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Biggar and better for Ospreys

Fri, 05 Oct 2012 20:47
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We bring you all Friday's scores and reports
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Dan Biggar's 24-point haul maintained the Ospreys' Pro12 charge at the expense of lowly Zebre, whom they beat 34-16  on Friday.

In other Friday action Luke Wallace's fantastic late try put the icing on the cake for Ulster as they continued their perfect start to the Pro12 season with a 25-0 win over Connacht.

Wales wing Morgan Stoddart marked his first game back from injury with a try in a 24-13 win for Scarlets against Dragons.

Robert Barbieri's double ensured Treviso's travel woes were extinguished as Edinburgh suffered their first-ever Pro12 home defeat to an Italian side on Friday.

We bring you all Friday's scores and reports!

Scarlets 24-13 Newport Gwent Dragons

Wales wing Morgan Stoddart marked his first game back from injury with a try in a 24-13 win for Scarlets against Dragons.

Stoddart had been out of the game for 15 months following the broken leg he suffered against England last year. But after being introduced to the fray at the start of the second half he only had to wait half an hour before celebrating a try on his return.

Following a penalty apiece from Steffan Jones and Aled Thomas, Scarlets scored the opening try of the night in controversial fashion. A Thomas penalty kick from the right hand side appeared to go through the posts but, to the bemusement of the Dragons players, referee Nigel Owens ruled that the kick had narrowly missed the far upright and awarded a try instead once Gareth Maule - alert to the fact the ball was still 'live' - touched the loose ball down in the left hand corner. Thomas converted and added two further penalties to hand the home side a 16-3 half-time lead.

After a drab, scoreless third quarter, played out in persistent rain, Dragons threatened a mini fightback. Dan Evans' smart grubber kick on the left hand touchline appeared to be covered by a back-tracking Scott Williams, but the ball escaped from his grasp and Adam Hughes followed up smartly. His score and the subsequent conversion closed the gap to just three points.

Jonathan Evans's sin-binning on 65 minutes stopped the Dragons' momentum and resulted in three more penalty points for the Scarlets from the boot of replacement Rhys Priestland.

After being brought down just short of the line a minute earlier, wing Stoddart made no mistake in finishing off another attack for what was the most popular score of the evening.

The scorers:

Scarlets:
Tries:
Maule, Stoddart
Con: Thomas
Pens: Thomas 3, Priestland

Newport Gwent Dragons:
Try:
Hughes
Con: Prydie
Pens: Prydie, S Jones

Teams:

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Rob McCusker (captain), 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Kieran Murphy, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Morgan Stoddart.

Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (captain), 5 Adam Jones, 4 Ian Nimmo, 3 Dan Way, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Aaron Coundley, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Liam Davies, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Will Harries.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ian Davies (Wales), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Ulster 25-0 Connacht

Luke Wallace's fantastic late try put the icing on the cake for Ulster as they continued their perfect start to the Pro12 with a 25-0 win over Connacht.

Wallace's late score finished off a scintillating team move that started on their own tryline on a night dedicated to the late Nevin Spence as the Ulstermen returned to Ravenhill for the first time since his tragic death.

A first-half try from man-of-the-match Nick Williams in addition to a penalty try from Ulster's dominant scrum as well as ten points from the boot of Paddy Jackson was more than enough to seal a clinical victory.

Connacht were coming into the clash hot on the heels of a dominant 34-6 win over Leinster last time out but have not won at Ravenhill since 1960.

And it was Ulster that made most of the running in the opening skirmishes as they proved their real dominance at scrum time with a couple of early penalties.

In the tenth minute another fine scrum, led by Rory Best in his first start for the province since the Heineken Cup final, earned Jackson a very kickable penalty that he subsequently slotted for a 3-0 lead.

But after the first quarter of an hour neither side was anywhere near really cutting loose and scoring the first try of the match.

However the game finally burst into life in the 16th minute when a fantastic rumbling break by Ulster No.8 Williams nearly put Paul Marshall in the clear but with no support a quick turnover released the pressure.

Just before the half hour a fine break from Andrew Trimble again put Marshall in the clear but when he was driven over the try line by his pack Connacht did enough to hold him up.

