Leinster continue to lead URC as Osprey grab late winner

Feb 20, 2024 08:00 By Dave Hooper
Leinster continue to lead URC as Osprey grab late winner
Share this article

Edwards the Ospreys hero

Ospreys coach Toby Booth paid a glowing tribute to match-winning “quarterback” Dan Edwards following the dramatic 19-17 victory over Ulster in Swansea.

Fly-half Edwards landed an 80th minute, 30-metre drop goal to snatch victory and was then engulfed by his delirious team-mates.

“The good thing about that whole episode really was the fact that Dan initiated the whole thing” revealed Booth.


“We obviously have a drop goal routine for exactly those moments. But its one thing having it, it’s another thing doing it”. “He is developing into a fine player” Booth added.

Trailing 7-6 at half-time; the Ospreys had forwards Morgan Morse and James Ratti yellow carded in the third-quarter and were down to 13-men at one stage.

They still managed to take the lead through a thrilling breakaway try from centre Keiran Williams.


Ulster went back in front four minutes from time thanks to a long-range penalty from fly-half Jake Flannery. But then came the dramatic conclusion and Edwards’ decisive drop goal.

That’s now five wins on the trot in all competitions for the Ospreys who are up to seventh in the BKT URC table.

Special occasion at Arms Park


Connacht coach Pete Wilkins hailed the best atmosphere he ever experienced at the Arms Park following his team’s hard fought 16-12 victory over Cardiff.

It was an emotional occasion at the famous old ground amid a moving pre-match tribute to Wales and Lions legend Barry John who passed away at the age of 79 earlier this month.

The packed crowd saw Cardiff overcome a 14th minute red card to centre Rey Lee Lo and a subsequent yellow for No.8 Lopeti Timani to lead going into the final-quarter. Thanks to tries from Ben Thomas and Timani, with player-of-the-match Thomas Young delivering an inspired display at openside flanker.


But Connacht’s mounting pressure finally told. Replacement prop Peter Dooley claiming what proved to be the decisive converted score. Connacht’s first win at the Arms Park since February 2017.

“You often have a minute’s silence or a minute’s applause. It’s the nature of life unfortunately” said Wilkins. “But knowing the significance of Barry John in this part of the world and the respect for him, we knew it would be huge.

“Often you see the response not just from the team you are playing against, but the whole feel of the place and it was definitely like that”.


“I’ve never seen it as full as this here and the atmosphere was just terrific” added Wilkins. “They are the sort of environments you get excited about competing in”.

“It’s obviously tough when you are up against it, but it’s a brilliant advert for rugby and for Cardiff as a club”.

“You had a really passionate home crowd on a massive occasion for this club which we have so much respect for. It’s the best atmosphere I have ever experienced here at the Arms Park. It was tremendous”.

“So I was delighted to win it. In seven years with Connacht, I have never won here. It’s a tough place to come and play.”

Cardiff have now picked-up eight bonus points this season, the joint most in the league along with the Emirates Lions.

Geed-up Leinster out on top

A half-time gee-up did the trick for Leinster as they beat Benetton 47-18 in Saturday afternoon’s top-of-the-table clash at the RDS.

Leinster held a narrow 21-18 lead at the break. However, they then rattled up 26 unanswered points as they finished with seven tries in all. Indeed, skipper Scott Penny crossing twice from the openside flank.

"We were sluggish at the very start and parts of the first half were not quite there” said head coach Leo Cullen.

"The lads had a bit of a gee-up at half time. It was a bit chaotic in the second-half, but at least there was better intent overall. We were definitely better and scored some good tries.

"Benetton are a very physical team. They recruit pretty well. It was always going to be a tough challenge. Overall we're pleased” added Cullen.

The bonus point victory took Leinster back to the top of the URC table, with the Vodacom Bulls having briefly moved into pole position thanks to their 25-10 win away to the Lions in Johannesburg.

In the other South African derby, the DHL Stormers beat the Hollywoodbets Sharks 25-21 in Durban. The weekend’s action got underway on Friday night with two further away victories. Munster romped to a 42-7 win over the Scarlets in west Wales.

Whereas, Edinburgh came from behind to beat Zebre Parma 24-19 in Italy having trailed with just 12 minutes to go.

Match of the weekend: Hollywoodbets Sharks 21, DHL Stormers 25

A bumper crowd of 31,093 watched a titanic tussle that built towards a grandstand finish in Durban.

It was three tries apiece with Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi crossing five minutes from time for the Sharks to set up a tense conclusion.

In the end, it was the boot of Sacha Feinburg-Mngomezulu that proved the difference with the Stormers centre having landed four shots at goal.

That’s now six wins on the trot for the team from Cape Town in all competitions.

Player of the weekend: Gavin Coombes

The Munster No.8 is the leading carrier in the BKT URC. Coombes was at it again during Friday night’s 42-7 runaway win over the Scarlets.

He repeatedly crossed the gain-line and twice crossed the try line with unstoppable short-range surges. As if that was not enough, he was also his team’s top tackler with 16.

What’s coming up next?

The BKT URC action will resume on the first weekend in March when we head into Round 11. It’s odds on the biggest crowd will be in Pretoria for the meeting between third-placed Bulls and sixth placed the Stormers.

Elsewhere, URC leaders Leinster travel to the Arms Park to take on Cardiff, while second-placed Glasgow head for Treviso to face Benetton.

In the other games, Edinburgh entertain Ospreys. Whereas, Munster, Connacht and Ulster are at home to Zebre, the Scarlets and the Dragons respectively.

Tags used in this article
Share this article

Shannonside Newsletter

Sign up now to keep up to date with the latest news.

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now! please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copyright © 2024 Shannonside FM. Developed by Square1 and Powered by PublisherPlus