Brilliant Leinster dismantle Scarlets to reach Champions Cup final

  • Brilliant Leinster dismantle Scarlets to reach Champions Cup final

Brilliant Leinster dismantle Scarlets to reach Champions Cup final

Obviously, the key man for them is Sexton, who continues to differentiate himself as one of the best players in the world.

Leinster - Tries: James Ryan, Cian Healy, Fergus McFadden, Scott Fardy, Johnny Sexton.

The first Champions Cup semi-final is between Leinster and Scarlets.

It'll take some team to beat them.

.

Tries for James Ryan, Cian Healy, Fergus McFadden, Scott Fardy and Johnny Sexton proved more than sufficient to crush any Scarlets resistance as the Irish province offered the flawless advert for the growing capabilities of northern hemisphere rugby, particularly in light of Ireland's Six Nations brilliance.

Scott Fardy, the former Wallabies captain and eventual Man of the Match, accounted for Leinster's fourth when he was stopped just short of the line but showed great awareness and presence of mind to stretch out and place the ball on the tryline.

A good day for Leinster fans and another good day for Irish rugby in a remarkable year.

But they were simply overpowered and outpaced by a relentless Leinster side, who scored the first try of the game in the 10th minute and never let up until the break.

Robbie Henshaw returns to the Blues' team after his shoulder injury and will partner Garry Ringrose in the centre.

Indeed, Halfpenny's boot could be the difference on Saturday and he is by no means the only difference-maker for Scarlets.

Next month's final in Bilbao could be an All-Ireland affair if Munster win away to Paris club Racing 92 in Sunday's second semi-final.

Last season's Guinness PRO12 winners Scarlets are on the brink of a first European Cup final appearance as they take on this season's number-one ranked team, who achieved impressive back-to-back victories this season over reigning European Champions Saracens.

While Leigh Halfpenny's unerring boot ensured the Scarlets remained in touch approaching the interval, winger McFadden's try on the stroke of half-time gave Leinster a 24-9 cushion.

Whereas their recent history in Dublin was favourable, however, the Scarlets had unhappy memories of this stage in the competition, having lost all three of their previous European semi-finals.

In their quarter-final they then beat a La Rochelle side without the hugely influential Victor Vito.

This was a chastening experience for Scarlets and, now their European dream is over for another season, they must turn their attention back to domestic matters and a defence of their Pro14 crown.

It was a wonderful set-piece move, begun and ended by James Ryan -- with Jamison Gibson-Park, Sexton, Isa Nacewa, Rob Kearney and Fergus McFadden all involved.

Replacements: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Nick McCarthy, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.

Subs: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Steve Cummins, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Will Boyde.