Sunday, January 11, 2015

Connacht slip up, Leinster look half way decent, and wins for Munster and Ulster.

 Ben Te'o
 Ben Te'o (picture

Connacht conceded their home record on Friday, with an underwhelming performance against Edinburgh. They didn’t seem to pitch up for the match – when it’s Leinster on Munster coming to town, they gird their loins and get down to it. But they obviously didn’t figure that Edinburgh were going to bring much, and came short as a result. Still some impressive performances though, Henshaw goes from strength to strength, and Muliaina, Aki, Roux and Muldoon stood up. Marmion overplayed his hand a bit, and John Cooney played a blinder while he was on. Time to regroup.

Leinster and Cardiff played out a thriller in the Cardiff Arms Park, with the lead see sawing backwards and forwards. The match was decided with Hoeta’s red card in the first half, but the Blues never gave up and if anything played harder and better with 14 men. One man advantage aside, Leinster at last showed a bit of decent form. Noel Reid and Ben Te’o looked like the business in midfield, Luke McGrath was sensational, and the Kearneys played well, but Gopperth was the revelation. Now his future is settled, the monkey seems off his back and he had his best game since last season. A mention too for Tadgh Furlong, who was a massive dynamo of energy wherever he was, and Sean Cronin will never let you down.  Cardiff have a really good team, a great back line, and top forwards like Navidi and Turnball. One of these days they’ll come right.

Munster plundered 5 points off Zebre, and Ulster had a topsy turvey match against Treviso, racing into a good lead in the first half…then nearly seeing it all slip away.

Friday, January 09
Connacht 13 - 16 Edinburgh    19:35
Glasgow Warriors 22 - 7 Scarlets    19:35
Saturday, January 10
Cardiff Blues 13 - 22 Leinster    14:40
Zebre 7 - 31 Munster    15:00
Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster    14:00
Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent Dragons    16:00

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