Connacht 22; Ospreys 19
Bravo Connacht! And they can thank Jack Carty's second-half drop-goal for giving them the spoils in Swansea at the weekend.
It didn’t look great for the visitors when they were 12-0 down early on but like their opponents, Connacht then crossed for three tries through Alex Wootton, Caolin Blade and John Porch, (with Carty converting two) to leave the game on a knife-edge until Carty’s order of the boot won the day.
Ulster hang on for a famous Thomond win
Ulster 15; Munster 14
What’s seldom is wonderful, they say, and Ulster Head Coach Dan McFarland will know that feeling this week after his side won for the first time in eight years on Friday night.
Former Leinster flanker Jordi Murphy and Tom Stewart and James Hume scored on his return to give Ulster a strong lead but they had to hang on after failing to land a blow of any scoring description on the changeover.
Munster, albeit a very young version of Graham Rowntree’s squad, came roaring back with .Jack Crowley kicking two penalties before he had the opportunity to push his side ahead Shane Daly’s try on 66 minutes. Unfortunately for the kicker, his difficult touchline conversion hit the post as Ulster hung on gamely for a famous victory.
Afterwards McFarland exclaimed: “We're thrilled to win here. There is a reason why we haven’t won here since 2014 and that’s because it’s so tough. Ultimately we did score three tries but, I’m not going to say we were lucky but it was a tight one and Munster could easily have taken it. I thought they played very well,” he pointed out.
“We had three chances from five metres out in the second half and we messed them all up through things that we could control,” McFarland said.
“It was important our maul functioned today and that was the area where we were dominant in the game. We certainly weren’t dominant with our attacking play, Munster snuffed us out well there,” he added.
Leinster stroll to victory in the Valleys
Leinster 35; Scarlets 5
Not quite men and boys, but the gulf in class between Leinster and Scarlets was very obvious from the first whistle as the Dublin-based outfit made it seven wins from seven in the United Rugby Championship.
With Autumn/November international preparation under way, it meant that both sides were severely understrength and not surprisingly, it was Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen who had more artillery in his arsenal as they ran out winners by five tries to one.
Touchdowns from impressive young full-back Chris Cosgrave, winger Rob Russell and prop Tom Clarkson were added to two penalty tries awards with Ross Byrne kicking three of the five conversion
A try from Steff Evans was the only reward for the home side in Llanelli on the night.