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Guinness PRO14 Saturday wrap

Charlie Peat
03 December 2017

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An action-packed set of Guinness PRO14 fixtures on Saturday saw 24 tries in just four Round 10 contests.

There were home comforts for Munster, Zebre and the Toyota Cheetahs as a James Lowe debut double inspired Leinster to victory.

  • Zebre secured only their third win of the Guinness PRO14 season as the Italian outfit came from behind to defeat Connacht 24-10.
  • The 2016 champions struggled to get their natural game going but took the lead five minutes into the second half when Tom Farrell burst through to score.
  • But with 13 minutes remaining Johan Meyer was able to dot down before Giovanbattista Venditti powered his way through the Connacht defence to secure the victory.
  • Toyota Cheetahs once again showed their impressive home form as Craig Barry bagged a brace to defeat defending champions Scarlets at the Free State Stadium 28-21.
  • James Davies turned on the afterburners to bring Scarlets into contention but Barry’s double in the second half handed the Welsh outfit only their second defeat of the campaign.
  • James Lowe had a debut to remember as he inspired Leinster to an impressive away victory over Benetton 36-10.
  • The New Zealand wing dotted down his first of the evening in the 16th minute before collecting an excellent pass from Noel Reid to go over in the second period.
  • Centre Garry Ringrose, making his first appearance of the season, Luke McGrath and Jordi Murphy also went over.
  • Ian Keatley’s near-perfect kicking display helped Munster cruise to a 36-10 triumph over the Ospreys in Conference A.
  • Munster responded to Glasgow Warriors’ victory on Friday with tries from Sam Arnold, Darren Sweetnam, Chris Cloete, Jack O’Donoghue and Rory Scannell.

What they said:

Ospreys captain Bradley Davies called for team unity after defeat at Munster:

“I’m proud of the boys for sticking at it, we’re all in it together. We’re not really firing at the moment but we are working hard.

“We know on our day when we get things right we are a very good team it’s just we haven’t shown that the last few weeks.

“It’s frustrating, we’re a bit low at the moment but we’ve got to stick together and hopefully come through this patch.”

They may have lost in Bloemfontein by head coach Wayne Pivac was full of praise for the Scarlets:

“I’m very happy. When you look at the circumstances that surrounded us on this trip I think the boys were a credit to the club.

“From our point of view, to come here and score six points on the trip, we’re very happy with that.

“This Cheetahs team is a very good side at home and they’ve proven that with their record so far this season. We knew what we were up against. We had three games in this block without the internationals, we targeted ten points and we got them.”

Leo Cullen was pretty pleased with his side’s win over Benetton:

“There were a lot of good things, I thought we took some good chances when they came.

“It was a little bit of a stop-start game as the pitch was quite heavy. It was a little bit of a slog and there were plenty of errors from both teams at various stages during the game.

“But we’re very happy to get the win as we’ve seen Treviso, they came very close away to Ulster last week. They’ve been in reasonably good form and it’s a tricky place to come so we’re delighted to get the win.”

New boss Johann van Graan liked what he saw from his Munster charges:

“Firstly, happy with a win. You never take a win for granted. Very happy with the bonus point, in the long run that’s pretty important.

“Some great tries. I thought we can still improve our set-piece and we left some chances out on the field but in general, pretty happy.

“At this stage injuries are probably the most negative thing. We’ve got so many guys injured we’ll just have to adapt and stand up and fight.

“I thought some of those young backs performed very well tonight. I was very happy with Sam Arnold.”

Top of the tweets:

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

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