Champions Leinster were given a run for their money by English new boys Exeter before hanging on for a 9-6 win at the RDS in their Heineken Cup opener on Saturday.

Jonathon Sexton scored all three penalties for the Blues, but Exeter’s Ignacio Mieres missed a long-range penalty to level the game in the last minute.

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt admitted, “It was no surprise to us how tough Exeter were to break down. As I’ve said all week, I think they are a formidable side.

“They are greater than the sum of their parts. I just think they are a very unified group. They’re well coached, they’re well organized and they’re hard to break down.

“Having said that, it’s not often we get in the 22 four times in the first half, and get nothing from it. That’s down to us, we have to be more accurate than that.

“We were a little bit inaccurate and we have got to be patient enough to build scores against a really good team.”

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