PRO14 round-up: Wins for Connacht, Edinburgh, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues in final round of fixtures
Last Updated: 28/04/18 10:53pm
Try-scorers and highlights from the final round of PRO14 action, including a comprehensive victory for Connacht against much-changed Champions Cup finalists Leinster.
Connacht 47-10 Leinster
John Muldoon's 15-year career with Connacht ended in fitting fashion with an impressive 47-10 derby win over Leinster at the Sportsground.
The popular captain, who is retiring after a record 327 appearances with his native Connacht, enjoyed one final PRO14 victory before his summer move to Bristol as their new defence coach.
Leinster fielded a shadow side in Galway, making 15 changes to their Champions Cup semi-final line-up, and trailed 21-3 at half-time through home tries by Niyi Adeolokun, Tiernan O'Halloran and Kieran Marmion.
Leinster were already assured of top spot in Conference B and a home semi-final thanks to a vastly superior scoring difference compared to Scarlets. They pulled a try back through Barry Daly, but Connacht added three more through Marmion, Bundee Aki and replacement Caolin Blade.
Edinburgh 24-19 Glasgow
Edinburgh recorded a 24-19 victory over rivals Glasgow in the 1872 Cup decider at Murrayfield to edge out Dave Rennie's team in the best-of-three series.
James Johnstone, Jordan lay and Duhan van der Merwe scored first-half tries to hand Edinburgh, who knew a play-off quarter-final was already assured after Ulster failed to secure a bonus-point win away to Munster, a 2-1 success.
DTH van der Merwe crossed over twice either side of Callum Gibbons' try for the visitors but a late Duncan Weir penalty eventually put Edinburgh out of reach.
Glasgow arrived at Murrayfield already with their place in the semi-finals secured having topped Conference A.
Dragons 8-33 Scarlets
The Scarlets secured a home quarter-final in the play-offs after a 33-8 win against the Dragons at Principality Stadium.
Tries by hooker Ryan Elias, a penalty try, two from flanker Tadhg Beirne and a score by wing Steff Evans secured second spot behind Leinster.
The Dragons battled hard to trail just 7-3 at the break only to run out of steam after the interval and the Scarlets got the job done before an hour was played in the first part of the Judgement Day double-header in Cardiff, with Dragons' consolation coming through fly-half Arwel Robson in the first-half.
Cardiff 23-26 Ospreys
Dan Biggar scored 21 points and slotted the match-winning drop goal as the Ospreys beat Cardiff Blues 26-23 in a Judgement Day encounter at the Principality Stadium.
The Welsh outside-half kept his cool to slot a penalty to level the scores at 23-23 in the 73rd minute before landing the match-winning score three minutes from time.
After Alun Wyn Jones charged over for the first try of the match bu the Blues responded through a Gareth Anscombe solo try and a Garyn Smith score.
The Ospreys started the second half strongly and Biggar went over after a decisive break against tiring defenders before his match-winning influence near the death.
Kings 20-29 Cheetahs
The Cheetahs booked their place in the Pro14 knockout stages with a 29-20 victory over the Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Tries from Paul Schoeman, Niel Marais and Uzair Cassiem and seven points from the boot of Marais gave the Cheetahs a 22-13 interval lead, Ntabeni Dukisa crossing for the hosts with Masixole Banda kicking a conversion and two penalties.
Francois Venter then crossed for the bonus-point try after the break for the Cheetahs and Marais converted to secure their place in the post-season.
Harlon Klaasen added a try for the Kings and Banda took his tally for the afternoon to nine points with the extras.
Benetton 17-22 Zebre
Zebre claimed a 22-17 victory over Benetton to seal their third straight win for the first time in the PRO14.
Hosts Benetton scored tries through centre Alberto Sgarbi and fly-half Tommaso Allan, who also slotted both conversions and kicked a penalty.
Zebre, who remained at the bottom of Conference A despite the win, saw number eight David Sisi and stand-off Carlo Canna cross the whitewash, while scrum-half Marcello Violi successfully kicked four penalties.