Welsh clubs provide a little consolation after Six Nations shock

Welsh clubs provide a little consolation after Six Nations shock

Fightbacks, surprises, disappointments and dramatic finishes marked the past weekend’s PRO14 last-round matches.

The four Welsh clubs brought some joy at club level after their national team’s shock late defeat to France when they allowed in two tries in the last three minutes.

The four Welsh clubs attoned for that shock when all four Welsh teams won in a single round of Guinness PRO14 action for the first time since 2015/16.

▲ The Ospreys and the Scarlets secured third place in Conference A and Conference B respectively after dramatic finishes to their Round 16 fixtures.

Toby Booth’s side recovered from 19-3 down at half-time to defending Guinness PRO14 champions Leinster to produce a fantastic fightback to snatch a 24-19 victory.

The Scarlets went one better as they were involved in an 11-try thriller in their home win over Connacht, crossing six times as they prevailed 41-36 having trailed 33-12 at the break.

Defeats to the Dragons and Cardiff Blues ended the top-three ambitions of Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh, Munster warmed up for Saturday’s final with a home win over Benetton while Ulster thrashed Zebre.

Here, we take a look at five things we learned from the weekend’s action.

Ospreys late show wraps up third

The Ospreys headed to Dublin knowing victory over Leinster would be enough to clinch third in Conference A and secure a place in the Heineken Champions Cup, pending confirmation of the format of next season’s competition.

When the hosts had Andrew Smith sin-binned in the 67th minute, the Ospreys trailed 19-3 and looked like opening the door for Glasgow to move ahead of them in the standings.

However, Booth’s side made the most of their one-man advantage, running in three tries to emerge with a 24-19 lead by the time Smith returned, and they held on for a season-defining victory.

Mixed milestone memories for Evans and Toner

The result made Ospreys captain Dan Evans’ day even more special as he registered his 200th PRO14 appearance.

The former Dragons and Scarlets full-back is only the sixth player to reach that marker.

From PRO14rugby

Leinster’s Devin Toner will have less fond memories of the match in which he equalled the province’s appearance record, pulling level with Gordon D’Arcy on 261.

Double despair for Glasgow

Having seen the door slammed shut on them in their pursuit of third, Glasgow ended the weekend by seeing their advantage over the fifth-placed Dragons wiped out in a 26-17 defeat at the Principality Stadium.

Both sides have one match left to play, with Glasgow hosting Benetton and the Dragons welcoming Edinburgh next weekend.

Although third is out of reach for both, finishing fourth could put one of these sides in the frame should any more Heineken Champions Cup places be on offer.

Rufus shows Dragons McLean pair of heels

Despite his side’s defeat in Cardiff, Glasgow’s Rufus McLean produced a try befitting the surroundings and arguably the score of the weekend.

Beginning his run on his own 22-metre line, McLean darted through a cluster of Dragons bodies and deceived Ashton Hewitt with some neat footwork before evading Jordan Williams’ desperate tackle as he sprinted for the line.

Williams did get a measure of revenge later on, exploiting a gap in the Glasgow defence and flooring McLean with some fancy footwork of his own before touching down.

Stunning Scarlets hit rivals for six

The Scarlets overturned a 21-point half-time deficit to beat Connacht 41-36 in Llanelli to secure Heineken Champions Cup qualification.

Glenn Delaney’s side ran in six tries to end any hope Cardiff and Edinburgh had of snatching third place in Conference B.

While Wales still recovers from the dramatic scenes in Paris on Saturday night, the wins for Scarlets and the Blues meant all four Welsh teams won in a single round of Guinness PRO14 action for the first time since 2015/16.