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URC Round 15

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geoff999rugby
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Post by neilthom7 Tue 23 Apr 2024 - 19:59

Top 4 look to be into the play offs but huge competition underneath them and some vital games this weekend.

Friday 26th April 2024

Scarlets v Hollywoodbets Sharks
Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Live on: BBC Wales, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Ulster v Benetton
Kingspan Stadium, Belfast – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA & SA
Live on: BBC NI, RTÉ, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv


Saturday 27th April 2024

Zebre Parma v Glasgow Warriors
Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA & SA
Live on: Sky Italia, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Vodacom Bulls v Ospreys
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – KO 14.00 IRE & UK / 15.00 ITA & SA
Live on: SuperSport, S4C, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Cardiff Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby
Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff – KO 15.05 IRE & UK / 16.05 ITA & SA
Live on: Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Emirates Lions v Munster
Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg – KO 16.00 IRE & UK / 17.00 ITA & SA
Live on: SuperSport, TG4, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

DHL Stormers v Leinster
DHL Stadium, Cape Town – KO 18.05 IRE & UK / 19.05 ITA & SA
Live on: SuperSport, TG4, Premier Sports, Flo Rugby & URC.tv

Dragons RFC v Connacht
Rodney Parade, Newport – KO 20.00 IRE & UK / 21.00 ITA & SA
Live on: S4C, RTÉ, Premier Sports, SuperSport, , Flo Rugby & URC.tv

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 9:06

Glasgow will probably go top of the league.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 9:30

Some massive games this weekend, my predictions below:-

Scarlets vs Sharks - Scarlets are just so bad at the minute. Sharks cant string phases together. Still think though Sharks probably will win this. Sharks by 5.
Ulster vs Benetton - 1st of the big games this weekend. Ulster need to win. Benetton sort of do as well. Ulster were poor last weekend. They simply have to be better as I would imagine Benetton will come fully loaded as well. Think Benetton will win this by 7
Zebre vs Glasgow - Glasgow all day. By 20 with BP
Bulls vs Ospreys - Bulls need a response from last weekend. I keep writing the Ospreys off on my predictions and they keep tripping me up. Ospreys will give them a game but Bulls should be better this weekend. Bulls by 10
Cardiff vs Edinburgh - Cardiff I think looked good with ball in hand at Ulster. Its a big home game for them as players are retiring/leaving and their last home game. Edinburgh need at least 2 win and this is a must win for them. Will go against the grain though and say Cardiff to sneak it by 3
Lions vs Munster - Munster are playing really well. But home advantage with the Lions edges it for me. Lions by 5.
Stormers vs Leinster - God knows what to expect on this one. Would have thought Stormers would win this with Leinster sending a weaker team. They were bad last weekend though. Dobson simply has to get a response thought. Stormers by 1. To close to call.
Dragons vs Connacht - Must win game for Connacht. They have a terrible last 3 fixtures so need this one for sure and probably 1 of the remaining 3 as well. No idea what we will get from the Dragons. They might have gone on holiday already. Probably will end up Connacht by 3.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 13:42

Bulls vs Ospreys will be interesting, but you'd expect Bulls to be more accurate this week and throw the kitchen sink at it and if they do it could get ugly. I also think Ospreys have too many players out, and the ones missing are key players.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 13:56

Mikey do we have any chance this weekend against Connacht?

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 14:02

Welshmushroom wrote:Mikey do we have any chance this weekend against Connacht?  

Dragons by 6.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 14:05

Always the eternal optimist.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 18:04

I will await the teams, but there was a good opinion piece on Dragons in the SWA again. They don't really have an excuse over the next two games, despite playing two teams higher up in the league. Not many teams should leave RP with wins, if we are to consider ourselves to have something to be positive over next season.

Especially when Dragons are asking people to part with ST money already, with no news on signings/coaches etc.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 24 Apr 2024 - 19:33

Welshmushroom wrote:Mikey do we have any chance this weekend against Connacht?  
Connacht have put in some truly shambolic performances this season, so I'd say you have every chance.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 25 Apr 2024 - 7:47

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:Mikey do we have any chance this weekend against Connacht?  
Connacht have put in some truly shambolic performances this season, so I'd say you have every chance.

