Ulster the top dogs in latest Champions Cup Team of the Week
We begin with apologies to Tiernan O'Halloran... and Jack Conan.
After the third round of pool games, the prospects of the Irish provinces are positive. Our Champions Cup Team of the Week is bossed by Ulster, but there were several tight calls.
As it stands, with one round of pool games to play, Munster and Ulster have already qualified for the Last 16. Leinster need just a single point from their away trip to Bath, while even going pointless would most likely see them progress. Connacht are in a similar position, in Pool B.
The weekend's slate of games saw Munster secure a late away win at Castres, Connacht lose a nail-biter to Leicester and Sunday victories for Ulster and Leinster. Indeed, Leinster ran for a scandalous 1,075 metres in their 89-7 walloping of Montpellier.
In assessing the performances of players from those four matches, Ulster get the most picks while Munster and Leinster have three apiece. There are a couple of Connacht players included, too.
Ulster backline shines in Champions Cup
Ulster defeated Northampton Saints 24-20 at Franklin's Gardens and five of their backline players make our team of the week. James Hume and Mike Lowry were their stand-out backs, and they edge out Garry Ringrose [125 metres gained on 17 Leinster carries] and Tiernan O'Halloran [two tries for Connacht].
The other big calls are at blindside flanker and openside. Cian Prendergast and Conor Oliver both fought their asses off for Connacht, in their gutting loss to Leicester, but Peter O'Mahony [four turnovers won for Munster] and Josh van der Flier [two tries in a superb outing for Leinster] get the nods.
Jack Conan scored two tries and ran for 107 metres against Montpellier but Gavin Coombes gets in at No.8 thanks to his late, match-winning try for Munster against Castres.
Words of note, too, for Finlay Bealham, who did well against Ellis Genge in the scrum, and Ulster forwards Eric O'Sullivan [67 solid minutes at loosehead after coming on as an early sub] and Kieran Treadwell.
Our Champions Cup Team of the Week
15. Mike Lowry (Ulster)
14. Rob Baloucoune (Ulster)
13. James Hume (Ulster)
12. Stewart Moore (Ulster)
11. Jimmy O'Brien (Leinster)
10. Billy Burns (Ulster)
9. Kieran Marmion (Connacht)
1. Eric O'Sullivan (Ulster)
2. Rónan Kelleher (Leinster)
3. Finlay Bealham (Connacht)
4. Kieran Treadwell (Ulster)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Munster)
6. Peter O'Mahony (Munster)
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
8. Gavin Coombes (Munster)
- Ulster dominate latest Champions Cup Team of the Week selection
- Six Munster players make our Champions Cup Team of the Week