REUTERS - Defending champions Leinster withstood a frenzied late onslaught from Clermont Auvergne on Sunday to win their Heineken Cup semi-final 19-15 and set up a final against Ulster next month.
Leinster had the accurate boot of flyhalf Johnny Sexton, five inspired minutes by Rob Kearney and resolute defence to thank for their victory.
Ireland fullback Kearney sliced through the Clermont defence early in the second half to feed prop Cian Healy for a try which he then followed with a towering, long-range drop goal.
Clermont, playing their first semi-final, led 12-6 at halftime through four Brock James penalties and another three-point kick from the Australian after Leinster’s flying start to the second half kept his side in touch.
A 63rd minute penalty by Sexton left the home side requiring a try to advance to the final and although, centre Wesley Fofana crossed the tryline in the closing minutes, he failed to ground the ball.
Leinster will attempt to win their third trophy in four years when they meet Ulster at Twickenham on May 19.