Heineken Cup: Leinster can still qualify for the quarter-finals after beating Exeter

Last updated: 20th January 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Neil Clark

Neil Clark: gave Leinster food for thought with a first-half score at Sandy Park

Gordon D Arcy

Gordon D'Arcy: scored one of Leinster's first-half tries in their bonus-point win

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European champions Leinster retained hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup after securing a 29-20 win over Exeter Chiefs.

The visitors needed to score four tries at Sandy Park to have any hope of claiming one of the two best runners-up qualification spots for the last eight.

A bonus-point win for Munster against Racing Metro on Sunday would see Leinster drop into the Amlin Cup, but for now the holders have given themselves a fighting chance.

Gordon D'Arcy and Rob Kearney crossed for first-half tries before Brian O'Driscoll scored their third of the game, crucially their fourth came in the 53rd minute through Jamie Heaslip.

Exeter led 17-12 at half time thanks to Neil Clark's 17th minute try while they were also awarded a penalty try in the 34th minute, Gareth Steenson added both conversions.

Leinster regained the lead early in the second half with a try from O'Driscoll, converted by Johnny Sexton - who then added the extras to the bonus point try which followed quickly through Ireland skipper Heaslip.

Steenson replied with a penalty which was cancelled out by Sexton before the Chiefs had Ben White sent to the sin bin in the closing minutes, while Leinster's Mike Ross was also yellow carded soon after.

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