The domestic season in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France, and England is almost over – almost. This weekend saw the semi-finals and playoffs take place in the PRO12, Top 14 and Premiership and there was absolutely no shortage of drama as players from all sides did their best to reach their respective final.
The action kicked off on Friday night with the Scarlets visit to Dublin as they faced favourites Leinster for a spot in the PRO12 final. Scarlets were simply electric in the first half as they ripped Leo Cullen’s side to shreds in the opening 40. Then they showed a different side to their game in the second half as they defended with incredible desire to deny Leinster who had the numerical advantage.
Warren Gatland would have been worried about the likes of Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong going off with injury but he will now be able to assess the players himself when the players join up with the Lions squad in Carton House this week.
Exeter Chiefs and Wasps will contest the Premiership final after nail-biting victories over European champions Saracens and Leicester Tigers respectively.
While Toulon progressed past Castres for a place in the Top 14 semi-final.
As a result, Gatland almost has his full complement of Lions to work with but he will be without the following players for one more week.
- Leigh Halfpenny
- Elliot Daly
- Liam Williams
- Jack Nowell
- Jonathan Davies
- Conor Murray
- George North
- Peter O’Mahony
- CJ Stander
- Courtney Lawes
31 out of 41 players is not bad and there is no doubt Gatland will be a keen observer for the finals and playoffs which are set to take place next weekend.