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Rabo – The Table Doesn’t Lie As Leinster Progress

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First and second placed teams in the final, who’d have thought it? Not that it looked likely for the majority of both semi finals mind you. Still, the results are in and Leinster will welcome Glasgow to the RDS in two weeks for the closing game in this Celtic League chapter before a raft of changes in attitude arrive next season.

Munster. Once again. Not that this match was ever entirely in the palm of their hands, but first blood with a try, which certainly wasn’t part of the script, and then a whole heap of nothing. It wasn’t until their second score nearing the hour mark that they suddenly seemed to realise they maybe still had a chance in this game.

Credit where it’s due, Glasgow ran them ragged and weren’t even performing to full capacity. They are such a lethal team when clicking and are thoroughly deserving of their spot in Europe next season. That said, they allowed themselves be somewhat rattled this weekend and won’t want the same against Leinster in the final. Fixable though, worryingly for Leinster.

Munster, I’ll say one final time, have a mountain to climb. They were hit and miss before Toulon, and now just look completely lost. The passion remains, but the heads are gone. There’s no fear their faithful will waiver, but they are losing the edge they’ve always had over opponents and need to reign it back in ASAP.
Glasgow 16 – 15 Munster

What was it we said last week? Something about Leinster v Ulster always being a hammering or a close knit affair with no shortage of drama/controversy? Well then business as usual this time around so.

With a yellow card for Gordon D’Arcy, a hammer blow for both sides losing Paddy Jackson and Brian O’Driscoll and an evening of highs and lows from the officials, it was a taut affair. The difference? The first score in the final quarter, which of course came from Ian Madigan for Leinster. Aside from it being a superbly well taken try, I’ve rarely seen a team so bolstered by one incident. Unlike Munster, Leinster realised the game was there’s and took control with some superb defensive work to close out proceedings.

On results alone, a poor season for Ulster but across the board it has been comparatively poor for all the provinces. Yet for once it’s true, this has been a year of transition for all. Munster in the post O’Gara era, Leinster bidding farewells and welcoming a new coach, so too Connacht. And Ulster are closing their South African chapter to some degree. Irish hands on the Rabo this year will be more than just consolation, but onwards and upwards is certainly the course of the day for next season.
Leinster 13 – 9 Ulster

Image courtesy of Leinsterrugby.ie

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