Guinness PRO14 Saturday wrap: Edinburgh Rugby and Cardiff Blues seal big wins

Charlie Peat
15 April 2018

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The business end of the Guinness PRO14 is upon us and Saturday provided endless drama and try scoring fun in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Cardiff Blues clocked up the tries in Port Elizabeth and there were important wins for Edinburgh Rugby and Zebre.

It leaves the Guinness PRO14 delicately poised heading into the final few rounds.

  • Duhan van der Merwe inspired Edinburgh Rugby with two tries to move them closer to the Final Series with a 52-14 win over Scarlets.
  • The Scottish side blew away the Welsh region with four tries in the opening 23 minutes at BT Murrayfield and scored a further four in the second period to close the gap to Scarlets to just one point.
  • A Carlo Canna try ten minutes from time helped Zebre snatch a 34-32 victory over Dragons at the Stadio Fattori L’Aquila.
  • Jared Rosser scored a first-half hat-trick for the Dragons which had the visitors in control at the break.
  • But Zebre came storming back through Tomasso Castello, Tommaso D’Apice and Johan Meyer before Canna late score capped off the comeback.
  • Jarrod Evans was in superb form as Cardiff Blues breezed past Southern Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
  • Alex Cuthbert, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Willis Halaholo and Kirby Myhill all went over before the break.
  • Myhill notched up his second as Blaine Scully also dotted down to put the Blues just five points behind Toyota Cheetahs in Conference A.
  • Benetton secured their first win at Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 as they won 17-15.
  • Tommaso Allan was the man to make history as he pounced on a defensive error to race over and seal the victory.

What they said:

Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman said: “We’ve just got to learn how to win,” said Jackman. “Whereas at Benetton we were disappointed with the referee, this time it was down to our own mistakes.

“We started the game poorly but showed really good resilience and character to go in at half-time in a good position after being with the wind.

“But in the second half our discipline went and we made some poor individual errors that gave Zebre a foothold.

“We let them back into the game and gave them momentum and allowed them to feed off a good crowd by playing with emotion and passion.

Richard Cockerill, Edinburgh director of rugby, said: “It’s a game that we needed to win. We’re not getting too excited because Scarlets brought a mixed team.

“We’re grateful with the win and the tries we scored. We scored some cracking tries out there and it puts the pressure on Ulster.

“It’s nice to have the win and we put them to the sword. They’re a different level to us and we’re just trying to get to the big table. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”

Cardiff Blues Jarrod Evans said after victory over Southern Kings: “It was quick but I think the altitude against the Cheetahs helped us prepare quite a bit.

“We’re used to playing a fast game back home and that’s the type of game we like to play. We know the Kings have some dangerous runners but I think we dealt with that really well.

“It’s nice to see a few things we identified in the week pay off. We wanted to drive a few line-outs and there were a few nice plays behind that as well.”

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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
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