Sunday, March 3, 2013

On the bright side, no Irish province lost this weekend!

Gareth Steenson - Ireland Calling? (picture

On the bright side, no Irish province lost this weekend! On the negative side, Ulster let the lead of the table slip to Glasgow, and Munster are marooned in 6th place, needing some other results  to go their way to make it into the playoffs.

The Leinster match was nowhere to be found on TV, but they won in some style, with Cronin and Dave Kearney getting two trys each. They are motoring up the table, and could top it by the end of the season if they keep going like that. Connacht also did enough to put Zebre away, although they left the win until the last minute. They could finish 7th, if they keep on winning, which is some result for a small side.
I did get to watch the Ulster match, where Ulster snatched a draw out of the jaws of victory. Treviso played for 80 minutes, and Ulster didn’t – Ulster gave away two yellows and Treviso only one. Ulster, even without their considerable list of absentees, had the beating of Treviso, but a lack of concentration, and probably by not showing enough respect to the Italian side who are growing game by game. It’s something that can be fixed, and needs to be.

Finally, it was a chance for Munster to show us what they had, or didn’t have as it turns out. It was pretty frustrating stuff, as Munster toiled earnestly away, got a lead, and then saw it slip away. I say frustrating because they seemed to spend ages fecking around behind the gainline,  with lots of passing – to anyone else. They need someone to grab the team by the scruff of the neck, say give me the ball, and follow me! There is indecision from the scrum half, ROG kicking a lot but not as well as he used to, and just about no incision. ROG kicked well for posts at least. Didn’t do enough to get into the Ireland squad anyway. At least Munster are still going in the HC…

Elsewhere, I saw Gareth Steenson put in a storming performance as Exeter beat Quins, and was impressed by the new artificial pitch at Saracens.

RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , March 2
Munster 13 - 13 Ospreys 
Friday , March 1
Newport Gwent D'gons 19 - 26 Leinster 
Scarlets 14 - 13 Edinburgh 
Ulster 29 - 29 Benetton Treviso 
Connacht 23 - 19 Zebre 
Glasgow 29 - 13 Cardiff Blues 

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