Tuesday, December 18, 2018

80-word reviews for weekend of Dec 14-16

At the risk of sounding patronising, Wasps have done well since their opening night pasting at the RDS, and worked some nice broken play combinations to stay within 5 points of their hosts after 60m. But eventually the class of Huget, Dupont, Tekori, Kaino, Guitoune and especially Kolbe proved too much and they could even afford to save the likes of Maximes Médard and Mermoz for the bench. Sets up a mouth-watering Pool 1 deciding January date with Leinster. 

Much more comfortable win for Ulster than the scoreline suggests against a poor Scarlets side that seems resigned to concentrating on the Pro14. It took a while for them to take charge but eventually Henderson crossed and added a second later with Stockdale and Cooney getting the others. The Welsh had just a lucky interception and a late try as consolation. McFarland's men are now looking very competitive in this pool with Racing still to visit the Kingspan in January.


Steady rain at the Stade Pierre-Fabre made for  several mistakes, physicality and hot tempers so the margins were always fine.  Castres had one try-scoring chance and Fa'anunu just about disturbed a blade of grass with the ball.  Munster had two but the most they got out of each were Castres yellows.  Also Carbery was out-booted by Spedding from the hand and Urdipaletta from the tee.  BP not much consolation for Munster while their hosts should expect some citings.


Glasgow's back three of Seymour, Matawalu and Hogg jumps off the team sheet screaming a try fest especially against an out of contention travelling French outfit, and when they combined for two first half tries from the Fijian the BP looked a certainty. But a perfect storm of events (pun intended) including the cold wet windy weather, a Gibbins sinbinning and Lyon electing to have a go made for an error-strewn low-scoring very tough to watch second half.


These two teams are close geographically and in recent success so the margins were always going to be tight at Kingston Park. The Falcons had the edge in the first half with Goneva crossing but they were also forced to make several changes to their back line. Embra took advantage after the break posting 15 unanswered points including  Johnstone and van der Merwe tries to earn their first away win of any kind in ages to remain pool leaders. 


Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019