Munster Rugby secured a place in the Champions Cup semi-final with a convincing 41-16 win over Toulouse. Navy Blue clients scored three of Munster’s four tries. Tighthead prop John Ryan got them off to a great start with a well-taken try from close range. A great all-round performance from John saw him win a deserved Man of the Match award. Scrumhalf Duncan Williams put in a fantastic performance for Munster over 75 minutes after being a late addition to the starting XV. Right wing Darren Sweetnam scored a great try when he hacked a loose ball ahead and gathered it to score in the second half, while replacement Andrew Conway added one more try for his side with a great break down the left wing late on. Munster face Saracens in the semi-final.
Leinster Rugby also won their Champions Cup quarter final with a 32-17 win over Wasps. Leinster’s captain Isa Nacewa grabbed his side’s first try with a tight finish in the left corner. Garry Ringrose was excellent at outside centre for Leinster as he broke the Wasps defensive line often while also putting in another good defensive performance himself. Fergus McFadden appeared from the bench halfway through the first half and played a role in Leinster’s second try, while it was his 73rd minute try that guaranteed his side’s win. Hooker James Tracy and second row Ross Molony were also introduced in the second half as replacements as Leinster closed out a deserved win. Prop Marty Moore was a second half replacement for Wasps in the front row and, despite racking up a decent tackle count and a solid performance in the scrum, lost out to his former side Leinster who face Clermont in the semi-final.
Connacht Rugby travelled to Zebre for their rescheduled Guinness PRO 12 match and Zebre managed to come away with a 25-22 victory. Sean O’Brien started at blindside flanker for Connacht and went well in his hour on the pitch. Craig Ronaldson was named as a replacement, however came on after 15 minutes and immediately scored a well-taken try. Craig added a further two points with the boot late on. Eoghan Masterson also appeared from the bench, replacing Sean in the second half.
Dave Ryan’s Agen secured a good 19-12 win away from home against Carcassone in the PRO D2. Dave notched up an hour at tighthead prop as Agen consolidated their second place standing in the league table.
Jerry Sexton started at blindside flanker for London Irish in their British & Irish Cup semi-final against Jersey Reds. Unfortunately for Jerry, Jersey beat Irish for the second week in a row meaning his side’s great run in the competition has come to an end. Irish will be hoping that they can secure promotion to the Aviva Premiership by the end of the season.
Munster ‘A’ won their British & Irish Cup semi-final 25-9 against Ealing Trailfinders. Navy Blue had six clients in action between both sides. Willie Ryan started at blindside flanker for the Trailfinders, who have been going well in the Greene King IPA Championship. However, a standout performance from flanker Conor Oliver helped Munster ‘A’ grab the win. Two tries from Conor and a hand in another proved to be the difference between the two sides. Props Peter McCabe and Brian Scott made up either side of a strong Munster ‘A’ front row. Darren O’Shea notched up a solid 80 minutes in the second row, while right wing Dan Goggin was prominent throughout for Munster ‘A’ who face Jersey Reds in the final.
Billy Dardis started at fullback for Leinster ‘A’ in their mid-season friendly against Ulster ‘A’. Inside centre Tom Daly and tighthead prop Andrew Porter also played their part in Leinster ‘A’’s convincing 35-10 win at Banbridge RFC’s Rifle Park.