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Big Chance For Ulster?


Lethal Trimble

By Gary Watton
December 21 2015

While the giants of yesteryear Leinster have been well and truly poleaxed with no wins from four starts, Munster and more particularly Ulster still harbour hopes of qualifying as high-scoring losers for the last eight of the European Champions' Cup.

Ulster appear to have the easier path, albeit they still must pay a visit to high-flying Saracens. However a double header against mediocre Oyonnax may be a source for ten points if they play their cards right. The men from the north certainly piled on the tries and took everyone by surprise when they trounced Stade Toulousain at Ravenhill, before following this win with a narrow conquest on French soil the following Sunday apres-midi. The in-form duo of Andrew Trimble and Luke Marshall both recorded a try during each triumph. Joe Schmidt, please take note!

Munster meanwhile must win a double-header against Stade Francais and accumulate one or two bonus points from their last three skirmishes. Unfortunately for the southern province, they emulated Leinster by succumbing to English opposition both home and away in weekends three and four.

Last and far from least, the surprise package of the PRO12 campaign, Connacht, are holding their own in their Challenge Cup pool. They and Newcastle each defeated one another by almost identical scores on consecutive weekends, with winger Danie Poolman scoring their only try in each contest. The eastern province have a fighting chance of competing in the last eight of the Challenge Cup while still pursuing ambitions of winning the Pro12.

 

EUROPEAN RUGBY CHAMPIONS' CUP

Third weekend:

MUNSTER 19 Leicester 31

MUNSTER try-scorers: Cronin, Sherry

 

Toulonnaise 24 LEINSTER 9 

 

ULSTER 38 Stade Toulousain 0

ULSTER try-scorers: Williams, Trimble, Marshall.L, McCloskey, Henry

 

Fourth weekend:

Leicester 17 MUNSTER 6

MUNSTER trail Leicester by thirteen points, but have one match in hand. They can qualify, but only if they win their three remaining fixtures, which is a tall order.

 

LEINSTER 16 Toulonnaise 20

LEINSTER try-scorer: penalty try

LEINSTER are rock bottom with two points from four outings. They are merely playing for pride now, and attempting somewhat forlornly to enter the Challenge Cup.

 

Stade Toulousain 23 ULSTER 25

ULSTER try-scorers: Pienaar, Trimble, Marshall.L

Second in the table ULSTER have nine points and trail Saracens by ten points. However they have a game in hand and can realistically qualify with about 19 points.

 

EUROPEAN RUGBY CHALLENGE CUP

Third weekend:

CONNACHT 25 Newcastle 10

CONNACHT try-scorer: Poolman

Fourth weekend:

Newcastle 29 CONNACHT 5

CONNACHT try-scorer: Poolman

 

Pool Standings

CONNACHT 13 points, including 1 bonus point from four matches

Newcastle eleven points, including 3 bonus points from four matches

CA Brive eleven points, including 3 bonus points from four matches

Enisei-STM four points from four matches

 

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Big Chance For Ulster?
Ireland (IP Logged)
21/12/2015 12:07
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