ahead of Saturday's return game with the French giants.

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