Sitting 16 points behind Ulster, Leinster coach, Joe Schmidt has already waved the white flag and conceded the chase is over as far as his side is concerned.
Ulster bettered Leinster in most departments in their deserved 27-19 win which saw them remain nine points clear at the of the PRO12 table as the halfway point was reached.
It was Leinster’s third straight defeat and in terms of the league Schmidt said: “For us being 16 points behind them you would not imagine we can catch them from here.
“Scarlets are keeping it a little bit interesting at the top, but Ulster are well clear at this stage.”
No one knows better than Schmidt and Leinster that it is one thing to top the table, but another to win the Championship having lost twice previously in the final after being the top side after the league campaign.
For now though, Schmidt has more things to concern him than worrying about catching Ulster.
Having lost the back to back games against Clermont in the Heineken Cup, the defending champions are under serious pressure to make the knockout stages.
“It has been a difficult three weeks for us and I would ask our supporters to be patient and not jump ship just yet
“I still think we are a good side and we will roll our sleeves up and dig ourselves out of this hole after Christmas . . . hopefully.”
He added: “We have not become a poor side overnight.
“Yes we could do with a couple of weeks to glue a few boys back together, but we are working hard to get things right.”