Round-Up: O'Driscoll's Leinster master Munster


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The Independent Online

The most interesting result on Saturday was Leinster's 18-9 win over Munster, at Thomond Park in the evening. That second win in Limerick since 1995 kept the European champions 10 points clear in the RaboDirect Pro12 and tuned them up nicely for this weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-finals, in which they play Cardiff Blues and Munster face Ulster, both at home. Brian O'Driscoll continued his return after a shoulder operation, without any problems.

The most interesting quotes, however, came from Bath, where the forwards coach, Martin Haag, offered a refreshingly honest assessment of a 26-6 defeat by a Northampton team who were missing two suspended England elite squad forwards, the hooker Dylan Hartley and flanker Calum Clark.

Haag said: "We didn't perform as a team anywhere near where we needed to. We were way off the pace, looked very disjointed and didn't get into any rhythm. It was totally unacceptable, a very disappointing performance, especially in front of a very big crowd. We expect more as a team, and I include the coaches and the playing staff, everybody. Playing at home you expect more than we gave out there today so we owe everyone an apology."

Elsewhere in the Premiership, Exeter beat London Irish 18-11 at Sandy Park. The Chiefs are fifth, the only team who can stop Harlequins, Saracens, Leicester and Northampton making up the top four for the play-offs.

Back in the Celtic-cum-Latin RaboDirect, the Ospreys stayed in second place by beating Benetton Treviso 41-10 in Swansea.