LEINSTER'S NEXT OPPONENTS
Ulster were in full control until Billy Burns took the opening kickoff...it was downhill from there and losing both Henderson and Cooney early didn’t help. Meanwhile Munster were determined to put their Cardiff shortcomings behind them and with minimal effort they had the try BP in the bag by halftime. Cave got a try after the break but with Carbery, O’Mahony, Whooton & Earls on song the home side were up to nine of their own by the end.
LEINSTER'S EUROPEAN OPPONENTS
(WASPS & BATH)
Good advert for the Premiership. Quality tries by Newcastle wingers Sinoti and Goneva were matched by opposite numbers Bassett and Watson though Wasps would’ve been ahead by more than 1pt in the closing stages but for several missed placekicks from an otherwise in-form Lima Sopoaga. His last one set up a tense finish as Toby Flood marched the Falcons from one 22 to the other until a knockon ended this enthralling contest on the 23rd phase in the 86th minute.
Bath welcomed back Louw from Springbok duty but making 13 changes when visiting the champions seldom promises much return. Their 27pts, which included two interception run-backs and some pinpoint Priestland placekicking, was never going to be enough against a Sarries team that virtually toyed with them throughout. Farrell was steady, Alex Goode seemed unstoppable, and Liam Williams could have had more than his hat-trick of tries, though I reckon Mark McCall was satisfied with eight overall and 5 match points.
OTHER PRO14 CONFERENCE B MATCHES
It was always a tough ask for the Kings to match last week’s result, particularly against the Scarlets who were aiming to reverse theirs. The visitors did get two decent first half tries from Basson but couldn’t stop eight going in the other direction, with returnees Patchell and Jonathan Davies (two tries and MotM) at the heart of the action. A comfortable, mostly disciplined home win that raised the region to second place in Conference B, five points behind Leinster.
An enthralling match that suggests both these teams can compete in Conference B. Richard Cockerill will be grateful for 5 match points but he’ll also be wondering how his side lost the try count 4-5 despite almost 70% territory & possession. They secured BP after 48m but Benetton never gave up with MotM Speradino bagging a hat-trick of fine finishes although they struggled turning 5 points into 7 including a crucial late miss from McKinley that would’ve put them ahead.
IRELAND'S NOVEMBER OPPONENTS
There aren't many good times to play the ABs, but right after they’ve been embarrassed at home surely isn’t one of them. The Pumas looked lively from the start and tried to set a fast tempo but the accuracy just wasn’t there, particularly from Sanchez who had an uncharacteristically poor day with the boot. By the time they crossed the line, Ioane already had two of the four down the other end. The BP win clinched another title for NZL.