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Guinness PRO14 Saturday wrap: Munster and Scarlets surge to semi-finals

Will Thompson
06 May 2018

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Victories for Munster and Scarlets saw them head to the Guinness PRO14 Final Series semi-finals on Saturday.

Connor Murray, Munster

Munster managed to hold on against Edinburgh at Thomond Park to run out winners while Scarlets saw off Cheetahs, scoring six tries at Parc y Scarlets.

Munster will now face their Irish rivals Leinster at the RDS Arena in a fortnight, and Scarlets will play Glasgow Warriors at the Scotstoun Stadium.

  • Munster got an early lead in their match against Edinburgh through Rhys Marshall, before Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s two penalties closed the gap to one point before the break.
  • The hosts then ramped up the pressure in the second half with a brilliant score from Keith Earls set up by the departing Simon Zebo delightfully, then a penalty from JJ Hanrahan was enough to secure a 20-16 victory over Edinburgh.
  • Nathan Fowles scored late on but the Scots couldn’t get a last try and Munster head back to Ireland to prepare for a showdown with Leinster.
  • Scarlets put on an impressive show against Cheetahs, with man of the match Steff Evans grabbing two scores along with Leigh Halfpenny to take a healthy lead into half-time.
  • Tom Prydie, James Davies and Jonathan Evans all crossed in the second half with only Clayton Blommetjies responding late on as the game finished at 43-8 to the hosts.
  • The men from Llanelli will travel up to Scotland in the other semi-final to face Conference A winners Glasgow in an attempt to reach a second consecutive final.

What they said:

Simon Zebo:

“It was difficult, it was very enjoyable but obviously difficult to come to the realisation now that this was my last game. I enjoyed every minute of it and it was a day I’ll never forget.

“I was very happy to set up Earls’ try, Earlsy – the incredible finisher that he is – was able to get on the end of it, we have a great combination and understanding of how each other play. It was a lovely moment and we’ve had a few in the past, so it was nice to finish off in Thomond Park with one like that.

“It’s the best stadium I’ve ever played in, the best atmosphere and the best supporters, nothing compares to it. So to be leaving it behind is very upsetting for me, but that’s life and hopefully one day I’ll be back.”

 

John Barclay:

“I’ll remember coming off that pitch for the rest of my life. I’m really proud to play for this club, it’s a proud club.

“But two games left now, we want to go and defend the title. It’s a big hurdle in a few weeks against Glasgow and we’d love to be back in Dublin as well and have the chance to win it.

“After the disappointment of the Champions Cup semi-final and the way we performed it’ll be nice to be back there, it’s not the same competition but it’s a shot at redemption.”

 

Clayton Blommetjies:

“I’m looking forward to coming to Parc y Scarlets next year because this is the kind of rugby I love to play.

“We are privileged to come over here and I think we will enjoy it.”

 

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Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €50 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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