Rugby European Cup
Leinster suffered their third successive European Cup defeat last week as their gloomy campaign continued. They faced up to a big Toulon team and lost the game 24-9 in the end. After an apparent brilliant defensive display by the Leinster men they conceded 14 points without reply in the second half of the match. Poor discipline seemed to really cost Leinster in the match as Cian Healy, Devin Toner and Tom Denton were all sin binned during the game. There was hope for Leinster at half time and Toulon only led by a margin of just ten points to nine. Leo Cullen’s men didn’t score at all in the second half and once more Johnny Sexton was the only scorer. Eric Escande really produced the goods for Toulon as Leinsters discipline cost them and Escande had no problem in converting the penalties. The two tries were scored by mauls and were cleverly worked by Toulon. Where to now for Leinster however? They stand at the bottom of the pool with just one point on the board? They have two more games left in the cup and it isn’t looking likely that they’ll win any. It looks like the “World Cup Hangover” is continuing for the Leinster men.
Munster also had a very bad week when they were defeated at home by Leicester Tigers. “A deserved victory” is the way that the match has been described in favour of Leicester Tigers. Leicester scored three tries compared to only two scored by the Munster men. Discipline affected Munster a bit as Leicester popped over four penalties. Munster’s defence seemed to let them down somewhat as they conceded three tries. Ian Keatley aided Munster slightly as he slotted three penalties over the bar but he also missed a few ones that could’ve helped Munster even more during the match. Leicester have never lost to Munster away and vice a versa. Munster will face them away in their next European Cup game. Munster are now in third position in their pool and will be looking to qualify in their group. They are not struggling as much as Leinster but it is still not to promising for Munster.
Although not a very convincing start for the Ulster men they had a brilliant victory at the weekend after they wiped Toulouse away with a 38-0 victory. With a half time score of 17-0 the Ulster men trounced Toulouse with five unanswered tries. Jackson was prolific with his kicking and slotted over everything and Trimble, Chris Henry, Luke Marshall, Mc Closkey and Williams led the way with the tries. Ulster’s Rugby and style was key at the weekend and their performance was described as the best ever in the European Cup tournament.
Connacht remained 1st in their pool after a lovely victory to Newcastle tigers. It was a close encounter in the first half and Connacht went in ahead with a score line of just 9-6 at the break. Connacht really pulled away in the second half as a Man of the Match performance from Jack Carty proved vital as he got 20 points in the game. Connacht look to be a very hot prospect in the Challenge Cup at the moment and seem to be in a comfortable position in their pool. Their injury list could be a serious worry for them however as their captain Tiernan O’ Halloran pulled up with a calf strain and remains to be their 19th injury at the moment.