Good progress for Pro12 sides in a year
There might not be any Guinness Pro12 teams in this year's Champions Cup final, but it has been a season of progress for the league and Ireland.
You have to judge where these teams came from last year, when the Champions Cup quarter-finals didn't even have a Pro12 team. It was a terrible European campaign for the likes of Munster and Leinster and it didn't look like they were going to improve this season.
But to think within 12 months, Munster, Leinster and Glasgow would reach the last eight, and the two Irish provinces had comprehensive victories over Toulouse and Wasps.
It was on to the final four for Munster and Leinster, and despite facing Saracens and Clermont, both teams were expected to put on a massive showing.
It was such a successful season from that point of view. The two games at the weekend mightn't have gone to plan, because you always these games but the experience of it is crucial. It's still a strong showing given the money and competitiveness of England and French teams now have.
And having watched Saracens last Saturday, you would have feel that although Ulster didn't qualify from their pool, they can hold their heads high having battled with Saracens there.
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