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Leinster crush Ospreys, Matawalu shines on landmark Warriors outing

Leinster coach Leo Cullen

Reigning Pro14 champions Leinster ran riot against the Ospreys on Friday, romping to a 52-7 win at the RDS Arena.

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Debutant Scott Penny was among seven different home players to cross the whitewash in an utterly dominant display from Leo Cullen’s men, with Hanno Dirksen’s late try providing little consolation for the Ospreys.

Both teams were missing several players due to international commitments, but Leinster looked magnificent despite the absence of many of their biggest names. They now sit 10 points clear at the top of Conference B, having won eight of their nine league matches this term.

Glasgow Warriors hold an even bigger advantage of 13 points at the summit of Conference A, after thumping Cardiff Blues 40-15.

The Warriors had a bonus point in the bag before half-time, while Niko Matawalu claimed two of their six tries on his 100th appearance for the club.

Friday’s other match saw the Scarlets overtake Ulster in Conference B with a bonus-point win over the Irish province.

The Scarlets ran out 29-12 winners, prompting head coach Wayne Pivac to say: “Job done, really. There was a lot to play for. It was certainly what we asked for.”

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finn 10 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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