The Stormers were too strong for Irish province Connacht in Cape Town, prevailing 43-25, and it is Graham Rowntree’s Munster outfit – conquerors of Glasgow Warriors in the quarter-finals – who will make the journey to the southern hemisphere after they overcame Leinster in Dublin and a tense all Irish semi-final. Fly-half Manie Libbok was the star of the show for John Dobson’s Stormers, scoring two tries and kicking 13 points at Cape Town Stadium in front of a crowd of 47,261, while Munster booked their place in the showpiece event thanks to a late drop goal from Jack Crowley. The final will be played on Saturday, May 27 at 6.30pm local time (5.30pm UK).
In the first of the Guinness Premiership play-off semi-finals, Scotland winger Sean Maitland scored two tries for Saracens in their 38-15 win over Northampton Saints – but the match was not without its controversy at the StoneX Stadium. Northampton will feel aggrieved that Maitland was not at least sin-binned for clattering into George Furbank with his elbows during an aerial collision that left the England back needing lengthy treatment. Referee Karl Dickson issued only a penalty and in making a quick decision declined to consult the TMO with the game just 25 seconds old. “The referee didn’t give it. I presume the TMO looked at it and made a decision that it was a rugby contest and therefore play on,” Saints coach Phil Dowson said. “We’ll have to look at it again. I don’t know where Maitland was looking. I don’t know where he was in conjunction with the ball in the air. Whether I agree with it or not is irrelevant.” Saracens await the winner of Sale versus Leicester on Sunday.
Closer to home, in the Super Sprint Series, Ayrshire Bulls and Heriot’s played out a thrilling 26-26 draw at Millbrae . Tries by Frazier Climo, Luca Bardelli and Jamie Shedden were all converted by Eli Caven to put the Bulls 21-0 up after 15 minutes. Heriot’s fought back to 21-14 at the break with Aidan Boyle and Cam Jones tries being converted by Bruce Houston. Rory Jackson scored the Bulls fourth try before a seven pointer by Euan McLaren for Heriot’s made it 26-21. And an unconverted try through skipper Iain Wilson for the visitors made it 26-26 into the closing stages. Earlier in the day, Stirling Wolves posted a 36-11 bonus point win over Southern Knights at Bridgehaugh.
Meanwhile, Caledonia Reds were on top form to defeat Glasgow and The West at Canal Park in Inverness to progress to the Inter-District Championship final. The Reds were leading 26-20 at half-time and went on to complete a 58-27 win in the semi-final of the regional event for the best club players around. It means they will play the South in the final on May 21.