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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Glasgow Warriors upset Munster then Leinster edge Ulster in tense PRO12 Semis

Glasgow Warriors and Leinster will meet in the RaboDirect PRO12 final on 31 May after victories over Munster and Ulster respectively. It was Semi Final weekend in the Premiership and Top 14 too, so we have highlights and a wrap of both games here. 

The PRO12 Final will be held in Dublin, at the RDS, for the third consecutive year as Leinster finished the season top of the table on 82 points, three ahead of the Warriors on 79.

It was the Scottish side that reached the final first, upsetting Munster 16-15 in a historic clash at Scotstoun on Friday night. They did so without star players Stuart Hogg and Duncan Weir.

Coach Gregor Townsend praised the discipline of his side after the famous win in front of 10 000 fans. "That is the proudest moment of my coaching career, without a doubt. To be involved in a game like that, when the players put everything into it but also show skill and talent, is fantastic.

"When our lead was cut to just a point, we could easily have given away a penalty just for going offside and cost us the match. But the effort in defence to keep them out was superb," he added.

On Saturday night Leinster had to dig deep to overcome an inspired Ulster outfit who were in search of a title to send off retiring Johan Muller and Paddy Wallace, as well as Tom Court and John Afoa, who are also leaving Ravenhill.

It was a low scoring, tense battle with the only try of the match being scored in the 72nd minute. It proved to be the decisive blow as replacement Ian Madigan went over to give the hosts the lead.

"We gave ourselves a mountain to climb I suppose, I think it was 9-0 at one stage and that's never easy, especially against a team like Ulster," said Jamie Heaslip. "We crept out the win in the end."

Highlights of Leinster vs Ulster (page two)

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Posted by Rugbydump at 2:58 pm | View Comments (12)

Viewing 12 comments

alasdairduncan3 May 18, 2014 4:23 pm

Both games so close! The final will be very interesting!

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Facepalm May 18, 2014 5:25 pm

In the build up to Munster's first try could Keith Earls' actions not be considered obstruction in its most extreme? I haven't seen the game but it seems like he's taken out the Glasgow player and left the rest of the team to defend their try line with 14 men instead of 15 men. Surely if there's the slightest possibility the try would have been stopped by that player the try can not be awarded.

I doubt that was Earls' intention, it seems as though he's just wound up by something. But nevertheless the consequence is Glasgow are down to 14 men in a perilous situation. Obviously with less players there's more space for the attacking team to exploit. It would be interesting to know if there's a specific ruling against this.

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TotesMcGoates May 19, 2014 4:58 am

I disagree. The scuffle was over by the time the forwards powered it over the line; there's no reasonable way to conclude that Dunbar as an outside back would have prevented it. Anyone one who's watched any NRL this season will be aware of how detrimental over zealous obstruction rulings can be to a game.

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Facepalm May 19, 2014 1:14 pm

You're probably right. I've only seen the highlights so it's pure speculation.

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Jamie Pugh May 18, 2014 7:29 pm

Completely agree Facepalm.

The TMO looked at it and deduced nothing had happened. Alex Dunbar is held for ten seconds at least off the ball, then Earls gets up and (for lack of a better word) attacks him. The crowd was incensed.

Munsters second try also saw a Munster player holding two Glasgow defenders into the previous ruck. You'll see it in the highlight from behind the try line.

Fair play to Munster for getting away with it, but Nigel Owens would have stamped it out immediately. Last Glasgow v Munster game he refereed was a strong win for Glasgow as he cuts out all the gamesmanship. Munster are the masters of niggle, and slowing the ball down. He doesn't allow it. This allows Glasgow to attack in their standard fast paced manner.

Big games need big officials.

The referee was way out of his depth for such a fixture. I'm not normally one to criticise refs, but he bottled most of the big decisions.. to be fair, his assistants were possibly poorer (so he had little help).

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DanKnapp May 18, 2014 7:40 pm

Re: second video

And THAT is what the medical team should do when they suspect a concussion. O'Driscoll wanted to play on, they thought he was concussed, and took him off. Well played.

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Mastersa May 18, 2014 8:06 pm

Followed soon after by McFadden and Cronin with concussion also. Leinster were running out of subs but did the right thing.

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Mastersa May 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Two of the better running sides in the final. Should be good. Glasgow in form, Leinster at home with big names last game. Looking forward to it.

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Blair8 May 19, 2014 4:48 pm

How exactly was the Glasgow result an upset? Glasgow have won more games than anyone in the Rabo this year. Including a win 3 weeks ago at Munster. Glasgow are playin the best they ever have and Munster are not the force they were a few years ago.....if Munster had won then I would have called it an upset!

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nzbougnat May 19, 2014 6:58 pm

Fair comment. Funny how the underdog status sticks to Scottish teams.

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SB May 20, 2014 10:52 am

Yep that's exactly what I thought Blair. You would think Glasgow have gotten ridiculously lucky 20 out of 23 times they've played this season in the PRO12 with their losses absolutely justified, not even close and completely telling of the terrible quality of the Glasgow side.

Everybody does it - until a Scottish sides win some silverware everybody will just ignore us. Even with three PRO12 semi finals reached now in a row and most games won this year.

I'm okay with that, in a way. The final is a time to prove we can win tournaments, not just produce good games and the occasional (read frequent as far as club rugby goes) "upset".

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WelshOsprey May 20, 2014 12:59 pm

Not really an upset, glasgow have been great all season. Probably the most consistent team in the rabo for sure.

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