Munster end Glasgow's run
Munster ended Glasgow's 100 percent record at the summit of the Pro12 competition.
Munster ended Glasgow's 100 percent record at the summit of the Pro12 competition.
They overcame their fellow high-flyers 13-6 thanks to an inspired performance by JJ Hanrahan.
* In other Friday matches Rhys Priestland struck an injury time penalty to spare the Scarlets' blushes, earning a 16-16 draw to deny Zebre a first ever home win in the Pro12.
* Dan Tuohy's double secured Ulster a confident 39-21 win over Cardiff Blues to continue their recent impressive form on return to Pro12 action.
* The Dragons' disastrous Pro12 away form against Welsh opposition continued as an Ospreys pack brimming with international experience claimed a deserved 40-17 victory and kept up the pressure at the top of the table.
* Edinburgh will hope to have kick-started their stuttering league season with this hard-fought 20-13 win over Benetton Treviso
We look at Friday's action!
Edinburgh 20-13 Treviso
Edinburgh will hope to have kick-started their stuttering league season with this hard-fought 20-13 win over Benetton Treviso.
Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons had called on his side to repeat their recent encouraging European Cup form on return to league action.
And after just one win from their previous five Pro12 encounters, Edinburgh duly seized the chance to haul themselves off the bottom of the table at Murrayfield.
Solomons, whose side beat Munster and put up a decent display in defeat to Perpignan in Europe, welcomed back several key players from injury and they combined to make an almost instant impact.
Full-back Greig Tonks, in his first start in a month after hamstring problems, opened the scoring in the 11th minute following a flowing backs move that was initiated when Georgian international Dimitri Basilaia, back from a groin injury, broke the game down.
Benetton Treviso had won their last two matches against Edinburgh - including a 27-22 win at Murrayfield last December - and were always in the match, the influential Nick De Luca's late tackle saving what appeared an almost certain try in the 15th minute.
Edinburgh scrum half Greig Laidlaw exchanged missed and successful penalties with James Ambrosini as the first half ended 10-3 and the game certainly improved after the break.
Laidlaw edged the hosts further ahead with another penalty following the restart before Treviso finally started to fire.
And after a period of sustained pressure and possession, replacement and Italian international Luke McClean scored in the 61st minute and Tobias Botes converted before then levelling the scores with a penalty.
But roared on by a crowd of 3,993, the hosts' fighting spirit finally got them over the line and eased the pressure on Solomons, with lowly Zebre the next visitors to Murrayfield.
In fairness Edinburgh were playing good rugby, while lacking the final touch, and were due some luck this season.
And when De Luca and Jack Cuthbert chased after Laidlaw's well-aimed kick, bundling Treviso's last man into touch on the five metre line, the foundation was established.
However, it was prop WP Nel who bulldozed over from short range after showing good composure at the line out, Laidlaw then easing the nerves with a well-threaded conversion.
But Treviso still surged forward in pursuit of the levelling score, stretching Edinburgh's determined defence across the pitch but just failing to breach their resolve.
Tries: Tonks, Nel
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Ambrosini, Botes
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David Denton, 7 Cornell Du Preez, 6 Dimitri Basilaia, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Izak van der Westhuizen, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Joaquin Dominguez, 23 Jack Cuthbert.
Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Christian Loamanu, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Fabio Semenzato, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Dean Budd, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Marco Filippucci, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luke McLean.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Allan (Scotland), Stephen Hart (Scotland)
Glasgow Warriors 6-13 Munster
Munster ended Glasgow's 100 per cent record at the summit of the Pro12 as they overcame their fellow high-flyers 13-6 thanks to an inspired performance by JJ Hanrahan.
The Munster No.10 scored all of his side's points as the Irish side produced a brave defensive performance to see off a determined and robust Glasgow pack.
Munster's preparations were hindered in the warm-up as experienced Ireland and Lions lock Paul O'Connell suffered an injury, meaning he was forced to drop out and Billy Holland replaced him in the engine room.
The disruption seemed to affect the Munster performance in the opening minutes as it was Glasgow who started like an express train and claimed an early lead thanks to a third-minute penalty from fly-half Duncan Weir.
