Leinster bounce back to reach Pro14 final

Dublin (AFP) –


Leinster shrugged off the disappointment of losing their European crown last weekend to beat Irish rivals Munster 24-9 and reach the Pro 14 final on Saturday.

It was a deserved victory for defending champions Leinster, who lost to Saracens in last Saturday's European Champions Cup final, as Sean Cronin and James Lowe scored the two tries of the match.

Ross Byrne, who started at fly-half instead of world player of the year Johnny Sexton, contributed the other 14 points.

Leinster will play Glasgow, 50-20 winners over Ulster on Friday, in the May 25 final in Glasgow.

The pivotal moment after a hard-fought first period came six minutes into the second-half when Munster's Niall Scannell was sin-binned and Byrne slotted over the penalty to give Leinster a 12-6 lead.

However, former Leinster star Joey Carbery reduced the deficit five minutes later after Australian veteran Scott Fardy was penalised.

Leinster, though, exploited their one-man advantage and moved 10 points clear in the 55th minute with hooker Cronin touching down. Byrne converted for 19-9.

That was virtually his last contribution as he was withdrawn and replaced by Sexton.

Munster rarely threatened a comeback and it was Leinster who rounded off the match in style as Lowe touched down after fine handling by Rory O'Loughlin although Sexton missed the conversion.