Leinster move top with victory over Connacht

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 19:47
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PRO12 SATURDAY WRAP: A try for both Leinster wings saw them move to the top of the Pro12 table, level on points with Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors, after a 24-13 victory over Connacht.

Adam Byrne and debutant Barry Daly both crossed for the home side at the RDS Arena with Isa Nacewa adding 14 points with the boots while Shane Delahunt got a consolation Connacht try.

* In the other Saturday match Keelan Giles scored two more tries as Ospreys scored a convincing 35-17 bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons at the Liberty Stadium.

We look at the Saturday matches!

LEINSTER 24-13 CONNACHT

A try for both Leinster wings saw them move to the top of the Pro12 table, level on points with Ospreys and Glasgow Warriors, after a 24-13 victory over Connacht.

Adam Byrne and debutant Barry Daly both crossed for the home side at the RDS Arena with Isa Nacewa adding 14 points with the boots while Shane Delahunt got a consolation Connacht try.

The win stretches the Leinstermen's winning streak at home to 19 matches and saw them avenge the Pro12 final defeat to Connacht last year.

Connacht enjoyed the better of the early stages and took the lead when Craig Ronaldson successfully a converted a penalty after Cian Healy was penalised.

Ronaldson doubled the visitors lead after 13 minutes with a second penalty from the right-hand side just outside the 22.

Leinster finally managed to get themselves onto the scoreboard after 23 minutes as the New Zealand-born Isa Nacewa knocked over a straight forward kick from in front of the posts.

Flank Sean O'Brien was then shown a yellow card for an illegal clear out at a ruck but it didn't prevent Nacewa levelling the scores after 32 minutes.

With O'Brien seconds away from returning to the field, it was Connacht's turn to be temporarily reduced to 14 men as outside centre Peter Robb was given his marching orders.

Robb was stretching for an interception but only managed to knock on and referee John Lacey adjudged it to have been deliberate.

And it was the home side that took the lead into the half-time break as Nacewa knocked over the resulting penalty with 38 minutes on the clock.

Connacht piled on the pressure as the clock ticked past 40 minutes but a knock on just metres out from the Leinster line saw their opportunity go begging.

The crucial score of the game came ten minutes after the break as Byrne scored his third try in Leinster colours.

The home side had a five-metre scrum and after a few tight phases, hooker Jack Conan's good hands found Byrne in space with the wing cleverly waiting for the bounce before crossing.

Nacewa missed the conversion but had his fourth successful penalty of the afternoon just before the hour mark.

Leinster sealed the victory with five minutes left on the clock, as wing Barry Daly sealed a dream debut with a try from close range.

Shane Delahunt added a late consolation try with an excellent line to break through the Leinster defence which had been impregnable up until the last minute of the game.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries:
Byrne, Daly
Con: Nacewa
Pens: Nacewa 4

For Connacht:
Try:
Delahunt
Con: Carty
Pens: Ronaldson 2

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa (captain), 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Rory O'Loughlin, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Barry Daly, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Dan Leavy, 5 Ian Nagle, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Rob Kearney.

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Peter Robb, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Cian Kelleher, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 JP Cooney.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 James Cannon, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Bundee Aki, 23 Stacey Ili.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Andy Brace, Jonathan Peak (both Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

OSPREYS 35-17 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS

Keelan Giles scored two more tries as Ospreys scored a convincing 35-17 bonus-point win against Newport Gwent Dragons at the Liberty Stadium.

The home side struggled in the first 20 minutes but as soon as Tom Habberfield scored their first try victory seemed inevitable, as they preserved their strong record against the Dragons - who they have not lost to in the Pro12 since 2012.

Scott Baldwin, released from Wales international duty to start the match along with flank Dan Lydiate, scored Ospreys' second from a rolling maul just before the break.

And in the second half Ospreys cut loose as Giles made it eight tries in four appearances with his pair, while Brendan Leonard put the icing on the cake late on before the Dragons scored two consolation tries through replacement Matthew Screech and Pat Howard.

The Dragons, who have won just once all season, handed a first start to scrumhalf Tavis Knoyle, who partnered the recalled Nick Macleod at flyhalf.

And the visitors made a bright start by moving the ball confidently and quickly, earning a fourth-minute penalty which Macleod slotted over.

Ospreys' slow start got worse minutes later when prop Dimitri Arhip was handed a yellow card, but the Dragons failed to make their extra man advantage count as they coughed up the ball when just inches from the try line.

And they were made to pay when Ospreys scored the game's opening try in the 22nd minute as captain Habberfield caught the Dragons out when he picked the ball up off the back of a five-metre scrum, held off desperate tackles and planted the ball down to give his side the lead.

From there, the home side enjoyed more possession and territory and with that their confidence grew as speedy wing Giles darted down the right, only to be bundled into touch just five metres out.

But they scored their second try just before the break as some neat footwork from Josh Matavesi in his own half, allowed him to release Giles through the heart of the Dragons side.

After he was dragged down, the referee awarded Ospreys a penalty which they kicked for touch, and a rolling maul was capitalised on by hooker Baldwin who powered over.

Giles was kept largely quiet in the first half but he came alive minutes after the break as he scored Ospreys' third try after breaking through from close range.

And just over ten minutes later the 18-year-old took advantage of a Dragons handling error by booting the ball forward and beating the Dragons defence to the ball to score his second of the match to secure Ospreys a bonus point.

Ospreys controlled the game from there, defending well and preventing the Dragons from getting anywhere near the try line.

And they wrapped it up thanks to former New Zealand international Leonard, who darted over from close range following a ruck, before the Dragons scored through Screech who muscled over.

Howard scored with the last action of the game with a neat try in the corner after a the ball was moved quickly right, but the visitors' comeback was cut short as they ran out of time.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries:
Habberfield, Baldwin, Giles 2, Leonard
Cons: Matavesi 5

For Newport Gwent Dragons:
Tries:
Screech, Howard
Cons: Jones 2
Pen: MacLeod

Yellow card: Dimitri Arhip (Ospreys, 6)

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Keelan Giles, 13 Ben John, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Tom Habberfield (captain), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Scott Otten, 21 Brendon Leonard, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Dafydd Howells.

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Adam Warren, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (captain), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Ashton Hewitt.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ian Davies, Wayne Davies (both Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

Source: @PRO12rugby

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