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Lowe brace helps Leinster to routine win over Ulster

Leinster are set for a United Rugby Championship semi-final clash against the Bulls after accounting for Ulster at the Aviva Stadium.

The prize for their 23-point victory over the visitors is a trip to Loftus Versfeld next Saturday to take on the side that beat them in the 2022 semi-final.

Earlier in the day, the Pretoria side scraped past Benetton 30-23.

Leo Cullen started with 12 of the side that began their Champions Cup defeat two weeks ago and their strength in depth told against a depleted Ulster side in front of 18,174 at a sunny Aviva Stadium.

First-half tries from Robbie Henshaw and James Lowe had Leinster in control by the half-hour mark, and while Dave McCann, Stewart Moore and Mike Lowry scored for Ulster they were mere consolations.

Lowe, Jordan Larmour, Josh van der Flier and Ross Molony all crossed in the second half as Leinster recorded their sixth URC play-off win in a row over Ulster.

Having served up two cracking contests in the regular season, both won by Ulster, the opening half was a largely insipid affair that lacked any intensity.

Ulster had their moments, notably from Cormac Izuchukwu but after the lock was forced off with a head injury in the 19th minute, the fizz left the team, who were already without regular second rows Alan O'Connor and Kieran Treadwell.

Nick Timoney was only denied a try by a brilliant Joe McCarthy tackle and that was as close as they got in the first half.

Having failed to captialise on that spell of pressure, during which Will Addison and Billy Burns, both playing their final games for the province, were causing problems, Ulster struggled to find any cutting edge.

Leinster's lineout was off but with Caolan Doris punching holes in midfield and Jimmy O'Brien's quick feet, the hosts

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