Taute double eases Munster past Dragons
PRO12 FRIDAY WRAP: Munster demonstrated why they are top of the Pro12 table with a 45-17 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Irish Independent Park.
Jaco Taute scored two tries - with Andrew Conway and a penalty try giving the home side the try bonus point on the stroke of half time.
* In other Friday matches James Davies starred with a man of the match performance as Scarlets recorded a hard-fought victory at Scotstoun to go above Glasgow Warriors in the Pro12 table.
* Ulster ran in four first-half tries to down Edinburgh 24-18 despite a spirited second half comeback at the Kingspan Stadium.
* An incredible 12-minute hat-trick for Dan Evans saw Ospreys to a 40-10 bonus point victory over Zebre to keep the pressure on Munster at the top of the Pro12.
We look at all the Friday matches!
Glasgow Warriors 14-26 Scarlets
James Davies starred with a man of the match performance as Scarlets recorded a hard-fought victory at Scotstoun to go above Glasgow Warriors in the Pro12 table.
A Pat MacArthur try had given Warriors the lead but scores from Tom Williams and Davies gave Scarlets a lead that they - with just one defeat in their last 11 - never looked like giving up.
Glasgow's pack got on top of their counterparts in the opening scrum as Scarlets were penalised for collapsing and Rory Clegg knocked over the resulting penalty to open the scoring in the second minute.
But Dan Jones hit back before there were ten minutes on the clock with an effort from just inside the half-way line.
Nick Grigg almost made a telling break two minutes later, streaking up to the Scarlets 22 but the visitors turned it over and cleared their lines.
Jones then went to the bin on the quarter-hour mark after he was adjudged to have taken Sam Johnson late when both going for a loose ball.
From the resulting line-out Warriors charged over and the TMO decided Pat MacArthur had grounded the ball at the bottom of the ruck - Clegg missing the conversion.
A man down, Scarlets enjoyed a spell of pressure inside the Warriors 22, coming from a Will Boyde break down the right.
And the try came soon after as Scarlets swiftly switched play from left to right, with Williams going in at the corner before converting himself to give his side the lead.
But the lead was short-lived as a driving maul rumbled into Scarlets territory and when the ball broke free, the Welsh side were penalised for a high tackle, with Clegg accurate from the tee to regain the lead for Warriors.
Scarlets hit back straight away, though, and the lead switched hands again as a Jones penalty put them two in front.
Two then became nine as a slight feint allowed Davies to finish in the right corner after phase after phase of powerful drives eventually led to the break out wide - Jones adding the extras to send Glasgow into the break trailing 20-11 at home.
Neat hands from the Glasgow forwards looked to have given them a platform to build from early in the second period, but a steal from Davies allowed Scarlets to clear downfield from their own 22.
But Warriors did get on the board nine minutes into the half, with Clegg kicking a long-range effort of his own to give Glasgow some respite from Scarlets' pressure.
The home side then exerted some pressure of their own, but after 14 phases a knock on put pay to their position in the Scarlets 22.
And when Grigg found himself offside in his own half Jones knocked over another penalty to re-establish their nine-point lead.
Try as Glasgow might to string phases together and force their way back into the game, handling errors and turnovers were costing the home side dearly as the clock ticked ever closer to 80 minutes.
In the final ten minutes Warriors struggled to get out of their own half as the Scarlets defence, led by Davies, strangled the home side's backs at every opportunity as Wayne Pivac's side sealed the 12-point win to leapfrog their Scottish opponents in the league.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Pens: Clegg 3
Tries: Williams, J Davies
Cons: Williams D Jones
Pens: D Jones 3, Thomas
Yellow card: Dan Jones (Scarlets, 14)
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Brian Alainu'uese, 3 D'Arcy Rae, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Alex Allan.
Replacements: 16 James Malcolm, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Lewis Wynne, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Hagen Schulte, 23 Sean Lamont.
Scarlets: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (captain), 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Will Boyde, 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 4 Tom Price, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Joshua Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Steff Hughes.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Kevin White (Scotland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)
Munster 45-17 Newport Gwent Dragons
Munster demonstrated why they are top of the Pro12 table with a 45-17 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons at Irish Independent Park.
