Guinness PRO14 Round 9
This weekend’s PRO14 action was somewhat overshadowed in terms of rugby coverage by Ireland’s easy 57-14 win over the USA on Saturday. This was followed by Sunday’s World Rugby awards in Monaco that saw Johnny Sexton crowned ‘World Player of the Year for 2018’ as well as Ireland being awarded the ‘Team of the Year’ gong and Joe Schmidt picking up the ‘Coach of the Year’ award.
Then there was this morning breaking news of Joe Schmidt’s departure after the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year and Andy Farrell being named as his successor. You can check out betting sites for the price of Ireland to win the world cup but its generally around 4/1.
In light of this avalanche of rugby related news, it would be easy to miss news of the Irish provinces in action this weekend. Leinster and Ulster played on Friday night, while Connacht and Munster were away in South Africa and Italy on Sunday afternoon.
Leinster 52 Ospreys 7
Leo Cullen gave Leinster debuts to three academy players during their seven-try rout of the Ospreys on Friday night. Scott Penny started in the back row and got over for a debut day try on 33 mins, while Jimmy O’Brien and Jack Kelly both came off the bench for their first appearances during the second half. Ciarán Frawley was the star of the show as he ran the game from no.10. He kicked a total of 17 points from a first-half penalty as well as converting all 7 tries. 

Scarlets 29 Ulster 12
It was a disappointing night for Ulster in Parc Y Scarlets. The Ulstermen started well and went ahead thanks to an early try from John Cooney’s stand-in at scrum half, David Shanahan, and it  was converted by Billy Burns. However Scarlets then took over proceedings and  tries from Werner Kruger, Kieran Hardy, Kieron Fonotia and Tom Prydie as well as three conversions and a penalty kick from Dan James meant that a late try from Johnny Stewart was a mere conciliation. 

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Southern Kings 14 Connacht 31
First half dominance at the set piece laid a foundation for a rare bonus point away win for the Westerners. Jack Carty got the scoring underway with an early penalty and this was followed shortly after by Cian Kelleher try. Carty delivered a delightful cross field kick to Kelleher who was in acres of space, he gathered and crossed unopposed for the score. Masixole Banda got the home side back into contention as the Kings cut Connacht open with a couple of clever offloads and quick feet from the try scorer. 
Connacht’s dominance at scrum time was rewarded when after a series of scum penalties five yards out Kings prop Lumhumio Mguca was yellow carded, from the reset after another King’s infringement ref George Clancy awarded Connacht a penalty try. Connacht made the most of the numerical advantage as Matt Healy crossed in the corner on the stroke of half time. The heat in Port Elizabeth took its toll in the second half as the tempo dropped. The key moment of the half came when sub Paul Boyle crossed for the bonus point score on the hour mark.

Did Barcelona ace Lionel Messi aim a punch at Liverpool’s Fabinho in Champions League semifinal?
Friday May 03, 2019

Did Barcelona ace Lionel Messi aim a punch at Liverpool’s Fabinho in the Champions League semifinal first leg on Wednesday night? Well, at least 5,000 football fans believe he did according to a petition on Change.org. Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’RGhAgt1MRMhd6izPiq-i9w’,sig:’w06B9H6iv7Pl7zJtqmlkZspRrhwUsB6yIXZqQni-2VY=’,w:’594px’,h:’438px’,items:’1146316541′,caption:... Continue Reading →

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Zebre 7 Munster 32
A Rory Scannell try on 78 mins ensured the bonus point away win for Munster in Parma. A first quarter try from Fineen Wycherly sent Munster on their way. The Bandon youngster powered under the post from close range after fifteen minutes. The lead was doubled on the half hour mark by Kevin O’Byrne. The Hooker received the ball in the left hand channel from Neil Cronin. The home side got one back on the hour mark trough Renato Giammariolli, before two tries in the last ten minutes eared the Munster men the four try bonus. Ronan O’Mahony crossed the white wash on 73mins, before Scannell’s late score ensured the maximum return.

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Other results:
Glasgow 40 Cardiff 15
Cheetahs 31 Treviso 25
Dragons 18 Edinbrugh 12