Tuesday, December 11, 2018

80-word reviews from weekend Dec 7-9


A shame to see clubs with six stars between them play before a too empty Ricoh Arena. The scoring followed a pattern...Wasps would huff and puff for a score at one end only for ST to respond with equal or better it with seemingly minimal effort. MotM Kobe and Guitoune broke free of poor tackling for the visitors' tries while Wasps needed an extra man for Rowlands to score. A late Madaule stamp was lucky to only see yellow.


Playing into a strong Llanelli wind the Ulstermen made the most of first half chances to lead 13-10 at the break with tries from Stockdale and Speight with Steff Evans dotting down in between.  After they exchanged converted tries in an error-strewn third quarter, the visitors continued to be more clinical in the 22 and a Coetzee finish in the corner secured both victory and BP. A late Scarlet try made it close but Ulster deserved the win.


The late withdrawal of internationals Carbery and Farrell made the expected bonus point win more difficult for Munster and despite the big winning margin they were only able to manage three second half tries. It was an extremely scrappy contest with several bouts of handbags to bring forward to next week's rematch.  Rory Scannell, Stander & Hanrahan crossed for Munster and Laveau replied at the end. JJH won MotM though I'd have gone for Beirne who was his usual pilfering self.


It looks like the conditions at the ultra-modern Defense Arena are well-suited to Racing's open offloading rugby. During an early bout of it Tuilagi was binned for deliberate knockon and while he was gone Vakatawa and Imhoff crossed. Holmes quickly struck back but a superb Russell/Zebo combination restored the lead and Schuster had the BP sewn up by 34m. Leicester tried to bring their own flair and got a try BP but couldn't quite get within seven. 


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