Tuesday, January 22, 2019

80-word reviews from weekend of Jan 19-21


HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

EDINBURGH 19-10 MONTPELLIER

When you get over the fact that the lineups made it look more like a Springbok trial than a Champions Cup pool decider, this was an amazing night for Scottish rugby.  Richard Cockerill's men did more than enough to stay ahead of their illustrious opposition to not only top their pool and secure a home quarterfinal, but also to ensure Glasgow join them in the last eight.  WP Nel got MotM, vd Walt their placekicks and Graham their lone try.

LEICESTER 13-14 ULSTER

I was out and about watching this on my tablet - the score was 13-0 to Leicester thanks to a Toomua try before the break plus a couple of penalties and Ulster struggling to press home any advantage. Then my stream failed for a short while and when it returned, it was 13-14 - Cooney's introduction had inspired tries from Moore and Baloucoune and with strong defence to bring home the slender lead the Ulstermen returned to the Euro knockouts.

MUNSTER 9-7 EXETER CHIEFS

Don't let the low scoreline or even the multiple errors from both sides fool you; this was blood and thunder cup rugby at its absorbing best.  Requiring an 8-point win at Thomond Park is among the most difficult tasks in Europe yet Exeter showed no fear and it looked possible when Armand crashed over for an early score.  But Munster dug deep with some brilliant 5m lineout defence in particular and a composed second half Carbery penalty sealed victory.

SARACENS  38-19  GLASGOW

An early Spencer try made it look like an easy outing for the two-time champions, but tries from Seymour, Price and Wilson had Glasgow ahead by 20m although Billy Vunipola grabbed the lead back before the break.  The Sarries defence tightened up in the second half and the Scots weren't to score again, while late Itoje and Skelton tries widened the final margin.  A few shamozzles may be remembered when the sides return to the Allianz in the quarterfinals.


GUINNESS PRO 14

SOUTHERN KINGS 17-24 CHEETAHS

It took some creativity from Tian Schoeman and Max Banda to get their respective teams' opening tries but from there it was mostly an error-fest at midfield until a late Kings penalty try made it 17-all setting up an exciting finish.  Despite being a man down and spurning a kickable penalty to win as the clock went red, the Cheetahs still managed to crash over for a just-about deserved win courtesy of de Bruin after 85 minutes.

Blog Archive