Strange. They were good in the URC at the start of the season.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 25 Apr 2024 - 15:41

I would only put Connacht above Scarlets, Dragons and Zebre since the new year - they have been pretty awful

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Post by neilthom7 Thu 25 Apr 2024 - 20:32

Ulster: Lowry; Baloucoune, Addision, McCloskey, Stockdale; Burns, Cooney; O'Sullivan, Stewart, Wilson; Sheridan, O'Connor (capt); Ewers, Crothers, McCann.

Replacements: Andrew, Warwick, French, Izuchukwu, Jones, Shanahan, Marshall, McIlroy.

Benetton: Umaga; Marin, Menoncello, Zanon, Smith; Albornoz, Uren; Gallo, Nicotera, Ferrari; Scrafton, Iachizzi; Izekor, Lamaro (capt), L Cannone.

Replacements: Lucchesi, Nemer, Pasquali, N Cannone, Favretto, Halafihi, Garbisi, Drago.

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Post by Kingshu Thu 25 Apr 2024 - 21:29

RiscaGame wrote:I will await the teams, but there was a good opinion piece on Dragons in the SWA again. They don't really have an excuse over the next two games, despite playing two teams higher up in the league. Not many teams should leave RP with wins, if we are to consider ourselves to have something to be positive over next season.

Especially when Dragons are asking people to part with ST money already, with no news on signings/coaches etc.

Start of every season I say Dragons aim for the season is to win more home games make RP a very difficult place to visit. Its surprises me just how many fans Dragons get in, Imagine if they had won what Leinster has or as competitive as Leinster what crowds they would get. Definitely get my fans of the season every year. Have had more home wins this season but have been against the regions and Zebre, though I'm sure the fans enjoyed the Derby wins they deserve more, have a good chance against Connacht, would love to see them beat Stormers in last home game ad have some optimism that next season they will make RP maybe not a fortress but at least a motte and Bailey for visiting teams.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 25 Apr 2024 - 22:26

Apparently we are close to naming an overseas defence coach, which to be honest should make us a bit more organised hopefully.

I really thought we would pick up one or two more wins at home, despite the obvious gaps. Losing to Cardiff at home is the one I am really annoyed by. I suppose with how Ospreys are now though, you can balance it that we were a bit fortunate to beat them in a sense. Edinburgh at home stung a bit too ha.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 9:35

Scarlets vs Sharks - Scarlets by 3 points, home advantage barely managing to sway the game.
Ulster vs Benetton - Ulster rebound at home, but a close game, 2 point win. If it had been on the road Benetton by 10.
Zebre vs Glasgow - Glasgow win on the road, could get messy, a road victory.
Bulls vs Ospreys - Sorry Ospreys, but Bulls respond to last weeks humiliation. Bulls by 20-25
Cardiff vs Edinburgh - Can both Scots win on the road in the same round?....... potentially no, if Cardiff get this it's by less than 5
Lions vs Munster - Lions by 7-10.
Stormers vs Leinster - Stormers by +20, and hopefully the message to Leo that he can't send the kids to SA anymore..... though he builds up enough of a margin in the league it means he still can.... not good for the game, other teams need to be closer or ahead of leinster prior to 2wk SA trip to put the pressure on the perennial front runners.
Dragons vs Connacht - Only positive for Connacht is they are away to Dragons, they mess up the bed so to speak and put themselves in a writeoff of a season. A draw.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 9:57

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Scarlets vs Sharks - Scarlets by 3 points, home advantage barely managing to sway the game.
Ulster vs Benetton - Ulster rebound at home, but a close game, 2 point win. If it had been on the road Benetton by 10.
Zebre vs Glasgow - Glasgow win on the road, could get messy, a road victory.
Bulls vs Ospreys - Sorry Ospreys, but Bulls respond to last weeks humiliation. Bulls by 20-25
Cardiff vs Edinburgh - Can both Scots win on the road in the same round?....... potentially no, if Cardiff get this it's by less than 5
Lions vs Munster - Lions by 7-10.
Stormers vs Leinster - Stormers by +20, and hopefully the message to Leo that he can't send the kids to SA anymore..... though he builds up enough of a margin in the league it means he still can.... not good for the game, other teams need to be closer or ahead of leinster prior to 2wk SA trip to put the pressure on the perennial front runners.
Dragons vs Connacht - Only positive for Connacht is they are away to Dragons, they mess up the bed so to speak and put themselves in a writeoff of a season. A draw.
Leinster had a decent side out last week and plenty of Leinster fans had us down for a win, after the teams were named. You have to just give credit to the lions who have been very good this season.

