The British & Irish Cup Pools are nearing the final stages with qualification for the knock-out fixtures set to go to the wire. From hat-tricks to a grandstand finish, here are the key stories from round five.
Steele-y Irish into quarters
London Irish wrapped up a place in the last eight of the British & Irish Cup with victory away in Ireland as they cruised to a 41-14 win over Connacht A.
And there was one man at the heart of their performance, scrum-half Scott Steele helping himself to a 19-minute hat-trick.
That put the Exiles on course for a seven-try success, with Steele getting their first three tries before setting up Ross Neal for the fourth to secure the bonus point.
Neal’s second put them 29-0 up and while Connacht got off the mark before the break through Ciaran Gaffney, the visitors continued to dominate.
They added two more scores after the break, through Senitiki Nayalo and Todd Gleave and ensured they will finish top of Pool 3.
Cornish Pirates are also still in contention for a best runners-up spot after they beat Ospreys Premiership Select XV 34-10.
Jersey romp to keep pressure on Ulster A
Jersey Reds sit one point behind Ulster A heading into the final round where the two teams will meet at St Peter’s.
The Reds comfortably secured five points with a comprehensive 55-10 win over Cardiff Blues Premiership Select XV, former Scotland international Jack Cuthbert getting the ball rolling for the visitors.
Cuthbert endured a mixed afternoon, being sin-binned later in the half, but Jersey were able to move into a 22-3 lead by the break.
They wrapped up their bonus point early in the second half with a try from young scrum-half Kieran Hardy.
Next up will be Ulster, who got the better of London Scottish 38-21 on Friday night.
Kirby steps up
Richmond have enjoyed some highs this season and a last-gasp victory over Scarlets Premiership Select XV will be right up there.
Rob Kirby was the hero of the hour, nailing a penalty in the final seconds to secure a 34-32 success.
It had not gone to plan early on for Richmond, who trailed 12-0 in the first half, but they fought back thanks to tries from Harison Edwards and then man-of-the-match Matt Corker.
While they led 19-17 at the break, the Scarlets hit back and looked to be in control, 32-19 up with 10 minutes to go.
But Toby Saysell’s solo effort set up a grandstand finish, and after Jono Woodward had gone over for their fifth try, Kirby stepped up at the death to secure a second win of the British & Irish Cup campaign.
That results opens up the Pool for Nottingham, who edged out Leinster A on Friday night and now sit two points behind Scarlets with the top two set to meet in West Wales next week.