Leinster make their play for final spot
There’s no doubt that the Irish province was the better side but there were too many peaks and troughs in the performance graph.
When Exeter were awarded a penalty on 68 minutes they tried another 13-man lineout but Leinster managed to defend this one. However their discipline at the breakdown, as least as far as Poite was concerned, remained an issue: another transgression and this time Steenson tapped it over to make it 26-20 to the visitors.
Leinster decided to turn down a kick at goal themselves soon after in favour of going to the corner but Seán Cronin overthrew and the opportunity was lost. Taking the points would have put the Chiefs two scores behind but Leinster were in pursuit of tries; well for 90 seconds at least because when Exeter flanker Ben White offended a ruck – he got a yellow card – Sexton tapped over the penalty.
There was time for Boss to be sin binned and Leinster to spurn a late try scoring opportunity but to their credit the Irish province achieved the four-try bonus point. It’s over to Munster.
Scoring sequence - 3 mins:D’Arcy try, Sexton conversion, 0-7; 16:Clark try, Steenson conversion, 7-7; 27:Kearney try, 7-12; 32:penalty try, Steenson conversion, 14-12; 39:Steenson penalty, 17-12. Half-time:17-12. 44:O’Driscoll try, Sexton conversion, 17-19; 53:Heaslip try, Sexton conversion, 17-26; 69:Steenson penalty, 20-26; 73:Sexton penalty, 20-29.
EXETER: L Arscott; I Whitten, S Naqelevuki, J Shoemark, M Jess; G Steenson, K Barrett; B Moon, N Clark, H Tui; T Hayes (capt), D Mumm; T Johnson, J Scaysbrook, R Baxter. Replacements:B White for Johnson 14 mins; C Mitchell for Tui 46-51 mins; W Chudley for Barrett 53 mins; C Rimmer for Moon 53 mins; C Mitchell for Tui 53-56 and 60 mins; J Hanks for Hayes 54 mins; N Sestaret for Shoemark 78 mins; J Yeandle for Clark 78 mins.
LEINSTER:R Kearney; I Nacewa, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, E Reddan; C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross; L Cullen (capt), D Toner; K McLaughlin, S O’Brien, J Heaslip. Replacements:S Cronin for Strauss half-time; I Boss for Reddan 54 mins; R Ruddock for McLaughlin 60 mins; M Bent for Ross 65 mins; H van der Merwe for Healy 65 mins; I Madigan for O’Driscoll 78 mins.
Yellow card:B White (Exeter Chiefs) 73 mins; I Boss (Leinster) 76 mins.
Referee: Romain Poite(France)