Kilcoyne helps Munster rout Ospreys
PRO12 FRIDAY WRAP: Dave Kilcoyne scored a try-double as Munster sewed up a bonus-point victory with ruthless efficiency at the expense of Ospreys.
Kilcoyne and Darren Sweetnam both dotted down within the first quarter of an hour as Munster gave Ospreys a mountain to climb.
Having won several key turnovers that stopped the Welsh region from finding a way back into the game, an all-action Ronan O'Mahony crossed for Munster's third in the second half before Kilcoyne wrapped up the five points in the 69th minute. The Cork crowd were treated to a Munster fifth, three minutes from time through Robin Copeland.
Meanwhile, Willis Halaholo grabbed a second half try on his Cardiff Blues debut to lift his side to a 34-28 victory over Treviso at Stadio Monigo. Treviso looked to be on course for just their second victory of the season shortly after half-time as Abraham Steyn crossed for their fourth try of the game, following first half efforts from Dean Budd, Alberto Sgarbi and Michael Tagicakibau.
Macauley Cook grabbed their second try after Rhun Williams - another Blues debutant - and Steven Shingler's boot had kept the visitors in the contest before the break. And Halaholo scored what proved to be the winning try just after the hour mark as Treviso had to settle for two bonus points and remain rooted to the foot of the table.
Elsewhere, A first half blitz was enough to get Edinburgh back to winning ways as they survived a late Ulster fightback to win 28-17 at Murrayfield. Edinburgh held a commanding 21-3 half-time lead, thanks to tries from Viliame Mata and Damien Hoyland.
The home side extended their lead shortly after the restart through Magnus Bradbury's score and looked to be cruising to the win, only for their visitors to come roaring back. Aaron Cairns scored Ulster's first before fellow replacement Jason Stockdale dotted down, but Edinburgh held out for their third victory of the campaign.
At Rodney Park, Ashton Hewitt helped himself to two tries as Newport Gwent Dragons downed reigning champions Connacht 21-16 for just their second win of the season.
The 21-year-old grabbed the opening try of the game after 13 minutes and Newport led 13-6 at the interval, Angus O'Brien's boot doing the rest. And Hewitt pounced again shortly after the restart to stretch the home side's advantage, with O'Brien knocking over a drop goal for a 21-9 lead on 52 minutes.
But on the hour Jack Carty scored his third penalty of the evening and with 10 minutes left Niyi Adeolokun dotted down but that was as good as it got for Connacht as the hosts held on.
All Friday's scores and scorers!
Newport-Gwent Dragons 21-16 Connacht
Connacht enjoyed some early pressure but a knock on just inside the Dragons half gave the home side a scrum, which resulted in O'Brien kicking to touch.
The visiting defence forced a knock on from the ensuing Dragons possession but a Connacht line-out was overthrown and Hewitt took full advantage, dotting down for the game's opening points. O'Brien added the extras in the 14th minute.
Minutes later, another Connacht knock on gave Dragons more possession in the visitors' 22, with the Welsh side switching play quickly and an illegal tackle on Sam Beard winning a penalty, which O'Brien knocked over to extend the home side's lead.
But Pat Lam's side were on the board soon, as Carty bisected the posts with a penalty of his own after an Adeolokun break had taken Connacht deep into the Dragons half. Connacht's handling errors continued to gift possession to the home side and cost the visitors' promising positions.
O'Brien was again true with the boot in the 35th minute as the Dragons failed to puncture the Connacht defence but the flyhalf was on hand to knock over the drop goal and stretch his side's lead to 10.
It was quickly reduced though as Carty knocked over a routine penalty to ensure his side trailed by just seven at the break.
However, that gap was stretched just six minutes into the second half as a clever grubber-kick from Beard saw Hewitt race away for his second try of the game. O'Brien missed the conversions but he knocked over his second drop goal on 52 minutes to further stretch the home side's lead.
Just before the hour mark, Carty knocked over his third penalty but Connacht had to wait until the 70th minute for their next score, as Stacey Ili offloaded to Adeolokun for the visitor's first try of the game.
Carty added the extras but that was as good as it got for Connacht, who had to settle for a losing bonus point.
