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Leinster book place in Pro12 f...
Rugby

Leinster book place in Pro12 final with impressive win over Ulster

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

22:07 20 May 2016

Second half tries from Sean Cronin and Jamie Heaslip guided Leinster to their sixth Pro12 final in seven years as they beat Ulster in the RDS this evening.

Leo Cullen's men will now meet either Connacht or Glasgow in next week's final in Murrayfield, with the pair playing tomorrow night at the Sportsgrounds.

Leinster were off to a quick start this evening, Isa Nacewa crossing into the corner inside the opening 10 minutes and looking in control at the breakdown.

Ulster tried to cope with the relentless pressure but on two occasions were forced into conceding the penalty, allowing the imperious Johnny Sexton to split the posts and give the home side a 13-0 lead after just 16 minutes.

It took Ulster all of 28 minutes to register their first score of the game. Having applied pressure with nothing to show, Jackson settled the nerves with a penalty.

Les Kiss' side continued to push forward and as Leinster's resistance creaked, Jackson was given another opportunity to chip away at the home side's lead, one which he duly took.

The lead was cut to just two points on the stroke of half time, Craig Gilroy crossing just before the break to put them almost level at the break. Jackson was this time unable to convert, meaning the sides went in 13-11 at the break.

 

Craig Gilroy pulled his side back into the game on the stroke of half time with an excellently worked try. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Jamie Heaslip crossed shortly after the restart for the home side, but it was the flawless kicking of Sexton which once again put Leo Cullen's men out of sight. His penalty made it 23-11 before Sean Cronin touched down for their final try of the game to put it all but beyond Ulster.

Craig Gilroy ran in a try with about 13 minutes remaining but by then Leinster had shut up shop. Long kicks in to touch, simple carries and keeping possession was enough to see out a much deserved 30-18 victory.

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