And it could have got worse just six minutes later as the Scotland international missed a second kick at goal to extend Glasgow's lead, the ball striking the woodwork after Holland was penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck.
Weir was influential in the opening quarter as he took the aerial approach against Munster, putting a series of high kicks up to test the Munster back three.
Despite dominating possession and territory, Glasgow found themselves level with their visitors after 21 minutes as JJ Hanrahan kicked Munster level with a penalty.
In a tight and cagey affair, every opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking proved crucial and that's exactly what Weir did for Glasgow on 25 minutes as he struck over his second penalty to make it 6-3 on the 22 right in front of the posts.
After the interval JJ Hanrahan enjoyed an inspired opening seven minutes to the second-half - first he darted over for the opening score of the game, which he converted after a period of Munster pressure.
And then minutes later he left Glasgow with a mountain to climb as he struck over a penalty to turn the screw on the home side and leave the score at 13-6.
Glasgow refused to wave the white flag though and after a period of sustained pressure in the Munster 22 in which they just couldn't quite get over the line - James Cronin was sin-binned for the visitors.
The home side turned down a kick at goal in favour of a scrum, with a numerical advantage but still they couldn't break down brave Munster defending.
Glasgow enjoyed an avalanche of territory and possession in the second 40 minutes but they just couldn't finish a killer pass to down Munster.
The rain started to come down in the final ten minutes, meaning quick handling was replaced with an arm wrestle up front and still Glasgow couldn't find a way through desperate Munster defending.
In overtime, a Munster mistake saw Glasgow throw the kitchen sink at the visitors as they got within five metres of scoring a late try, they camped on the try-line for a period of time but the pressure proved fruitless.
Pens: Weir 2
Pens: Hanrahan (2)
Yellow cards: James Cronin (Munster, 51), Jon Welsh (Glasgow, 75), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster, 75)
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Sean Lamont, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Chris Cusiter (captain), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Mark Bennett.
Munster: 15 Johne Murphy, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander. 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Peter O'Mahony (captain), 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Billy Holland, 20 James Coughlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 James Downey, 23 Casey Laulala.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: David Changleng (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)
Ospreys 40-17 Newport Gwent Dragons
The Dragons' disastrous Pro12 away form against Welsh opposition continued as an Ospreys pack brimming with international experience claimed a deserved 40-17 victory and kept up the pressure at the top of the table.
The star of the show was undoubtedly Ospreys and Lions flanker Justin Tipuric, who scored a try in each half and in doing so, put down a sizeable marker for Wales' international inclusion later this year.
The Dragons have only ever won three away games at fellow Welsh regions in 33 attempts in all competitions and have won only one of their previous eight visits to the Liberty Stadium - and this depressing statistic rarely looked like changing.
The visitors got off to the best possible start as Dragons wing Tom Prydie scored in the corner after just four minutes, taking advantage of a slip by Ospreys No.9 Tom Habberfield, with Kris Burton adding the extras.
The Ospreys dragged themselves back into the game, with the Lions pairing of Richard Hibbard and Alun-Wyn Jones particularly strong with ball in hand and Pro12 top point's scorer Dan Biggar pulling the strings from fullback.
Dragons fullback Dan Evans handed Ospreys a way back into the game on seven minutes as he needlessly kicked long rather than touching the ball down in his in-goal area, leading to an offside decision and a shot at goal by Biggar.
The Ospreys No.15 kicked the penalty to make the score 3-7 and suddenly the home side had their tails up as they pressured the Dragons.
Ten minutes later the Ospreys took the lead as Matthew Morgan broke through two tackles and ran half the length of the field, he was caught by Lion Toby Faletau but still managed to offload the ball to Tipuric who touched down.
Biggar added the conversion and then ten minutes later extended his side's lead even further as he struck over his second penalty of the evening.
With the Dragons struggling to get a foothold in the game or to claim any meaningful field position, Burton struck over a long range drop goal just after the half hour to keep the scoreboard ticking at 13-10.
