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Published: 22:31 | 20/5/16

Leinster book final berth


Leinster made amends for their recent Kingspan Stadium defeat as they booked their place in the Guinness PRO12 final with a 30-18 win over Ulster at the RDS.

The Blues, who are bidding for a third PRO12 title in four years, made a blistering start to the semi-final, dominating the early exchanges, and they were able to take a 13-0 following Isa Nacewa's try and two penalties from Johnny Sexton.

Ulster found a way back into the game with Paddy Jackson firing over two penalties before Craig Gilroy touched down just before half-time to leave the visitors trailing by just points at the interval.

The momentum appeared to be with Ulster but Leinster turned things around with Jamie Heaslip going over in the 47th minute before Sean Cronin added a third just after the hour mark. Although Ulster crossed through Gilroy Leinster held out to reach next week's decider against either Connacht or Glasgow Warriors.

Leinster found themselves in front after four minutes when Eoin Reddan found Nacewa on the right wing and the skipper cut his way through to touch down for the game's opening try. Sexton kicked the extras and added a penalty on ten minutes.

Leo Cullen's side continued to push and their dominance paid off when they conceded another penalty, which Sexton had little trouble slotting over to put his team 13-0 ahead.

The visitors had rarely troubled Leinster in the early exchanges but soon they found their way into the game and came close to crossing for their first try. They had to settle for a penalty which Jackson converted in the 26th minute and he added another five minutes later.

With half-time fast approaching, Gilroy went over in the corner but he had to wait for the TMO to review the footage before being able to celebrate his try. Jackson had a kick to draw level but he missed the conversion and it was Leinster who went in 13-11 ahead.

Ulster started the second half brightly but they were unable to add to their scores and they were punished when Garry Ringrose got the better of the Ulster defence. Leinster pushed for their second try and a superb Ben Te'o offload found Heaslip who touched down. Sexton added the extras and kept up his 100 per cent record when he hit another penalty on 56 minutes.

Victory was secured shortly after the hour mark when Cronin found space to cross with Sexton's kick putting Leinster 30-11 ahead.

Ulster gave themselves a glimmer of hope with ten minutes remaining when Gilroy completed his brace and Jackson quickly took the conversion to bring his side with 12 points but Leinster's defence held firm to book their place in the final.


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