Ulster and Munster ensure it all goes down to wire
The decision to appoint the Kingspan Stadium as the final venue may come back to haunt the organisers behind the PRO12 League, writes Des Berry.
It took a final play try by replacement Paul Marshall (right) and conversion from fly-half Paddy Jackson for the 14 men of Ulster to salvage a 23-all draw against Munster on Saturday.
The recriminations will be revealed next weekend as the League concludes. The top three, The Ospreys, Glasgow Warriors and Munster, are locked on 70 points with Ulster trailing by one.
When two or more clubs finish on level points, the number of wins is the first statistic taken into account in the PRO12.
Therefore, The Ospreys and Glasgow will be guaranteed home semi-finals if they can recoup five points next week.
Fortunately, Ulster will be able to influence this by going to Scotstoun, where a win would give them a shot at redemption.
However, Munster will fancy their chances of making the top two with a home town assignment against The Dragons.
Connacht finally put their game together to take advantage of their positive approach work with six tries, two of them from scrum-half John Cooney, in a welcome 40-10 defeat of Zebre in Italy.
The Scarlets came dangerously close to cracking against Cardiff, leading by three points until Wales hooker Ken Owens' 65th minute try, converted by Rhys Priestland.
It gave them the points to stretch four clear of Connacht in the race for Champions Cup qualification. The Western Province will have to confront The Ospreys in Galway, while Scarlets travel to Treviso.
THE FINAL ROUND:
1. OSPREYS: v Connacht (a)
2. GLASGOW: v Ulster (h)
3. MUNSTER: v Dragons (h)
4. ULSTER: v Glasgow (a)