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Biggar's boot earns Ospreys a draw

Sat, 14 Sep 2013 19:50
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We look at the Saturday matches
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Dan Biggar's boot came to the rescue to earn Ospreys a 29-29 Pro12 draw, after they threw away the lead and a man advantage at Leinster.

Two quickfire second-half Ospreys tries for Joe Bearman and Ashley Beck had looked to have the visitors in control, after Richardt Strauss had given the Leinster the advantage.

But, despite Sean Cronin's sin bin, the hosts roared back into the contest and Jack McGrath's try was topped off by a Jimmy Gopperth penalty in the final five minutes - but Biggar struck in added time to draw level.

* In the other game on Saturday Scrumhalf Gareth Davies scored two quick-fire tries to lay the foundations for an impressive 26-10 Scarlets win over Benetton Treviso.

Davies showed incredible poise to pounce twice in the first 15 minutes, while Steven Shingler was also on fire with his kicking as he struck with four penalties and two conversions.

We look at Saturday's matches!

Leinster 29-29 Ospreys

Dan Biggar's boot came to the rescue to earn Ospreys a 29-29 draw, after they threw away the lead and a man advantage at Leinster.

Two quickfire second-half Ospreys tries for Joe Bearman and Ashley Beck had looked to have the visitors in control, after Richardt Strauss had given the Leinster the advantage.

But, despite Sean Cronin's sin bin, the hosts roared back into the contest and Jack McGrath's try was topped off by a Jimmy Gopperth penalty in the final five minutes - but Biggar struck in added time to draw level.

Biggar opened the scoring, putting Ospreys ahead from the tee after just three minutes, but Strauss crossed the line two minutes later to give Leinster the lead after smart work down the right from Brendan Macken.

And the hosts were in a dominant mood, taking a 10-3 lead when a break from the scrum led to Dave Kearney scoring down the left flank - but Gopperth missed his second conversion from two attempts.

Fly-half Gopperth made some amends after 24 minutes, easing Leinster into a ten-point lead with a drop goal, but an infringement from the kick-off handed Biggar another penalty, which he sent between the posts.

Gopperth continued his comeback with the boot shortly after the half-hour mark to hit a penalty from the ten-metre line and restore Leinster's ten-point advantage.

And Gordon D'Arcy conceded the visitors' third penalty of the game on the stroke of half-time, which Biggar gratefully accepted to leave Ospreys trailing 16-9 at the break.

Biggar picked up the second half where he left off, slotting a penalty five minutes after the break, but Gopperth returned the favour five minutes later.

A quickfire double from the visitors turned the game on its head 15 minutes into the second half as Bearman and Beck eached scored tries.

The Welsh side spread the ball well for Bearman to touch down and Leinster were all over the place as Beck put them in control - Biggar kicked both conversions.

Leinster responded well and found themselves camped in the Ospreys' 22 shortly after the hour mark, but the defence held firm.

Leicester's Sean Cronin was sent to the sin-bin after 67 minutes and the hosts looked up against it, but a McGrath try, following a number of drives and a fine catch by Jordi Murphy, drew them level ten minutes from time.

Gopperth kicked Leinster into a narrow lead from close range four minutes from time but Biggar struck the final blow to earn Ospreys a share of the points.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries:
Strauss, Kearney, McGrath
Cons: Gopperth
Pens: Gopperth 3
DG: Gopperth

For Ospreys:
Tries:
Bearman, Beck
Cons: Biggar 2
Pens: Biggar 5

Yellow card: Sean Cronin (Leinster, 57)

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Dave Kearney, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings (captain), 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Darren Hudson.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ben John, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tom Smith (captain), 5 James King, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Joe Rees, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Tom Grabham, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Jeff Hassler.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
TMO: Brian Macneice (Ireland)

Scarlets 26-10 Treviso

Scrumhalf Gareth Davies scored two quick-fire tries to lay the foundations for an impressive 26-10 Scarlets win over Benetton Treviso.

Davies showed incredible poise to pounce twice in the first 15 minutes, while Steven Shingler was also on fire with his kicking as he struck with four penalties and two conversions.

A penalty late in the first-half from Tobias Botes and Ludovico Nitoglia's converted try put points on the scoreboard for Treviso, but they always looked like going home empty-handed.

Scarlets came flying out of the blocks as scrum-half Davies ran over for a scintillating try inside the first five minutes following great work from the scrum.

Shingler kicked the extras but when Treviso had the chance to respond with a penalty soon after, Alberto Di Bernardo could not capitalise.

Franco Smith's side have beaten Scarlets on three of their last four encounters but the Welsh side were clearly on a mission of revenge and especially Davies, who crossed the whitewash for the second time on the quarter-hour mark - Shingler dead-on with the conversion once more.

Searching for some inspiration, Treviso freshened up their side after half hour as full-back Brendan Williams made way for Fabio Semenzato, while hooker Enrico Ceccato replaced Giovanni Maistri.

Just before the break star man Davies and Di Bernardo were involved in a scuffle which earned the pair a yellow card each - prompting Bates to take over kicking duties for Treviso, drilling over a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

One kicker continuing to proving his worth was fly-half Shingler as he picked up where he left off after the restart with another success off the kicking tee.

But just as the game was beginning to slip away from the visitors, Nitoglia stormed over the try-line to give his side a much-needed boost as Botes drilled over the conversion.

Treviso started to gather momentum but a huge kick from Rhys Priestland pinned them back into their own territory and when the Italian outfit were penalised under pressure, Shingler again hit the target.

Soon after the fly-half's brother, Aaron, was replaced by returning Lions heroJonathan Davies as his first appearance of the RaboDirect PRO12 season was greeted by a rapturous reception.

Midway through the second-half more ill-discipline from the Treviso ranks did not help their cause - this time Dean Budd seeing yellow - before Shingler was on target with another penalty.

And with ten minutes remaining, it was left for Shingler to knock over his fourth penalty of the game as Scarlets cruised to victory - despite a late effort from the all-action Michele Campagnaro being ruled out by the TMO for a forward pass.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Tries: 
Davies 2
Cons: Shingler 2
Pens: Shingler 4

For Treviso:
Tries:
Nitoglia
Cons: Botes
Pens: Botes

Yellow cards: Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 37), Alberto di Bernardo (Benetton Treviso, 37), Dean Budd (Benetton Treviso, 64)

Teams:

Scarlets: 15 Gareth Owen, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Steve Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (captain), 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Jo Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Jonathan Davies, 23 Nick Reynolds

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Manoa Vosawai, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 John Maistri, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 Dean Budd, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Christian Loamanu, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Mathew Berquist.

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Neil Perkins (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

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