For Newport-Gwent Dragons:
Tries: Hewitt 2
DGs: O'Brien 2
Pens: Carty 3
Newport-Gwent Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Angus O'Brien, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Lewis Evans (captain), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Adam Warren.
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Stacey Ili, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 John Muldoon (captain), 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Eoin McKeon, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 Conor Carey, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 JP Cooney.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Saba Meunargia, 18 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19 James Cannon, 20 James Connolly, 21 Conor McKeon, 22 Shane O'Leary, 23 Cian Kelleher.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Munster 33-0 Ospreys
Sweetnam looked bright for the hosts as did Osprey Josh Matavesi in the opening exchanges but an old-fashioned pick-and-go brought up the first try of the night, as Kilcoyne converted huge Munster pressure after Ronan O'Mahony was stopped just short.
Tyler Bleyendaal added the extras and within a few minutes, Munster were within the Ospreys 22 again after Andrew Conway broke free.
Munster then stole a lineout and though the lively Ronan O'Mahony was stopped inches from the line yet again, Sweetnam was the beneficiary in the corner. Bleyendaal nailed a tough kick to put Munster up 14-0 to the good.
After a disappointing first quarter, Ospreys won a penalty that set up a line-out deep into Munster territory and it took a superb turnover from Niall Scannell to prevent a score. Though the Welsh region were struggling to click offensively, they then showed tremendous fight to repel Munster after another long period of pressure.
And it looked as if Ospreys would get on the scoreboard to round out the half, only for Munster to force another crucial turnover and go in at half-time with a 14-point lead.
The visitors started the second half on a front-foot though, aside from one 20-metre break from teenager Keelan Giles, Munster remained impervious to attack. When Eli Walker breached the red wall in the 50th minute, Munster immediately won the ball back before showing just how clinical they can be.
Ronan O'Mahony pounced on an error from Matavesi and after kicking ahead, the wing got the try his play had deserved. Though Bleyendaal's conversion attempt shaved the post.
As the game entered its final quarter, Jonathan Spratt and Giles combined to hand Ospreys a spark and Brendon Leonard eventually found his way over. But the former All Black was adjudged to have been offside in the build-up, keeping the Ospreys pointless.
Munster's main concern was bringing up the bonus-point try and Ian Keatley's grubber forced the Welsh region onto the backfoot. After Munster won back possession, Ronan O'Mahony plunged through a gap and Kilcoyne completed the move for his second try of the night.
Munster continued to look dangerous with Keatley pulling the strings before Copeland had the final say after working off a five-metre scrum with Bleyendaal converting.
Tries: Kilcoyne 2, Sweetnam, O'Mahony, Copeland
Cons: Bleyendaal 4
For Ospreys: None
Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony (captain), 5 Robin Copeland, 4 Darren O'Shea, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Brian Scott, 19 John Madigan, 20 Conor Oliver, 21 Abrie Griesel, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Alex Wootton.
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 Rob McCusker, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Rhodri Jones, 20 Scott Otten, 21 Brendon Leonard, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Dafydd Howells.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Edinburgh 28-17 Ulster
Edinburgh started the game with a bang and scored with their first attack as Sean Kennedy fed Mata and the Fijian burst through for the try, with Jason Tovey adding the extras for an early 7-0 home lead.
And things got even better for the hosts on nine minutes as some patient attacking saw Damien dot down from the ruck, although Tovey's conversion fly just wide. Blair Kinghorn then stretched the home side's lead with a penalty from halfway on 16 minutes, after Ulster were pinged at a ruck.
Ulster got a foothold in the game after 26 minutes thanks to a penalty from scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar but moments later Duncan Weir, who had replaced Tovey, replied with a three-pointer of his own.
Despite coming off the bench, Weir had quickly found his range and added a second penalty five minutes before half-time, before Tovey returned to the fray and saw out the rest of the half as Edinburgh went in 21-3 to the good at the break.
And the home side started the second half as they did the first, with Kennedy and Michael Allen linking up to release Bradbury just three minutes after the restart, with Tovey converting.
