Leinster stun La Rochelle to claim Champions Cup semi-final spot

Leinster have taken a comprehensive win over rivals La Rochelle, beating the French club 40-13 at the Aviva Stadium.

Ronan O'Gara's side travelled to Dublin, via Cork, with history on their side, having bested Leinster in last year's final by just one point.

With the late loss of fullback Hugo Keenan, Leinster were up against it from the off, but Ross Byrne's laser focus over the kicking tee settled the home side into the game nicely.

James Lowe was first to get across the line in the 18th minute, followed by a second from Jamison Gibson-Park in the 38th.

Leinster were undeniably in the driving seat, and yet La Rochelle still found a way in just before the break. However, a perfect showing by Man of the Match Byrne aided Leo Cullen's men to a 23-13 lead at the half-time whistle.

The nerves of the first half evaporated for Leinster as the visitors completely fell off the pace when play resumed.

Ryan Baird set the tempo within the first five minutes, but the shine was dulled by an injury for La Rochelle's scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow, seeing him stretchered off the field.

Dan Sheenan was next in line to twist the knife in the 57th, before Lowe was back for a second just after the hour mark.

For La Rochelle, when it rained it poured, with mistakes, injuries and indiscipline compounding to leave them scoreless in the second half.

Leinster now await the winner of the quarter-final between Northampton and the Bulls, who they'll face at Croke Park.