Leinster v Scarlets

Leinster are one game away from a famous double, with the Scarlets in their way at the Aviva

Johnny Watterson Sat, May 26
 
LIVE: Leinster v Scarlets

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  • Good evening and welcome to Aviva Stadium. Leinster are bidding to do the League and European Cup double. Scarlets are bidding to defend the Pro14 title they won last season.First blood Scarlets. They have won the toss and have chosen to kick off.
  • They might look like best chums now. Give them 20 minutes or so...
  • Crowds are pretty slow at getting in here on a perfect day in Dublin. Dry and not too warm, Pro14 expect something between 44,000 and 47,000 fans for the final. There were 43,500 tickets taken up at lunch time on Friday.
  • Here are the teams. Officially no changes for the start.


    LEINSTER: Rob Kearney; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Isa Nacewa (capt), James Lowe; Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, James Ryan; Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan.

    Replacements: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Scott Fardy, Jordi Murphy, Nick McCarthy, Joey Carbery, Rory O’Loughlin.

    SCARLETS: Leigh Halfpenny; Johnny McNicholl, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Steffan Evans; Rhys Patchell, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Ken Owens (capt), Samson Lee; Lewis Rawlins, Steven Cummins; Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Tadhg Beirne

    Replacements: Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Will Boyde, Jonathan Evans, Daniel Jones, Tom Prydie.

    Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU, 14th Championship appearance)
  • Some of the stats from Gerry Thornley in today's Irish Times.

    Overall Pro14 head to head record: Played 31 Leinster won 18, Scarlets won 11 with 2 games drawn.

    Last two seasons: (2016-17) Scarlets 38 Leinster 29, Leinster 45 Scarlets 9, (s/f) Leinster 16 Scarlets 27. (2017-18) Leinster 20 Scarlets 13, Scarlets 10 Leinster 10, (ECC s/f) Leinster 38 Scarlets 16.

    Leading try scorers: Leinster – Barry Daly 12, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Rory O’Loughlin 7 each. Scarlets – Steff Evans 8, Rhys Patchell 7, Tadhg Beirne 7 each.

    Leading points scorers: Leinster – Ross Byrne 116. Scarlets – Dan Jones 93, Leigh Halfpenny 91, Rhys Patchell 85.

    Betting (Paddy Powers): 2/9 Leinster, 20/1 Draw, 16/5 Scarlets. Handicap odds (Scarlets +11pts) 10/11 Leinster, 19/1 Draw, 10/11 Scarlets.

    Forecast: Leinster to win.
  • South African referee Stuart Berry this season
    251 penalties
    14 yellow cards
  • They are off.
  • First box kick to Luke McGrath. Scarlets lineout. Leinster nick it and the ball is in blue hands near the halfway line.
  • Lively start Leinster. Jordan Larmour gets it in his hands early. But Scarlets clear back to the Leinster half.
  • A lot of big collisions and Devin Toner in the thick of it again. as Leinster again inch into the Welsh half.. Lovely sniping run form McGrath who makes 20 yards and earns the first penalty of the match.
  • 7 mins Sexton lands a nice one from mid range to give Leinster first points.
    Good work McGrath

    Leinster 3 Scarlets 0
  • But Scarlets respond and sweep up field. The referee's hand goes up for some jersey pulling. Looked like one of the Irish props. Doesn't matter it's an easy one for Leigh Halfpenny, who lands Scarlets' first points.
    9 mins Leinster 3 Scarlets 3
  • Already this has the makings of a high scoring game. Both sides are flinging the ball around in the good conditions.
  • Leinster judged to not be 10 metres and give away a penalty near the halfway line. That's Halfpenny range. He steps up and kicks a big one. Good range. Good accuracy. Scarlets go ahead.
    13 mins Leinster 3 Scarlets 6
  • Leinster hard yards inside the 22.. Big hits from Scarlets defence throwing bodies at Leinster. Peenalty. Inside the 22. Looks like an easy one for Sexton. It is.
    17 mins Leinster 6 Scarlets 6
  • Lowe finds an excellent touch deep in Scarlets 22...But Nacewa limps off. That's terrible luck for the Leinster captain and in his last match. He gets a huge round of applause but forlornly walks to the bench and puts a tracksuit over his head.
  • NACEWA is not coming back. Sadly for him it is his last run in the blue shirt. Looked like the calf muscle that had been giving him trouble.
  • Leinster are banging up into the Scarlets 22 again. Larmour takes it on as Sracets throw themselves into the tackles. The referee's hand goes out again. Penalty Leinster. Sexton again looks confident standing over it.. It's good.
    25 mins Leister 9 Scarlets 6
  • Terrific carries from Tadhg and Conan. Leinster are upping the ante in the Scarlets 22. Very much the dominant team now they are goiing thro the phases.
    21 st phase and Healy is stopped just short.
    It goes back and Toner on the 22nd phases muscles over. Scarlets are dead on their feet. Great result for Leinster after an intense period of pressure.
    31 mins Leinster 14 Scarlets 6
  • 32 mins Sexton badly pulls his simple conversion. No extras this time.
  • Another good response from the Welsh. Now they are going thro the phases in Leinster's half. It has taken a while.Samson Lee takes the 13th phase into the 22.
    Steffan Evans is stopped inches short. The ball goes back and Leinster are opened. Johnny McNicholl bursts over. TRY for Scarlets.
    Halfpenny misses the conversion.
    36 mins Leinster 14 Scarlets 11.
  • Tadhg Beirne steals a great ball from Toner at the Leinster lineout and makes ground. But it comes to nothing as a Welsh player goes down injured. It is Aaron Shingler the Scarlets blind side flanker. He may not make the plane with Warren Gatland for the Welsh summer tour.
  • Halfpenny looking unsteady under the high ball and knocks on from a Sexton kick. That's unusual for him. Sexton follows it with a cross field kick to Lowe, who earns a lineout deep in Scarlets red zone.
    A huge push from Leinster but collapsed by Scarlets. Sexton is in the referee's ear.
    It's another lineout. Leinster push again. The ball comes out. McGrath to Sexton to LOWE. Try Leinster.
    Super one handed catch from Lowe, who had just enough space as Scarlets committed to defending the maul.
    Sexton converts

