Ireland wing James Lowe scored two tries as Leinster knocked title-holders Toulouse out of this season’s European Champions Cup with a commanding semi-final win in Dublin on Saturday.
Leinster, the last non-French club left in this edition, will now bid to equal Toulouse’s all-time record of five major European titles when they face the winners of Sunday’s match between Racing 92 and La Rochelle in a Marseille final on 28 May.
The Dublin-based side, moving the ball at speed, had a healthy 23-10 lead at half time following tries by Lowe and Josh van der Flier, with Ireland great Jonathan Sexton landing all five of his goal-kicks in the opening 40 minutes.
France captain Antoine Dupont had helped the visitors go 7-3 up by running nearly the length of the field for a breakaway try, with Thomas Ramos adding a penalty.
Lowe, this tournament’s leading try-scorer, gave Leinster a decisive 20-point lead early in the second half with his second score of the match and 10th of the European campaign.
Ireland fullback Hugo Keenan then rounded off the 40-17 victory with the hosts’ fourth try late on.
“Any time you get to a final you are extremely happy but, in some ways, it is only half done,” Sexton, 37 in July, told BT Sport.
For Toulouse this encounter came just a week after their dramatic and draining Dublin defeat of Munster, Leinster’s arch-rivals, with the French giants only prevailing after extra time and a place-kicking shootout following a 24-24 draw.
Veteran flyhalf Sexton, who plans to retire following next year’s World Cup in France, added: “We knew Toulouse played 100 minutes last week and they came here probably not at their best and we were close to ours.
“We have to go again against Racing 92 or La Rochelle, who are two quality sides.”
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