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Leinster 12-3 Edinburgh

Leinster (12) 12
Pens: Contepomi (4)

Edinburgh (3) 3
Pen: Paterson

Brian O'Driscoll and Nick de Luca
Brian O'Driscoll bursts past Edinburgh's Nick de Luca at the RDS

Leinster squeezed into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals as a scrappy victory over Edinburgh proved enough to pip Wasps for the top spot in Pool Two.

All the points came in the first half with Felipe Contepomi landing four Leinster penalties and Chris Paterson replying for Edinburgh

Brian O'Driscoll and Rob Kearney produced superb breaks but poor handling prevented any Leinster tries.

Wasps' defeat by Castres meant Leinster topped the table by three points.

Under-pressure Leinster coach Michael Cheika will be mightily relieved at his team's qualification but on the evidence of this display, they are unlikely to progress much further in the competition.

Edinburgh were forced to start without Simon Webster after the wing was injured in the warm-up but the visitors made a bright start against the hesitant hosts.

Leinster struggled in the line-outs early on with hooker Bernard Jackman off target with a couple of throws and the home scrum also under pressure.

But an O'Driscoll break in the 14th minute yielded a penalty and Contepomi slotted the kick.

Bernard Jackman and Greig Laidlaw
Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman tries to get past Greig Laidlaw

The Ireland captain showed more quick feet four minutes later and another penalty resulted with Contepomi successful again.

Kearney was also showing a fine turn of pace and his initial charge in the 22nd minute set up a try-scoring chance for O'Driscoll but the Lions star knocked on with the line gaping.

However, Leinster had already been awarded a penalty for John Houston's illegal tackle on Contepomi and the Argentine added the points with the Edinburgh centre ordered to the sin bin.

Paterson opened Edinburgh's account in the 29th minute but Leinster were continuing to dominate and another Contepomi penalty put the home side nine points ahead again.

Leinster wasted try-scoring chances either side of the interval with prop Cian Healy spilling the ball on two crucial occasions and Contepomi's forward pass preventing a certain Luke Fitzgerald touchdown.

But Leinster's pack continued to put Edinburgh under intense pressure in a turgid second half but fumbles just short of the line prevented a couple of tries.

Michael Cheika introduced the Ollie le Roux for the closing stages but even the South African's newly-added pounds couldn't force a way through the tight Edinburgh defence.

But with Wasps losing against Castres, Leinster had done enough although there is plenty of work to do ahead of the knockout stages.

Leinster coach Michael Cheika :

"I don't think anyone is under any illusions. We definitely dominated.

"We had all the possession. We defended pretty well when they did have it but we couldn't deliver the knockout blow.

"Obviously our tactics changed when we knew what was happening in the (Wasps) game as well.

"We had a plan, but it became very evident after a certain period that we weren't getting four tries, once the rain came down."

Edinburgh coach Andy Robinson:

"Overall I am really pleased with the way the players fronted up. It was very courageous.

"We saw some young players like Kyle Traynor coming in and Greig Laidlaw playing at scrum-half.

"I think those two guys put their hands up for the squad and it's looking good for Edinburgh in the future."

Leinster : Kearney, Horgan, O'Driscoll, Contepomi, Fitzgerald, Nacewa, Whitaker, Healy, Jackman, Wright, Hogan, Toner, Elsom, Jennings, Heaslip.
Replacements : D'Arcy for Horgan (51), le Roux for Healy (72).
Not Used : Fogarty, S Keogh, O'Brien, Keane, Dempsey.

Edinburgh : Paterson, A Turnbull, Houston, De Luca, Thompson, D Blair, Laidlaw, Traynor, Kelly, G Cross, C Hamilton, Gissing, Newlands, S Cross, Hogg.
Replacements : Lawrie for Kelly (72), Kerr for G Cross (53), MacDonald for Newlands (59).
Not Used : J Hamilton, Meyer, Reid, Cairns.

Referee: C White (RFU)

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