Jaco Taute scored two tries with Andrew Conway and a penalty try giving the home side the try bonus point on the stroke of half-time.
Rhys Buckley and Elliot Dee touched down in reply for the Dragons but Dave Kilcoyne and Ronan O'Mahony added try numbers five and six.
Munster, who had flyhalf Tyler Bleyendaal kick 15 points, maintained their one-point advantage over Ospreys, who secured a try bonus point over Zebre, at the top of the league.
Tyler Bleyendaal and Dorian Jones exchanged penalties in the opening ten minutes before Taute found a whole in the Dragons defence.
He touched down with 13 minutes gone after good work in the build up from Rhys Marshall with Bleyendaal adding the extra to put the league leaders 10-3 up.
And Munster had their second try soon after when Bleyendaal intercepted a Dragons pass and chipped the ball ahead for fullback Conway to collect and touchdown.
Bleyendaal added the extras and Munster were 17-3 ahead with 20 minutes played.
Taute crashed over from close range for his second, and Munster's third try, just before the half hour with Bleyendaal once again on target with his boot.
The Dragons fought back and had their first try of the evening through Buckley as he forced his way over at the tail of a driving line-out with Jones slotting the extras.
But the visitors were reduced to 14 men when the TMO adjudged fullback Carl Meyer's knock on to have been deliberate and a penalty try was awarded to Munster.
Bleyendaal added the extras once more to give Munster a 31-10 half-time lead with the bonus point already secured.
Darren O'Shea was shown a yellow card five minutes into the second half and the Dragons made it as they drove a scrum over the try line with replacement Dee touching down.
Jones converted to make it 31-17 but Kilcoyne crashed over for the hosts' fifth try of the evening with 63 minutes gone which Bleyendaal converted to make it 38-17.
O'Mahony added further gloss to the Munster performance by getting the sixth try in the final play of the game with Bleyendaal keeping his 100 per cent record from the tee.
Tries: Taute 2, Conway, Penalty try, Kilcoyne, O'Mahony
Cons: Bleyendaal 6
For Newport Gwent Dragons:
Tries: Buckley, Dee
Cons: Jones 2
Yellow card: Darren O'Shea (Munster, 55)
Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Tyler Bleyendaal (captain), 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Jack O'Donoghue, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Dave Foley, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O'Byrne, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Brian Scott, 19 Darren O'Shea, 20 Conor Oliver, 21 Abrie Griesel, 22 Francis Saili, 23 Dan Goggin.
Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Lewis Evans (captain), 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Ollie Griffiths, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Rhys Buckley, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Angus O'Brien, 23 Sam Beard.
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Keith Allen (Scotland), Stuart Douglas (Ireland)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Ulster 24-18 Edinburgh
Ulster ran in four first-half tries to down Edinburgh 24-18 despite a spirited second half comeback at the Kingspan Stadium.
The back three of Charles Piutau, Jacob Stockdale and Louis Ludik combined to open up the Edinburgh defence after Magnus Bradbury had powered over for the visitors' opener.
Stockdale secured the try bonus point before half-time but Edinburgh hit back with a slick score from Damien Hoyland and a late penalty but the damage had been done in the first 40.
The visitors gain a losing bonus point and will rue three missed conversions from flyhalf Jason Tovey.
Edinburgh started the quicker with No.8 Bradbury scoring the game's first try early in the first half, touching down in the corner after several attacking phases.
Ulster gained good field position when the home side were penalised for a high tackle, Paul Marshall snuck over the line under the posts to put Ulster ahead.
Centre Darren Cave touched down minutes later before the scintillating Piutau broke two tackles to offload to fullback Ludik who dive over in the corner.
Stockdale then secured the bonus point before the break as Ulster threatened to run away with it.
But, the visitors managed to respond before the break through hooker Stuart McInally who was on the end of a powerful Edinburgh driving maul to make the score 24-10 at the interval.
Les Kiss will be concerned by the sight of Piutau limping off in the second half after colliding with Edinburgh's Tom Brown.
The visitors got themselves back into the game midway through the second half after some slick handling from centre Chris Dean released Hoyland to touch down in the corner. Fly-half Tovey failed to convert.
Replacement Sam Hidalgo-Clyne took over kicking duties and landed a long-range penalty to put the visitors within a score 15 minutes from time.
