Guinness PRO14 Saturday wrap: Cheetahs and Benetton leave it late as Leinster, Munster and Scarlets all win

Andrew Lawton
08 April 2018

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There were 10 Guinness PRO14 teams in action and a whole host of tries as Leinster, Scarlets, Munster, Benetton and the Cheetahs all came away from the day with wins.

Leinster put seven tries past Zebre to stay top of Conference B while Scarlets inflicted just a third defeat of the season on Glasgow Warriors.

There was late drama as the Toyota Cheetahs edged past Cardiff Blues and Benetton defeated Dragons, both sides winning by a 29-27 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Munster gained some ground on Conference A rivals Glasgow with a win over the Southern Kings, recovering from a slow start to win 39-22.

  • Zebre held their own in the first half against Leinster, limiting the Irish side to two tries from James Lowe and Rory O’Loughlin.
  • But Leinster pulled away after the break, with man of the match Max Deegan scoring twice, a second from Lowe and two more from Vakh Abdaladze and Bryan Byrne.
  • Keeping hot on the coattails of Leinster were Scarlets, with an impressive 26-8 win over the Warriors, Rhys Patchell touching down twice.
  • Gareth Davies scored their third, with Henry Pyrgos going over in reply, as Scarlets kept up their hunt for a home semi-final in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series.
  • Elsewhere in Conference B, Benetton scored four first-half tries through Federico Ruzza, Monty Ioane, Tommaso Allan and Tito Tebaldi, but they still needed a penalty at the death to beat Dragons.
  • The Welsh side moved into a one-point lead thanks to tries from Rynard Landman, Jared Rosser and Connor Edwards, but Tebaldi’s kick ensured the points would be staying in Treviso.
  • In Conference A, Munster recovered from being 15-3 down in South Africa to end up beating the Southern Kings, who had led through Andy Ntsila and Stephan Greeff tries.
  • Niall Scannell went over just before the break, and the Munstermen then pulled clear, with Calvin Nash, CJ Stander, Dan Goggin, Rhys Marshall and Dave Kilcoyne all crossing the whitewash to secure the bonus point, before Michael Makase added a consolation score.
  • That helped them stay clear of the Cheetahs, whose 88th minute penalty-try win over the Blues had left them breathing down Munster’s neck.
  • The South African side were cruising after two tries from Sibhale Maxwane and one from Francois Venter, but the Blues hit back in the second half with Owen Lane, Willis Halaholo and Rey Lee-Lo, before the penalty try secured the win.

What they said:

Leinster’s Max Deegan said: “We had a really strong focus going into this game. The two Italian sides are getting better every week, every year.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game, so we all had to bring our best A game.

“It probably wasn’t the best in the first half, but a win’s a win and we’re pushing towards the end of the season and getting that top spot.

“Camp this week was all about this game and this weekend and next week will be all about Treviso.

“We get our recovery right now and then just build towards the next game because it’s vital that we get top spot in the Guinness PRO14.”

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said: “It was a disappointing performance, we need to be better.

“One thing we’ve done really well this season is be really accurate and clinical and that wasn’t there today.

“There were too many handling errors, when we finally put Scarlets under a bit of pressure we let them off the hook. Overall it was a pretty flat performance.

“The amount of turnovers we gave away was unacceptable.

“We kicked the ball away too much and need to be a bit more patient, go through the phases and not try and pull a rabbit out of the hat.”


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