Leinster reach showpiece final after win over Scarlets
CHAMPIONS CUP MATCH REPORT: Leinster Rugby progressed into the European Rugby Champions Cup final in Bilbao after an emphatic 38-16 win over Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Scarlets took an early lead through a Leigh Halfpenny penalty but that was short-lived as James Ryan dived over the try line to put Leinster in front on nine minutes.
Johnny Sexton and Leigh Halfpenny exchanged penalties in the first 20 minutes before tries from Cian Healy after 26 minutes and Fergus McFadden on the stroke of half-time put Leinster 15 points ahead at the interval.
An excellent give-and-go between Ryan and Scott Fardy allowed the latter to score a fourth Leinster try before Sexton added a fifth on the hour, weaving a path past two Scarlets following a pinpoint pass from Jamison Gibson-Park.
The Irish province thought they had a sixth try through Heineken Man of the Match Scott Fardy on 75 minutes, but after consulting TMO, Romain Poite disallowed the score for hands in the ruck.
Scarlets scored their only try of the match with a minute to play as Tadhg Beirne escaped a Leinster tackle to dive over at the posts, but it was nothing more than a consolation as the Irish province sealed a place in the Bilbao showpiece final.
Leinster will find out their opponents in the Champions Cup final tomorrow, when Racing 92 take on Munster Rugby in Bordeaux.
Tries: Ryan, Healy, McFadden, Fardy, Sexton
Cons: Sexton 5
Pens: Halfpenny 3
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Seán Cronin, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour
Scarlets: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Steve Cummins, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Will Boyde
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)