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Connacht Joy; Leinster Shambles; Ulster Unlucky

By Gary Watton
January 25 2016

Apologies to Munster for not mentioning you in the headline, but their campaign for European glory has been fairly nondescript and ultimately disappointing. The great province from the south finished with two comfortable wins, but had to make do with a third position in their pool. The fallen giants of Leinster couldn't even reach the lofty height of third. They were absolutely pummelled by the stinging Wasps of London. Regrettably, the English (and French) have lorded it over the Oirish in this season's Champions Cup, but that's sport for you. Domination and doldrums come in cycles for most teams and competitors.

The third team in the triumvirate of Irish European Champions Cup competitors, Ulster, were unluckily nudged out of a place in the last eight when other results refused to go in their favour on the final weekend. Mind you, the northerners only have themselves to blame after a shocking first half at Oyonnax when their complacency was their undoing and they fielded an under-strength team, only to summon their big guns at the interval to rescue a win but failing to record that crucial bonus point fourth try. Such are the fine margins in professional sport.

There was happily no such hard luck story for Connacht. They have reinforced their fine run in the Pro12 with a table-topping finish in their Challenge Cup commitments. The eastern province now go boldly forth to the quarter finals where they have earned themselves a trip to FC Grenoble on Saturday the ninth of April. Connacht are dark horses for European silverware. Good luck to them. They are now the only Irish team still flying the flag in European rugby this forthcoming spring.



Rearranged fixtures:

Oyonnax Rugby 23 ULSTER 24

ULSTER try-scorers: Scholes, Gilroy, McCall


Stade Francais 27 MUNSTER 7

MUNSTER try-scorer: Murray


Fifth weekend:

LEINSTER 25 Bath 11

LEINSTER try-scorer: Cronin 


MUNSTER 26 Stade Francais 13

MUNSTER try-scorers: Sherry, Earls, Zebo, Stander


Saracens 33 ULSTER 17 

ULSTER try-scorers: Marshall.L, Humphreys


Final weekend:

Benetton Treviso 5 MUNSTER 28

MUNSTER try-scorers: O'Mahony (2), Saili, Murray



ULSTER 56 Oyonnax Rugby 3

ULSTER try-scorers: Herring, Cave, Scholes, Reidy, Gilroy, Diack, Humphreys, Payne



Wasps 51 LEINSTER 10

LEINSTER try-scorers: Kirchner, Reddan




Fifth weekend:

CA Brive 21 CONNACHT 18

CONNACHT try-scorers: Parata, Muldoon (2)

Final weekend:

CONNACHT 47 Enisei-STM 5

CONNACHT try-scorers: O'Halloran, Healy (2), Buckley, Poolman, Henshaw, McCartney, Blade


Final Pool Standings

CONNACHT nineteen points, including three bonus points

Newcastle sixteen points, including four bonus points

CA Brive sixteen points, including four bonus points

Enisei-STM eight points

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Connacht Joy; Leinster Shambles; Ulster Unlucky
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25/01/2016 14:04
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