Leinster roll into quarters
Boss try seals hard-fought Firhill success
Last Updated: 15/01/12 3:19pm
Rob Kearney: scored game's opening try early in second half
Defending champions Leinster qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals as Pool Three winners with a 23-16 victory at Glasgow.
Tries from Rob Kearney and Isaac Boss in the second half, along with 10 points from Fergus McFadden's boot, proved enough for the Irish province to edge a tight battle at Firhill and maintain their unbeaten record in this year's competition.
Leinster, with four wins and a draw from five matches, sit nine points clear at the top of Pool Three but must still beat Montpellier at home next Saturday to be guaranteed a home quarter-final.
Glasgow, who scored a second-half try through Colin Gregor, are eliminated from the competition ahead of their final match away at Bath, also next Saturday.
Glasgow stand-off Duncan Weir opened the scoring with a fifth-minute penalty after a scrum infringement.
Weir's opposite number Jonathan Sexton had the chance to level on 25 minutes but sliced his effort wide.
But he made no mistake two minutes later, splitting the uprights from just inside his own half as errors started to creep into Glasgow's game.
Weir put the Warriors back in front with his second penalty four minutes later, Leinster having been penalised for being off their feet at the ruck.
Leinster finally found some fluency, weaving together 25 phases of possession before hooker Sean Cronin was held just short.
Glasgow won a scrum against the head to temporarily relieve the danger but McFadden - taking over kicking duties from Sexton who stayed on despite a foot problem - landed a penalty with the final kick of the half to level matters at 6-6.
The opening try arrived three minutes after the restart, Kearney pouncing on a favourable bounce from Sexton's lofted kick to the right for a run to the line.
McFadden added the extras followed by an exchange of penalties with Weir to leave Leinster 16-9 ahead after 55 minutes.
Glasgow lost scrum-half Chris Cusiter to a tweaked hamstring and it proved a blessing in disguise as his replacement Gregor revived Glasgow's hopes.
The Scottish team turned down the chance of a penalty to kick to the corner and were rewarded moments later when Gregor dived over. Weir's conversion made it 16-16 with 18 minutes to play.
Leinster's own replacement scrum-half, Boss, who came on for Eoin Reddan in the 60th minute, landed the decisive blow with 12 minutes remaining with a short-range try under the posts, a score made possible by good work from the forwards.
McFadden converted to stretch the advantage to seven points and, despite Sean O'Brien being sin-binned for the final five minutes, the visitors closed out the result without alarm.