Munster waves the white flag

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 21:22
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With Pro12 play-off qualification now a distant memory, Munster boss Rod Penney clearly had his sights set on Europe next week.

With Pro12 play-off qualification now a distant memory, Munster boss Rod Penney clearly had his sights set on Europe next weekend as the Irish side waved the white flag in Newport.

It allowed the Newport Gwent Dragons to end an unwanted four-game losing streak in the competition as they won 30-24.

* Treviso completed a Pro12 double over Edinburgh after tries from Manoa Vosawai, Michele Rizzo and Simone Favaro secured the Italian side a 30-10 victory at the Stadio di Monigo

* Ryan Grant scored two tries as high-flying Glasgow Warriors closed the gap on the Pro12 leaders with a commanding 35-17 victory over play-off hopefuls Ospreys.

* Emerging centre Stuart Olding made it four tries in six Pro12 games as Ulster beat Connacht 34-18 to move closer to a home play-off semifinal.

We look at all Friday's matches!

Newport Gwent Dragons 30-24 Munster

With Pro12 play-off qualification now a distant memory, Munster boss Rod Penney clearly had his sights set on Europe next weekend as the Irish side waved the white flag in Newport.

Penney retained just three players from last weekend's narrow loss to Leinster and the young Munster reinforcements were second best for large periods, allowing the Dragons to end an unwanted four-game losing streak in the competition as they won 30-24.

Prydie was one of the stars of the show, adding 17 with the boot and was ably backed up by Steffan Jones, who scored eight, including a first-half try.

Munster refused to throw in the towel after the break and produced a much-improved display as Ronan O'Mahony, CJ Stander and Johne Murphy all touched down to add to Paddy Butler's first-half try but it wasn't enough for the Heineken Cup semifinalists.

Prydie put the Dragons ahead with a penalty after 14 minutes but the lead was to be short-lived as Munster replied after 17 minutes as Butler went over for a try - Ian Keatley missing the conversion.

Just a minute later Prydie restored the Dragons lead with a penalty, before the home side extended their advantage after Jones went over for a score - again Prydie again the extras for a 13-5 lead.

Things got even better for the Dragons before the break as Prydie knocked over another penalty on 31 minutes after Butler was sent to the sin bin, before Jones added a drop goal on the stroke of half-time to give the home side a convincing 19-5 lead at the break.

Munster refused to throw in the towel after the break and despite a host of early replacements; it did little to alter the flow of the game as Prydie stretched the Dragons lead even further with a 48th minute penalty.

O'Mahony dragged Munster kicking and screaming back into the game as he went over for a score on 58 minutes but Keatley missed the conversion.

Munster throw everything at the Dragons in the last quarter as Stander went over for a try on 64 minutes, with Keatley adding the extras to bring the Irish side back to within five points.

And Munster got their noses in front with eight minutes to go, most unexpectedly as Murphy levelled the scores, before Keatley put them ahead with the conversion.

The Dragons refused to lie down though as Ross Wardle scored an excellent try three minutes later but the tension remained as Prydie missed the conversion to leave the home side three points ahead.

However, the gulf in class eventually told, particularly in the back-row where Welsh internationals Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate bossed the breakdown.

And Prydie added a late penalty to take the tension out of the game and hand the Dragons a deserved but nervy 30-24 win.

The defeat was further evidence of the Munstermen's sketchy domestic form, with their only win over a Welsh region since September being a 24-18 over Cardiff Blues at The Arms Park in November.

The scorers:

For Newport Gwent Dragons:
S Jones, Wardle
Con: Prydie
Pens: Prydie 5
DG: S Jones

For Munster:
Murphy 2, O'Mahony, Stander
Cons: Keatley 2

Yellow cards: Paddy Butler (Munster, 28), Damien Varley (Munster, 66)


Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Matthew Pewtner, 13 Ross Wardle, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs (captain), 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Aaron Coundley.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Tim Ryan, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Ieuan Jones, 22 Wayne Evans, 23 Andy Tuilagi.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Ronan O'Mahony, 13 Ivan Dineen, 12 JJ Hanrahan, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Cillian Sheridan, 8 Paddy Butler, 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Dave Foley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian Du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Henry, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Ryan, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Cian Bohane, 23 Danny Barnes.

Referee: Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy, Neil Perkins (both Wales)

Glasgow Warriors 35-17 Ospreys

Ryan Grant scored two tries as high-flying Glasgow Warriors closed the gap on the Pro12 leaders with a commanding 35-17 victory over play-off hopefuls Ospreys.

