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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019
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And then there were two.

Hello, good afternoon and thanks a mil for joining us in keeping track of Leinster’s Pro14 final clash against Glasgow, in Glasgow’s Celtic Park. With the top two sides from the two Pro14 conferences set to lock horns, it promises to be a rip-roaring contest in front of a raucous crowd.

We still have a little under an hour to go before this football ground is treated to a different sort of kick-off, so you have plenty of time to find a TV and tune it to TG4 or eir Sport.

If you can’t get to a screen, sit tight, grab yourself something cold and some reinforcements and we’ll keep you informed the whole way through from the 18.30 kick-off.

The team-sheets are in, and there are no changes from the line-ups unveiled yesterday.

That means Glasgow are unchanged from the side who ran up 50 against Ulster. And Leinster have added experience after seeing off Munster.

Glasgow:

15. Stuart Hogg
14. Tommy Seymour
13. Kyle Steyn
12. Sam Johnson
11. DTH van der Merwe
10. Adam Hastings
9. Ali Price

1. Jamie Bhatti
2. Fraser Brown
3. Zander Fagerson
4. Scott Cummings
5. Jonny Gray
6. Rob Harley
7. Callum Gibbins (captain)
8. Matt Fagerson

Replacements:

16. Grant Stewart
17. Oli Kebble
18. Siua Halanukonuka
19. Ryan Wilson
20. Tom Gordon
21. George Horne
22. Pete Horne
23. Huw Jones

Leinster:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy
2. Sean Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Scott Fardy
5. James Ryan
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Bryan Byrne
17. Ed Byrne
18. Andrew Porter 
19. Ross Molony 
20. Max Deegan
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Ross Byrne 
23. Rory O’Loughlin

Referee: Nigel Owens [WRU].

Before we bring you undivided attention on Leinster v Glasgow, Ireland 7s have completed an impressive pool stage at the London 7s.

Appearing as an invitational side again, Ireland beat the hosts England and have just wrapped up with a win over Scotland – though they did get hosed by New Zealand in between.

Let’s get ready to rumble then.

The teams are out in Glasgow, the royal blue flags are heavily outnumbered by the Glaswegian, erm… light blue (?) but flags will have little bearing on the next 80 minutes.

KICK-OFF:

Leinster survive an intense early bout of Warriors pressure and force their way back to halfway. We get a bit of kick tennis as the crowd find their voice when James Lowe mis-judges a bobble and kicks a wild one out on the 10-metre line.

5Mins

Leinster show that Glasgow aren’t the only ones who can attack off the cuff. They go wide early off a line-out and Ringrose tips on as he felt he was being lined up for a rib-crusher (which never came).

Rob Kearney found a route around the outside and as the cavalry pours through the penalty comes Leinster’s way.

Though we’re waiting for Johnny Sexton to get a bit of treatment.

Cracking start to this game.

6Mins

Sexton still showing some after affects of his last contact. The 10 pushes his penalty wide right from directly in front of the posts – albeit 40 metres out.

10Mins

The TMO asked Nigel Owens to consider a card for Fraser Brown after he crashed into the back of Luke McGrath, but the veteran Welsh official stands by his original call to award just a penalty.

A valuable pen it is as Sexton kicks for a line-out on the Warriors 22.

12Mins

Glasgow withstand the Leinster maul and mount an attack of their own at the other end.

They build the phases into double figures…

17Mins

PHEW. Well it’s been a breathless few minutes. Glasgow’s opener came on the back of a lost line-out from Sean Cronin, but the visitors’ should be thrilled with their response, though they remain 7-5 down as Sexton’s conversion from the touchline goes awry.

Glasgow get another sight of the try-line after stretching Leinster and raiding down the left.

Credit to Rennie’s men, they’re playing like a dog with a bone once they get within striking range.

Leinster hold firm through 11 phases and will be happy enough to cough up a penalty.

22Mins

PENALTY! Glasgow 10 Leinster 5 (Hastings ’22)

Glasgow forced into a change as Fraser Brown is called ashore injured after 25 minutes, so Grant Stewart is sent on to pack down opposite Sean Cronin.

30Mins

And after a rocky opening, Leinster lead with half an hour on the clock as Sexton lands his first kick of the day.

Glasgow 10 Leinster 12

33Mins

There’s a statement from Leinster’s scrum.

Warriors succumb to the weight and the wet underfoot conditions and Leinster win a penalty 45 metres out.

Shame, really, as Sexton had lined up an interesting formation behind the set-piece.

35Mins

PENALTY! Glasgow 10 Leinster 15 (Sexton ’35)

The 10 shows that his first miss was a mere blip and the champions take a five-point lead.

