PRO14: Connacht back in the Champions Cup
Last Updated: 13/04/19 10:40pm
Connacht beat Cardiff Blues to book quarter-final clash with Ulster, while Glasgow's win over Leinster sees them reclaim top spot in Conference A.
Connacht 29-22 Cardiff Blues
Connacht are back in the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time in three years after man-of-the-match Jack Carty inspired their 29-22 Guinness PRO14 bonus point win over Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground.
Andy Friend's men survived a nervy finish, brought on by Jason Harries' 79th-minute try, as they booked their Champions Cup spot and a PRO14 quarter-final trip to provincial rivals Ulster as the result guarantees them a third-place finish in Conference A.
A tense and closely-fought first half ended 14-7 in Connacht's favour, the wind-backed home side striking for tries from Caolin Blade and Gavin Thornbury either side of a well-taken Owen Lane effort for Gareth Anscombe's Blues.
Ireland fly-half Carty sparked a crucial 10-point surge on the restart with a sparkling team try and although Cardiff eventually restored the seven-point deficit thanks to an Anscombe penalty and Josh Turnbull's 70th-minute try, an opportunist score by Matt Healy from the restart ultimately proved enough to ensure European top-tier rugby in Galway next season.
Leinster 24-39 Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors reclaimed top spot in Conference A of the Guinness PRO14 with a fantastic five-try 39-24 win over fellow table toppers Leinster at the RDS.
Replacement George Horne's 80th-minute intercept try put the seal on Glasgow's first victory at the Dublin venue since September 2011, as they edged back ahead of Munster at the Conference's summit in the battle for a home semi-final.
They have a three-point lead heading into their home derby against Edinburgh in the final round in two weeks' time.
The Kearney brothers, Dave and Rob, scored two tries each for Leinster, who are already confirmed as Conference B winners.
Captained by Sean O'Brien ahead of his summer move to London Irish, the hosts trailed 18-12 at half-time with Sam Johnson and Tommy Seymour swapping tries with the Kearneys and Adam Hastings kicking eight points.
Robbie Henshaw got 58 minutes under his belt and fellow returnee Devin Toner played the full game ahead of Leinster's Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse next week.
Scarlets 42-0 Zebre
Number eight Uzair Cassiem scored two tries as Scarlets grabbed the bonus point victory they needed to keep their Guinness PRO14 play-off hopes alive in a 42-0 thrashing of Zebre.
Hadleigh Parkes, Jonny McNicholl, Kieran Hardy and Ioan Nicholas also crossed the whitewash for the Welsh outfit, with all six tries converted by Leigh Halfpenny.
It means Scarlets now have to beat Dragons in their final Conference B game with a bonus point and hope other results go their way to reach the play-offs.
Cheetahs 38-13 Dragons
Cheetahs fly-half Tian Schoeman scored 18 points as his side claimed a bonus point win over Dragons in Bloemfontein.
The hosts' convincing 38-13 win maintained sixth place in Conference B, while Dragons missed the chance to move above Southern Kings in Conference A.
After an even opening spell Henco Venter put Cheetahs in command shortly before the break when he burst over for the first of his side's five tries.
Dragons drew level through Taine Basham and even went in front through a Josh Lewis penalty before Cheetahs belatedly seized control.
Shaun Venter crossed to grab back the lead and Schoeman also crossed to boost a tally which would include five conversions and a penalty.
Substitute Louis Fouche dotted down to ensure Cheetahs the bonus point before Rabz Maxwane also went over to complete an ultimately dominant performance.