Wednesday 26 April 2017

The Magners league lowdown

HOW THEY FINISHED

P W D L B Pts

Munster 22 19 0 3 7 83

Leinster 22 15 1 6 8 70

Ulster 22 15 1 6 5 67

Ospreys 22 12 1 9 13 63

Scarlets 22 12 1 9 12 62

Cardiff 22 13 1 8 6 60

Dragons 22 10 1 11 7 49

Edinburgh 22 9 0 13 7 43

Connacht 22 7 1 14 9 39

Treviso 22 9 0 13 2 38

Glasgow 22 6 1 15 7 33

Aironi 22 1 0 21 8 12

SEMI-FINALS

Friday: Leinster v Ulster, RDS, 7.05

Saturday: Munster v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 6.30

Consistency Award

They don't feel too flash just now but to cope with the IRFU's Player Management Programme and still come through the league with a record of only three defeats, despite having to press 52 players into service, tells you something of Munster's consistency.

Not So Consistent Award

The refereeing fraternity. It's an extraordinarily difficult job, not helped by the ineffective referee manager at the IRB, Paddy O'Brien.

Justice Seen To Be Done Award

The Magners League were slow to catch on to the need for independent judicial panels, but better late then never. This doesn't mean they will get it right. Last week, Jerry Collins was given a one-match ban for picking up three yellow cards, not specifically for the high hit on Felix Jones, which earned him the third yellow. So long as you let high-hitters walk, their target will remain high and not so handsome.

Justified Their Presence Award

Treviso. In fairness, this took no one by surprise.

Home-Grown Award

Sometimes, Ulster look like Safferagua when the Afrikaans boys are all out at the same time, but the biggest tranche of home-grown backs, who get to play a bit, is north of the border. And the best of them is Nevin Spence.

The Red Mist Award

After being sidelined for over a year with injury, Aironi prop Fabio Staibano returned to action against the Dragons last October only to be shown a yellow card. After his mandatory 10 he returned to the action only to see red. So 12 months was followed by just 15 minutes. And then a three-week ban.

The Turnstile Award

Leinster romped home with their Magners League record of 50,645 when they beat Munster at the Aviva back in October. At the other end of the scale, Connacht v Aironi barely scraped into four figures and we suspect anything that had two legs in the Sportsground was counted to make up the 1,015.

BRENDAN FANNING

Sunday Indo Sport

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