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Leinster ready to make the most of home comfort against old foes Ulster

By David Kelly

Published 20/05/2016

Leinster Rugby Squad Training, Donnybrook, Dublin 8/12/2015
Jack McGrath
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Leinster Rugby Squad Training, Donnybrook, Dublin 8/12/2015 Jack McGrath Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

History supports Leinster optimism heading into tonight's Guinness Pro12 semi-final against their traditional May inferiors Ulster at the RDS but it is the present which informs tension amongst their faithful.

Despite finishing atop the standings after the regular campaign, banking a home semi-final fixture from which they have never failed to emerge in the brief history of the play-offs, there is enough angst to justify nervousness in the bleachers.

There is a feeling that Leinster are vulnerable as Leo Cullen attempts to end his maiden season with a trophy; the flies on the wall are ferrying whispers that the IRFU may seek to replicate what has happened in Munster and Ulster; ie the installation of a director of rugby.

"You just have to look at our last outing against them," says Cullen, wary of Ulster's threat.

"We were a long way off in certain areas.

"There were a lot of learnings for us in that game. It's how we adapt with the conditions with the same opponent, a few slightly different personnel involved, but we need to be a hell of a lot better.

"We've used a lot of players to get us into this situation where we've managed to get a home semi-final.

"We have really been focused in trying to get to our ultimate goal which was a home semi-final so it's great to be here in the RDS in front of a sold-out crowd."

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