Tuesday, February 26, 2019

80-word reviews from weekend of Feb 22-24

France deserved the win; there were some flashes of brilliance like a chip from Bastareaud that he caught himself and determined push for a late BP, but the Scots will be disappointed for taking 77m to turn one of their numerous chances into seven points. Though the likes of Kinghorn did well, there were clear Hogg- and Russell-shaped holes in their lineup. For the most part it didn't look like either team could finish higher than fourth this year.

Old school blood and thunder test rugby at its bruising best. The Welsh blinked first when an unguarded pillar allowed Curry to dart over the line but stayed in touch with a series of penalties (most by Sinckler) before a 34-phase goal-line siege ended with Cory Hill going over and an amazing feat of late ball-handling by Adams denied England a losing BP. Liam Williams was a well-deserved MotM and this throws the Championship wide open.

There were just 45 seconds on the clock when Glasgow 9 George Horne finished off an amazing move straight from the kickoff. Connacht tried to stay with them but were missing their numerous test absentees more than their hosts. They did scatter three tries throughout the match but young Conor Fitzgerald struggled from the tee and the Warriors were too strong particularly with their back three of Matawalu, Steyn and Jackson. Thankfully the Westerners remain well in the playoff hunt. 

Although the Ospreys got a losing BP, this was as comfortable a win as most teams would hope for at the Liberty Stadium. Munster took an early lead through Sweetnam and while they later added a penalty try and a final quarter score from Haley after 31 gruelling phases, most of the match was played in midfield with the likes of Beirne and Cloete dominating the breakdown area. Munster lead Conference A by 1 from Glasgow with five games left.

It seems everyone at Ulster gets a go at 10 these days; this time Peter Nelson capped a comfortable victory with their 8th try. The Italians held them for 15m before a James Brown yellow had the Kingspan crowd 'feeling good' as the floodgates opened. They simply couldn't handle the Ulster short lineout maul giving Herring an easy hat-trick while Marc Lyttle impressed from the tee with seven from eight. Handy 5pts and points difference boost in their playoff hunt. 


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