Stephen Ferris has defended the Guinness Pro14 after both Leinster and Ulster claimed victories against English opposition in the latest round of European rugby.
The Pro14 came under criticism last weekend after just two of the league’s 10 sides involved in both the Heineken Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup won their fixtures.
Only Ulster and Benetton won their Challenge Cup matches (Leinster were given a bye against Toulon in the Champions Cup) while all other Pro14 teams failed to progress in either European competition.
What a performance from the lads 😍🔥
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) April 11, 2021
The picture is looking more positive for the Pro14 after the latest round of European action however, after Leinster’s away win against Exeter Chiefs and Ulster’s win against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.
Leinster and Ulster claim victories against English opposition.
Former Ulster player Stephen Ferris was quick to point out the Irish provinces’ victories on Twitter, while hitting out at those who criticised the quality of the Pro14 in recent times.
“Hope all the the Pro14 bashers watched the demolition of the Premiership Champions… Another Pro14 team [Ulster] gives a Premiership team a lesson away from home,” Ferris wrote.
Hope all the the Pro14 bashers watched the demolition of the Prem Champions…
— Stephen Ferris (@StephenFerris6) April 10, 2021
Exeter’s loss to Leinster and Sale Sharks’ defeat to La Rochelle means that there are no teams from the Gallagher Premiership involved in the semi-final of the Champions Cup.
There are two English sides involved in the last four of the Challenge Cup after Bath and Leicester Tigers’ victories in the quarter-finals, but overall it has been a disappointing showing from the Premiership teams in Europe.
Both Leinster and Ulster will have to travel again for the next round of European rugby, but the provinces can take confidence from their impressive away victories in the quarter-finals.