Leinster 19 Cheetahs 7
Leinster struggled to a win over a gritty Cheetahs side in the RDS on Friday night. The weather played a part in accounting for an error-strewn game, however, there were some moments of quality despite the conditions. Tries from Conor O’Brien, Adam Byrne and Rory O’Loughlin gave Leinster the win, while speedster Sibahle Maxwane raced over for the Cheetahs. Leinster are now 22 points ahead of 2nd placed Treviso with four rounds to play, so the win has also sealed top spot in the pool for Leinster.
Connacht 46 Ospreys 5
Connacht responded to their heaviest defeat of the season in Glasgow last week by recording their biggest win of the campaign on Saturday against a disjointed and undisciplined Ospreys side. Centre Kyle Godwin slotted in at out-half for the first time in the green of Connacht and gave a man of the match performance. Tom Farrell got Connacht off to a great start when he crossed for the game’s opening try after 2 minutes. With a gale at their backs, Connacht pushed on and Matt Healy, Kieran Marmion and a Penalty try on the stroke of half time meant that the westerners had a bonus point wrapped up by the break.
Keiran Marmion added another try shortly after the restart while the Ospreys had two men in the bin. A sixth try came on 70 minutes, while Bradley Davies was in the sin-bin for the Welshmen. It was as clinical a performance as Connacht have put in all year and Andy Friends men reclaimed third place on points difference from Cardiff thanks to the margin of their victory.
Scarlets 10 Munster 6
Munster slipped to second in conference A after failing to cross the whitewash in Parc y Scarlets. A penalty from Bill Johnston gave Munster an early lead, however, within a couple of minutes Ioan Nicholas managed to touch down in the corner for the games only try. A Johnston penalty on the stroke of half time reduced the arrears to a single point at the break. Munster failed to trouble in the scoreboard in the second half and a Leigh Halfpenny penalty was the only score of the second period. In truth, it was a dour game in poor conditions, and while disappointed with the outcome, Munster did manage to take a losing bonus from the visit to the valleys.
Dragons 15 Ulster 28
Ulster got a full five-point return from their trip to Wales which keeps them in third spot in Conference B. The sides either side of them, Treviso in 2nd and Scarlets in 4th both recorded win without a bonus so it was a good point to gain for the Ulstermen. Tries from Jordi Murphy, Marty Moore, John Cooney and Alan O’Connor gave them the win. However, they were lucky that their opponents didn’t punish Ulster’s indiscipline. Darren Cave was carded shortly before the break and cards for Robert Lyttle and Louis Ludik on 69 &71 mins saw Ulster reduced to 13 men, it was actually during this spell that Ulster captain O’Connor got over for the bonus point score.