Head coach Gregor Townsend had demanded a response from his players after their recent defeat to Scarlets and made a number of changes.

He had also urged the side to win for long-time club servant John Barclay, who played what could be his final home game for the club on his 150th appearance.

Glasgow flyhalf Duncan Weir missed two early penalties and the Ospreys took advantage when Dan Biggar threaded the posts after just eight minutes.

Flank Barclay thought he'd scored under the posts only to have the referee award a five metre scrum but Scottish international prop Grant bundled over on 11 minutes and Weir was unerring with the conversion.

The hosts maintained the momentum but Ospreys' defence held firm until scrumhalf Niko Matawalu's neat kick was chased down by Sean Maitland, whose try was awarded after it had been referred to the video referee.

Weir continued to struggle with his kicking rhythm as he missed the resulting tough conversion and a penalty but by 30 minutes the hosts had further increased their advantage.

Grant crashed across the line for his second try and Weir's conversion and penalty on the stroke of half-time secured a 22-3 lead.

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy left his side under no illusions about the second half task, with a win crucial to maintaining their slight advantage over Scarlets in the last play-off place.

And just seven minutes after the restart replacement prop Cai Griffiths ran under the posts and Biggar converted to slim the deficit.

However, another moment of brilliance from Matawalu put the hosts back in control, he executed a brilliant break from a penalty to secure a valuable fourth bonus point try after 56 minutes.

Sam Lewis powered across for the Ospreys in the 61st minute with the unerring Biggar again on target but Glasgow, roared on by a crowd of 6,642, their biggest of the season, held firm.

Pete Horne, who had just replaced Weir, threaded a 70th minute penalty, after another moment of solo brilliance by Matawalu had put the visitors on the back foot.

Graeme Morrison, in the final home game of his tenth season with Glasgow, almost scored late on while Barclay's all-round endeavour saw him awarded man of the match.

However, Canadian winger DTH Van der Merwe collected an 80th minute loose pass and scampered clear to complete the rout.

The scorers:

For Glasgow Warriors:
Grant 2, Van der Merwe, Maitland, Matawalu
Cons: Weir 2
Pens: Weir, Horne

For Ospreys:
Griffiths, Lewis
Cons: Biggar 2
Pen: Biggar

Yellow cards: Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors, 43), Adam Jones (Ospreys, 43)

The teams:

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 John Barclay, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 DTH van der Merwe.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Habberfield, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Ben John, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James King, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Jonathan Thomas, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Ross Jones.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Benetton Treviso 30-10 Edinburgh

Treviso completed a Pro12 double over Edinburgh after tries from Manoa Vosawai, Michele Rizzo and Simone Favaro secured the Italian side a 30-10 victory at the Stadio di Monigo

Edinburgh led for much of the first half through Matt Scott's well-worked try but after fullback Tom Brown was yellow carded on 33 minutes Treviso seized their moment.

Replacement Vosawai grabbed the crucial converted try on the stroke of half time and prop Rizzo put daylight between the two sides when he dived over for another seven-point score on the hour mark.

Edinburgh searched for a response but despite a numerical advantage in the closing stages it was Treviso who had the final say when Favaro sealed the win.

Edinburgh lost the reverse fixture 27-22 in October but enjoyed a fine start when Greig Laidlaw struck a long-penalty through the posts for the lead on three minutes.

The Italians could have levelled the match two minutes later but from his shot at goal Alberto Di Bernardo was off target.

Undeterred, Treviso continued to press, throwing the ball around in attack but Edinburgh scrambled well to keep them out and ruffled the home side's feathers when Netani Talei forced full-back Brendan Williams to knock on.

Edinburgh's pressure paid off on 13 minutes when they moved the ball along the back three to Scotland wing Tim Visser who made good yards before putting international team-mate Scott through for the game's first try. Laidlaw continued where he had left off with the boot and added the extras.

Di Bernardo was again afforded the chance to produce an instant response but once more he failed to secure the three points.

Treviso continued to attack and despite dogged defence from the Scottish side they eventually had an infringement punished when Di Bernardo kicked his first successful penalty.

The Italians were given further encouragement when Brown was sent to the sin bin seven minutes before the break and Di Bernardo slotted another penalty.

Treviso sensed blood and finally found the try they were looking for when Vosawai dived over after a pick and go from the scrum and Di Bernardo converted on 40 minutes.

Scott almost began the second half with a bang for Edinburgh, chipping the ball over the defence but just failing to collect it.

