Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pro 14 Round 15 review by Ciarán Duffy











Leinster 20 – 13 Scarlets

Scarlets secured a late losing bonus point away to Leinster.  We have a few posts about this game up already.  You can read my thoughts on the game by clicking here.  For Jeff's write-up click here.  For Keego's piece click here.  

Ulster 16 – 17 Edinburgh

It wasn’t quite on par with Sextons, but Edinburgh kicked a late drop goal to seal a massive victory in the race for a place in the quarter-finals.  All of Ulsters points came from John Cooney, he got a try and converted it inside the first ten minutes.  The sides went in level 7 – 7 when Sam Hidalgo-Clyne converted a try from Jason Harries.  

In the second half Cooney kicked two penalties to put Ulster back in front.  The away side took the lead for the first time with a try from Lewis Carmichael, converted by Hidalgo-Clyne.  Cooney kicked another penalty, but that wouldn’t be the winner as Edinburgh were able to position themselves for a drop goal from Duncan Weir.  Edinburgh move above Ulster having won more games.  

Cardiff Blues 25 – 18 Munster
Munster went 19 points down within 30 minutes, but fought back to claim a losing bonus point.  Cardiff got their first try 18 minutes in through Macauley Cook.  They extended their lead with tries from Lloyd Williams and Owen Lane, both converted by Jarrod Evans.  Munster got one back before halftime through Chris Cloete.  

In the second half Ian Keatley kicked a penalty before Cardiff went down to 14, Matthew Rees getting a yellow.  Munster took advantage with a try from Stephen Fitzgerald, converted by Keatley.  Cardiff remained in front and extended their lead with two penalties from Evans.  Tyler Bleyendaal kicked a late penalty to ensure Munster took something from the game.  

Connacht 11 – 19 Zebre
Zebre got their first ever win in Connacht on Friday.  Craig Ronaldson kicked a penalty for Connacht, before Renato Giammarioli put Zebre in front with a try, converted by Carlos Canna.  Ronaldson kicked a penalty late in the first half, Zebre led 6 – 7.  
The Italians pushed on in the second half, with tries from Gabriele di Giulio and Andrea de Marchi, the latter was converted by Canna.  Zebre went down to 14 when Maxime Mbanda was shown yellow, Connacht responded with a try from Darragh Leader.  Zebre got another yellow late on, Rory Parata was sent to the bin.  

Dragons 15 – 18 Benetton

Benetton got their 5th consecutive win in the league, a club record.  It was Dragons who took the lead with two tries, Jared Rosser and Liam Belcher the scorers.  The lead didn’t last long, Alberto Sgarbi got over, Ian McInley added the conversion, before Monty Ioane put the away side in front with a try.  Liam Belcher touched down to put Dragons back ahead.  
Two second half penalties from Marty Banks were enough to ensure Treviso took the 4 points.  

Both Italian clubs have 59 points combined, at this stage last season they only had 20.  They had only won 3 games between them this time last season, this year they’ve won 12.

Glasgow Warriors 37 – 23 Toyota Cheetahs

Glasgow became the first ever team to secure at least a quarter-final with a win over Cheetahs.  The away side got the first try through Malcolm Jaer, Niel Marais converted.  Glasgow levelled things up when Adam Hastings converted Nikola Matawalus try.  Ruaridh Jackson touched down to put Glasgow in front, before Hastings kicked a penalty.  Marais got a late penalty to cut the gap to 5, Glasgow led 15 – 10.  
In the second half Marais kicked two penalties either side of a try from Glasgows Soua Halanukonuka.  George Horne touched down to secure the bonus point, Hastings converted.  Clayton Blommmetjies got one back for Cheetahs, Marais converted.  Hastings kicked another penalty, and then converted Henry Pyrgos try.  Francois Venter was shown yellow late on.  

Ospreys 26 – 12 Southern Kings

Tom Habberfield got the games first try for Ospreys, Sam Davies converted.  Kings responded with two tries, from Michael Makase and Mike Willemse, the first was converted by Martin du Toit.  

Southern Kings showed poor discipline in the 2nd half, losing Joe Smith and Eital Bredenkamp to the sin bin, and conceding two penalty tries.  Jeff Hassler secured the bonus point for the home side late on.  

Tables
Pos
Conference A
Pts
Wins
PD +/-
1
Glasgow Warriors
65
13
+229
2
Munster
49
9
+171
3
Toyota Cheetahs
41
8
+34
4
Cardiff Blues
33
7
-35
5
Connacht
28
5
-22
6
Ospreys
26
5
-113
7
Zebre
21
4
-116

Pos
Conference B
Pts
Wins
PD +/-
1
Leinster
57
12
+188
2
Scarlets
54
11
+146
3
Edinburgh
46
10
+62
4
Ulster
46
9
+57
5
Benetton
38
8
-27
6
Dragons
17
2
-208
7
Southern Kings
4
0
-366
Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport).   He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.
*****
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