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    Leinster set up all-Irish date

    by Oli Skehan , 29 April 2012

    Reigning champions Leinster are 80 minutes from Heineken Cup immortality following an epic 19-15 semi-final win over Clermont Auvergne at Stade Chabon-Delmas in Bordeaux on Sunday afternoon.

    Leinster trailed by six points at the interval following a cut-and-thrust encounter but Joe Schmidt's side put 10 points on the board before six minutes of the second-half had been played and subsequently took control thanks to a try set up by Rob Kearney and scored by Cian Healy.

    Brock James scored all of Clermont's points, 12 of them coming in the opening 40 minutes, while his counterpart Johnny Sexton kicked three penalties and a conversion while Kearney, hugely impresive from start to finish, got his name on the scoresheet after the break with as sweet a drop-goal as you are likely to see from 45 metres out.

    James' attempt to replicate the feat a minute or so later was short and wide but not as ugly as his next penalty kick - the first missed on semi-final weekend.

    The otherwise perfect Sexton pushed his next penalty attempt wide - with the TMO called upon to confirm the miss.

    With the clock ticking down and the partisan home crowd roaring Clermont on, Wesley Fofana crashed through to touch down but his celebration was premature after it was correctly ruled that the winger lost control of the ball in the process and Leinster lived to fight another day.

    That day will be on May 19 at Twickenham where Irish provincial rivals Ulster will be the opposition on what should be an occasion to remember.

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