URC PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND Caolin Blade (Connacht)
While Jack Carty made history in the victory over the Lions by overtaking the watching Eric Elwood as Connacht’s all-time record points scorer, it was his half-back partner Caolin Blade who picked up the Player of the Match award and deservedly so.
He was a livewire presence throughout with his sniping from the base, while his work-rate and predatory nature saw him cross for a hat-trick of tries.
His first was a product of a smart one-two with hooker Shane Delahunt, his second a reward for following up Tiernan O’Halloran’s charge-down and his third a razor-sharp dart over the line from close-range.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND
Ulster’s Kiwi prop Jeff Toomaga-Allen talking about his gallop to the line for a try during the victory over the DHL Stormers in Belfast: “My son always shows me how to score in the back-yard footie, so I was just trying to show him that anything is possible!
“Never lose sight of the fact that it’s all about having fun and just chucking the ball around. We are in a very privileged position to get paid to play a game. I am just forever thankful and honoured to get to do what I do for a living.
“The people are awesome here, the town is amazing. I just love the culture here. What’s the craic Belfast? Let’s go!”
The Cell C Sharks claimed arguably the key result of the weekend in terms of the play-off battle with their hard-fought victory up in Edinburgh taking them into the top eight. They are now looking well-placed, with games in hand over all the teams around them.
Looking ahead to Round 14 in three weeks time, Cardiff really must beat Benetton at the Arms Park if they are to put themselves back in the mix, having dropped from sixth to eleventh following three successive league defeats.
Red-hot Glasgow Warriors will host third-placed Ulster in what should be a cracking contest, while the South African sides are in derby action, with three of their contingent currently in the top eight play-off spots.