Just as Leinster look set to assert their dominance in this tie, with Scott Fardy delivering a big hit chasing McGrath’s box kick, Warriors find a gap outside his second row partner James Ryan.

They take advantage of the fractured Leinster line and advance to the attacking third, but Conan and JVDF are working brilliantly to slow their momentum.

40Mins

The interval arrives with a Jordan Larmour fist pump. The young wing watched and waited for his moment as DTH van der Merwe took in a cross-field kick and the Canadian star found himself bundled over the line as soon as he took possession.

41Mins

It continues to bucket down in Glasgow as we get under way for the final 40 minutes of the season.

Sexton kicks off deep in Glasgow territory, but the Warriors don’t let themselves get rattled exiting through a brilliant Hastings kick.

45Mins

Leinster turned the game around on the back of their set-piece, but the scrum came under concerted pressure from the black pack in the last set.

Cronin barrells into contact and there’s an audible ‘ooooh’ from the crowd as it appears he takes a high shot, but Owens calls it a slip.

46Mins

Leinster doing a sterling job of silencing a crowd who are feeling the atmosphere dampen.

Dave Rennie’s defence are putting in a shift in defence too and eventually force a spill from JVDF and so have a chance to escape their half for the first time since the break.

48Mins

Glasgow look to their strengths off the back of another good scrum, Hastings and Johnson inject pace into the attack and Stu Hogg pops up three phases later as they enter the Leinster 22.

48Mins

Oh it all goes utterly pear-shaped for the Warriors.

Just as they looked to raid on the right, Sexton forces the error and Ringrose picks up a loose ball behind the line. The centre tries to cut inside and make an angle for James Lowe as he heads for the 22, but Glasgow scrambles and kill the move.

SIN-BIN: Kyle Steyn

49Mins

Sexton kicks the penalty for the corner rather than push for a mere eight-point lead.

52Mins

Oooh. Glasgow think they have frustrated the champions as the ball squirts through a ruck, but there’s a penalty coming and this time Sexton will take the pragmatic option.

PENALTY! Glasgow 10 Leinster 18 (Sexton ’52)

56Mins

Leinster really turning the screw now and a Sexton grubber towards the line forces Hogg to try and run out from behind his own try-line. But there is no gap and he passes for Leinster to smother the ball and force a scrum V.

59Mins

Yowza. The stats graphic flashes up the penalty count to show us that Leinster have shipped just a single penalty in this contest. Phenomenal effort and it has tilted the final their way.

62Mins

After numerous attempts, we still haven’t gotten beyond the scrum V awarded after Glasgow touched down behind their line.

Kyle Steyn returned from his sin-bin midway through the series of re-sets, but the next phases will determine who the 10-minute period was a success for.

63Mins

We finally get beyond that scrum and the home crowd can gurgle out a roar through the rain as Luke McGrath knocks on at the base of a ruck in the left corner.

64Mins

For all that effort and a penalty win from the scrum after, Glasgow only get 30 metres from their line and Hastings then kicks down the throat of James Lowe to invite Leinster back.

Warriors get a fortunate bounce off a Leinster box kick though, so they can attack from their 10 here…

65Mins

Rob Kearney could be in trouble here!

The fullback, chasing his up and under, barged through Stuart Hogg mid-air and sent his fellow Lion tumbling to the turf.

68Mins

Massive scrum penalty goes against Glasgow even though it looked like they were taking the upper hand.

Penalty allows Sexton bang the ball clear from the edge of his own 22. 

12 minutes left for Leinster to hold on.

72Mins

Leinster showing how to milk the clock in sin-bin mode here, trundling through 16, 17, 18 slow phases while making their way inch by inch into the Warriors 22.

73Mins

Johnny Sexton spoke yesterday about the need to relish the challenge of a partisan crowd and, although that move ends with a home penalty, they succeeded in frustrating Glasgow and the stands with extended possession as precious time ticks away.

77Mins

Hold onto your hats. We’re in for a grandstand finish to the Grand Final. The Warriors completely rubbished my last update by insisting on playing rugby and attacking with width until, after checking back twice, space opened up on the right for the hooker to storm over.

Hastings’ conversion is a long way off, but Glasgow can now level or take this game.

78Mins

In case you’re wondering, a draw would mean two extra-time periods of 10-minutes apiece.

79Mins

But it doesn’t look like Glasgow can take his game to 100 minutes. A knock on signals James Lowe to run in and congratulate his team-mates for defending in the Warriors half.

They can scrum away the last 68 seconds of this game now.

80Mins

LEINSTER ARE PRO14 CHAMPIONS 2019

FULL-TIME: Glasgow 15 Leinster 18

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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