To go with our Monday Leinster writeup here are some '
Eight-Oh Reviews' of other matches including the Irish provinces.
Ospreys? Sparrows more like. Couldn't handle the relentless pressure of a near-Europe-strength Munster lineup, especially when mauling from close quarters; they were lucky to get just 2 yellows. Try BP was secured by halftime with the highlight being Carbery pouncing on a woeful crossfield kick to sprint unchallenged over the line; plus he went 6/6 from the tee. With POM, Beirne, Kloete, Botha, TOD and CJ in their pack they'll be tough to handle at the breakdown this season.
Leinster’s next two opponents produced a much more entertaining match than the low scoreline suggests. Early narrative was Embra battering a tough Connacht D and it took 26m and a Butler yellow for them to breach the tryline. The visitors were lucky not to lose more and it was 56m before Schoeman mauled over the 2nd try. Carty led the mini-fightback with a nice looping assist to Adeolokun, a superb touchline conversion, and a late penalty for a handy BP.
Apart from lineouts where Ulster lost a worrying 6, they dominated in every stat category though two stand out the most...Yellow cards KIN 1-2 ULS, Penalties 22-8. The Kings’ strong counter-rucking and constant infringing kept the visitors out for three quarters until finally Coetzee, Kernohan and right at the end Curtis crossed but it wasn’t enough for a BP which McParland could say was robbed by referee Sam Grove-White. Still, 100% and top of Conference B not a bad start.
A first half with three tries in classic Scarlet open-play style plus a red card to Benetton’s Herbst for a dangerous clearout should lead to an easy home win. Yet the Italians actually led at 60m thanks to four well-worked tries of their own and the Scarlets struggled even against 13 at one point before nice finishes by McNichol and Prydie in opposite corners did the job. An excellent last-gasp Halfpenny touchline conversion denied the visitors a deserved second BP.
Adam Hastings crossed the line in the second minute and went on to go 8/8 from the tee but a 14m yellow for a high tackle by Dunbar helped the Cheetahs use their innovative open-play rugby to lead at HT with some highlight reel tries of their own. When Jaer tackled Seymour in the air on 42m, his yellow card offered the space for the winger to cross and from there Price, DTHVDM, Gibbins and Horne earned Glasgow the fifty-burger.