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Published: 17:31 | 30/4/16

Best hails Ulster side after win over Leinster


Ulster captain Rory Best is delighted his side are in still in the hunt for a Pro 12 play-off place following the 30-6 victory over Leinster at the Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

Les Kiss' team led 10-6 at the break thanks to a penalty try after Rob Kearney blocked Ruan Pienaar just short of the line, and went on to add 20 unanswered points in the second half as Jared Payne and Paddy Jackson, who scored 16 points in total, went over for tries.

Leinster were reduced to 14 men twice, with Kearney seeing a yellow card for his block on Piennaar, and Luke Fitzgerald spending time in the sin bin in the second half for a pull on Rory Scholes.

Ulster will secure a play-off place with a win over Ospreys in their final Pro 12 match at the Liberty Stadium next Saturday.

The win guarantees also Ulster a European Champions Cup place next season, while Leinster can still secure a Pro 12 home semi-final with a bonus-point win over Treviso next week if second-placed Connacht fail to beat leaders Glasgow.

"We spoke long and hard before the Connacht game that these are small steps for us, and effectively knock-out rugby," Best told Sky Sports.

"I think we have been getting better week on week, and this is a great performance.

"A lot has been said about our lack of fire power, our lack of ball players. But it shows that if you are smart enough, run good line, and are physical at the breakdown, then it doesn't really matter about size.

"We have taken a small step towards the semi-finals but we are not there yet."

Leinster coach Leo Cullen was unhappy with the yellow card referee George Clancy showed to Rob Kearney.

"I thought there was cover there with Dave Kearney and a penalty try was harsh," said Cullen.

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