Leinster’s 26-10 defeat to Ulster at Ravenhill has all but eneded their hopes of a Pro 12 play-off spot. Photograph: Inpho

Matt O’Connor accepted that Leinster’s Pro12 campaign and with it their season is all but over after this latest defeat. “It’s going to be very hard f(...)

Craig Gilroy dives over for Ulsters second score in their 26-10 win over Leinster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster 26 Leinster 10Ulster set up a third Irish derby in a row at home to Munster two weeks’ hence, in a match that could decide home advantage in th(...)

“You could say this is our toughest game of the season,” said Connacht coach Pat Lam. “It’s up to us to go out and perform as a team.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht’s most compelling league campaign ever has arguably been the story of the Pro12 season, although the wheels appear to have come off their au(...)

Donnacha Ryan making his first Munster start since March 2014. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As significant as this match is in Munster’s quest for a home semi-final, and indeed Treviso’s battle with Zebre for a place in next season’s Champio(...)

Leinster outhalf Jimmy Gopperth is a picture of dejection at the final whistle against Toulon. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster scarcely have time to pause for breath, much less for reflection, but looking back on their courageous if dispiriting European Champions Cup (...)

A  number of Top 14 clubs are monitoring Paul O’Connell’s situation. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Paul O’Connell has been identified as the latest addition to Toulon’s list of galacticos and to that end has been targeted as a signing for next se(...)

Toulon’s Ali Williams pleads his innocence after being sin-binned during the Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster in Marseille. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

The slow walk of the vanquished team from the dressing-room to the awaiting team bus in the bowels of a stadium has rarely been made more bitterly. L(...)

Toulon’s Bryan Habana scores the extra-time try. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Toulon 25 Leinster 20 (aet; 12-12 after 80 minutes) True to their word, Leinster fought the good fight. For 80 minutes of regulation time and a(...)

Seán Cronin and Rob Kearney raise their arms in truumph as Leinster overcome Clermont 19-15 in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

If there has been one outstanding high point in Leinster’s storied European Cup history, it is probably their epic semi-final win over Clermont in Bor(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud of Toulon runs with the ball against Leinster during the European Cup quarter-final match at Felix Mayol Stadium last year. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

To put the scale of the task facing Leinster into perspective, never have they been handed a more difficult knockout game in Europe’s blue riband. Put(...)