An Ulster try appeared inevitable and after a fine break from full-back Jared Payne on the half hour it looked like the home side had it but Chris Henry was called back for obstruction in the build-up.

The one silver-lining for Mark Anscombe's men was that Connacht flank Dave Gannon was sent to the sin bin for an earlier infringement and with their numerical advantage Ulster finally made the breakthrough.

After two resets at scrum time on the five-metre line Ulster continued to turn the screw and a penalty try was the inevitable answer and when Jackson added the conversion it was 10-0 to the hosts.

The home side were in the mood now and in the final ten minutes of the first half wave after wave of Ulster pressure was held out by Connacht despite being down to 14 men.

But just when the away side appeared set to hold out until the interval Williams forced his way over for the side's second score, Jackson again converting to make it 17-0.

Ulster started the second half the same way they finished the first in free-flowing form but Connacht, returned to their full complement, held out bravely to keep it at 17-0.

The introduction of props Nathan White and Denis Buckley in the front row had really solidified Connacht's scrum and it was them who came closest to the first try after the interval.

Teenage whizzkid Robbie Henshaw's incisive break from full-back broke the line but his pass to Fetu'u Vainikolo went to ground with the tryline beckoning and the chance was gone.

A Jackson penalty on the hour mark extended Ulster's lead to 20-0 but the closing stages passed by with little incident as Connacht refused to lie down and came close to a deserved consolation score.

But it was left to Ulster to have the final say and when it did come it was the score of the match as a fine initial break by replacement Craig Gilroy down the left set up Wallace whose crossfield kick was knocked down by Tommy Bowe to replacement Wallace who slid over for a memorable try.

The one negative on a fine night for Ulster came in the closing stages when man-of-the-match Williams went off with what appeared to be a rib injury.

The scorers:

Ulster:
Tries:
Penalty try, N Williams, L Marshall
Cons: Jackson 2
Pens: Jackson 2

Connacht:
None

Yellow card: Dave Gannon (Connacht, 32)

Teams:

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johan Muller (captain), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 John Afoa, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Willie Faloon (captain), 6 Dave Gannon, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Nathan White, 19 John Muldoon, 20 Johnny O'Connor, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Mata Fifita.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eanna O'Dowd (Ireland), Brian Macneice (Ireland)
TMO: Ken Beggs (Ireland)

Zebre 16-34 Ospreys

Dan Biggar's 24-point haul maintained the Ospreys' Pro12 charge at the expense of lowly Zebre on Friday.

After getting their defence of the title off to a nightmare start with three consecutive losses, the Welsh side have formed a recovery and this confident performance ensured their third successive victory.

Their hosts, meanwhile, remain winless in five attempts but had Luca Redolfini's second-half try to show for their efforts.

Wales international Biggar, though, was at his imperious best with the boot for Steve Tandy's troops, who welcomed back Wales prop Adam Jones for his first Pro12 start of the season.

Biggar also added a second-half try to Richard Fussell and Jonathan Thomas efforts in the first half.

After missing his first attempt at the posts on three minutes, Biggar made amends by slotting away the opening points of the game with a sixth-minute penalty.

Gonzalo Garcia, taking over kicking duties for the Parma-based side who were without injured fly-halves Luciano Orquera and Paolo Buso, responded five minutes later with a kick of his own.

Biggar was not to be upstaged though and calmly added a further six points midway through the first half with two penalties as the Liberty Stadium outfit settled into their stride.

Fussell, who grabbed his first Pro12 try of the season against Munster last week, then made it two in two games when he crossed in the 28th minute.

Biggar slotted the conversion to take his personal tally to 11 points.

Then, just before the break, Ospreys all-but put the game to bed when flank Thomas went over for his first of the campaign.

Biggar's missed conversion offered the Italians hope and Australian full-back Daniel Halangahu reduced Treviso's half-time deficit to 21-6 with a late penalty.

Buoyed by the points just before the interval, prop Redolfini crashed over on 43 minutes to the delight of the Stadio XXV Aprile faithful, who had only previously witnessed a 30-17 defeat to Connacht in early September.

Halangahu slotted away the conversion and the game was seemingly back in the balance.

