Craig Gilroy (picture http://bit.ly/1HDuIqP)
Ulster played a really smart game plan at Scotstoun in the first half against Glasgow on Friday, night, getting into good field position, and then playing with ball in hand. Even without van der Merwe and Herbst, they brought massive physicality, that had the Scots rocked back on their heels. Then in the second half, the tide turned, there was a bit of loose kicking, and while the Scots snatched it at the end, they didn’t really look like champions playing at home. Despite topping the Pro 12 log, they have to travel to Belfast for the final. Craig Gilroy was the most impressive Ulster player for me, he can commit 2-3 defenders, who don’t know whether to stand off or go in and tackle him.
Then Munster came up trumps against Ospreys at Thomond on Saturday, although they did their best to keep the Welshman in the game with a woeful kicking display. 15 points were left behind, and but for a knock on in the final move, their season would have been over. Impressive were Hurley, Butler and Stander. They can beat Glasgow, but they are going to need to play a lot smarter.
Finally, I was totally gutted for Connacht, they had that match won for all money, and deservedly so. Connacht played the smart rugby, the backs interchanging like Leinster used to do, and just raw physicality in defence that had Gloucester scratching their heads. So close…
I also caught Bath monstering Leicester, there’s a changing of the guard there, you can see why all the Bath players are making England now. I hope they go on to win the final.
Friday, May 22
Glasgow Warriors 16 - 14 Ulster 18:45
Saturday, May 23
Munster 21 - 18 Ospreys 13:30