Pro14 Up­date

BeRugby - - Contents -

Won­drous War­riors Win 6 from 6

The new sea­son has seen a re­ju­ve­nated Glas­gow side play at­tack­ing rugby, scor­ing freely and win­ning all of their PRO14 matches this sea­son. Since the com­pe­ti­tion re-branded to the PRO12, the War­riors hold the record for the most num­ber of con­sec­u­tive sea­sons (5, from the 2011/12 sea­son) that a team has made the play-offs - a run that was ended with their 6th place fin­ish in 2016/17.

The 2014/15 cham­pi­ons form couldn’t be matched in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup com­pe­ti­tion, how­ever, los­ing the open­ing two matches to PRO14 com­pa­tri­ots, Le­in­ster and the Aviva Premier­ship Cham­pi­ons, Ex­eter Chiefs.

Out­ra­geous Ospreys Lose 5 from 5

The most suc­cess­ful welsh re­gion have cer­tainly lost their way in 2017 - in all com­pe­ti­tions, they have lost 7 games in a row. Af­ter win­ning their open­ing PRO14 match against Ital­ian min­nows Ze­bre, the Ospreys have lost every game they’ve played this sea­son, in­clud­ing 3 losses in pre­sea­son.

With Wales and Lions stars like Dan Big­gar, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Ly­di­ate, Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb, the Welsh re­gion has al­ways been a tough op­po­nent and is of­ten a favourite to win the ti­tle. Last sea­son they reached the semi-fi­nals and have won the com­pe­ti­tion a record 4-times (a record they share with Ir­ish side Le­in­ster).

Chris­tian Leali’ifano Ul­ster’s New Hero

In the sum­mer of 2016, Brumbies and Aus­tralia fly-half Chris­tian Leali’ifano was di­ag­nosed with Leukemia, a form of can­cer. The Auck­land-born was 28 at the time, with over 100 ap­pear­ances for Su­per Rugby out­fit Brumbies and 19 caps for Aus­tralia. In­cred­i­bly, Leali’ifano has made a sur­pris­ingly quick re­cov­ery, with less than 12 months be­tween the start of his treat­ment and his re­turn to pro­fes­sional rugby - at points through­out his treat­ment, it was feared he may never play rugby again!

Leali’ifano’s move to Ul­ster is (un­for­tu­nately for Ul­ster!) tem­po­rary, al­low­ing the play-maker to get some valu­able game time and ex­pe­ri­ence out­side of Aus­tralia, be­fore his likely re­turn to Brumbies for the Su­per Rugby sea­son in 2018.

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