It was another ‘what if’ week for the South African sides as the Sharks and Bulls failed to get a win in their last tour match before returning home.
Twitter was again the biggest battle ground with fans again going hard at the officiating but at the end of the day both the Sharks and Bulls have only themselves to blame for yet another loss.
Here is the Standings after Round 4:
UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP LOG
|12||Cell C Sharks||5||2||3||0||-14||9|
As expected Glasgow got the win against Zebre over the weekend but it was not as easy as what was expected at the end. With the win Glasgow sits nicely on the log with 15 points, just five behind the leaders Ulster.
The visitors, although an early try from Bean, could not get their game going really. It was a frustrating afternoon for the Scottish side. They did get a second try before the break with Tuipulotu going over but two penalties from Canna kept the host in striking distance.
The second half Brough no excitement for the fans as Weir’s penalty was the only points that was scored in the second half. Failing to secure a bonus point to arguably the worst side in the competition will maybe bite the Warriors later on but three wins form four games is not bad at all.
Zebre: Penalties – Canna(2)
Glasgow: Tries – Bean, Tuipulotu Conversions – Wier Penalties – Weir
Ospreys jumped right back at it after their loss last weekend with a win against Benetton, but easy it was not on Saturday as they clinch the win with a late penalty from Myler. Leading 12-7, the visitors has still plenty of work to do against a never-say-die Iralian outfit.
Benetton’s Lucchesi opened the scoring with the first try of the match but that was quickly countered with a try from Nagy and then Roots going over for Ospreys.
A double by Rhys Webb in the second half took the score to 26-7 and Ospreys looked well away to a good win but Benetton came back at them.
Tries by Smith, Ioane and Menoncello even the scores up before Myler slotted the final penalty over to give Ospreys the win.
Benetton: Tries – Lucchesi, R Smith, Ioane, Menoncello Conversions – Albornoz, Coetzee(2)
Ospreys: Tries – Nagy, Roots, Webb(2) Conversions – Myler(3) Penalties – Myler
Although there was plenty of chatter over a disallowed try for the Bulls, they have only themselves to blame for yet another loss on tour on Saturday. As with all SA teams the Bulls let through some easy tries which forced them from the start to play catchup rugby.
As we also been speaking since the start of the competition, the Bulls had plenty of opportunities but could not covert that into points which was disappointing from a Bulls perspective.
Coming to European with the SA top team tag on their back the Bulls just did not produced the goods when it mattered and there are plenty to work on for the home games coming up in November.
To be honest the Bulls was never really in the game in that first half and deserved to be 14-3 down at the break.
Again discipline was a problem for the visitors giving Jaco Van der Walt three penalties to extend their lead in that first half. An early try by Henry Immelman put the home side in front and they dominate proceedings in every aspect in the match.
About the only thing that was working for the Bulls was their lineouts but when the ball went out to the back they failed to push through Edinburgh defence which was good on the night.
Magnus Bradley was his brilliant self again for the home side with powerful surges which gave Edinburgh great front foot ball. The Bulls failed to make an impact on the defence in that first half.
When the rain started to come down needed to hit back to stay in the match and they did that with a break from Papier who sparked them to life.
The second half was better for the Bulls as they started to get a bit more ball in hand and much better in defence.
The Bulls gave themselves a chance when Coetzee powered over the line for their only try of the match. A few minutes later the referee awarded the try to Tambwe but after a TMO review he overturned the try stating Tambwe propelled himself forward with his elbow and knee.
This set off a war of words on social media but did not changed the result for the home side.
Edinburgh: Tries – Immelman Penalties – Van der Walt(3), Bennett
Bulls: Tries – Coetzee Conversions – Smith Penalties – Steyn
It was another dominated performance from the PRO14 Champions on Saturday when they demolish Scarlets with 50-15 in a one sided affair.
With their powerful pack they dominated play with Scarlets not able to get any foot into the game which means that the champions have four wins from four matches in the URC.
There was no less than seven Irish internationals in the pack which was just too much for Scarlets to handle and where the problems began for the visitors. Scarlets took the early lead with a try from McNicholl but before they realised it they were 21 points down.
At halftime Leinster led 22-8 which had the writing on the wall already.
The home side first try came from Kelleher from a back of a maul. That opened it up for Leinster. The second one came minutes later when Porter went over. Leinster kept the ball with their powerful pack and at the end a penalty try was awarded just before halftime.
The only light point for Scarlets in the second half was when Lezana went over for their second try but Leinster was just too clinical as Doris went over for the bonus point try. There was a try from Healy as well with Sheehan getting two to bring up the 50 points.
At the end Leinster showed yet again why they are the favourites for the championship and it is going to take a massive effort to beat this team specially at home.
Leinster: Tries – Kelleher, Porter, Penalty Try, Doris, Healy, Sheehan(2) Conversions – Sexton, Frawley, R Byrne Penalties – Sexton
Scarlets: Tries – McNicholl, Lezana Conversions – D Jones Penalties – Costelow
As with the Bulls the Sharks did not end their four match tour in Europe the way they wanted on Saturday loosing 23-17 against Cardiff Blues.
It was again another game where a South African team had to play catchup rugby and chase the game which has been a problem this whole tour for all our teams in the URC.
Cardiff started the game fast controlling the pace of the game as well as the ball and the Sharks was only left with defending their line.
It was eventually the boot of Priestland that sealed it for the home side after the Sharks discipline was again not good in the match. Priestland kicked 13 of the 17 points for his side after Matthews Morgan scored early for them for an early lead.
The Sharks did manage to come back in the game in the second half with a try from Du Toit and Potgieter but that was countered with a second try form Halaholo.
It was a disappointing end to the tour for the Sharks, Specially after the good win last week and they will now go back to SA with one win, and three losses. It will get a bit easier playing at home but as with all the other SA teams, they will have to get better starts and cut down on the penalty count if they want to progress in this tournament.
At the end Cardiff was deserved winners off the match.
Cardiff: Tries – Morgan, Halaholo Conversions – Priestland(2) Penalties – Priestland -(3)
Sharks: Tries – T du Toit, Potgieter Conversions – Bosch, Chamberlain Penalties Chamberlain
It was a close Irish affair on Saturday when Munster eventually got the win at the end over Connacht with 20-18. It was a late heartbreak for the visitors. It was Carry that gave the visitors the early lead with a penalty and although Munster had their early opportunities it was Jack Carthy that made it 6-0 for Connacht.
Munster had the better of the possession but had to wait till two minutes before the break before they scored a brilliant breakaway try as Rory Scannell kicks it forward and then Tadhg Byrne taps the ball beyond the try-line before Chris Cloete gets the crucial touch.
With the conversion over Munster took the lead 7-6.
Chris Cloete thought he had scored his second try of the match but the ball was held up over the line. Munster was first to score in the second half with a penalty from Joey Carbery to make it 10-6.
The visitors hit back with a try by Paul Doyle and with the conversion not going over the visitors led 11-10. Joey Carbery took the lead back with another penalty from Joey Carbery.
The lead changes again when Joey Carbey kick was blocked by Jack Carty, who snatched the ball and ran clean through over the goal-line. Connacht are now into a three point lead at Thomond Park.
With the conversion over Connacht retook the lead but three minutes from time Munster powered over with Diarmuid Barron. Carbery’s conversion was good which gave the home side a two point lead which they where able to held on till the end.
Munster: Tries – Cloete, Barron Conversions – Carbery(2) Penalties – Carbery(2)
Connacht: Tries – Boyle, Carty Conversions – Carty Penalties – Carty(2)