We’ve picked out a few standout performers from the weekend, starting with the team progressing their quest for a fifth Heineken Champions Cup in serious style.
Max Deegan – Leinster
Boy oh boy are we in for one heck of a No.8 battle at Leinster over the foreseeable future. The region has been blessed with talent over the years with Jamie Heaslip not long gone, Sean O’Brien more than able to do a job there and then followed up by Jack Conan.
He is now battling with Caelan Doris, excellent so far this season, and Max Deegan, who gave the latest display of his talents in the 42-14 victory over Lyon.
The 23-year-old took the man-of-the-match award for an all-action performance that yielded the team’s fourth try and many, many hard metres.
Pierre Bruno – Zebre
In all honesty, the entire Zebre set-up are heroes after the weekend, their 29-24 victory over Stade Francais the first ever over the Parisians for an Italian side – and in France as well!
Stade had won all 19 of their previous European games against Italian opposition and the win exacts revenge for a 13-12 defeat in Italy back in November.
Michael Bradley’s men were fantastic, George Biagi’s 77th-minute winner incredibly dramatic, and our pick was wing Pierre Bruno – who scored one try, claimed 86 metres and made three clean breaks as he tormented the hosts.
Adam Hastings – Glasgow Warriors
Yes, we know Glasgow didn’t win at home to Exeter – a match which ended up in a thrilling 31-31 draw – but fly-half Adam Hastings deservedly picked up the man of the match award for a fine display.
Stuart Hogg was denied a last-minute winner as his 60-metre penalty struck the crossbar on his return to Scotstoun, and it was a case of what might have been after two big chances were missed by Huw Jones in the closing stages.
Still, Hastings was brilliant throughout, his conversion from Niko Matawalu’s try a thing of beauty and assist for George Horne equally so – the playmaker shows ever-growing maturity and class.