RaboDirect Pro12: Leinster down Glasgow to reach final
Last Updated: 11/05/13 10:39pm
Jamie Heaslip: Scored the only try of the game for Leinster
Leinster held off a late fightback to edge out Glasgow 17-15 at the RDS to reach the RaboDirect Pro12 final for the fourth straight year.
The hosts were outscored by two tries to one but four penalties from Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Jamie Heaslip crossed for Leinster, who have finished as runners-up in each of the last three seasons, while Nikola Matawalu and Mark Bennett rain in Glasgow's tries.
The result sets up an all-Irish title decider between Leinster and Ulster at the RDS on May 25 in what will be Joe Schmidt's final match in charge before he becomes Ireland boss.
It was not all good news, however, as star centre Brian O'Driscoll was withdrawn through injury after just 13 minutes.
With the wind at their backs, the Warriors got on the front foot early on as DTH van der Merwe and skipper Al Kellock both went close to crossing the try-line.
Sexton did put the hosts ahead with a 12th minute penalty but soon afterwards Matawalu followed up a series of powerful carries by picking up and scoring from a ruck under the shadow of the posts.
Stuart Hogg added the conversion before Glasgow continued to pile on the pressure, with the Warriors full-back adding a penalty to make it 10-3 in the 25th minute.
But Leinster fired back two minutes later when Heaslip broke away from a maul and touched down despite the combined efforts of Matawalu and Sean Maitland.
Sexton could not add the conversion but slotted over a penalty just after the half-hour mark to give the home side a slim 11-10 lead at the interval, with Glasgow surviving any further damage after Matawalu was sin-binned.
Two more Sexton penalties put Leinster 17-10 ahead in the second half but Schmidt's side never looked completely comfortable despite the advantage.
And with five minutes left Ryan Wilson's fine offload put fellow replacement Bennett over to the right of the posts, but Hogg could not level matters as his conversion went wide.
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 semi-finals
RaboDirect PRO12 table toppers Ulster host Scarlets in their play-off with a final place up for grabs.