Brown returned to restore Edinburgh to full strength but Treviso continued to attack with ambition

The Italians then demonstrated their power up front but after winning the penalty Di Bernardo's effort cannoned back off the upright.

Edinburgh's defence was undergoing a severe examination and after they were penalised at the breakdown Di Bernardo made no mistake.

On 58 minutes 16-10 became 23-10 when a strong maul took Treviso into the Edinburgh 22 before they span out and Rizzo dived over before Di Bernardo converted.

Edinburgh were given a chance when Edoardo Gori and Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet were both sin-binned in the final ten minutes but instead it was Treviso who grabbed their third try of the game through Favaro and Di Bernardo converted.

The scorers:

For Benetton Treviso:
Vosawai, Rizzo, Favaro
Cons: Di Bernardo 3
Pens: Di Bernardo 3

For Edinburgh:
Con: Laidlaw
Pens: Laidlaw


Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gideon La Grange, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Luke McLean.

Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Netani Talei, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steve Lawrie, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 John Yapp, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Robert McAlpine, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Lee Jones.

Referee: Mark Patton (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Traversi, Simone Boaretto (both Italy)
TMO: Stefano Marrama (Italy)

Connacht 18-34 Ulster

Emerging centre Stuart Olding made it four tries in six Pro12 games as Ulster beat Connacht 34-18 to move closer to a home play-off semifinal.

The 20-year-old scored the first of Ulster's five tries in a bonus-point win that also saw Tommy Bowe become the first player to reach 50 Celtic League tries.

Fellow wing Andrew Trimble and full-back Jared Payne also crossed the whitewash while hooker Rory Best grabbed the other and Ruan Pienaar kicked nine points.

Connacht gave as good as they got for much of the game but first-half tries from George Naoupu and Fetu'u Vainikolo ultimately proved too little to stop Ulster cementing their place at the top of the table.

Ulster began the game in disastrous fashion, knocking the ball on from the kick-off and then being penalised in the scrum.

Pienaar was then tackled inside his own half and once the ball was stolen it was thrown wide to Naoupu who went over for the first try.

Pienaar missed the chance to reduce the gap to two points when he failed with a penalty attempt in a swirling wind but it wasn't long before the league leaders were in front thanks to a fine try.

Darren Cave was at the heart of a flowing passing move that also featured Payne before centre Olding timed his run perfectly to collect the ball and fly over the whitewash.

If that was good then Pienaar's assist for the next try two minutes later was superb. The South African cut in off the left wing before flicking the ball out the back of his hand for the motoring Trimble who was never going to be stopped.

Pienaar missed the conversion and Ulster's seven point advantage was wiped out on 17 minutes when Eoin Griffin and Gavin Duffy combined to release Tongan wing Vainikolo who beat three men to score the try and Dan Parks added the extras.

Parks and Pienaar then exchanged penalties before Best finished off a strong maul and Pienaar converted to put Ulster 22-15 up at the break.

The gap was reduced to four nine minutes after the teams reappeared when Miah Nikora slotted a penalty from in front of the posts after Connacht had failed with a drop goal before play was brought back for an infringement.

Ulster almost found the breathing space they were looking for when Payne crossed the try line only for him to he held up in the tackle.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure from the scrum but despite a series of penalties Connacht managed to stand firm.

However, the hosts were powerless to prevent Ulster sealing the bonus point when replacement lock Iain Henderson embarked on a bulldozing run and fed Bowe who finished off the move.

Pienaar converted to make it 29-18 to Ulster and there was more to come when Payne ran in from almost half-way to cross in the corner.

Extensive in-game highlights of the Pro12 are now available on the official YouTube channel

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Naoupu, Vainikolo
Con: Parks
Pens: Parks, Nikora

For Ulster:
Best, Bowe, Trimble, Payne, Olding
Cons: Pienaar 3
Pen: Pienaar

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Brian Murphy, 11 Gavin Duffy (captain), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 John Muldoon, 6 Mick Kearney, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Mata Fifita, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Lewis Stevenson, 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 John Afoa, 19 Johann Muller, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Michael Allen, 23 Peter Nelson.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan, B O'Connell (both Ireland)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (Ireland)

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Fri, 27 April 2018
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Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
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Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
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Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
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Sun, 22 April 2018
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Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
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Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
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Sat, 14 April 2018
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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 20 15 1 4 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 20 8 0 12 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 20 6 0 14 32
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 20 12 1 7 60
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11