Heineken Champions Cup: Leinster dominate Toulouse to reach Marseille final

James Lowe touches down for Leinster's opening try in the semi-final
James Lowe makes it to Leinster's semi-final try.
Leinster (23) 40
Tries: Lowe 2, Van der Flier, Keenan Cons: Sexton 3, Byrne Pen: Sexton 3, Byrne
Toulouse (10) 17
Tries: Dupont, Tolofua Cons: Ramos 2 Pen: Ramos

Leinster defeated holders Toulouse comfortably in the Champions Cup final.

After Antoine Dupont's opening goal for Toulouse, the dominant hosts were leading 23-10 at break. This was thanks to tries by James Lowe (try) and Josh van der Flier (try).

Lowe added his second attempt in a more even second period before Selevasio Tua came over for the French side.

Hugo Keenan’s late try secured a decisive win for the Irish team.

Johnny Sexton, Leinster captain, displayed an inspiring display. He set up all three tries as well as kicking 15 points.

It was a meeting of the two most successful competition sides. Now Leinster has the chance to match Toulouse's five titles.

Leinster will attempt to win their first Champions Cup title since 2018 when it takes on Racing 92 and La Rochelle, who won Sunday's game in Marseille.

Hosts can benefit from pressure

Leinster put on pressure right from the start, in front of a crowd of 40,000 at Aviva Stadium. They were rewarded with Sexton’s first penalty after five minutes.

Two minutes later, Jamison Gil Gibson-Park's kick block resulted in Dupont receiving the ball. Dupont ran over 80m to the line and converted the try.

Sexton also added a second penalty. His inside pass sent Lowe soaring over for Leinster’s first try.

Leinster pair Robbie Henshaw and Johnny Sexton tackle Toulouse prop Cyril Baille
Leinster duo Robbie Henshaw (Leinster) and Johnny Sexton tackle Toulouse's prop Cyril Baille

On 20 minutes, Sexton made the break and passed to Van der Flier. The flanker's momentum took him over.

Sexton converted before Thomas Ramos slotted in a penalty following Toulouse's victory in a scrum. This was helped by Tadhg Furlong not being present after Leinster's prop was injured.

Sexton added another penalty, while Toulouse lock Emmanuel Meafou was slapped just before the break for multiple infringements.

After grabbing Lowe's double, Leinster and Lowe took their foot off of the gas in a competitive second half.

Sexton once again provided the pass. It was a long, looping effort that went out to the right to find Lowe. Wing then walked over.

Toulouse was able to gain territory for first time. They were saved by Tolofua, who touched down in a rolling maul, and Ramos who added the conversion.

Ross Byrne received a penalty and converted an early Keenan. Full-back sprinting through tired defences, the victory was complete.

The Top 14 champions defeated the Irish pair Ulster & Munster to reach the semi-final. But Leinster proved too strong, and they met in the final.

Leinster: Keenan, J. O'Brien, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe, Sexton, Gibson-Park, Porter, Kelleher, Furlong, Molony, Ryan, Doris, van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: Sheehan, Healy and Ala'alatoa McCarthy, Ruddock and McGrath. Frawley, R Byrne.

Toulouse: Ramos; Mallia, Fouyssac, Ahki, Lebel; Ntamack, Dupont; Baille, Marchand, Aldegheri, Arnold, Meafou, Elstadt, Cros, Jelonch.

Replacements: Mauvaka, Neti, Ainu'u, Tekori, Tolofua, Flament, Page-Relo, Holmes.

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