You can't play your best team every week when competing on two fronts (not to mention the international games too). The simple fact is that the standard of the league has risen and continues to rise, so these results are simply going to happen from time to time. South Africa is a very difficult place to go, without even going into the whole playing in altitude thing.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 10:47

I wouldn't pen Scarlets down as winning, they look more hopeless than Dragons and Connacht. They were fortunate to actually score against Edinburgh, in the second half normal service resumed. Sharks have also brought their big guns, and I know their form isn't great but they have enough up front to steamroll Scarlets.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 15:27

Dragons: Jordan Williams; Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes (captain), Aneurin Owen, Ewan Rosser; Cai Evans, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Chris Coleman, Ben Carter, Matthew Screech, Harri Keddie, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: James Benjamin, Rodrigo Martinez, Luke Yendle, George Nott, Sean Lonsdale, Che Hope, Will Reed, Joe Westwood.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Shane Jennings, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, John Porch; JJ Hanrahan, Matthew Devine; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Joe Joyce, Gavin Thornbury, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Conor Oliver, Cian Prendergast.

Replacements: Dylan Tierney-Martin, Peter Dooley, Sam Illo, Oisín Dowling, Jarrad Butler, Caolin Blade, Cathal Forde, Paul Boyle.

Referee: Federico Vedovelli (Italy).

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 15:31

Well again there are bits of the Dragons team I like and bits I don’t.

Jordan Williams, Steff Hughes and Coleman not

Backrow good.

Dai going against his play youngsters chat a bit by moving Evans to ten too and not playing the likes of Westwood. Plus the likes of Benjamin still featuring. Good to see Che Hope involved, to give him a tune up before the big Gwent Derby semi final next week Wink

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 19:49

Benetton started with a bang and almost scored a second. Stockdale really does look like he's lost that pace he had a couple of years ago....touch faster and he might have scored to level it.....but Benetton went the other way and almost scored. They look dangerous already tonight.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 19:52

Both sides really look like they are going for this....I think both teams know they need to win this one....

Ulster score - nice link play.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 19:53

Fans also look like they are well behind Ulster tonight - they will need them. This has the making of a cracking game...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 19:58

Ulster playing in the wrong areas here....they have to be careful because Benetton look dangerous ball in hand....

Playing in their own have results in a scrum penalty. Benetton go to corner. Big defence required by ulster now

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 19:59

good tackle into touch. that was close. Ulster need to learn and get some territory before going through phases. Playing in your own 22 is not smart given the importance of this one.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:02

Ulster have to be careful they are rolling past tackles here and lying on the wrong side. Refs not pinged them for it on 2 rucks but then he does give one for a different offence at ruck.

Benetton back in front after taking the 3.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:07

Ulster get done for offside....to be fair this ref has picked it up early. Dont think it will work for them the same way as it did last week.

Lowry looks good again tonight. Ulster seriously need to stop giving soft penalties away.

Ulster penalty so they can get some field position and play a bit.....feels like this first period has mostly been Benetton

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:09

Got to say Menacello looks like one of the best centres in europe at the minute.....

You would think Benetton will struggle to keep hold of him long term because French giants must be looking at him...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:11

Good try for Ulster there. nice forward play keeping it tight.....just what they needed to do.

Cooney was smart to play it back instead of trying to reach for the line. Setup the first try as well with a lovely offload. Life in the old dog yet. He's having a very good game today.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:17

Another try Ulster. Cooney again creates short side. Stockdale finishes but he looks so slow they almost caught him....

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:18

Well a lot better half from Ulster. We do need to stop giving the ball away.
But so far a decent game

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:24

Healthy lead for them though and Ulster won't care how they win this - Ulster 21 - Benetton 8. Probably a touch lucky given some of the Benetton chances but they have taken their chances which is all you can ask for as a Ulster fan.

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:25

Stockdale is slower than he was, but ankle and hamstring injuries will do that. But he is showing glimpses of what he still can do

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:29

To be honest I think they might need to move in into outside centre in the long run. Not having pace in the wide channel could become a defensive weakness for them.

