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Celtic League – Ulster in Pole Position

Celtic League – Ulster in Pole Position

Friday evening’s Celtic League saw all four provinces in action as Ulster
beat Munster, Connacht went down to Borders and Leinster
lost out to Cardiff

Friday evening’s Celtic League saw all four provinces in action as Ulster
beat Munster, Connacht went down to Borders and Leinster
lost out to Cardiff.

Leinster 18-22 Cardiff:

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Leinster suffered another loss at Donnybrook on Friday evening. The home side
began brightly making some clever breaks from the back and Felipe Contepomi
took the first score of the game, when his penalty kick went over after just
three minutes. But Cardiff were not long in exerting their influence and after
19 minutes blood substitution Rob Appleyard went over for the try. Robinson
duly converted to push the Welsh side into a 7-3 lead, and that advantage was
boosted when Robinson touched down in the corner as the break approached.

Leinster, however, failed to lie down and the Blues’ defence could do nothing
to prevent Norton touching down and Contepomi converting to leave Cardiff just
two points to the good at half time. Cardiff’s Quinnell was sin-binned after
the re-start, and Leinster used the advantage well when Brendan Burke touched
down to move them into a 15-12 lead.

And they pushed even further ahead when Brian O’Meara sent over a penalty.
The game looked within Leinster’s grasp, but a Robinson penalty and a Muller
try saw Cardiff move 22-18 in front. The scene was set for an exciting finale,
but will be remembered only for McCullen’s injury, which resulted from a cowardly
punch from substitute Appleyard.

Full Details at: www.leinsterrugby.ie

Ulster 36-13 Munster:

Ulster have returned to the top of the Celtic League table after a 36-13 victory
over Munster. Four second-half tries ensured the win, as Munster failed to prevent
the Northern charge.

The first half was a quiet affair with the sides exchanging penalties, and
Ulster led 9-6 heading to the dressing rooms. But the second half action was
to prove much more dramatic. A Larking penalty pushed Ulster into a five-point
lead from which they never looked back. Two Ulster tries in two minutes signalled
the death knell for the Munster men. The first came courtesy of Paddy Wallace
who touched down after some good passing from Steinmetz and Stewart. Moments
later replacement hooker Sexton went over and the bonus point was secured since
minutes from time when a Munster tack was overturned resulting in a Scott Young

Although Munster replacement Frank Murphy did cross the line after 79 minutes,
the damage had already been done and Ulster continue their quest for Celtic
League honours.

Full Details at: www.ulsterrugby.ie
& www.munsterrugby.ie

Border 40-29 Connacht:

Connacht suffered a 40-29 defeat at the hands of the Borders after an exciting
game that could have went either way at Netherdale. The Borders got off to a
dream start and had clocked up 13 points after just 13 minutes, but then Connacht
decided to get motoring.

Despite suffering from a classy Borders’ try in the second minute, Connacht
regained their composure and a Conor McPhilips try combined with a Mark McHugh
penalty and conversion left the Irish province trailing by just three points
as the scoreline read 16-13 at half time. After the break, Connacht continued
to press forward and a pair of McHugh penalties as well a drive-over try courtesy
of Peter Bracken put them into the lead for the first time.

But the Westerners certainly weren’t prepared for the opposition’s thundering
response. Three tries through MacLeod, Stuart and Vili as well as two conversions
and a last-gasp penalty ensured the win for the Borders.

Full Details at: www.connachtrugby.ie