Jasper Wiese and his Leicester Tigers teammates combine to stop Leinster's Jack Conan. [Inpho/Dan Sheridan]

Leinster set up Saturday QF vs O'Gara's La Rochelle

Leinster 36; Leicester 22

Just as the All Blacks asked a question Ireland was unable to answer in France during last year’s World Cup, Leinster now face their nemesis at the quarter-final stages next Saturday at the Aviva Stadium (kick off at 5.30 p.m. k Irish time) following this up and down performance over Leicester on Saturday.

La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara has something of a jinx on the Irish province but Head Coach Leo Cullen knows that with home advantage, this weekend will either see his side kick on or go down in the records as one of the chokers in this competition.

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Certainly, if his scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park plays anything like he did against Leicester on Saturday with a brilliant first-half hat-trick of tries, then his job will be so much easier.

A crowd of over 40,000 hailed his performance at half-time following 40 minutes where he played to a standard not often seen by a provincial or international No 9.

The Aviva Stadium crowd enjoying the pyrotechnics ahead of the game. [Inpho/Dan Sheridan]

Once old reliables Robbie Henshaw and Jack Conan got in for second-half tries it meant that Leinster had their tails up, though it must be said that they were not firing on all cylinders as they will need to be if they are to push on for the semi-finals.

O’Gara’s side had their own headache when going down 16-0 against the Stormers and then rode their luck as the hosts saw Manie Libbok miss a conversion which would have knocked the champions out with the last kick of the game.

This will be another tough assignment on the road for the French outfit who have only lost once to the Irish side - in the pool stage 16-9 reverse last December - over four seasons of dominance.

Commenting on the weekend win and Gibson-Park’s performance, Cullen said: “It’s very hard to judge. He’s been exceptional really in the last while. Even the presentation there in the dressing room, because it’s his 50th appearance in the competition, and just to see how he’s grown from the fella I’ve just seen in the dressing room.

“I remember the phone call when I rang him to talk about 'this is Leinster and blah, blah,’ trying to convince him to come because he’d be a project player and in three years’ time he’d be qualified to play for Ireland, but I’m not sure he really believed that at the time. It’s a great story anyway, he’s part of the furniture now and his family have settled in well, a few Irish-born children as well."

Leicester Head Coach Dan McKellar also praised Gibson-Park: “He’s a good player, isn’t he? You can’t allow him to play with the ball on a platter and we did, just for a period there, for about 20 minutes. He's turned into a world-class player in this program.”

Munster were beaten by Northampton 24-14 and are out while both Connacht and Ulster advanced in the Challenge Cup.

Leinster: H Keenan; J Larmour, R Henshaw, J Osborne, J Lowe; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong; R Molony, J McCarthy; R Baird, J van der Flier, C Doris (capt) Replacements: R Kelleher, C Healy, M Ala'alatoa, J Jenkins, J Conan, B Murphy, H Byrne, C Frawley.