Match Report: Leinster 30 Saracens 19
Reigning champions Saracens were knocked out of the European Champions Cup after suffering a 30-19 defeat to three-time winners Leinster in Dublin.
Garry Ringrose, Dan Leavy and James Lowe got the tries for the hosts with flanker Blair Cowan managing Saracens’ only try midway through the second half.
Owen Farrell kicked 11 points for the visitors but it was not enough for Saracens who will now focus on securing a top two finish in the Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Leinster opened the scoring after just three minutes as James Lowe broke from his own 22 before feeding Isa Nacewa who fed Ringrose to run under the posts.
Sexton added the extras but Farrell replied with two penalties on 11 and 15 minutes to reduce the deficit to a single point at the Aviva Stadium.
The Irish fly-half added another pair of penalties either side of another Farrell strike with Marcelo Bosch smashing a kick over from halfway to make the score 13-12 to Leinster at the break.
Sexton extended the lead with an early penalty before Leavy played a quick one two from scrum-half with James Ryan before sprinting clear for Leinster’s second try.
Schalk Brits came off the bench for his 50th European appearance but it was Leinster who scored next after Luke McGrath and Leavy combined to put the hosts deep into Saracens 22.
On the crash ball, Lowe was helped across the line by a trio of Leinster attackers to move Leinster 30-12 ahead as the hour approached.
Saracens were far from down and out though and claimed their first try on 64 minutes when Nick Isiekwe claimed a lineout and Cowan dug his way to the line from a driving maul.
The visitors were offered further hope when second row Devin Toner was sent to the sin bin on 75 minutes after impeding Ben Spencer’s pass from the floor.
But it wasn’t to be for the holders as Leinster held on to book a semi-final against rivals Scarlets in Dublin.