Shaun Goosen looks back at what was a pulsating weekend of European Rugby.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Premiership front-runners stumble
The past round of Premiership Rugby action saw the top three all lose in a weekend that also contained five red cards— more than has been seen in the entire campaign to date. Bristol allowed London Irish to fight back and salvage a 34-all draw at the Brentford Stadium yesterday despite leading 31-6 in the first-half but retained top spot after Exeter fell 12-13 to Northampton at Sandy Park after Sam Simmonds had a last-minute conversion dramatically charged down.
Elsewhere, Sale were downed 12-24 by Harlequins at the Stoop to drop two places to fifth, Bath ensured Gloucester’s nightmarish season continues as they won 16-14 at the Rec and Leicester beat Wasps 27-8 at Welford Road in a game that saw the issuing of three of the weekend’s reds. Worcester’s clash with Newcastle was cancelled.
Ulster maintain pressure on Leinster in Pro14
Ulster’s 19-13 win over Glasgow at the Scotstoun means they continue to trail Leinster on the Conference A standings, with the top two from each conference automatically qualifying for the final. The three-time defending champions’ 35-29 win at Rodney Parade over the Dragons still sees them leading by five-points with four regular-season matches to play.
Munster won 22-10 in Edinburgh, leading Conference B by nine-points, while there were also wins for Scarlets, Ospreys and Connacht.
Clermont continue to threaten after Top 14 thumping of Bayonne
After a haphazard season to date, Clermont recorded a 73-3 trouncing of Bayonne, scoring 10 tries, to win their fourth game of their last six. They may be eight points off leaders La Rochelle, but their surge in form could well put them into serious title contention once the playoffs come round. They also have a game in hand.
In other results, Racing 92 (third) and La Rochelle (first) picked up wins over Castres and Stade Francais respectively while Toulouse dropped one place to second after a narrow loss in Lyon. Hosts Brive beat Bordeaux, Toulon pipped Pau at the Stade de Hameau and a recovering Montpellier continued their fightback with a big result over winless Agen at the Armandie Stadium.
Written by Shaun Goosen.