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Leinster secure another Grand Final

MATCH REPORT:  Leinster book a place in the Champions Cup Final with a comfortable 40-17 win over Stade Toulousain in Dublin.

*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!

The Irish side outscored the defending champs four tries to two in front of more than 42 000 spectators.

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Leinster wing James Lowe scored a double, which takes him to 10 tries in this season’s Champions Cup as he solidifies his position as the tournament’s leading scorer.

Josh van der Flier and Hugo Keenan also crossed for the Irish province, with the influential Johnny Sexton kicking 15 points.

Toulouse went ahead early on through Antoine Dupont, but were ultimately overwhelmed by the hosts, with Selevasio Tolofua’s second-half score proving insignificant.

Leinster made an impressive start to the game and immediately set up camp on the Toulouse line, but had to settle for three points from fly-half Sexton after wing Jimmy O’Brien was stopped just short in the corner.

Moments later, full-back Keenan beat a handful of Toulouse defenders and looked set to streak clear, only to be brought down just over 22 metres out.

The ball went to ground in the following phase, and scrum-half Dupont scooped up to run the length of the field and dot down for the game’s first try on seven minutes.

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Full-back Ramos’ conversion pulled Toulouse four points clear, but Leinster responded well and threatened the Toulouse line once again, opting to reduce the deficit to one point through another Sexton penalty on 12 minutes.

After earning a third penalty from a kickable position, Leinster went to the corner, and from the resulting attack wing Lowe dived over, much thanks to a smart inside ball from Sexton, who added the extras to put the hosts six points clear.

And that lead was extended on 20 minutes as a delightful dummy from Sexton fooled the Toulouse defence, with the veteran then picking out flanker van der Flier who managed to wriggle over the whitewash after being brought down short.

Sexton duly added the extras and would reply to a Ramos penalty on 24 minutes with an effort of his own shortly before half time.

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Toulouse ended the first half with 14 men after lock Emmanuel Meafou was sin-binned for an illegal tackle, but they would survive the period without conceding.

However, seconds after Meafou returned, Leinster grabbed their third try, as Sexton slung the ball wide to Lowe, who planted down for his second of the afternoon.

Leinster continued to probe but were unable to find any further points before Toulouse replacement Tolofua bundled in the corner following a maul, Ramos’ conversion from out wide narrowing the gap to 13 points with just under a quarter on an hour to play.

But there would be no miracle comeback, as Leinster controlled the closing stages, with replacement flyhalf Ross Byrne knocking over a penalty before Keenan dived over to cap a memorable afternoon in Dublin.

 

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Lowe 2, Van der Fliers, Keenan
Cons: Sexton 3, Byrne
Pens: Sexton 3, Byrne

For Toulouse:
Tries: Dupont, Tolofua
Cons: Ramos 2
Pens: Ramos

Yellow card: Emmanuel Meafou (Toulouse, 36 – deliberate foul play – late tackle)

Man of the match: Leinster flyhalf Johnny Sexton was in fine form, along with his halfback partner Jamison Gibson-Park,  he dictated much of the play. However, our nod goes to Leinster wing James Lowe, who caused major damage on the attack and was solid in defence.

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jimmy O’Brien, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Joe McCarthy, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Ciaran Frawley

Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Juan Cruz Mallía, 13 Pierre Fouyssac, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Francois Cros, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Emmanuel Meafou, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Julien Marchand (captain), 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 David Ainu’u, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Selevasio Tolofua, 21 Thibaud Flament, 22 Martin Page Relo, 23 Zack Holmes

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England) & Anthony Woodthorpe (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Source: @ChampionsCup 

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