Sexton boots Leinster to victory
Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton kicked English champions Leicester out of Europe in a Heineken Cup quarter-final that bristled with Test match intensity.
Sexton, who booted 14 points when Ireland ended England's RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam hopes three weeks ago, came up trumps again in Leinster's 17-10 victory at the Aviva Stadium.
Leinster full-back Isa Nacewa scored a try and Sexton's four penalties underpinned the 2009 European champions' triumph and booked a semi-final in Ireland later this month against Biarritz or Toulouse.
Toby Flood booted a penalty for Leicester and converted substitute hooker Rob Hawkins' late try, but he also missed a second-half penalty sitter on another miserable Dublin evening for Tigers' England contingent.
It dashed Leicester's hopes of a third European and domestic double following all-conquering achievements in 2001 and 2002, but they could have no real complaints after Leinster won most of the key individual battles.
Leicester also struggled badly in the lineouts, and although Tigers remain favourites to complete an Aviva Premiership title hat-trick this term, the blue riband European prize has again passed them by.
The visitors lacked nothing in terms of courage or commitment, yet Leinster were able to absorb everything Leicester threw at them, and they appear a strong bet to reach next month's final in Cardiff.
Leicester will take little comfort from possibly bowing out to the eventual tournament winners, but few sides could have lived with Leinster's unremitting ferocity - with and without possession.