Sharks meanwhile ahead of Scarlets at half time. Cant say im surprised by that...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:36

benetton hit back.... silly play gifted them there

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Post by carpet baboon Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:40

All is forgiven Will. Nicely work score

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:41

Nice try by Ulster there....and a BP as well...could be crucial that with the last few rounds to go.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:42

Cooney has his kicking boots on tonight....best player on the park so far....

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:45

Some of these penalties are senseless.....Benetton with a platform here....they have a good lead but im not sure this game is over yet

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:47

They score......if they actually kicked their goals they would be a lot closer than they are........Ulster dont want to give them 2 bonus points so the way they close this out is important.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:50

Elsewhere Kok scores to give Sharks the lead again against the Scarlets....fair play to scarlets for keeping this a game though...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:54

Benetton scrum penalty should give them field position but he miskicked it and its not to far in the Ulster half.

Another bunch of crazy bit of play - benetton score.....thats a BP for them........and should be a 1 point game......

Ulster are their own worst enemies here....

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:55

Great game to watch as a neutral though.....

Now Ulster have a platform - its proper see saw this one...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:57

Ulster try - they needed that one......

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 20:58

not sure if tmo will pick it up doesnt look like it but that was a McCluskey neck roll there.....got lucky but they needed that one for sure....

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 21:04

Finally a good call to go for 3 - could make a real difference to deny them 2 BPS which would be big for the run in.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 21:11

wow that was close one - keeps benetton out......

big scrum this though...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 21:16

ulster switch off for a second and thats 2 bp for benetton.

Thats massive for them.....

Ulster will be annoyed by that.....

But I really enjoyed that game....had a lot of drama in it

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 21:47

Welshmushroom wrote:Some massive games this weekend, my predictions below:-

Scarlets vs Sharks  - Scarlets are just so bad at the minute. Sharks cant string phases together.  Still think though Sharks probably will win this.  Sharks by 5.
Ulster vs Benetton -  1st of the big games this weekend.  Ulster need to win.  Benetton sort of do as well.  Ulster were poor last weekend.  They simply have to be better as I would imagine Benetton will come fully loaded as well.  Think Benetton will win this by 7
Zebre vs Glasgow - Glasgow all day.  By 20 with BP
Bulls vs Ospreys - Bulls need a response from last weekend.  I keep writing the Ospreys off on my predictions and they keep tripping me up.  Ospreys will give them a game but Bulls should be better this weekend.  Bulls by 10
Cardiff vs Edinburgh - Cardiff I think looked good with ball in hand at Ulster.  Its a big home game for them as players are retiring/leaving and their last home game. Edinburgh need at least 2 win and this is a must win for them.  Will go against the grain though and say Cardiff to sneak it by 3
Lions        vs Munster - Munster are playing really well.  But home advantage with the Lions edges it for me.  Lions by 5.
Stormers vs Leinster - God knows what to expect on this one.  Would have thought Stormers would win this with Leinster sending a weaker team.  They were bad last weekend though.  Dobson simply has to get a response thought.  Stormers by 1.  To close to call.
Dragons vs Connacht - Must win game for Connacht.  They have a terrible last 3 fixtures so need this one for sure and probably 1 of the remaining 3 as well.  No idea what we will get from the Dragons.  They might have gone on holiday already.  Probably will end up Connacht by 3.

Got the Scarlets/Sharks one bang on for a change Smile
Didnt call the Ulster game but I figured this would be close - home fans really did a good job to lift the side. I think Benetton on paper are a better side at the moment but Ulster did show up in spades and did well to win this.

Looking forward to tomorrows games.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 26 Apr 2024 - 22:48

I don’t think Dragons will win now that i’ve seen the teams. I would have kept it more similar to last week’s team.

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Post by Welshmushroom Sat 27 Apr 2024 - 16:06

Edinburgh ahead by a score at halt time against Cardiff.

Terrible team to watch though. No creativity whatsoever in that side.

Ulster/Benetton game was a way better game to watch as a neutral.

Bulls battered Ospreys and Glasgow managed to get the win they needed too.

Think i might switch over and watch Lions vs Munster instead.....

Welshmushroom

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