Match Centre: Ulster 19-38 Leinster

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen

Ulster 19-38 Leinster, Kingspan Stadium

Defending champions Leinster have booked their berth in the final of the ongoing Pro14 season as they defeated Ulster 38-19 at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday.

The win has taken Leinster to 65 points as they sealed the top place in Conference A while Ulster are at second with 54 points.

As Marcell Coetzee was penalised early in the game, fly-half Ross Byrne kicked a penalty goal in the fifth minute to start the proceedings. A minute later, the visitors were reduced to 14-men temporarily when Devin Toner was sin-binned for a high tackle on Michael Lowry.

Ulster made full use of the numerical advantage as Coetzee dived under the posts after they kicked a penalty to the corner and in the 14th minute Robert Baloucoune dived in the right corner to make the scoreline 12-3.

Leinster's infringements continued to hamper then as this time they lost Jimmy O'Brien to yellow card in the 16th minute for a dangerous tackle on Ian Madigan but this time they were relentless as Michael Bent and Josh van der Flier touched down in a span of three minutes. Byrne kicked both the conversions to make the scoreline 12-17.

With Leinster returning to full strength, they had the momentum on their side which was further boosted when McCloskey was sin-binned in the 28th minute and three minutes later Andrew Warwick was red-carded after his elbow made contact with Ed Byrne. By the 33rd minute the hosts also lost Coetzee to injury.

As the half-time was approaching, Ed Byrne dived from close range as Leo Cullen's side completed the opening half with a 12-24 lead.

Leinster had a series of penalties going their way and they opted for a quick tap and eventually Ruddock breached the defence of Ulster on his way over the line in the 57th minute making it 12-31. In an eventful final 10 minutes, Leinster lost Ruddock to sin-bin in the 71st minute and Nick Timoney's try got Ulster to a 12-point deficit.

However, any chance of Ulster pulling out a victory ended with Cormac Izuchukwu's sin-bin in the 78th minute that was followed by Dan Sheehan's try as Leinster completed a 19-point victory.

Team line-up:

Ulster: Lowry; Baloucoune, Hume, McCloskey, Stockdale; Madigan, Cooney; O'Sullivan, Andrew, O'Toole; O'Connor, Treadwell; Timoney, Murphy, Coetzee.

Reserves: McBurney, Warwick, Moore, Izuchukwu, Reidy, Mathewson, Moore, Lyttle.

Leinster: O'Reilly; Kelleher, O'Brien, O'Loughlin, Kearney; R Byrne, McGrath; E Byrne, Tracy, Bent; Toner, Fardy; Ruddock, Van der Flier, Penny.

Reserves: Sheehan, Dooley, Clarkson, Molony, Murphy, R Osborne, J Osborne, Dunne.

Pro14 Points Table