Shaun Goosen looks back at this past weekend's rugby action which saw a Damian De Allende shine for Munster, the Force upset the Reds and the Chiefs completing their redemption arc.
De Allende-inspired Munster get revenge in Rainbow Cup opener
While the format of the Rainbow Cup has left many with raised eyebrows, the Pro14 sides got their campaigns off over the past weekend. A full-strength Munster team beat Leinster 27-3 at the RDS Arena on Saturday thanks to two Connor Murray tries and a Man of the Match showing from some chap named Damian de Allende. Elsewhere, Paolo Garbisi’s Benetton, an outfit that failed to win even a single match in last season’s Pro14, saw off Glasgow 46-19 at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo as they look to the future. The Saffa franchises will get their tournament off this weekend in two derby matches.
Force upset Reds to qualify for playoff
The Western Force beat the previously undefeated Reds 30-27 at HBF Park on Friday to seal their spot in this weekend’s final qualifier against defending champions the Brumbies. The men from Perth have shown true heart this season and look to be on the up, though they will be heavy underdogs going up against the Brumbies. The Force result meant the Rebels’ 36-25 win over the Waratahs at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday was in vain, with the Melburnians finishing the competition fourth, two points back of a place in the qualifier. The struggling Tahs lost all eight of their games to finish last, while the Reds topped the standings and are through to the final.
Chiefs through to Aotearoa final
The Super Rugby Aotearoa final on 8 May will be contested by the Chiefs and Crusaders after SANZAAR confirmed on Monday that the tiebreaker for teams locked on points was their number of competition wins. The ‘Saders will host the finale as they head into their final round bye following a 29-6 defeat of the Blues in Christchurch on Sunday. The Chiefs, though, must still negotiate a trip to Auckland to tackle the hurting Blues. Earlier, on Friday, the Chiefs had beaten the bottom-placed Hurricanes 26-24 at the FMG Stadium.