Leinster keep double bid alive after edging Munster in Pro 14 semi-final


London (AFP)

Leinster remained on course for a domestic and European double after edging past Irish rivals Munster 16-15 in a dramatic Pro 14 semi-final in Dublin on Saturday.

Victory meant Leinster, who beat France's Racing 92 to win the European Champions Cup in Bilbao last weekend, will face reigning Pro 14 title-holders Scarlets in a repeat of the final the Welsh regional side won last season when the teams meet again at Lansdowne Road, a week on Saturday.

Munster, suffering a second semi-final loss of the season after being over-run by Racing in European competition, closed to within a point at Dublin's RDS ground on Saturday when Gerbrandt Grobler crossed for a try converted by Ian Keatley with just a minute left but Leinster held their nerve.

Leinster were without injured fly-half Jonathan Sexton after the star of Ireland's Six Nations Grand Slam campaign was ruled out with a calf injury.

But the Dublin-based side were still 10-3 up at half-time after a seventh-minute Jack Conan try proved the difference in an opening period where JJ Hanrahan and Ross Byrne, Leinster's starting fly-half, exchanged penalties.

Munster's Keith Earls scored a try early in the second half only for Byrne's second penalty and a 76th-minute penalty from fullback Joey Carbery to prove sufficient for Leinster to win through in the end.