It was a clean sweep of victories for the Irish provinces in the final round of BKT United Rugby Championship fixtures before the Six Nations.
Here are our picks from round 13...
15. Mike Lowry (Ulster)
1️⃣ Try— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) January 28, 2023
9️⃣ Defenders beaten
9️⃣5️⃣ Metres gained@michaellowry15 ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/LaIHD8NaaK
Lowry sparkled in attack as Ulster ran riot against the Stormers to move within two points of the defending champions in the URC table.
The full-back made 112 metres with ball in hand, beating eight defenders, and finished off a lovely team move for Ulster's fifth try.
Lowry edges out Aphelele Fassi, who was a defensive rock in the Cell C Sharks’ victory in Edinburgh.
14. Ignacio Mendy (Benetton)
. @BenettonRugby have come flying out of the blocks! 🔥 #BKTURC #URC | #BENvMUN pic.twitter.com/JgROGI8DnS— BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) January 28, 2023
It was a helter-skelter affair in Treviso as Benetton and Munster served up a tryfest, with the outstanding Mendy helping himself to a hat-trick.
The Argentine wing racked up 139 metres off 11 carries, including three clean breaks and five defenders beaten.
He completed his try treble off the final play to earn Benetton a try bonus point, which could yet prove crucial in the battle for play-off places.
13. Liam Turner (Leinster)
Liam Turner's late try put the icing on the cake for Leinster as they beat Cardiff 38-14 to make it 13 wins from 13 in the #URC this season#RTERugby #LEIvCAR @RTE2 @RTEplayer pic.twitter.com/wV20F7a3cz— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) January 28, 2023
Turner crossed for his second try in as many starts as Leinster’s young guns made short work of Cardiff.
The explosive centre beat five defenders as he carried for 81 metres, and pounced on a loose pass before sidestepping his way over for Leinster’s sixth try late on.
12. Stewart Moore (Ulster)
Moore looked at home in the No 12 shirt as Ulster continued their resurgence with a five-try win over the Stormers.
The 23-year-old showed lovely hands to put Ben Moxham over for their second try and also had a hand in Mike Lowry’s score.
Moore used his footwork to find holes in the Stormers defence as he led the way with eight successful carries.
11. Sebastian Cancelliere (Glasgow Warriors)
It is nine tries in 10 games for the Argentina international after he completed the scoring for Glasgow in their impressive victory away to the Dragons.
Cancelliere was a threat throughout, carrying for 115 metres and competing well in the air while also enjoying some big moments in defence.
The wing was forced into touch by a scrambling Dragons defence as he raced towards the corner but he would not be denied, intercepting JJ Hanrahan’s pass late on for the Warriors’ sixth try.
10. Harry Byrne (Leinster)
Leo Cullen said Byrne made a "really positive step" after returning to the No 10 shirt for the win over Cardiff.
Byrne made a strong burst over halfway during a first half in which he also arrowed two excellent kicks into touch for five-metre lineouts.
The 23-year-old distributed well and was successful with three of his four conversion attempts. He will be hoping for an injury-free end to the season.
9. Caolin Blade (Connacht)
Chase down your week like Tiernan O'Halloran! 💨 #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/pAIbJ8df4k— BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) January 30, 2023
Blade celebrated his new contract in style by becoming the third Connacht player to score a hat-trick in as many weeks.
The scrum-half made hay from the quick ruck ball provided by his pack, with his sniping runs causing major problems for the Emirates Lions.
One break resulted in a try for Shane Delahunt, who returned the favour to send Blade over for his first. The Monivea man reacted quickest to Tiernan O’Halloran’s charge-down to score his second and then completed his treble with another trademark close-range snipe from a ruck.
Special mention to Luke McGrath, who crossed twice for Leinster against Cardiff.
1. Boan Venter (Edinburgh)
Both starting looseheads impressed at the DAM Health Stadium, with Ox Nche making a searing break down the wing in the lead-up to Wes Goosen’s yellow card.
However, it was fellow South African Venter who stole the show. The 25-year-old had a hand in all three of Edinburgh’s tries, throwing two brilliant passes for Adam McBurney’s first and Henry Immelman’s score before half-time.
2. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors)
You BKT @URCOfficial Player of the Match: 𝗙𝗿𝗮𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻 pic.twitter.com/ZwmdjdnCMZ— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) January 28, 2023
Brown scored a first-half brace as Glasgow extended their unbeaten run to nine matches.
The Scotland hooker’s lineout throwing was on the money and he was rewarded with two tries from driving mauls.
Brown also made a team-leading 16 tackles at Rodney Parade.
3. Jeff Toomaga-Allen (Ulster)
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"What's the craic, Belfast? Let's go!"
After a slow start to his Ulster career, Toomaga-Allen is making up for lost time.
The prop grabbed his first try in a man-of-the-match performance against the Stormers, while also locking the scrum and making some important tackles during an all-action 64-minute display.
4. Jean Kleyn (Munster)
Kleyn is enjoying a great season and barged over for Munster’s bonus-point try against Benetton as they overcame a poor start to leapfrog the Italians into sixth spot.
The lock was confident in possession and varied his carrying with some nice passes out the back, while he also chipped in with nine tackles and worked hard in the tight.
5. Niall Murray (Connacht)
Both Murray brothers were on form against the Emirates Lions, with Darragh leading the tackle charts and also winning a turnover.
However, we’ve gone for the elder sibling due to his excellent work at lineout time, while he also threw three offloads to keep the Connacht attack flowing.
6. James Venter (Cell C Sharks)
Jack O’Sullivan impressed for Munster but Venter takes the No 6 shirt after an outstanding defensive display against Edinburgh.
The flanker made an incredible 27 tackles as the Sharks came from behind to claim their seventh league victory of the season.
7. John Hodnett (Munster)
Diamond hands from @MunsterRugby 💎 #BKTURC #URC | #BENvMUN pic.twitter.com/uSqUyYczNK— BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) January 28, 2023
Benetton could not handle the ball-carrying of Hodnett, who made two line breaks and beat six defenders. The openside broke through to put Jack O’Sullivan over for a try and shrugged off two tacklers to finish off a lovely team try shortly after the restart.
Hodnett also led the way in defence with 20 tackles and could feature regularly in the No 7 shirt between now and the end of the season.
8. Sione Kalamafoni (Scarlets)
Max Deegan and Duane Vermeulen were strong contenders but the No 8 spot goes to Tonga international Kalamafoni, who held his own against a powerful Vodacom Bulls pack.
Kalamafoni’s ball-carrying has been one of the major positives in a poor season for the Scarlets and he again impressed here with 10 successful carries as they claimed a morale-boosting win.
Follow every game of the Guinness Six Nations on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app, or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.
Watch live coverage of Ireland v France (11 February), Italy v Ireland (25 February) and Scotland v Ireland (12 March) on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.