Guinness PRO14: Semi-Finals Top Tries

Charlie Bennett
22 May 2018

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The Guinness PRO14 has been littered with fine tries all season long so it was no surprise to see a spectacular effort or two in the semi-finals last weekend.

Keith Earls

After nine long months of intense action, we now finally know our two finalists – with Scarlets hoping to defend their crown against double-seeking Leinster on Saturday evening.

Scarlets secured their place in the showpiece at the Aviva Stadium with a clinical win at Glasgow Warriors – who entered the Guinness PRO14 Finals Series as the form team.

Leinster saw off rivals Munster in a tight game to join them, keeping their bid of the double alive following a win in the Champions Cup.

And, not to be outdone, Ulster and Ospreys finished off the weekend in style – with the former securing Champions Cup qualification at the expense of their Welsh visitors in the play-off.

Here are our top tries of the week:

Rob Evans – Scarlets

It is no secret Scarlets play a thrilling brand of attacking rugby, but that does not dampen the fun of watching them strut their stuff on the big occasion.

Following wins against Leinster and Munster on their way to the title a year ago, Scarlets have developed a reputation for producing their best when it matters most.

But Glasgow still couldn’t stop them. The moment of the match came from a high Warriors clearance which landed safely in the hands of full-back Johnny McNicholl.

He found a gap, broke through and passed wide to wing Steff Evans, whose electric burst of pace stretched the Glasgow defence. A clever pass back inside found scrum-half Gareth Davies, who in turn set up prop Evans to stroll in.

Glasgow were shell-shocked and at the end, Scarlets were in the final.

Keith Earls – Munster

Keith Earls has been one of the Guinness PRO14’s best finishers for the last decade and he was at it again against Leinster at the weekend.

Trailing by seven early in the second half at the RDS Arena, Munster knew they needed to strike and it was their wise old heads which helped them do it.

Hooker Rhys Marshall rolled through a tackle and sped towards the try line, causing Leinster’s defence to scramble back desperately.

They just about got there but the ball was quickly moved left, where full-back Simon Zebo joined the attack.

In what proved to be his last ever Munster game, Zebo intelligently drew two defenders before flicking it to Earls.

The rest was brilliant. With two men desperate to stop him, Earls stepped inside one, kept a low body position and powered over in the corner with the second on his back.

Craig Gilroy – Ulster

It has been a tough season for Ulster but they finished on a high by securing Champions Cup qualification against Ospreys.

Craig Gilroy scored the try of the match late in the first half in a moment which ultimately proved key.

With Ospreys 7-3 up, Ulster needed a spark and Gilroy provided it. With men over on the right following a looped move, Luke Marshall had time and space to pick out a superb kick to the corner.

There waiting at the end of it was Gilroy, who judged the bounce superbly before touching down. That swung the match in Ulster’s favour and they went on to win 35-17.

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