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That backline advantage for Leinster means Ulster's hopes of an upset rest squarely on their ability to do damage at source. However, for all the threats posed by the Ulster pack -- and Ruan Pienaar behind them -- Leinster are no mugs here either.

It has been suggested that the champions have a pronounced mental edge through the simple fact that this is their third final in four seasons, while Ulster could be gazing starry-eyed around the stadium as none of their players have been here before. However, that ignores the coterie of overseas winning experience in the Ulster team which will flow over the Irish players and drag them on.

While Ulster have the capacity to make this a lot tighter than many expect, Leinster, for all the turbulence of their build-up, simply look too good.

Ulster are set to produce something special, but it may still not be enough.

Verdict: Leinster

Irish Independent