Sunday, April 6, 2014

Munster shine, Ulster bust a gut, and Leinster don't shine.

 Heineken Cup logo
Ireland’s only reason to cheer this weekend was the stunning form that Munster showed as they chewed up Toulouse and spat them out. They out muscled them, and found their attacking prowess out wide again, scoring 6 tries in the process. It was a complete performance, with CJ Stander in awesome form, but really, it was a 15 man effort. They were absolutely the form team of the weekend. They travel to Marseille now.

Leicester pushed Clermont right to the end, but playing the French sides on their home turf is tortuous stuff, the crowd is like a 16th and 17th man. Clermont got out of the blocks fast, got a good lead, and then defended it, holding off a late Tigers comeback. They travel to Twickenham next.

Ulster ran Munster close performance wise, after they had to play with 14 men for 75 minutes, with the red carding by Jerome Garces (the same man who sent off Stuart Hogg) of Jared Payne. The Ulstermen got far closer to win than they should ever have, also losing Rory Best, and eventually Ruan Pienaar, who played through an injury. Hearts like Lions. Saracens were efficient, but would have struggled against 15 you’d think, and will have to play better than that to beat Clermont at Twickenham.

Finally, Leinsters hopes of a fourth title slipped down the tube  at the Stade Félix Mayol. They looked off the pace from the start, their passing was atrocious, and only excellent defense, and a bit of luck kept them in the game in the first half. In the second, they were simply blown away by Toulon’s power. It’s a pity, because when they could string a few phases together, the gaps were there. They still look short of another world class lock, and are still not sure who the best 10 is. Another year! Toulon will play Munster now in Marseille.

Heineken Cup
Sunday , April 6
Toulon 29 - 14 Leinster 
Saturday , April 5
Munster 47 - 23 Toulouse 
Clermont Auvergne 22 - 16 Leicester 
Ulster 15 - 17 Saracens 

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