The clash between Ulster and Munster at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast was touted as the main match-up, but what happened in Dublin proved to be the more seismic event in the competition and in the race for conference honours.


Connacht may have entered the match with a reputation as a team that has troubled them over the years, but few would have predicted a win, especially since Leinster have not lost to a fellow Irish province at home in more than six years and neither have they gone down in a Guinness PRO14 game since April 2019. In fact, they went into the match on a 26-match winning sequence.

It was not only the win that proved significant for Connacht, but also the manner in which they won.

Leinster never got into the game and had to rely on a late converted try to earn some degree of respect on the scoreboard.

Unfortunately for Leinster they lost kingpin Johnny Sexton (flyhalf) during the game and they had debutants from the Leinster Academy at wing and fullback, but they still fielded a team boasting great experience.

They were hit hard from the kick-off and shocked into playing most of the first half on the back foot, which reflected in Connacht’s commanding 25-5 halftime advantage.

Flyhalf Jack Carty scored a brace of tries in the first 40 minutes and his personal tally of 25 points earned him the man of the match award.

The two tries that Leinster scored in the second half weren’t enough to get them a bonus point, and they now trail Ulster by 10 points on the Conference A log.

Ulster, meanwhile, might regret not kicking on sufficiently from their 15-3 halftime lead over an understrength Munster side.

Munster fought back in the second half for an important bonus point, but Ulster looked set to get a try-scoring bonus point of their own at the halfway mark of the game.

Even though Leinster have two games in hand, Ulster will feel that their status as the only unbeaten team in the competition – something both Leinster and Munster relinquished at the weekend – and their status as conference leaders is something to feel satisfied about.

Similarly, to Connacht, Ulster started their match as though they had a train to catch and never allowed Munster into the game in the first half as they scored two tries in the first 16 minutes to take a handy lead.

They never relinquished the lead despite the Munster's gritty second half fightback that had them defending desperately at times.

This setback for Munster combined with Connacht’s win in Dublin means their lead at the top of Conference B over Connacht has been cut to eight points after eight games.

The clash between Edinburgh and the Glasgow Warriors did not have much significance in the race for top honours in either conference, but the 1872 Cup rivalry between the two Scottish teams always tends to produce tightly contested matches, and the latest instalment was no different.

The first points were recorded in the second half in a game dominated by solid defensive systems, with South African-born flyhalf Jaco van der Walt kicking a penalty goal before Edinburgh edged further ahead with a try.

Glasgow bounced back with a try of their own, but it wasn’t enough, as Edinburgh earned their second win at Murrayfield since last February.

Guinness PRO14 results:

Scarlets 20-3 Dragons (Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli)

Cardiff Blues 3-17 Ospreys (Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff)

Benetton 15-24 Zebre (Stadio Monigo, Treviso)

Edinburgh 10-7 Glasgow Warriors (BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh)

Ulster 15-10 Munster (Kingspan Stadium, Belfast)

Leinster 24-35 Connacht (RDS Arena, Dublin)