Con retained the All Ireland Cup after defeating UCD 19-6 at Temple Hill on Saturday afternoon. The game was played in poor conditions and probably was a factor in the poorly attended showpiece of the Irish club game but that will not dampen the joy of the players of Cork Constitution. Gerry Hurley landed 14 points from the kicking tee with Man of the Match Dara Lyons, scoring the only try of the final. Comhghairdeas le achan duine a bhaineann le Cork Constitution.
The Italians clipped the Ospreys’ wings in Parma on Thursday night thanks to Guglielmo Palazzini’s last minute try. The win means that Zebre have hopped above rivals Treviso in the race for Champions Cup qualification with only one round left. It would be an amazing achievement for the Parma side considering that they had never won a game before the start of this season. Bravo Zebre!
Conor O Shea’s men produced a stirring comeback against the Exeter Chiefs to keep their hopes alive of the playoffs. Trailing 23-5 early in the second half, the Quins looked dead and buried but tries from Nick Evans, Danny Care and Tom Guest secured the comeback victory. With only one round left Quins trail Bath by only three points in the race for fourth place. Will O’ Shea’s men steal the last playoff spot away from Bath?
Another thumping win for England’s premier club team against bottom of the table Worcester confirmed the Barnet based side’s number one seeding for the playoffs. The Fez Heads scored six tries at Allianz Park as they recorded their seventh straight win in all competitions to set a record number of points accumulated by a team in the Premiership. Can the Saracens win a famous domestic/ European double?
The Brisbane born loosehead prop ended his Ulster career with a dangerous tackle on Leinster lock, Devin Toner after only 17 minutes into the interpro clash on Friday night. The prop may feel aggrieved as there was no intent in the tackle but according to the letter of the law referee, Luke Pearce, had little choice but to send off Court which left Ulster struggling once again. Mór an t-amadán thu, Tom!
Dean Ryan’s men were finally put out of their misery as Saracens walloped the bottom side 44-20 at Allianz Park to confirm the Warriors’ relegation. Worcester’s fate is not surprising as they have only picked up one win this season. Worcester will have to do some serious soul searching if they wish to bounce back up to the Premiership at the first attempt as their efforts this year have been pathetic. Warriors by name, Wimps by nature.
The Catalan giants faced mission impossible as they travelled to take on Clermont Auvergne looking for a win to stave off relegation. Clermont had won 76 games in a row in their Stade Marcel Michelin fortress but Perpignan came and produced arguably their best performance of the season with guts and courage in abundance. However, the Blood and Gold went down 25-22 and coupled with Oyonnax’s losing bonus point at Brive, Perpignan’s fate was sealed. Their flyhalf, Welsh international James Hook, missed a penalty right in front of the sticks which would have given Perpignan a draw which would have seen them survive. Alas, he missed and the French champions of 2010 will be playing second division rugby next season. Au revoir, Perpignan!
The season goes from bad to worse for the men from Brisbane as they were thumped 44-14 by the Auckland Blues at Eden Park. Four consecutive losses have the Reds sitting rock bottom of the Australian conference and thirteenth in the Super Rugby table overall. The Wallabies in the Reds’ squad will be very worried about their Test places for the upcoming series with France and the Rugby Championship, if their form and results do not improve.
Matt Cassidy, Pundit Arena.