Tuesday, November 27, 2018

80-word reviews from the weekend of Nov 23-25


LEINSTER'S NEXT OPPONENTS
(DRAGONS)


Cagey contest throughout where it took both teams long spells of possession to score and it was Edinburgh who ran out of time at the end despite an energy-sapping 25 phases in the Dragons 22.  Ollie Griffiths impressed most at no8 for the home side though both of their tries came from FB Jordan Williams putting through winger Jared Rosser.   Fife and Graham dotted down for the visitors but the 4-1 split of match points was about right.

IRISH PROVINCES


In this meeting of Leinster's biggest Conference B rivals, Ulster struck first with a good passing combination getting Shanahan over. But the Scarlets quickly started to get reward for their positive approach and had three tries in by HT. Their dominance continued though Ulster's tough tackling meant they had to wait until 60m mark for the BP courtesy of Prydie in the corner. They took their foot off the pedal allowing a couple allowing a pair of late Ulster tries.


Few teams could be better prepared for the windy Madibaz Stadium than one used to the Galway gusts.  Despite playing into it in the first half, Connacht kept a fast pace going bringing strong finishes on either wing from Kelleher and Healy, while the pack owned both maus and scrums earning a penalty try before the break and Carty's placekicking was masterful.  The Kings put together a couple of nice team tries themselves but sub Boyle clinched a deserved BP.


At kickoff the headlines were about Murray on the bench and Hanrahan's late withdrawal, yet by the break the actual starting halfbacks Cronin and Johnston impressed to help Munster to a 17-0 lead with tries from Wycherly and O'Byrne.  Zebre had just one try to show for a 2nd half purple patch and as they struggled in their own muddy 22 in the final 10 minutes, O'Mahony & Scannell tries pinched a handy BP.  Chris Farrell also returned to action.

IRELAND'S NEXT OPPONENTS
(ENGLAND)


Why doesn't Owen Farrell do Christmas presents? Because he knows nothing about wrapping. 😉 Peyper's no-arms non-call was wrong, but the penalty try and yellow card wouldn't have helped these below-par Wallabies.  England took charge literally from the kickoff and it should've taken more than a scintillating Folau line for a 13-13 HT score.  A similar Daly line quickly restored the lead however, with Cokasigna and ironically Farrell completing the rout, and tight-head Kyle Sinckler named MotM.

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