Christmas time in the Guinness PRO14 meant only one thing on Saturday – a feast of local derbies.
Edinburgh got the better of Scottish rivals Glasgow Warriors, while the Italian bragging rights went to Benetton Rugby in their win over Zebre.
And the last game of the day saw Connacht find their groove to overcome Ulster.
What they said:
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill classed his side’s win over Glasgow Warriors as something very special:
“It’s up there with anything I’ve ever been involved with.
“Firstly, the players deserve the credit because they played exceptionally well under some adversity. They’ve worked really hard since pre-season. We’ve tried to become tougher to play against and I think we showed that.
“At half time, we just said: let’s stay in the battle – let’s keep doing our job as well as we can. The score was sort of irrelevant at that point, we just needed to keep our heads down.
“I’m delighted to get the four points. I know there is obviously a lot of stuff around the derby and the 1872 Cup, but to get the four points was really important.
“The players had a choice. They had an excuse to lose, and it could have gone either way, but if we had lost by four points I would have been just as proud of the group. Because after five minutes, you would have probably thought we would be struggling.
After completing their Italian job with victory over Zebre, Benetton Rugby’s man at the helm Kieran Crowley was pleased to pick up the bonus point:
“Of course I am very happy to have taken the five points, all the players have contributed.
“Clearly having an extra man is always an advantage but at other times we did not exploit it.
“He (Marty Banks) came back to play after a few weeks and all in all I did not mind, he put in a good performance.”
Tiernan O’Halloran, who signed a new contract with Connacht this week, had more reason to smile before Christmas:
“It was a great to get a big win like that, Christmas time and the inter-pro games are all very special and we spoke about getting stuck in early in the game.
“We managed to do that, got a couple of early tries and that gave us huge confidence for the rest of the game.
“These games always provide an unbelievable atmosphere and it’s great to be involved with them.
“It’s tough at contract time, it can affect your performances so it’s nice to be able to relax on that and hopefully I can kick on.”
Top of the tweets
— Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (@Hidalgoclyne) December 24, 2017
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) December 23, 2017
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) December 23, 2017
Benetton Rugby è lieto di augurare a tutti i propri tesserati, amici, sostenitori e partner un sereno Natale ed un felice anno nuovo.
— Benetton Rugby (@BenettonRugby) December 24, 2017
That feeling when you wake up on Christmas Eve after a memorable win in the first Christmas Interpro. pic.twitter.com/ShNOVeQQRf
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) December 24, 2017
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) December 23, 2017
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