There was no sign of a Heineken Cup hangover at the RDS last night, just champagne rugby all the way as Leinster ran in seven tries to thrash a ragged Scarlets side 45-8.
Wing duo Shane Horgan and Luke Fitzgerald scored two tries apiece as Michael Cheika’s men sent out a clear warning to their European final opponents Leicester – last weekend’s semi-final dismissal of Munster was no one-off.
The Scarlets, who won 52-23 on their last visit to Dublin, were simply overwhelmed in the second half as Brian O’Driscoll, man-of-the-match Jonathan Sexton, Horgan and Girvan Dempsey helped themselves to tries.
Sexton proved himself an able deputy for the injured Felipe Contepomi against Munster and he hardly put a foot wrong six days later, producing magnificent direct play and scoring 15 points.
He did spend time in the sin-bin in the first half and, while he was off, the Scarlets closed the gap to 14-8 thanks to a great individual try from winger Mark Jones.
But Fitzgerald and O’Driscoll scored either side of half-time, leaving the visitors out of the running with over half an hour remaining.