James Lowe scored a try in each half as magnificent Leinster reached the European Champions Cup final with a 40-17 defeat of holders Toulouse at a raucous Aviva Stadium.

Leinster will face La Rochelle or Racing 92 at the Stade Velodrome on May 28 after a hugely impressive win over the Top 14 side in Dublin on Saturday.

Johnny Sexton pulled the strings and scored 15 points in an influential display as Leo Cullen's side, who scored four tries, kept themselves in the hunt to match Toulouse's record tally of being crowned European champions for a fifth time in Marseille. 

Fly-half Sexton's penalty put Leinster in front, but Antoine Dupont raced from deep in his own half to go under the posts to punish Jamison Gibson-Park for a poor grubber kick.

Sexton doubled his tally with the boot and Leinster were rewarded for piling on the pressure with two tries in the space of five minutes, Lowe finishing from close range before Josh van der Flier crashed over after they lost Tadhg Furlong to injury only 16 minutes in.

It was five successful kicks out of five for Sexton when he added another penalty after one from Thomas Ramos at the other end, before Emmanuel Meafou was sin-binned late in the first half.

Leinster failed to increase their 23-10 lead while Meafou was off the field, but Lowe was left with a simple finish after he was picked out by the excellent Sexton, who expertly added the extras.

Selevasio Tolofua gave defiant Toulouse hope when he bundled himself over in the right corner and Ramos converted with 15 minutes to go, but Ross Byrne was on target with a penalty and converted a late Hugo Keenan try as Cullen's men marched into the final.

Toulouse won a record fifth European Champions Cup and their first since 2010 thanks to a 22-17 win over La Rochelle, who played much of the match a man light.

Both sides traded penalty blows during a feisty opening at Twickenham, with the scores level at 6-6 in the 27th minute thanks to Ihaia West's successful kick for La Rochelle.

But they suffered a massive setback just a few moments later as Levani Botia floored Maxime Medard with an ugly high hit.

As Botia walked off towards the sin-bin, the television match official ensured his punishment was upgraded to a red card, the first ever in a Champions Cup final.

Yet La Rochelle made it to the break with a 12-9 lead, with West's four kicks to Romain Ntamack's three the difference after a compelling – albeit brutal – first half.

West missed the target early in the second half, though, and Ntamack again evened the score as Toulouse started to up the ante.

La Rochelle were putting up a good fight with their 14 men but Toulouse finally got the match's first try with an hour played, Juan Cruz Mallia going over out wide after being fed by Selevasio Tolofua.

Toulouse looked to be coasting home as they went 22-12 up with the conversion, though a Tawera Kerr-Barlow try with five minutes to go made life a little nervy.

However, Toulouse held on to seal their fifth European crown and surpass Leinster on four, with La Rochelle's maiden appearance in a final ending in disappointment.

Toulouse booked their place in the European Champions Cup final for the first time since 2010 as they defeated Bordeaux-Begles 21-9 on Saturday.

Romain Ntamack tallied up 11 points with the boot as fellow France star Antoine Dupont crossed for hosts Toulouse's second try of the game late on.

Matthieu Jalibert kicked Bordeaux ahead with a penalty early on, though Matthis Lebel swiftly went over to put four-time winners Toulouse in front – a try teed up by Dupont and Ntamack.

Another Jalibert three-pointer had Bordeaux back ahead, but they then had to withstand 10 minutes being down to 14 men after Cameron Woki was sin-binned.

Yet having seen off the onslaught, Bordeaux succumbed before the break, with Ntamack nudging a penalty through the sticks.

More ill-discipline from Bordeaux enabled Ntamack to nose Toulouse firmly into the driving seat following the restart, though a third penalty from Jalibert brought Bordeaux back to within five points.

Yet Bordeaux's hopes were dashed when Dupont raced through to secure Toulouse's seventh appearance in a Champions Cup final.

The showdown will be played at Twickenham on May 22, potentially in front of a crowd of up to 10,000 spectators. Leinster and La Rochelle face off in the second semi-final on Sunday.

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