Sunday Social: Leinster form, Piutau’s punch and Finn’s magic

Date published: September 13 2020

It is time for Planet Rugby’s Sunday Social, your quirky recap of the serious and not so serious talking points from the past week’s action.

We of course start with the PRO14 final as Leinster claimed their third successive triumph. They produced another clinical display but they were stunned early on by this superb score from Ulster.

Leo Cullen’s men regained their composure, however, and this try from Robbie Henshaw, which helped the Dubliners go 20-5, was the clincher.

Following the final whistle, the discussion centred on the achievements of Leinster and Cullen, who has enjoyed unprecedented success as both a player and a coach.

Away from the PRO14 and we delve into the Premiership action that took place in midweek. There was another thrilling performance from Bristol with Piers O’Conor’s try particularly special. Of course, the Bears’ brilliant social media team got to work as a result.

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam wasn’t happy ahead of the Saints match, though, following the incident involving Siale Piutau the previous Friday. The centre was handed a three-match ban for punching Andrew Kitchener but Lam was angry that they received the same punishment.

Worcester boss Alan Solomons also had his say and completely disagreed with Lam’s comments, stating that it was Piutau who was the instigator.

The other controversy involved England captain Owen Farrell, who was sent off and banned for a shocking tackle against Wasps. It, of course, led to plenty of this on social media.

There were plenty of serious comments, however, and many couldn’t quite understand why charity work was used as a defence for his high shot on Charlie Atkinson.

Farrell also had his defenders, including former Wales international Jonathan Davies.

As mentioned earlier, Premiership teams are having to play midweek matches and Harlequins’ Joe Marler has been very outspoken over the gruelling schedule.

Elsewhere, the Top 14 has started and there was a nice story involving Kurtley Beale (this was before he got sent off on his debut) as the ex-Wallaby playmaker voluntarily took a pay cut, in line with his team-mates.

Continuing the Racing 92 theme and Scottish fly-half Finn Russell was in sparkling form for the Parisians on Friday, producing two stunning assists.

With the same names cropping up on the highlights, it was unsurprising that South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe joined the party when playing for Toulouse on Saturday.

Les Rouge et Noir also produced this stunning team score against La Rochelle as they claimed a 39-23 victory over La Rochelle.

Finally, referee Wayne Barnes has taken the plunge and re-joined Twitter…

…And, to a sense of trepidation, Barnes came back to see that he had racked up the followers.