Munster, Edinburgh and Leinster all recorded victories as Round 16 of the Guinness PRO14 commenced on Friday night.
Here’s a round-up of the three matches and there will be another trio of encounters on Saturday before Zebre and Cardiff Blues complete the round on Sunday afternoon.
Munster 21-10 Glasgow
Munster defeated Glasgow 21-10 in their Guinness PRO14 Conference A top-of-the-table clash at a sold-out Irish Independent Park to boost their play-off hopes.
A capacity crowd of 8,008 turned out to watch full-back Simon Zebo play his final game for Munster in his native Cork before his summer move to French Top 14 side Racing 92.
And they were not disappointed as Munster cut Glasgow’s lead at the summit back to 12 points with a tenacious display.
Tries in either half from front rowers Niall Scannell and James Cronin, together with 11 points from the boot of fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal, guided the home side to their seventh successive win in Cork.
Dragons 12-25 Edinburgh
Edinburgh closed the gap on the Scarlets to four points in the Guinness PRO14 Conference B as they clinched a 25-12 victory over the Dragons.
The Scottish capital club seemed to be cruising when tries from hooker Neil Cochrane and centre Chris Dean helped to put them 15-0 ahead in the opening stages of the second half.
Two tries from Dragons second row Rynard Landman threatened a comeback but Duncan Weir’s touchdown and fellow replacement Cameron Fenton’s last-gasp effort gave Edinburgh a bonus-point win.
Leinster 64-7 Southern Kings
Ireland international Garry Ringrose made a successful return from ankle surgery as Leinster ran in 10 tries in a 64-7 PRO14 win over the Southern Kings at the RDS.
Sidelined since the early-January derby victory over Ulster, Ringrose’s 54-minute workout against the South Africans could propel him back into the green jersey over the remainder of the Six Nations.
Leo Cullen’s men scored a point per minute in the first half, claiming the bonus point inside 22 minutes with Bryan Byrne (two), Nick McCarthy, Barry Daly, Dave Kearney and Ciaran Frawley sharing out the tries.
Fly-half Frawley, the man of the match on his first start, landed all but one conversion for a 40-7 interval lead.
The winless Kings were briefly lifted by captain Mike Willemse’s 14th-minute maul try, but second-half scores followed from McCarthy, James Lowe, Daly and replacement Jordan Larmour, with Frawley finishing with 19 points, as the Irish province temporarily moved eight points clear at the top of Conference B.