RaboDirect Pro12: Week 14 Review


After this weekend there is a strong 14 points that separates Leinster at the top of the leader board from Welsh side Ospreys who narrowly beat Edinburgh this weekend.  There are now four teams with a game in hand after the Aironi and Munster match got postponed. Blues and Dragons are also awaiting their rearranged game.

Aironi v Munster

The game which was due to be played on Sunday between these two sides was postponed because of adverse weather conditions. The game has been rescheduled for Sunday 11th March, KO 15:00.

Leinster 42 “ 8 Benetton Treviso

A depleted Treviso side succumbed to the strength of Leinster who scored a bonus point win to extend their lead at the top of the pro12 leader board. The home side had a lead of 11-3 at the break after Ian Madigan scored his sixth Pro12 try as he dived over in the right corner, with Isa Nacewa kicking over two penalties. Leinster got the first points of the second half when Nacewa knocked over another penalty, before Treviso closed the gap with Matteo Muccignat going over for a try. Leinster showed their strength in the final 20 minutes of the game with Richardt Strauss, Nacewa, John Cooney and Fionn Carr going over for tries to put them out of the Italian's reach. It was noticeable that Treviso were missing 15 of their men who are currently on International duty for the Six Nations.

Glasgow Warriors 19 “ 9 Scarlets

Ruaridh Jackson kicked 14 points as Glasgow moved up to third in the Pro12 table in his first game of the year. It was noticeable that both teams were missing their big players who are on International duty for the Six Nations. The game was scrappy and despite Glasgow taking an early lead the Scarlets managed to level when Dan Newton kicked over a penalty that Jackson gave away for holding on to the ball on the ground. Glasgow managed to take the lead over with a try from Jon Welsh which Jackson duly converted. He then knocked over a further two penalties to secure the win for the Scottish team.

Ulster 30 “ 12 Newport Gwent Dragons

Ulster got a bonus point win over the Dragons with first half tries from Robbie Diack and Ruan Pienaar to boost their chances of getting a play in the play-offs. It was the Dragons who got an early lead with the help of Jason Tovey's boot, Diack then went over for the first try of the game. It was not long before Ulster extended their lead as Pienaar was the next player to get through the Dragons defence. Tovey added a further two penalties as he kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Welsh side but as the half-time whistle blew they trailed 15-9. Shortly after the second half started Tovey knocked over another penalty to cut the margin. Craig Gilroy went over for a try immediately after the restart with a wonderful move. Further Dragons pressure failed to produce a score and Stefan Terblanche's late try secured the bonus point. Willie Faloon and Ian Whitten were both sin-binned in the final 25 minutes of the contest.

Cardiff Blues 22 “ 15 Connacht

Ben Blair kicked 17 points for the Blues as they played at Cardiff Arms Park for the first time since 2009. The Blues overpowered Connacht in the first half with four penalties knocked over by Blair, while Tiernan O'Halloran went over for the only try of the first half it was not enough to put them in the lead at half-time as they trailed by too. Blair added another three points to the Blues scoreboard early in the second half. Sam Hobbs went over for a try right beneath the posts to extend the lead for the Blues, with Blair duly converting. Dave Moore went over for a late consolation try, but Matthew Jarvis failed to convert and the Blues held on for the win. The Blues are now sixth in the leader board and have a game in hand. On Friday the Blues will announce whether or not the remainder of their games will be played at Arms Park.

Edinburgh 14 “ 15 Ospreys

Hanno Dirksen's second half try was enough to give Ospreys a win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield, their first away win since November. Edinburgh looked set for their first Pro12 win since December until midway through the second half when Dirksen went over for a magnificent match-winning solo try which was duly converted by Dan Biggar. Dougie Fife scored his first try for Edinburgh as the first quarter of the game drew to a close, but it was not long before Ospreys put points on their board with a drop goal by Biggar before Richard Hibbard went over for a try. Phil Godman kept the scoreboard ticking over for Edinburgh with his boot as he knocked over three penalties. Godman missed a match-winning penalty right in front of the posts, while Biggar missed a long-range kick just moments later, but despite being within a score Edinburgh we unable to produce a win. Ospreys are still second in the Pro12 table and are four points clear of Glasgow Warriors. Edinburgh ended the first period in the ascendancy and Godman nudged the hosts into a three-point lead at the break when he landed a second penalty after Kahn Fotuali'i had transgressed. And it was the hosts who were next to boost their tally when Godman landed another penalty.