As the players tired, the game began to open up and Edinburgh conceded late penalties on the halfway line to continually lose ground to the home side.
Two minutes from time, Edinburgh winger Brown latched onto a bouncing ball and his side gained 70 metres, threatening the Ulster line only to be penalised.
Ulster held out for a bonus point victory, maintain pressure on the top four, despite not scoring in the second half.
Tries: Marshall, Cave, Ludik, Stockdale
Cons: Nelson 2
Tries: Bradbury, McInally, Hoyland
Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Jacob Stockdale, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Peter Nelson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Chris Henry (captain), 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Alan O'Connor, 4 Kieran Treadwell, 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 John Andrew, 1 Andrew Warwick.
Replacements: 16 Jonny Murphy, 17 Callum Black, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Pete Browne, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Dave Shanahan, 22 Stuart McCloskey, 23 Tommy Bowe.
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 John Hardie, 6 Viliame Mata, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Neil Cochrane (captain), 1 Jack Cosgrove.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Nick Beavon, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Viliami Fihaki, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Michael Allen, 23 Rory Scholes.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Davies (Wales), Shane Kierans (Ireland)
TMO: Paul Adams (Wales)
Zebre 10-40 Ospreys
An incredible 12-minute hat-trick for Dan Evans saw Ospreys to a 40-10 bonus point victory over Zebre to keep the pressure on Munster at the top of the Pro12.
Zebre had started well and were 10-0 up after Tommaso Boni's early try but Ashley Beck's score with the last play of the first-half was a sign of things to come.
Dan Evans hat-trick in the opening minutes of the second-half turned the game on its head with Sam Parry getting a fifth as Zebre were twice reduced to 14 men.
A fine solo try from Dafydd Howells added further gloss to the Ospreys performance after Oliviero Fabiani had been shown the Italian's third yellow card.
Guglielmo Palazzani had got the home side off the mark with a penalty with just three minutes gone and Zebre extended their lead soon after as outside centre Boni crossed after a Derick Minnie turnover.
Italy international Palazzani slotted the conversion to put his side ten points to the good with just ten minutes gone but his second penalty attempt, this time from halfway, went wide.
And the miss was punished by the Ospreys as inside centre Ashley Beck got over the whitewash in the final play of the first half with Luke Price, in his first Pro12 start, adding the conversion.
The try was Beck's 27th for the Ospreys taking him level with Lee Byrne in the club's all-time list.
The Ospreys took the lead for the first time three minutes into the second-half as Evans broke through the defensive line and Price converted.
And it was Evans again almost instantly for Ospreys third, with Price slotting his third conversion, and the visitors were suddenly in control at 21-10.
With Zebre on the back foot, South African winger Lloyd Greeff was shown a yellow card for killing the ball as Sam Underhill was stopped short of the line.
The try bonus point was secured with just 52 minutes gone as Evans crossed for his hat-trick.
Zebre returned to their full compliment but only briefly as Gideon Koegelenberg was sent to the sin bin on the hour mark with hooker Parry going over for Ospreys' fifth try which Price converted.
Referee David Wilkinson showed his third yellow card of the game to Zebre's Fabiani for a deliberate knock on as the visitors attacked from their own half.
Howells rounded off a fine second-half performance from the Ospreys with a fantastic individual effort with Price's conversion making it 40-10.
Tries: Beck, Evans 3, Parry, Howells
Cons: Price 5
Yellow cards: Lloyd Greeff (Zebre, 48), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre, 74)
Zebre: 15 Kurt Baker, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Lloys Greeff, 10 Serafin Bordoli, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Federico Ruzza, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Valerio Bernabò, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (captain), 3 Guillermo Roan, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Bruno Postiglioni.
Replacements: 16 Adriano Daniele, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Bartholomeus Le Roux, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Davide Fragnito, 21 Carlo Engelbrecht, 22 Faialaga Afamasaga, 23 Maicol Azzolini.
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Ben John, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Dafydd Howells, 10 Luke Price, 9 Tom Habberfield (captain), 8 Dan Baker, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Lloyd Ashley, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Daniel Suter, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 Hanno Dirksen, 23 Jonathan Spratt.
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Stefano Bolzonella (Italy)