Welsh Rugby Continues With Another Tough Weekend For The Regions

Harry Corish - Sportin Journalist

In what has been a pretty tumultuous time for Welsh rugby, this weekend saw no respite to the challenges the Welsh Rugby Union currently faces.

Wales’ men’s and under 20’s sides currently lie bottom of their respective Six Nations championships, while the four regions all fell to disappointing losses this weekend in the United Rugby Championship.

Elsewhere, Wales women under 18’s fell to a 48-5 loss against England, in their first capped game. While the men’s’ under 18’s side began their preparation for the Six Nations with two development games against Scotland Red and Blue.

The Scarlets remain 14th in the URC but showed real character to mount a comeback against fifth placed Munster in Cork, albeit having to settle for two bonus points, rather than a win.

Having seen Munster take a 28-0 lead after just 25 minutes, flashbacks of the Ospreys’ drubbing two weeks previous would have come flooding to mind.

But Dwayne Peel’s side showed the fight that the Scarlets fans have become accustomed to since the Christmas period. The West-Walian side almost pulled off the ridiculous during an exciting second half, but eventually succumbed to a 49-42 loss in Cork.

It was a familiar story for the Ospreys this season, having fought their way back into a game they shouldn’t have had any business winning, before losing it at the death.

Jack Walsh had an opportunity to win the game in the dying moments, but the hosts once again fell on the wrong side of a tight game, losing 21-20 at home against Benetton.

Both sides were coping with threadbare squads due to Six Nations callups, but it was the Italian side who took a hold of the game, controlling territory throughout.

Despite edging the territory battle, the hosts made too many errors and failed to take their chances, conceding 14 turnovers, which killed any sort of momentum they were able to create during the game.

However, the Ospreys head coach, Toby Booth, will certainly take the positives going forward after his side fought back in the final quarter. Iestyn Hopkins had a brilliant game at fullback, while Dan Lydiate, Rhys Davies and Owen Watkins all played well on their return to the side.

Cardiff’s New Year struggles continued as they were swept aside by an excellent Ulster side, who continue to impress in the URC this season.

The hosts were outmuscled for large periods of their game against the Irish side, as they limped to a 42-20 loss at home.

Ray Lee-Lo showed some impressive touches to set Owen Lane up for two well worked tries, but Ulster’s power upfront proved to be too much for a Cardiff side lacking in confidence.

The Dragons capped off the weekend with another Welsh loss against an Irish province, despite a resilient showing in front of their home fans.

The hosts were playing their final game of the season at Rodney Parade but unfortunately fell into old habits, as they fell to an agonising 22-20 loss at the hands of Connacht.

The hosts were down to 14-men when Matthew Screech saw red for a high tackle, shortly after the half-hour mark.

Dai Flanagan’s side showed great determination to get themselves back into the game, showing further signs of progress but once again failed to get across the line, despite having chances to win the game.