Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt admitted Exeter deserved a draw from their trip to his defending Heineken Cup champions – but he was delighted that wasn’t the outcome.
The RaboDirect PRO12 outfit were expected to beat the Chiefs in their first-ever Heineken Cup clash but the result was anything but with the hosts scrambling a 9-6 win.
Jonathan Sexton was ultimately the Leinster hero with three successful penalties, one at the death, but it could have been a very different tale had Ignacio Mieres not drilled a late long-range penalty wide for Exeter.
“It was disappointing,” Schmidt said. “I don’t think there was the fluidity out there from either side. There was quite a bit of play but it didn’t go anywhere much.
“I thought both sides defended really strongly, it’s the first time in a long time we haven’t conceded a try so that’s something positive.
“We got exactly what we expected – they’re really tough, tough to clear them out of the ruck, tough to even keep up with them – I thought they played across the field really well.
“As I’ve said before I think they’re really well coached, they’re a really tough side. I know we’ve got to go back there yet, I’m not looking forward to that because we got out of jail.
“If anything a draw would’ve been a fair result maybe and in the end I think they missed one more kick than we did so it could have even gone their way so we were very, very lucky.”