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Carbery and Daly at the double as Leinster hit the top

By Peter Hanson
Leinster fly-half Joey Carbery

Joey Carbery and Barry Daly each scored twice as Leinster dominated Edinburgh 39-10 to move top of Pro12.

Daly scored the only try of a first half that saw Leinster lead 8-3, but Carbery – deputising at 10 as Jonathan Sexton remained with Ireland’s Six Nations squad – added a quickfire double after the re-start that proved the catalyst for a six-try haul at RDS Arena.

Man of the Match Daniel Leavy and Bryan Byrne also put their names on the scoresheet as Leinster moved top, albeit Munster will return to the summit if they beat Ospreys on Saturday.

In Friday’s other contest, Steff Evans impressed as Scarlets battered sorry Zebre 42-7 to consolidate their grip on fourth place.

Scarlets, fresh from a huge win over top-four rivals Glasgow Warriors last time out, earned a bonus point win by running in six tries, with the impressive Evans diving down in the corner for the game’s first try.

Mattia Bellini levelled the match shortly after, but that was as good as it got for the Italians, as Aaron Shingler, Tom Williams and Tom Price took the match away from Zebre, before a penalty try and Will Boyde’s score compounded the visitors’ misery at Parc y Scarlets.

Scarlets are now eight points ahead of fifth-place Glasgow, who face a tricky trip to Ulster on Saturday.

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finn 8 hours ago
Massive red flag raised by weakened Champions Cup teams – Andy Goode

I wonder if the problem of some teams not taking it that seriously would be helped by making performance in the champions cup count towards qualification and/or seeding in the following year’s competition. Eg. top four seeds would be winners of the URC, premiership, and top 14, plus best performing team in the previous year’s CC who have not otherwise qualified. Doing that the seedings for this years comp. would have been: Tier one: Saracens - Munster - Toulouse - la Rochelle Tier two: Sale - Stormers - Racing 92 - Leinster Tier three: Leicester - Connacht - Bordeaux - Exeter Tier four: Northampton - Ulster - Lyon - Sharks Tier five: Harlequins - Glasgow - Stade Francais - Edinburgh Tier six: Bath - Bulls - Toulon - Ospreys The competition would probably work better with fewer teams, so I’d probably favour only the first 4 tiers being invited, and then going straight to a quarter final without a round of 16. On the one hand this would possibly incentivise teams to take the champions cup seriously, and on the other it would mean that the latter stages would be more likely to involve teams that have demonstrated a willingness to take the competition seriously. The main differences between my proposed system and the actual draw is that mine would give la Rochelle a fairly easy ride to the quarters, and would either exclude the Bulls entirely or would give then an insurmountably difficult draw. As it happened Exeter got quite an easy pool draw but that was a bit of a fluke. My system would reward Exeter for being one of the teams that demonstrably devote a lot of attention to the CC by guaranteeing them a good draw.

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