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Guinness PRO14 Saturday wrap: Tries galore on thrilling afternoon

Charlie Bennett
07 January 2018

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An incredible 35 tries were scored on a bumper day of Guinness PRO14 action yesterday, which saw a stirring comeback in Italy and three closely contested derbies.

Glasgow Warriors continue to set the trend after they emerged from Zebre with the points, while there were also handsome wins from Leinster and Munster.

  • Replacement Epalahame Faiva scored two tries as Benetton Rugby produced a thrilling comeback to beat Toyota Cheetahs 27-21.
  • Two yellow cards in a matter of minutes for Cheetahs’ Torsten van Jaarsveld and Shaun Venter flipped the match on its head as Benetton secured a bonus-point win.
  • Dan Biggar was at his brilliant best as Ospreys held on to beat Cardiff Blues 29-28 in a thrilling Welsh derby.
  • Biggar set up Rhys Webb’s two tries and a third for Justin Tipuric as the hosts got off the bottom of Conference A.
  • Conference A leaders Glasgow Warriors claimed a 12th win from 13 league games with an entertaining 40-20 win at Zebre as Lee Jones crossed twice.
  • The Scottish side had a bonus point secured by half time, while Zebre’s Renato Giammarioli, Maxime Mbanda and Tommaso D’Apice scored in reply.
  • Ulster produced a superb comeback to beat Munster on New Year’s Day but they could not repeat the trick against an inspired Leinster – going down 38-7.
  • Jordan Lamour and Fergus McFadden scored two tries each for the hosts, who are sitting pretty ahead of another title shot this spring.
  • Munster are one of the sides who will hope to stop Leinster and they got back to basics with a convincing 39-13 win against Connacht.
  • Conor Murray looks in fine form ahead of the impending Six Nations as he scored two tries in the bonus-point win.

What they said:

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson said: “First half we played reasonably well and gave ourselves an opportunity.

“For 25 minutes after half time I thought we were poor. Ospreys owned field position, possession and we were just constantly defending and couldn’t put a foot right, if I’m honest, for 25 minutes and I think that took its toll.

“And then we go up the other end and score two tries and get ourselves back in the game. I’m proud of the effort to do that.

“Brutal honesty – if we had won it, it would not have reflected the game.”

Glasgow Warriors boss Dave Rennie said:  “We scored a couple of excellent tries out wide and a couple of nice set piece ones too. The big men gave us a lot of go forward in that first half and I thought we were reasonably clinical.

“We fell off a few tackles in the second half and spent a long period in our end of the field but we scrambled pretty well.

“To get five points over here is a good result. Zebre are a good side, they like to offload and a huge number of offloads stuck for them today.

“Their ability to keep the ball alive was excellent and they asked some real questions of us. They play a good brand of footy but I’m happy with the way we stood up there.”

Leinster’s Leo Cullen said: “I think every team is tested at this time of year, particularly coming off these three big provincial games over Christmas so it was important to rotate our squad.

“It has been a great squad effort and we’re delighted to get three wins. It sets us up well now obviously going back into two big European games.”

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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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