Warriors regain top spot
Sat, 30 Mar 2013 04:15
Zebre within a lick of paint of a first ever victory
Flyhalf Ruaridh Jackson racked up 22 points to guide Glasgow Warriors to a thumping 51-24 Pro12 victory over Munster.
The result moved the Scots back to the top of the table.
In the other match on Friday three Greig Laidlaw penalties ensured Edinburgh chalked up a second straight Pro12 win under Stevie Scott.
However, Zebre came within a lick of paint of a first ever victory, only to go down 7-9.
We look at Friday's matches.
Zebre 7-9 Edinburgh
Three Greig Laidlaw penalties ensured Edinburgh chalked up a second straight Pro12 win under Stevie Scott - but Zebre came within a lick of paint of a first ever victory, only to go down 9-7.
Trailing by two points with the clock ticking down, Italy fly-half Luciano Orquera tried his luck with a drop goal, only to see his effort cannon back off the crossbar to hand Edinburgh a reprieve.
It was a case of wasted opportunities for Edinburgh who were almost made to pay, only for Zebre to fall just short of a maiden Pro12 victory again, making do with an eighth losing bonus point of the season.
Buoyed by their victory over Ulster, which ended a run of 11 defeats in a row, Edinburgh began brightly and took the lead after just three minutes - scrum-half Laidlaw notching his first penalty of the evening.
That stirred Zebre into life but a big hit from Piers Francis forced the knock-on and the hosts were temporarily kept at bay.
A scrappy period ensued with both sides seeming to make ground only for handling errors to creep in but as the half wore on Zebre grew in stature.
But despite enjoying plenty of territory, Edinburgh countered on 25 minutes when Kiwi centre Ben Atiga broke 50 yards up field only to see his reverse pass dropped by No.8 Netani Talei.
And it was a mistake that proved costly as Dries van Schalkwyk, among Zebre's stand-out performers all season, forced his way over for the first try of the match and his sixth try of the Pro12 season.
Van Schalkwyk burst onto the inside pass and cut his way under the posts before fly-half Orquera added the extras to hand Zebre a 7-3 lead.
Francis then took a pot shot with a drop goal on 36 minutes - safe in the knowledge the penalty was coming for Edinburgh - but rather than go for the posts, the visitors went for the corner.
The try was not forthcoming but Edinburgh's pressure eventually told just a minute before the break, this time Laidlaw taking aim at the posts and making no mistake, ensuring his side trailed by just a point at the half-time interval.
Soon after the break Edinburgh brought Hamish Watson on for Ross Rennie and the visitors found themselves back in the lead on 45 minutes, Laidlaw kicking penalty number three.
Edinburgh had the momentum and earned themselves a scrum five metres from the Zebre line, only to concede a penalty and let the hosts off the hook.
Laidlaw then had the chance to extend his side's lead on 53 minutes but he slipped at the crucial moment and missed his first effort of the night.
Edinburgh came again however and almost scored their first try of the night on 57 minutes when Greig Tonks was held up on the line after a break and offload from Francis.
It was Laidlaw's turn to just miss out soon after as he looked certain to score when one on one with the last defender, only for the Scotland scrum-half to lose his footing.
Again Edinburgh were given the chance to give themselves some breathing space but Laidlaw was again wayward from the tee with seven minutes remaining.
And Zebre almost made them pay and came agonisingly close to snatching the lead with three minutes remaining, only for Orquera to see his drop goal strike the crossbar, leaving Edinburgh to hold on for the win.
Con: Van Schalkwyk
Pens: Laidlaw 3
Zebre: 15 Paolo Buso, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Giovanbattista Venditti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Andries van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Ferrarini, 6 Josh Sole, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Luciano Leibson, 19 Michael van Vuuren, 20 Emiliano Caffini, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Samuele Pace, 23 Ruggero Trevisan.
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Netani Talei, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Perry Parker, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 John Yapp, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Tom Brown.
