With just one round of Celtic League pool games to be played, only Connacht and Munster are through to the quarter-finals, while Llanelli could deny Ulster a play-off spot.
Pontypridd brought Connacht’s unbeaten run to an end in no uncertain fashion with a 40 point drubbing in the Sportsground that leaves Steph Nel’s side in serious danger of having to take to the road in the quarter finals. Their last game in Pool B is away to a Glasgow side that need to win to earn the chance of a home quarter final. That result in Galway, coupled with Cardiff’s win at home to Bridgend, means that Leinster fail to make the cut, despite their return to winning ways on Friday when they again defeated Newport, this time by 42-14. The disappointment of surrendering their title will be eased by the fact that their impressive performance comes in good time, just a week before they open their Heineken cup campaign.
Even though they’ve beaten Neath and Munster, Ulster find themselves pitched into a winner take all type scenario when they host Llanelli in three weeks time. The outright winner of this clash goes through to the quarters although a draw will do Ulster. With home advantage. Ulster must be favourites to see off the Scarlets. Munster’s four try (bonus point) win over Neath at The Gnoll leaves them a point behind Edinburgh with the final game for Jim Williams’ side against Caerphilly while Edinburgh are home to Neath. A first or second place beckons for Munster and a home quarter-final against perhaps Connacht.