Guinness PRO14 Takeaways: Ireland’s historic series victory and Scotland’s convincing win

Will Thompson
24 June 2018

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As the summer Tests reached a heated conclusion, Guinness PRO14 stars were in full force for their nations across the globe.

Jonny Sexton, Leinster

Ireland sealed an historic series win in Sydney thanks to 15 points from the boot of Leinster’s Johnny Sexton and a well-worked try from Munsterman CJ Stander.

Scotland were also in form, steamrollering Argentina in Resistencia to finish their season on a high with Glasgow Warriors scrum-half George Horne bagging 24 points.

Here are our takeaways from the final weekend of the summer:

Australia 16-20 Ireland

  • A fine season for Ireland got even better as they completed an historic series victory over Australia in Sydney. As he did for Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 final, Johnny Sexton pulled the strings, scoring 15 points in the 20-16 success, while Munster’s CJ Stander chipped in with the only try from a rolling maul.
  • One of the biggest contributions came from Leinster’s Jack Conan, starting at No.8, who was relentless in defence, making 20 tackles and missing none. In a very tight encounter, that was crucial to the Irish win, particularly in the final 20 minutes when they spent a lot of time on the back foot but were able to repel the Australian attack.
  • Although he was yellow-carded for using his elbow while carrying the ball, Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale was also vital for Ireland, making 73 metres with ball in hand – the most of any player on either team.

 

Argentina 15-44 Scotland

  • Scotland rounded off their season with a scintillating attacking display, yielding a 44-15 victory over Argentina in Resistencia. They were 28-3 up after the first quarter and a clinical performance saw Gregor Townsend’s side ran in six tries.
  • Diminutive scrum-half George Horne enjoyed a breakout campaign in the Guinness PRO14 with Glasgow Warriors, his ten tries in 20 appearances earning him a debut in this June’s tests. Against the Pumas, Horne put in a dynamic all-round display and looked assured alongside Warriors colleague Adam Hastings.
  • Edinburgh Rugby speedster Blair Kinghorn was one Scotland player to emerge with credit from their defeat at the hands of USA in Edmonton. The left winger, whose try-scoring exploits against Ireland in the Six Nations thrust him into the spotlight, now has three tries in five games and took his score well in South America.

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