Referee: Sean Gallagher (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Traversi, Filippo Bertelli (both Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)
Glasgow Warriors 51-24 Munster
Flyhalf Ruaridh Jackson racked up 22 points to guide Glasgow Warriors to a thumping 51-24 Pro12 victory over Munster which moved the Scots back to the top of the table.
Jackson and co put last weekend's defeat to Leinster behind them with a comfortable win in which Sean Maitland, Niko Matawalu, Jackson, Mark Bennett, Stuart Hogg and John Barclay all scored.
Munster impressed in the first half, largely through Tommy O'Donnell and Paul O'Connell but they were overwhelmed in the second half as the Warriors chalked up an eighth Pro12 win in nine matches.
Glasgow set the tone for this pulsating encounter with the first try of the match inside the first minute - Maitland intercepting and scorching away from the Munster chasers to put his side in front.
Jackson added the extras but on ten minutes Munster found themselves level when Casey Laulala hit back with his second try of the season before Ronan O'Gara converted.
Buoyed by his early try, Scotland international Maitland made yards again for the Warriors as both sides carried the fight to each other at Scotstoun.
Munster's urgency at the breakdown, with O'Donnell and O'Connell at the fore, had the Warriors on the back foot and their second try of the match arrived on 26 minutes from prop Dave Kilcoyne after a couple of quick phases.
O'Gara again converted to hand Munster a 14-7 lead but slack passing again came back to haunt the visitors.
And just two minutes later the Warriors found themselves level when Matawalu intercepted to score under the posts - Jackson adding the two points.
That stirred the Warriors into life and a big boot downfield by Hogg saw the Warriors pin Munster back and the hosts were able to force the penalty, allowing Jackson to kick his side into the lead.
And the Warriors were able to stretch their lead to 20-14 at the break when the Warriors won another penalty before the break following a powerful scrum with Jackson on target again.
Matawalu made the first incisive break of the second half and he fed Maitland on the right on 47 minutes but Munster scrum-half Duncan Williams scrambled back to gather the Kiwi-born flyer's kick ahead.
But soon after O'Gara trimmed the gap to just three when Munster won a penalty and again it came through O'Donnell, whose tackle on Hogg saw referee Leighton Hodges rule in the visitors' favour.
But on 56 minutes, the Warriors made their pressure count after a fine try that came about through Barclay's break.
Munster's desperate defence temporarily kept the hosts out but wave after wave of attack came and it was Jackson who dummied left and cruised over before adding the conversion for a 27-17 lead.
Jackson put clear daylight between the two sides with a penalty on 65 minutes after Munster infringed at the scrum and the Warriors then went in pursuit of the try that would give them the bonus point.
DTH van der Merwe very nearly provided it after a scything break down the left but Doug Howlett made the last-ditch tackle, but on 69 minutes the Warriors had the score they wanted when replacement centre Mark Bennett forced his way over with his first touch of the ball.
Jackson converted and Hogg scored one of his trademark blistering tries from deep with seven minutes left on the clock and Duncan Weir notched the difficult conversion to rub salt into the Munster wounds.
After a clever break from Felix Jones, Howlett finished off a smart late try for Munster, converted by replacement Ian Keatley, but Barclay scored the Warriors' third intercepted try of the night at the death, converted by Weir to take the Warriors above 50 points.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Barclay, Jackson, Maitland, Matawalu, Bennett, Hogg
Cons: Jackson 4, Weir 2
Pens: Jackson 3
Tries: Howlett, Laulala, Kilcoyne
Cons: O'Gara 2, Keatley
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Mark Bennett, 17 Duncan Weir, 18 Henry Pyrgos, 19 Rob Harley, 20 Tom Ryder, 21 Moray Low, 22 Dougie Hall, 23 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (captain), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan. 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Niall Ronan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Ivan Dineen.
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Adrian Graves (both Scotland)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)
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