Three rounds into the United Rugby Championship and Munster, Ulster and Leinster find themselves at the summit of the table having won all their games so far.
The Irish provinces have remained as the teams to beat in the URC following the introduction of the four South African sides, although Connacht are lagging behind their local rivals.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell will be happy for the most part with what he’s seen so far, as Munster, Leinster and Ulster claimed three comfortable victories this weekend.
There were plenty of impressive performances from those plying their trades with one of the Irish provinces, with some in particular peeping their heads above the parapet.
Munster youngsters upset experienced Scarlets side.
Munster put in the best performance of the four Irish provinces at the weekend, as a young and inexperienced side hammered a Scarlets team packed full of Wales internationals, as well as three British and Irish Lions.
South African flanker Chris Cloete was the deserved man of the match from Munster’s win against Scarlets, as he proved himself to be a constant nuisance for the Welsh side with three turnovers, as well a s try to cap it off.
Cloete certainly wasn’t the only Munster player to impress as centre Liam Coombes ran in two tries, Calvin Nash created one and scored one of his own, while Ben Healy made a couple of lovely long passes which opened up the Scarlets’ defence.
Jack O’Donoghue also showed great power and skill in setting up Coombes’ second try, charging through a gap in the Scarlets’ defence before putting in a deft little grubber kick which the Munster centre got on the end of.
The bonus point try and a brace for @nathan_doak on Friday night 👏👏
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) October 12, 2021
Ulster and Leinster earn solid wins, while Connacht stutter.
For Ulster, Nathan Doak was the man of the moment, as the 19-year-old put in a sensational performance at scrum-half, scoring two tries in the process.
Will Addison looked good at full back in a welcome sign for both Ireland and Ulster having recovered from serious back and calf problems recently. Nick Timoney meanwhile put in a massive performance in defence.
Leinster may not have had the biggest challenge against Zebre, but Adam Byrne impressed in his first game back from injury with two tries in a busy afternoon for the Kildare man.
Ryan Baird continued to show why he is one of Irish rugby’s brightest prospects, and while Connacht didn’t have the best of days, Ultan Dillane did well against the Dragons on a disappointing day in Galway.
Check out the Irish provinces’ URC team of round three below.
15. Will Addison (Ulster)
14. Calvin Nash (Munster)
13. Liam Coombes (Munster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (Leinster)
11. Adam Byrne (Leinster)
10. Ben Healy (Munster)
9. Nathan Doak (Ulster)
8. Nick Timoney (Ulster)
7. Chris Cloete (Munster)
6. Jack O’Donoghue (Munster)
5. Ultan Dillane (Connacht)
4. Ryan Baird (Leinster)
3. Tom O’Toole (Ulster)
2. Rob Herring (Ulster)
1. Jeremy Loughman (Munster)