Garcia missed his second penalty of the evening on 51 minutes but Halangahu showed him how to do it moments later to bring them within touching distance of the visitors.

But Biggar kept them at bay with another three-pointer and added further distance between the sides with his fifth penalty of the game.

His decisive blow though came with eight minutes remaining - the 22-year-old crossing and converting to secure a vital victory for the visitors.

The scorers:

Zebre:
Try:
Redolfini
Con: Halangahu
Pens: Halangahu 2, Garcia

Ospreys:
Tries:
Fussell, Biggar, Thomas
Cons: Biggar 2
Pens: Biggar 5

Yellow cards: Alberto Chillon (Zebre, 24), Matteo Pratichetti (Zebre, 61)

Teams:

Zebre: 15 Daniel Halangahu, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Matteo Pratichetti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia (captain), 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Alberto Chiesa, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Michael Van Vuuren, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Flavio Tripodi, 19 Filippo Ferrarini, 20 Josh Sole, 21 Luca Martinelli, 22 Alberto Benettin, 23 Leonardo Sarto.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Joe Bearman, 20 George Stowers, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Ross Jones, 23 Jonathan Spratt.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Stefano Pennè (Italy), Filippo Bertelli (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Marrama (Italy)

Edinburgh 22-27 Treviso

Robert Barbieri's double ensured Treviso's travel woes were extinguished as Edinburgh suffered their first-ever Pro12 home defeat to an Italian side on Friday.

The Italian international flank took his season tally to six tries with efforts either side of half-time as the Stadio di Monigo outfit picked up only their second away victory since December 2011.

Six of the Treviso line-up, including Barbieri, played for Italy in March's 13-6 Six Nations reversal that handed Scotland the wooden spoon and it was a similar story at Murrayfield.

Edinburgh, who saw Tim Visser, Lee Jones and Dougie Fife go over to secure a losing bonus point, have now lost their last three Pro12 games and were under pressure for most of this contest.

Just 90 seconds were on the clock when Greig Laidlaw had his first shot at the post, eight metres in from touch, but the Scotland international's effort was wayward.

Two minutes later though he made amends and gave the hosts an early lead.

Alberto Di Bernardo, whose last-gasp penalty secured victory for Treviso over the Scarlets at the weekend, missed the chance to level the scores with a long-range effort of his own on ten minutes.

The Italians though were continuing to press Edinburgh back and got their reward on 28 minutes when referee Matteo Liperini awarded a penalty try for a repeated scrummage infringement, Di Bernardo making light work of the conversion.

Five minutes later in-form Visser wowed the Murrayfield faithful with a superb 50-metre dash, outpacing Luke McLean, to cross for his eighth try of the campaign.

Laidlaw's conversion affirmed Edinburgh's advantage but Di Bernardo slotted away a 38th-minute penalty to bring the scores level at 10-10.

And, with time ticking towards the 40-minute mark, the visitors edged in front again when Barbieri took advantage of Matt Scott's error to waltz over for his fifth try of the season.

Di Bernardo held his nerve and gave Franco Smith's troops a 17-10 half-time lead and started the second in the same vain with a brilliant three-pointer.

His chance to extend Treviso's lead to 13 points was wasted on 53 minutes when the Argentinian-born fly-half missed a difficult kick.

But it mattered little seconds later as the impressive Barbieri charged down Richie Rees' kick and touched down for his second of the game.

Lee Jones gave the hosts immediate hope when he cut through the outside and went over for his first Pro12 try of the season.

The hosts continued to press and got their rewards on 78 minutes when replacement Fife went in under the posts but they couldn't find a last-gasp winner and had to settle for a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

Edinburgh:
Tries:
Jones, Visser, Fife
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pen: Laidlaw

Treviso:
Tries:
Barbieri 2, Penalty try
Cons: Di Bernardo 3
Pens: Di Bernardo 2

Yellow cards: WP Nel (Edinburgh, 25), Alberto De Marchi (Treviso, 64)

Teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 9 Chris Leck, 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Ross Rennie, 21 Richie Rees, 22 John Houston, 23 Dougie Fife.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Iannone, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tobias Botes, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Francesco Minto, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Giulio Toniolatti.

Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Assistant referees: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
TMO: Gordon McMurray (Scotland)

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