    HALFTIME; Leinster 21 Scarlets 11
  • Mysterious tweet from former Leinster prop Mike Ross...
  • 43 -20 - Leinster lead the gain line success numbers for the first half.
  • If Sexton can keep all the elements of his play going it looks good for Leinster. His flat passing and kicking game has tormented Scarlets. That combined with the uncompromising physical game Leinster are playing has them dominating play. An early score for Scarlets would make it interesting.

    HALFTIME; Leinster 21 Scarlets 11
  • "Every time we've gone into their half we've come away with points. That's very important against a team like Scarlets," Sean O'Brien at halftime in Aviva Stadium.
  • They are out for the second half. Sexton is laying down the law to the referee before he kicks off.
  • Leinster are straight into it. Ringrose threads a kick through with Larmour chasing. Leinster lineout in Scarlets 22.
  • Leinster scrum 5 metres out.O'Loughlin makes ground but Scarlets knock on. Leinster scrum centre field.
  • Ringrose, Ruddock, McGrath all muscle forward but hit back. Cross field kick from Sexton. But it goes back to another scrum not 3 points from a penalty.
  • Deadly defending from Scarlets and Leinster go for the killer try. Scott Williams makes a critical turnover and Scarlets breath again.
  • 49 mins: Leinster 21 Scarlets 11
  • Shinglers on crutches. There goes his summer tour.with Wales.
  • Loop with Ringrose and SEXTON takes a hit. He's on the ground.
  • A replay shows Williams hit him hard but legally. Sexton is on his feet.
  • Referee reviews the Williams tackle on Sexton. It is a penalty and nothing else.
    Sexton kicks to touch.
  • Leinster lineout in the corner. Brilliant kick from Sexton. Big rolling maul after Ryan gathers and Leinster are moving forward. Sean Cronin peels off from the back of the maul and dives over. TRY Leinster..
    26-11
    Sexton converts.
    53 min Leinster 28 Scarlets 11
  • Its a long way back for Scarlets now. The only way back is to rip into Leinster.
    Rhys Ruddock is replaced by hardy Scoitt Fardy.
  • Oh Jordan Larmour!
    What a try. He chases back and kicks forward and chases forward and wins the chase and scoops up the ball from the ground with one hand and runs in for a try.
    We will be watching that one for some time to come.
    60 mins Leinster 33 Scarlets 11
  • Leo Cullen has answered the call from Schmidt. Sexton departs and Joey Carbery comes into the final.
  • Johnny McNicholl in for a try in the corner. Came from little. The ground goes quiet.
    Halfpenny converts
    65 mins: Leinster 33 Scarlets 18
  • 14 minutes left. Scarlets 15 points adrift.
  • Leavy comes off for Nordi Murphy.
  • TRY. Conan in under the posts. That was made by Carbery. Lovely footwork from Carbery. So light on his feet he steps into space and delivers a sweet pass to McGrath with Conan running a lovely line.

    68 mins Leinster 40 Scarlets 18
  • The Leinster bench is empties with Nick McCarthy into the game for McGrath.
  • Leinster are playing for fun now but there are a lot of dead legs out there.
  • What a year for James Ryan. He still hasn't lost a match with Leinster or Ireland. 23 out of 23 wins as a professional player.
  • Sexton is man of the match. He tries not to smile as Dan Leavy pats his head on the bench.
  • 77 mins: Leinster 40 Scarlets 18
  • Werner Kruger, the South African replacement looks like he is over. But it really doesn't matter. The try is awarded and it's 40-23. But this is Leinster's game. Scarlets have been hammered.
    79 mins: Leinster 40 Scarlets 25
  • Confirmed.
    It is the double for Leinster. They are still playing and the hooter has sounded but McNicholl streaks away with the ball for his hat trick. Three tries for him and on the losing side. That won't spoil Leinster celebrations.
    Halfpenny converts.

    Final score LEINSTER 40-32 SCARLETS
  • Nacewa hobbles down. That's his last time in Aviva. Tadhg Beirne hugs his former team mates. But this is all Leinster's day, Leinster's season.
    "I think Leo (Cullen) said we'd 55 players to get us to this final. We were representing them. We had to go out and win it for the whole squad and earned a little bit of history along the way," Johnny Sexton.
  • "We have to keep these standards. Although Isa went off early today I think they made him proud," Johnny Sexton.
  • "We know we lost to a quality team," Scarlets captain Ken Owens.
  • "If they are not the best team Leinster have ever had, they are on their way," Shane Horgan.
  • "Celebrate today, celebrate tomorrow and then get the head screwed on for going to Australia," Devin Toner.
  • Isa in danger of suffering an HIA he's getting so many hard hugs from his Leinster team.
  • Fittingly it is Isa hobbling up first to call his team to the podium.They are all there now. The Cup is being handed to Isa. The champagne is uncorked and it's a spray fest.
    That's it folks. Leinster have made history by winnjing the European Cup and domestic League, the first team to do so. Good night.
    LEINSTER 40 SCARLETS 32