Irish outfits Leinster and Ulster inflicted defeats on Premiership sides on English soil to ensure Irish eyes were smiling on Sunday night.
Exeter 8-18 Leinster
Exeter Chiefs had not lost at Sandy Park for 12 months – until Leinster muscled into town with other ideas.
Leo Cullen’s troops powered their way past the Premiership leaders, with both Jonathan Sexton and Jack Conan crossing the whitewash as the visitors triumphed 18-8, James Short flying over for the home side’s only try.
It ensures Leinster maintain their 100 per cent start to this year’s Champions Cup competition and stay top of Pool 3. They host Chiefs at the Aviva Stadium next week.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) December 10, 2017
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) December 10, 2017
Harlequins 5-17 Ulster
Ulster stood up to be counted in ferocious conditions in west London as they battled past a resolute Harlequins.
John Cooney was impressive with the boot in heavy snow and strong winds, landing four penalties while Jacob Stockdale also crossed the whitewash as Ulster ended Quins’ hope of progressing to the next stage of the Champions Cup.
📸 Well that was interesting ❄️ pic.twitter.com/5gjQS5txrn
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) December 10, 2017
It was a terrific effort from Les Kiss’ outfit after they were soundly beaten in their last Champions Cup clash by La Rochelle, who put Wasps to the sword in France.
And Kiss was delighted with the way his charges handled the difficult conditions.
“The conditions certainly shoved the game in a certain direction and you have to adapt some of the plans that you’ve put together,” he said.
“I thought the pack were immense, their defence of the maul, their defence in general was brilliant and they certainly laid a platform for us to do some smarter things around the edges and get the job done.”
— John Cooney (@JCooney09) December 10, 2017
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