Guinness PRO14 Friday wrap: Ulster and Ospreys boost hopes

Rich Dore
07 April 2018

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There were plenty of tries and no shortage of drama on Friday night in the Guinness PRO14 as Ulster Rugby and Ospreys both recorded vital wins.

Ulster travelled to in-form Edinburgh Rugby at BT Murrayfield knowing they needed a win to keep their Guinness PRO14 Final Series hopes alive, and did just that with a 32-20 victory.

Ospreys have been in good form themselves in recent weeks and continued that with a five-try, 39-10 win over Connacht at the Liberty Stadium.

  • Edinburgh scored first in their match but most of the damage was done inside the first quarter as they conceded tries to Darren Cave, John Cooney and Charles Piutau.
  • Ulster found real joy attacking out wide from their lineouts, but Edinburgh fly-half Duncan Weir did pick one off for a breakaway try, helping himself to 13 points on the night.
  • John Cooney was also excellent on the night, grabbing 12 points, and Iain Henderson’s late bonus-point score capped off a wonderful night for the Irish province.
  • Ulster are still fourth but crucially now eight points behind third-placed Edinburgh as we reach the business-end of the season.
  • There were five different Ospreys scorers at the Liberty Stadium as Jeff Hassler, Dan Evans, Scott Otten, Ashley Beck and Hanno Dirksen all crossed.
  • Craig Ronaldson got a try back for Connacht but they remain sixth in Conference A, Ospreys remain fifth but closed the gap to Cardiff Blues to seven points.

WHAT THEY SAID

Ulster’s John Cooney said: “We’re happy with how we turned up, we knew we were under pressure and we knew we had to deliver away from home, it’s something we’ve been struggling with all season really.

“We said physicality and bring that heart today and that’s all we could ask for and that’s what we did.”

Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones commented: “I think for the majority of the second half we improved.

“I think we dropped off a little bit at the end, I’m not sure if that’s down to the changes but definitely pleased with the result.

“I always say it’s more about the performance but that’s our last home game of the season now, we’ve got a couple of tough away games, obviously Ulster is a tough patch to go to and then we have Zebre.”

TOP OF THE TWEETS

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.ie

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