Continued Ospreys pressure late in the first-half, Tipuric was becoming more and more influential in the loose, and Biggar struck over another penalty to leave the home side 16-10 ahead at the interval.
Morgan extended the Ospreys lead five minutes after the break as he took full advantage of continued territory pressure to kick a drop goal.
But just two minutes later, on his 50th appearance for the club - Tipuric burst through off the back of a lineout, chipped over the Dragons defence and then raced through to retrieve the ball and score under the posts.
It got worse for the Dragons minutes later as after a period of sustained period, replacement Ieuan Jones was sin-binned after failing to get back on-side.
The game was delayed for five minutes though as in the same move Wales and Lions No.8 Faletau suffered a head and neck injury and had to be stretchered off.
Ospreys extended their lead to 33-10 with nearly 30 minutes still to play as referee Nigel Owens - refereeing his 100th Pro12 fixture - awarded a penalty try and Biggar again added the extras.
With nine minutes to play Scott Baldwin scored the Ospreys' fourth try and with it ensured the bonus point, with Biggar adding the extras.
Replacement Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro scored a late consolation try for the Dragons, with Burton adding the extras to leave the final score 40-17.
Tries: Tipuric 2, Penalty try, Baldwin
Cons: Biggar 4
Pens: Biggar 3
Tries: Prydie, Chaparro
Cons: Burton 2
Yellow card: Ieuan Jones (Newport Gwent Dragons, 53)
Ospreys: 15 Dan Biggar, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 James King, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Ben John, 23 Sam Lewis.
Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Ross Wardle, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Kris Burton, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Jevon Groves, 5 Andrew Coombs (captain), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Owen Evans.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Nathan Williams, 18 Francisco Chaparro, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Will Harries, 23 Adam Hughes.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Jon Mason (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)
Ulster 39-21 Cardiff Blues
Dan Tuohy's double secured Ulster a confident 39-21 win over Cardiff Blues to continue their recent impressive form on return to Pro12 action.
Ulster had won the last two matches between these sides and came into the match on the back of consecutive European Cup wins over Leicester Tigers and Montpellier.
And no-one would argue they weren't value for a bonus point victory with a scoreline that should have been even more convincing were it not for a disappointing night with the boot for fly-half Paddy Jackson.
Jackson and Cardiff's Leigh Halfpenny exchanged early penalties before some impressive build-up play allowed Tuohy to cross the line for the hosts in the 15th minute.
Jackson missed the conversion but Ulster started to dominate, especially in the scrum, where they continued to impose their authority throughout the match.
And forward pressure soon paid dividends and after a quick-thinking tap penalty by Ruan Pienaar, centre Jared Payne was alert to crash over in the corner.
Once again Jackson missed the extras before adding his second penalty of the half.
But Ulster will be disappointed to have conceded - after their forwards were seemingly building a solid platform for a confident home win - shortly before half-time.
Against the run of play, Cardiff manufactured a scoring chance, Robin Copeland darting off the base of a ruck to score in the 34th minute, with Halfpenny missing the conversion before threading his second penalty two minutes later.
Ulster were clearly smarting from having their lead trimmed to just five points as they started the second half strongly, the influential Stuart Olding's powerful break and well-timed off load seized by Luke Marshall, who drove across the line in the 42nd minute.
But Jackson again missed the simplest of his conversion chances although as Cardiff lost their discipline, Copeland sent to the sin bin, he stroked home another penalty to edge Ulster closer to their bonus point target.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, Cardiff again seized their chance when Ulster relaxed, winger Richard Smith springing an opening in the corner and shrugging off Olding's last-ditch tackle for a try converted by Halfpenny.
Pienaar's thumping long-range penalty helped settle nerves for the hosts but within seconds Halfpenny had reduced Ulster's lead to less than a converted score.
Cardiff now appeared the more composed side - and were certainly edging the error count - as the Ravenhill faithful started to feel edgy, a feeling not helped as an out of sorts Jackson missed another kick.
But Ulster secured their bonus point with a well-worked try that stretched Blues' defences to the limit.
Olding's inch-perfect lay off was gathered by Andrew Trimble, who squeezed over in the corner for his 35th try for the club, though yet again the score went unconverted.
