by Ciarán Duffy
The Article that knows it’s a shameless plug and is ok with it
This is the start of 3 crucial rounds ofPro12 action. Glasgow won that game in hand and suddenly they are lurking right behind the top 2. Leinster and Connacht are joined on 63 points in the home semi-final places with Glasgow just 2 points behind, making this weekend an important one. Connacht will be looking to bounce back after their European exit and push on to secure their place in the top two before they play Glasgow on the final day. Munster are in desperate need of a win here, they find themselves just one point ahead of Edinburgh in the final automatic champions cup spot. Munster will be hoping for a favour from Leinster who are in the same situation as Connacht, Edinburgh at home is a must win ahead of a trip to Ulster. Scarlets are still in the top 4, but only just after a loss to Cardiff, they host Glasgow who are looking to continue this run of form that has seen them into the top 4. Ulster have the easiest weekend of any of the title chasing sides, they are away to Zebre. Nothing short of a bonus-point win here will do, they’ll be looking both ways as they are closing in on Scarlets, but are only 3 points clear of Edinburgh. Cardiff are still in with a shout of a Champions Cup play-off place so keep an eye on their game against Newport Gwent Dragons. This weekend will go a long way in deciding who finishes where, we could be in for a cracking final two rounds. Let us know how you think it’ll all shape up right here on our Facebook page Post to Post on MarsFM
For a long time it looked like Connacht would get there, but they couldn’t put Grenoble away, and instead it is Bernard Jackmans men who will be travelling to face Harlequins in the semi-finals. The shock of the round meant there would still be one pro12 team interested in European competition, Dragons knocked out holders Gloucester, they’ll be away to Montpellier, with this there only chance of Champions Cup qualifications.
And while we are on holders going out, IT’S OVER. Toulon have been eliminated (as was predicted live on air last week). It was a tense finale as both team s missed a few penalties before Machenaud kicked the points that ensured we would have a new European champion for the first time in a while. That champion could well come from England, Leicester Tigers steam rolled top14 champs Stade Francais on their way to the semi-final, they’ll face Racing at home. A conversion at the depth from Jimmy Gopperth (stop that grinding of teeth) put Wasps through to the semi-finals for the first time since 2007. They’ll be away to Saracens, who I have tipped to win since the start and don’t intend to stop now.
Let us know what ye thought of the European action and who you think will win both competitions right here: Post to Post on MarsFM
On the Plane
Surely now for Matt Healy? Surely he has to be in the squad. Given how well Van der Flier and Dillane did in their 6 Nations debuts there should be no reason to be sceptical of throwing Healy, who has been one of the players of the season, on for at least 20 minutes of one of the tests against South Africa. Before next years Six Nations Ireland face South Africa 3 times, New Zealand twice, Australia, and Canada. That Canada game may be the one that sees a few new faces and players that have been on the fringes get game time, but the South Africa series provides us with a chance to hand players their first international cap on a bigger stage, so that they will be ready for next years tournament. Considering the likes of Dillane and Van Der Flier are capped but still inexperienced, they are pretty much new faces. But still, if this test series comes and goes without Matt Healy, Denis Buckley, Gary Ringrose, Tiernan O’Halloran getting game time, it will have been a missed opportunity to introduce another fresh face who will put pressure on players in his position. Difficult games but players need to make an appearance at some stage. Let us know who you think should be on the plane here: Post to Post on MarsFM.
Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter who would watch any game of rugby while undoubtedly taking it too seriously. He enjoys over analysing and taking a pessimistic look at the bright side while talking about Irish, European, and World Rugby issues on and off the field.