Guinness Pro 12 Round 19 Review
Friday 1st April
Newport 20-26 Ospreys
Edinburgh 29-0 Zebre
Ulster 18-10 Connacht
Saturday 2nd April
Leinster 16-13 Munster
Treviso 16-38 Glasgow Warriors
Scarlets 22-28 Cardiff Blues
Leinster secured a PRO12 double over Munster and moved to the top of the table after a 16-13 victory at the Aviva Stadium.
Having already beaten their provincial rivals at Thomond Park in December, Leo Cullen’s men took advantage of Connacht’s loss to Ulster on Friday to move back into top spot with three rounds to go.
Johnny Sexton was the star for Leinster, finishing with all 16 points, but Munster fly-half Johnny Holland also impressed in only his third PRO12 start.
Rory Best’s first-half try set Ulster on their way to a hard-fought 18-10 victory at the Kingspan Stadium as Connacht failed in their quest to record a first win in Belfast since 1960. The victory sends the hosts back into the PRO12 top four while the league-leading visitors tasted defeat for the first time since January.
The victory sends the hosts back into the PRO12 top four while the league-leading visitors tasted defeat for the first time since January.
Cardiff Blues also kept their top six hopes alive, denting the Scarlets semi-final ambitions in the process with a 28-22 Guinness PRO12 win at Parc Y Scarlets.
Lloyd Williams and Tom James went over in the first half for the visitors, with Gareth Anscombe adding his first Guinness PRO12 try in the second half.
The Ospreys meanwhile bounced back from derby defeat to the Scarlets with a bonus-point win over another Welsh rival, hanging on for a 26-20 success away to the Newport Gwent Dragons.
With their Guinness play-off hopes effectively over, the Ospreys still had plenty of pride to play for, and ran in three first-half tries before wrapping up the bonus point early in the second half.
Elsewhere, a second-half blitz saw Glasgow Warriors down Benetton Treviso 38-16 in Italy as they clambered into the Guinness PRO12 play-off places with a bonus-point triumph.
And finally Damien Hoyland’s second-half try double kept Edinburgh’s Guinness PRO12 top-four hopes alive as they notched what was eventually a comfortable 29-0 bonus-point victory over Zebre at BT Murrayfield.