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Leinster

  • O'Driscoll, Heaslip (2), Nacewa, Sexton,
    Penalty goals: Sexton (2), Madigan,
    Conversions: Sexton (3), Madigan (2),
44 - 16

Biarritz

  • Heguy,
    Penalty goals: Yachvili (3),
    Conversions: Yachvili,

Amlin Challenge Cup: Leinster beat Biarritz 44-16 to reach final

Last updated: 27th April 2013  

Amlin Challenge Cup Leinster Brian O'Driscoll

Top quality: Brian O'Driscoll crosses for a try in the rout

Jamie Heaslip  Leinster Amlin Challenge Cup

Jamie Heaslip: The Leinster captain breaks through to score his second try against Biarritz

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Jamie Heaslip ran in two tries as Leinster thrashed holders Biarritz Olympique 44-16 to set up an Amlin Challenge Cup final with Stade Francais.

Isa Nacewa, Brian O'Driscoll and Jonny Sexton also scored tries in the RDS Arena, while Sexton kicked two penalties and three conversions and Ian Madigan booted a penalty and two conversions.

Arnaud Heguy scored a consolation try for the French side, converted by Dimitri Yachvili, who had earlier kicked three penalties.

Leinster will now have home advantage when they face Stade Francais, who narrowly beat Perpignan 25-22 on Friday, in the final back at the RDS Arena on 17th May.

The Irish side are chasing their fourth European trophy in five seasons, having won three of the past four Heineken Cups.

Two tries from man-of-the-match Heaslip book-ended an evenly balanced first half, with Leinster's precise passing and finishing being the difference at the break.

Yachvili's third penalty in the 37th minute left Biarritz just 10-9 behind, only for Leinster to dazzle in the Dublin sunshine with two late tries.

Sexton and Heaslip went over in a blockbusting three-minute burst, the former adding the conversions for a sudden 24-9 interval advantage.

The sin-binning of Takudzwa Ngwenya, early in the second period, signalled the death knell for Biarritz who will miss out on Heineken Cup rugby next year.

Leinster took immediate advantage of the extra man, showing their potency again and again from turnover ball. Sexton popped over a penalty and then a delightful interchange between Sexton and Nacewa outfoxed three covering defenders and produced a deserved try for the latter.

Sexton's withdrawal allowed Madigan to slot back in at out-half, and the recent Ireland debutant kept the scoreboard running in Leinster's favour with a well-hit conversion and penalty.

Rob Howley headed up the watching Lions party and he would have been pleased to see O'Driscoll nab a try, finishing off some good work from Nacewa and deceptively quick replacement Sean Cronin.

Heguy's converted consolation score cut the margin to 28 points but it was too little too late for the visitors.

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Phil Edwards

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