Manoa took home the Heineken man of the match Waterford crystal for an all-action performance with ball in hand and a monumental effort in defence.
The rearguard action was matched across the park, as Leinster, who had run in six tries at Franklin’s Gardens, came within sight of the whitewash but no further as the men in black, green and gold put their bodies on the line time and again.
“It was a physical game,” the American told SaintsTV. “The scrummaging from our front five put a good platform down for us. I could feel that impact playing at Number Eight. But it was good from both packs.
“There was a lot of talk. We did our homework and knew what we had to work on ahead of this game, and we did it.
“I’m glad we got that win!”
While Leinster could not find a way through, it was the visitors who bookended the scoring with a pair of tries, the first for George North – who had moved into the centres after Dom Waldouck had strained a calf muscle in Friday’s team run – and the second for Jamie Elliott, who snaffled a loose ball to go 95 metres for the sealing try that silenced the Aviva Stadium, aside from the travelling East Midlanders, of course!
The past eight days have certainly had echoes of the same stage of the Heineken Cup last season, with Saints tearing up the form book after a poor performance at home to win the away re-match.
Manoa was also the man of the match at Ravenhill last season, so was in a perfect position to compare the two results.
“This game is probably better,” he said. “They’re both the same, but this was better because it was such an ugly loss last week. We came here, did a job and it is good for the boys.”
Saints are next in action at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday, January 28th. But with that game against Bath sold out the next fixture supporters can book for is the visit of Harlequins on Friday, January 3rd.
Before that is Monday night’s Aviva ‘A’ League final between the Wanderers and Bath, and supporters can order tickets for both of those games by CLICKING HERE and following the straightforward instructions.