Ulster got their 4 try bonus point at Kingspan against Zebre, not playing their best but well worth the extra point. The only downside for them this weekend was Pienaar’s injury against the All Blacks. Ulster have classy backs and loose forwards to burn – Henry, Diack, Marshall, Andrew, Olding and in particular this week, Ludik and Trimble, who just gets better and better.
Munster and Connacht played at the same time, Munster getting an away bonus point at a place they’ve struggled before ( and Keatley shining), and Connacht closing out a tight match against the Edinburgh, that in the past they would have lost.
Finally , the pressure was on Leinster for the Irish clean sweep, and they didn’t disappoint. What a difference a week makes. Although if you put Heaslip, Kearney and Toner into most teams it wouldn’t hurt. I didn’t see the whole thing, heard that Kirchener was injured not badly though I hope. A week of practise for Madigan in the centre, and he’s shaping up an Ireland spot! You could see Madigan Macken, and Madigan D’Arcy becoming a regular Leinster feature. Normal service resumed
In Wellington, the All Blacks got their sternest test of the year, holding out for a close win against the Springboks. They struggled with ferocious physicality of Springboks, conceded a beautifully constructed try in the first half, and can count themselves lucky that the Springboks are pretty thin at scrum half – a better, quicker decision maker there would have won them the match. They should grab Rory Crockett while he still going, and get Cobus Reinach into camp ASAP. The rematch in South Africa will be the stuff of legends again, no doubt. These Sprigboks have decided they want to play 15 man rugby too.
In Australia, the Wallabies straggled past Argentina, in a match where a draw would have been the fairest result. They have their injuries, but still aren’t really clicking in the Rugby Championship, in just over a year’s tenure by Ewen Mckenzie. I’d say that’s their wins for this tournament. Argentina have come along way, and have more to do this year still.
Saturday , September 13
Leinster 42 - 12
Friday , September 12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 Munster
Edinburgh 13 - 14 Connacht
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
Ulster 33 - 13 Zebre
New Zealand 14 - 10 South Africa
Australia 32 - 25 Argentina