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Murphy and Kearney tries see Leinster finish top

Defending champions Leinster saw off a spirited Edinburgh 15-13 at the RDS to ensure they finished top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table and secure a home play-off berth.

Tries from flanker Jordi Murphy and Dave Kearney did the trick, coupled with the boot of Jimmy Gopperth, but it was far from plain sailing for the hosts.

Edinburgh, bidding to end their season on a high after four straight RaboDirect PRO12 losses, pushed their hosts all the way and Tim Visser’s late try sent nerves wrangling at the RDS.

But in the end it was not to be for the Scots as they suffered the narrow loss, while Leinster will welcome Ulster back to the RDS for their semi-final clash.

The first score of the game came from the boot of Edinburgh fly-half Greig Laidlaw as he kicked the visitors into the lead after just five minutes.

But four minutes later and the RDS was rocking as superb play from the backs allowed Murphy to power through for the try – Gopperth failing with the conversion.

After quarter of an hour Edinburgh thought they had bagged a try of their own through Carl Bezuidenhout only for the effort to be ruled out.

This did little to deter the Scots however and after half an hour Leinster were pinned back in their half only to hold firm.

And soon it was Edinburgh’s turn to dig deep as the hosts turned the screw, only for Laidlaw to give the Scots a 6-5 half-time lead as he knocked over his second penalty of the evening.

Leinster came out for the second half all guns blazing and after a period of sustained pressure Gopperth put the hosts back in the lead with a penalty.

And the home side’s dominance was rewarded just before the hour when Kearney sped over for the try, Gopperth adding the extras.

However Edinburgh refused to lie down and just over five minutes later wing Visser finished off a fine move to bring the visitors to within two points.

But despite constant Scottish pressure Leinster held firm and saw out the narrow victory to finish top of the pile.

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