Pro12: Leinster 10-0 Benetton Treviso
|Leinster (7) 10|
|Tries: Heaslip Cons: Madigan Pens: Gopperth|
|Benetton Treviso (0) 0|
Leinster defeated Treviso to qualify for the European Champions Cup despite a lacklustre Pro12 display at the RDS.
On a night when the home fans paid tribute to the retiring Shane Jennings and Gordon D'Arcy, Leinster struggled to see off second-from-bottom Treviso.
Jamie Heaslip's eighth-minute converted try was the only score of a drab first half in the Dublin rain.
Treviso's Edoardo Gori was red-carded before a 77th-minute penalty from Jimmy Gopperth sealed the win.
The out-half's clinching score came just moments after referee Leighton Hodges sent-off Gori for a dangerous tackle on D'Arcy and a subsequent incident at a ruck saw Sean O'Brien and Treviso's Francesco Minto both sin-binned.
Despite the forgettable showing, this round 21 victory, coupled with the Dragons' defeat of Edinburgh, means last year's league winners are guaranteed a top-six finish and a 2015-16 Champions Cup berth.
The hosts exerted some early pressure in the wet conditions, winning a couple of penalties and driving from lineouts before Heaslip was foiled, close in, by good defence from Paul Derbyshire and Davide Giazzon.
But there was no stopping the Leinster captain on a second occasion as he broke off the side of a five-metre scrum and crashed over past the covering Nicola Cattina.
After Madigan added the left-sided conversion, lively scrum-half Gori sparked a strong response from the Italians and Jayden Hayward, the Kiwi full-back, was off-target with a long-range penalty attempt.
Leinster's decision-making let them down following some incisive play on the left wing from Madigan and Dave Kearney, and a stop-start second quarter did little for the game as a spectacle.
Neither tryline was threatened before the break and Madigan sent a kickable penalty wide in injury-time, adding to the growing sense of frustration both on and off the pitch.
Another gilt-edged chance was missed by Leinster early in the second period, as the advancing Zane Kirchner failed to hold Heaslip's pass from a Gopperth cross-field kick.
The tempo was briefly lifted by carries from Ben Te'o and O'Brien, as well as the introduction of D'Arcy off the bench, but Leinster had a let-off when Hayward pushed a second penalty effort wide.
Although the visitors threatened through winger Ludovico Nitoglia, this contest seemed to be petering out until input from TMO Jude Quinn led to those three cards in quick succession
Gopperth mopped up with the three points, his final scoring contribution at the RDS before his summer departure to Wasps.
Leinster: R. Kearney, Kirchner, Te'o, Madigan, D. Kearney, Gopperth, Reddan, J. McGrath, Strauss, Ross, Toner, M. McCarthy, J. Murphy, O'Brien, J. Heaslip.
Replacements: D'Arcy for Madigan (59), Boss for Reddan (56), Bent for J. McGrath (56), Furlong for Ross (56), Denton for M. McCarthy (74), Conan for J. Murphy (74). Not Used: Dundon, Fanning.
Sin Bin: O'Brien (76).
Benetton Treviso: Hayward, Pratichetti, Morisi, Bacchin, Nitoglia, Christie, Gori, Zanusso, Giazzon, Harden, Fuser, van Zyl, Derbyshire, Cattina, Luamanu.
Replacements: Esposito for Morisi (64), Acosta for Zanusso (51), Anae for Giazzon (58), Manu for Harden (44), Swanepoel for van Zyl (51), Lazzaroni for Derbyshire (65), Minto for Cattina (51). Not Used: Ambrosini.
Sin Bin: Minto (76).
Sent Off: Gori (76).
Ref: Leighton Hodges (Wales).