AFTER WHAT ESSENTIALLY amounted to a three-week break — a Cheetahs-Kings encounter in South Africa on 2 February the only action in the interim — the Guinness Pro14 returned with a full schedule on what was an off-week at international level.
On Friday night at Musgrave Park, Munster consolidated their lead atop Conference A with a bonus-point win over the Kings, holding the South African side scoreless in what transpired to be a seven-try, 43-point rout.
Ulster were in action the same night, and Dan McFarlane’s men did Connacht as well as themselves a massive favour by grinding out a valuable away win in Bridgend, denying the scoreless Ospreys even a losing bonus point on their own turf.
Connacht themselves moved past the Ospreys in the Conference A standings the following day, a late Jack Carty penalty and an even later Jarrad Butler try seeing them prevail against the Cheetahs at the Sportsground.
Champions Leinster too played on Saturday, and Leo Cullen’s men came out on the right side of a 10-try thriller with Zebre in Italy with Max Deegan dotting down on either side of the interval. The eastern province are now 22 points clear of Edinburgh and Benneton in Conference B.
And if you missed any of the above action, or indeed anything which might have tickled your fancy from the fixtures which didn’t involve one of the four provinces, highlights from each can be found below.
Munster 43-0 Kings
Ospreys 0-8 Ulster
Connacht 25-17 Cheetahs
Bonus highlight: TG4 go behind the scenes for Nigel Owens’ referee meeting with both Connacht and the Cheetahs
Zebre 24-40 Leinster
Edinburgh 34-17 Dragons
Blues 34-38 Glasgow
Benneton 25-19 Scarlets
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Munster pair Farrell and Beirne link up with Ireland squad ahead of Italy trip
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