A late Ian Madigan try was enough to help Leinster defeat a stubborn Ulster side and set up a RaboDirect PRO12 final on Saturday 31st May against Glasgow Warriors Kick Off 6:15pm in the RDS.
In what was a mostly forgettable first half of bruising rugby with little skill or breakaways, Ulster found themselves 6-0 to the good thanks to two well taken Paddy Jackson penalties. The only other real talking points of the first forty minutes were a yellow card for Leinster’s Gordon D’Arcy and some general clueless play from the men in blue.
The second half however saw the game spark into life, with Jackson again nailing a penalty to give the Northern Province a nine point cushion. To make matters worse, center Brian O’Driscoll, playing in what would have been his last game had his team lost, had to leave the field through injury too. Shortly afterwards Jackson left with what looked like a leg injury himself, and with that momentum began to swing in Leinster’s favour.
With big names such as John Afoa, Tom Court and Nick Williams missing for Ulster, the class of their opponents began to shine through with the depth of their squad. Although winger Dave Kearney also exited the game with a particularly gruesome knee injury, Leinster kept coming forward. Their patience was soon rewarded when firstly Jimmy Gopperth kicked two penalties, before the all important Madigan try finally broke Ulster’s resolve.
The away side gave it one more big push, Iain Henderson carrying well in what appeared to be a one man crusade to get his team back into the game. It wasn’t enough though, as Ulster bowed out at the semi-final stage of the competition in what was also Johann Muller’s last game for the Province.
Leinster will now meet the Glasgow Warriors in the RDS on May 31st in the Grand Final. Kick off will be at 18:15.