Friday 28 October 2016

How the Guinness Pro12 table shaped up and what it means for the four Irish provinces

Published 07/05/2016 | 17:38

All four Irish provinces were victorious today
All four Irish provinces were victorious today

Connacht will host Glasgow Warriors again in the Guinness Pro12 semi-finals after Leinster claimed top spot on the final day with their win over Treviso.

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Leo Cullen’s men will face Ulster in the other play-off game at the RDS on Friday week, with the Sportsground hosting its first knock-out game a day later when the champions return.

It should be a mouth-watering pair of games given the recent history between the teams. The western province edged out the champions 14-7 in today’s final game of the season, just doing enough to finish second behind their neighbours who were hammered by their last four opponents at Kingspan Stadium last weekend.

Ulster comfortably played their way into the final four with a 46-26 win over Ospreys in Swansea, while Munster earned a place in next year’s Champions Cup with their 31-15 win over Scarlets.

Richardt Strauss ran in two of Leinster’s seven tries as the 2013 and 2014 champions proved too strong for the Italians who themselves missed out on the Champions Cup as Zebre beat Dragons 47-22.

Connacht, meanwhile, are fully aware of the task they face after a brutal encounter with Glasgow today.

“We’ve one more shot at, another home game,” Connacht captain John Muldoon said.

“This is a massive squad effort. Everyone has played this season, the camaraderie is massive. Hopefully we’ll come back in two weeks and have two more games.

“It wasn’t perfect today, we dug deep and we know we’ll have to be better. Glasgow will be reeling, it’s nice to get one up on Dan (McFarland, Warriors forwards coach) but I’m sure he’ll have something up his sleeve in two weeks.”


Guinness Pro12 Play-offs: Leinster v Ulster, RDS, Friday, May 20, 7.30; Connacht v Glasgow Warriors, Sportsground, Saturday, May 21, 6.30.

European Champions Cup qualifiers: Leinster, Connacht, Glasgow Warriors, Ulster, Scarlets, Munster, Zebre.

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