Sunday 16

Rugby Union

Felipe backs Sexton to learn

1st January 2019, 18:48 by Jack Ogalbe

Leinster backs coach Felipe Contepomi is confident Jonathan Sexton will learn after losing his cool against Munster.

The fly-half was involved in a string of incidents in the 26-17 defeat at Thomond Park, with former Provincial understudy and Ireland team-mate Joey Carbery most notably in the firing line.

It was an ill-tempered affair in Limerick, with Leinster's James Lowe sent off for a tackle on Andrew Conway, while props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong were sin-binned.

Sexton's inability to control his players has added to the questions about his suitability as captain, with his fiery demeanour often hampering his relationship with referees.

But the man he took over the Leinster number 10 shirt from, Contepomi, has come out in defence of the World Player of the Year.

While conceding the 33-year-old could learn from Saturday's furore, the Argentine admits it is that same determination that makes him such a great player.

He said: "That personality made him the best player in the world, so you can take it or leave it. I'd rather take it.

"It's something that he has to learn and try to control and that will make him even better - maybe the best player next year and the following year.

"But it's hard because we're judging him on results. If we would have got the right technical detail and won that game, we would have said, 'Oh how good was Johnny, he stood up' or 'What a great leader'.

"He's a key player. Maybe he's learning also his way of being a captain and how to deal with different situations. Definitely he has things to improve on. He's human. But it's not about him only, it's all about the team. The whole team had moments where we have to improve."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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