Edinburgh secured a place in the Pro14 play-offs as Ulster’s late push to finish in the top three of Conference B came up short on the final day of the regular season.
Rory Best scored two tries but Ulster – needing a bonus-point victory to keep alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages – could only manage a 24-24 draw with Munster at Thomond Park.
That result made sure Edinburgh were certain to progress before their game with Glasgow Warriors kicked off at Murrayfield.
Still, James Johnstone, Jordan Lay and Duhan van der Merwe all touched down in the first half to make sure Richard Cockerill’s side secured the 1872 Cup with a 24-19 win on home soil.
They will next travel to play Munster, who finished in second place in Conference A, next Saturday.
FT | That’s a wrap here at BT Murrayfield and Edinburgh have secured the 1872 Cup in dramatic fashion! pic.twitter.com/nDzYCNMHX6
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) April 28, 2018
Scarlets secured a home tie in the opening round of the play-offs thanks to a 33-8 result against the Dragons at the Principality Stadium.
The defending champions scored five tries – four of them coming after the break – to secure a bonus-point victory against their Welsh rivals.
Their reward is a clash with the Cheetahs – who recorded a 29-20 result against fellow South African franchise the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth – in the next round.
Dan Biggar was the hero for Ospreys in their dramatic 26-23 victory over Cardiff Blues, with the fly-half landing a late drop goal to settle the all-Welsh clash.
Biggar’s late three-pointer took his personal tally to 16 points, including a 54th-minute try that helped his side overturn a seven-point half-time deficit.
Connacht marked retiring captain John Muldoon’s 327th – and final – game with a resounding 47-10 triumph over Leinster.
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) April 28, 2018
Muldoon – who is hanging up his boots to join Bristol as their new defence coach – kicked a late conversion as the hosts crushed the Champions Cup finalists, who fielded a much-changed side knowing they were already certain to top Conference B.
Zebre, meanwhile, finished their campaign with a third successive win, seeing off Benetton Treviso 22-17 in the Italian derby at Stadio Monigo.
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