With victory now secure, Ulster turned on the style in pursuit of their fifth try and Cardiff paid the price for failing to clear their lines as first try scorer Tuohy added a neat symmetry to the scoresheet by crossing the line in the 80th minute.
And Pienaar threaded perhaps the toughest conversion the night from the touchline with the final kick of the game.
Tries: Tuohy 2, Payne, L Marshall, Trimble
Pens: Jackson 3, Pienaar
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Copeland, Smith
Pens: Halfpenny 3
Yellow card: Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues, 45)
Ulster: 15 Stuart Olding, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Callum Black
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Tom Court, 18 John Afoa, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Darren Cave, 23 Michael Allen
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Taufa'ao Filise, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Chris Czekaj
Referee: Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)
Assistant referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Eanna O'Dowd (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)
Zebre 16-16 Scarlets
Rhys Priestland struck an injury time penalty to spare the Scarlets' blushes, earning a 16-16 draw to deny Zebre a first ever home win in the Pro12.
Luciano Orquera landed a 77th-minute penalty to hand Zebre a 16-13 lead and take them to the brink of a first home victory in the Pro12 at the 14th time of asking, only for Priestland to hit back in the last action of the game.
Zebre can take consolation however, in the fact that it's the first time they have avoided defeat at the Stadio XXV Aprile.
Zebre took an early lead thanks to Gonzalo Garcia's well-finished try and while the Scarlets clawed their way back through Gareth Davies's try, the hosts refused to give up and edged ahead with the clock ticking down.
But Priestland kept his composure, having emerged from the bench, to break Italian hearts at the death.
The Scarlets drew first blood when Steven Shingler, given the nod at fly-half in place of Priestland, opened his account with his first penalty of the night after just four minutes.
Tommaso Iannone was handed the opportunity to hit back just three minutes later, but his effort was wide of the mark and the Scarlets maintained their lead.
Not for long however, and after building up momentum, Zebre scored the first try of the match through Garcia.
A well-worked move released the Italy international out wide and he had too much speed for the covering Scarlets defenders, racing clear to dot down.
Iannone atoned for his earlier miss by expertly adding the conversion and his penalty midway through the first half handed Zebre a 10-3 lead and a sight of that elusive first home victory in the Pro12.
Back came the Scarlets however and five minutes later, they were level.
Davies zipped over for the try and Shingler added the extras for 10-10 and that was how it stayed until the break after the Scarlets fly-half struck the upright with his penalty attempt on 36 minutes.
The second half began in scrappy fashion with both sides unable to build any sustained periods of pressure before the Scarlets made a flurry of replacements, introducing Priestland at fly-half, Rhodri Williams, recently called up to the Wales squad, at scrum-half and Emyr Phillips at hooker.
It was Zebre who opened the scoring in the second half however, moving back ahead on 66 minutes with another Iannone penalty, taking them to within touching distance of a historic victory.
The Scarlets again turned to their replacements bench in a bid to rescue themselves, introducing Jake Ball and Romanian prop Horatiu Pungea for his debut.
But it was scrum-half Williams who made the crucial break to get Scarlets back on level terms, darting through in Zebre's 22 before winning a penalty - duly converted by Priestland.
Zebre responded positively and stepped onto the offensive but they kicked the ball out on the full when looking dangerous, letting Scarlets off the hook.
But the hosts struck what appeared to be the decisive blow with just three minutes remaining - replacement Orquera with the penalty - only for Priestland to respond in kind in added time.
Pens: Iannone 2, Orquera
Try: G Davies
Con: S Shingler
Pens: S Shingler 2, Priestland
Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Tailor, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Tommaso Iannone, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (captain), 4 Michael van Vuuren, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 David Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Andre Handles, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Luciano Leibson, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Philip Christian, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 David Odiete.
Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Nick Reynolds, 13 Jon Davies (captain), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Josh Turnbull, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Jo Snyman, 4 George Earle, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Horatiu Pungea, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Gareth Maule.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stefano Pennè (Italy), Stefano Roscini (Italy)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)