Leinster and Munster were again victorious in the second round of the Heineken Champions Cup while Ulster and Connacht’s chances of progression have been left hanging by a thread.
Munster were undoubtedly the team of the weekend, pulling off a remarkable comeback against Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin, after conceding four tries in the opening 25 minutes.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) December 21, 2020
That impressive performance has earned the southern province seven spots in the team of the weekend and are now well-placed to make the quarter finals of Europe’s premier competition.
Elsewhere, Leinster put on a good show against Northampton Saints at the RDS Arena, and adjusted well after a couple of late changes to the squad.
Ulster were denied a victory against Gloucester by a last-gasp try and are very unlucky to have lost their first two games after two decent performances.
Connacht meanwhile were left to rue costly mistakes against Bristol and face a near-impossible task to get themselves back in contention for a spot in the last eight.
Below is the Irish Heineken Champions Cup team of the week
15. Mike Haley (Munster)
14. Dave Kearney (Leinster)
13. Gary Ringrose (Leinster)
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)
11. Keith Earls (Munster)
10. JJ Hanrahan (Munster)
9. John Cooney (Ulster)
8. CJ Stander (Munster)
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
6. Josh Murphy (Leinster)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Munster)
4. Ryan Baird (Leinster)
3. Stephen Archer (Munster)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster)
1. Josh Wycherley (Munster)
21-year old Josh Wycherley was absolutely annihilated by Rabah Slimani early on in the game but the young man recovered exceptionally well to win a number of crucial scrum penalties for Munster.
Not sure if it was legal – but my god did it look impressive pic.twitter.com/IFJBDxDEfb
— james___flynn (@jamesfl68585245) December 19, 2020
For Leinster, Ryan Baird won the man of the match award for a busy afternoon at the RDS, making 18 carries in the bonus-point win against Northampton.
John Cooney once again pulled the strings for Ulster but was unable to deliver a win for the northern province in a high-scoring affair at Kingsholm.