On 54 minutes, Ulster thought they had their first try of the game after Pienaar had kicked over the top for Charles Piutau to race onto but it was ruled that the ball was not under control when grounded by the TMO.
But the visitors were celebrating on 67 minutes. Replacement Cairns pounced on Paul Marshall's kick and scored within two minutes of coming off the bench for his senior Ulster debut, with Pienaar adding the extras.
And five minutes later the visiting fans were off their seats again as another replacement, Stockdale, burst through the middle for Ulster's second try of the game, once again converting by Pienaar. But that was as good as it got for the visitors, who were unable to add to the scoreline and have now lost three consecutive matches.
Tries: Mata, Hoyland, Bradbury
Cons: Tovey 2
Pens: Kinghorn, Weir 2
Tries: Cairns, Stockdale
Cons: Pienaar 2
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Chris Dean, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Viliame Mata, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Neil Cochrane (captain), 1 Jack Cosgrove.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Kyle Whyte, 18 Felipe Arregui, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Cornell Du Preez, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Michael Allen.
Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Luke Marshall, 12 Sam Windsor, 11 Rob Lyttle, 10 Brett Herron, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Sean Reidy, 7 Clive Ross, 6 Pete Browne, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Wiehan Herbst, 2 Rob Herring (captain), 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Kyle McCall, 18 Andrew Warwick, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Conor Joyce, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Aaron Cairns, 23 Jacob Stockdale.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Benetton Treviso 28-34 Cardiff Blues
Cardiff started on the front foot and were enjoying possession in Treviso territory before Williams marked his debut with a try inside the sixth minute. The ball was passed from right to left and found its way into Williams' hands, the young wing stepping inside before going over near the posts to hand Shingler the easy conversion.
But this only served to wake Treviso up and a loose kick allowed the home side to pressure the Blues line and after a try-saving tackle from Halaholo, the Italians were level as Budd barged his way over at the second attempt and Ian McKinley added the extras.
The home side found themselves in the lead on 17 minutes as McKinley broke forward and found Sgarbi on his shoulder, with the centre dotting down under the posts and McKinley converting.
The Blues were shell-shocked but Shingler brought them back to within a point of their hosts with two penalties, the latter on 27 minutes following a tackle in the air at a lineout. A blood injury to captain Matthew Rees stemmed the Blues' flow and when play resumed a chip over the top had Treviso threatening again, only for Lloyd Williams to turn the ball over.
However, that only delayed the home side as on 34 minutes some quick Treviso hands saw Tagicakibau dive over in the corner, with McKinley nailing the tough conversion.
Shingler once again reduced the arrears with a long-range penalty on 37 minutes but Treviso lead 21-16 at half-time.
And the Italians started on the front foot after the restart. After they were held up over the line, they were able to celebrate a fourth try as a cross-field kick found Steyn in space and he touched down for the bonus point, with McKinley converting.
But Cardiff Blues were back in the game on 52 minutes as Cook found space on the outside to slide over, although they remained a converted try behind as Shingler missed from the tee.
The visitors were on the front foot now and Shingler made up for his last kick with a penalty to further reduce the arrears, however, he couldn't repeat the trick from 45 metres out after Treviso were pinged at a scrum.
But the Blues were in front again on 64 minutes as Halaholo helped himself to a debut try, showing great feet to beat the final man after quick hands from an over-thrown Treviso line-out, Shingler nudging Cardiff three points ahead with the conversion.
Treviso looked to immediately re-take the lead but were denied by a last-ditch Cardiff challenge, with Shingler sealing the win with a late penalty at the other end.
For Benetton Treviso:
Tries: Budd, Sgarbi, Tagicakibau, Steyn
Cons: McKinley 4
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Williams, Cook, Halaholo
Cons: Shingler 2
Pens: Shingler 5
Benetton Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (captain), 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Ian McKinley, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Marco Barbini, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Filippo Gerosa, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Nicola Quaglio.
Replacements: 16 Ornel Gega, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommaso Allan, 23 Luke McLean.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Rhun Williams; 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Macauley Cook, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 George Earle, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Matthew Rees (captain), 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Kris Dacey, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon, Lewis, 19 James Down, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Dan Fish.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)