Leinster and Munster both slip up
April 12, 2014
Glasgow Warriors became the first Scottish team to win away at Munster in six years as they took the scalp of the Heineken Cup semi-finalists with a 22-5 victory at Thomond Park. Gregor Townsend's men made it four RaboDirect PRO12 wins on the trot to give serious momentum to their play-off push - they are now just three points behind third-placed Munster with a game in hand. The Warriors scored three tries in an impressive first-half display, with efforts from Jonny Gray, Sean Maitland and Josh Strauss sending them 22-5 clear by half-time. It was a deserved reward for the Scots' accuracy and aggression, with CJ Stander - Munster's man-of-the-match against Toulouse - posting the hosts' only response.
Newport Gwent Dragons' European hopes took a knock as they slipped to a 45-27 defeat to Benetton Treviso. Mat Berquist kicked 20 points and Ludovico Nitoglia, Luke McLean, Michele Campagnaro, Manoa Vosawai and Matteo Muccignat scored tries for the Italian side in this RaboDirect PRO12 contest. Matthew Screech, Ross Wardle and Cory Hill crossed for the Dragons, who also had two Jason Tovey penalties to show for their efforts.
Scarlets recovered from a dreadful first half to see off bottom club Zebre in their RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Parc y Scarlets. The sixth-placed Welsh region were forced to come back from 13-9 at half-time to win 27-20 and open up a 10-point gap between themselves and Edinburgh in seventh place. Rhys Priestland kicked 17 points with the two Scarlets tries coming from hooker Ken Owens and wing Jordan Williams.
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar kicked 20 points as Pro12 leaders Leinster went down 25-19 to the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium. It made it a week to forget for Leinster, who were knocked out of the Heineken Cup by Toulon last Sunday.They had got back to 19-19 going into the last 10 minutes but Biggar put over a drop goal and his fifth penalty to give Ospreys a famous victory. Ospreys had needed a win to keep up their challenge for a place in the top four and a spot in the end-of-season play-offs. Leinster, who rested Brian O'Driscoll, began the evening with a five-point cushion over Irish-rivals Munster in second place and had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Ulster put themselves firmly back on track in their bid to reach the play-offs with a thumping 58-12 bonus point win over Connacht. A hat-trick of tries from Andrew Trimble and a brace from Paul Marshall were added to by single touchdowns from Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy. Ulster fly-half Paddy Jackson added 16 points to the total with the boot while his replacement James McKinney landed one conversion. Connacht's tries came from Dave McSharry and Darragh Leader with Miah Nikora converting Leader's second-half effort.
Cory Allen led the way for Cardiff as the Blues registered a bonus-point 29-22 victory over Edinburgh. Matt Scott crossed to put Edinburgh into an early lead but man of the match Allen hit back for the visitors before Filo Paulo and Dan Fish tries further increased Cardiff's lead. The hosts hit back through Tom Brown to set up a tense finale but Dafydd Hewitt eased Blues' jitters with a fourth, bonus-point-clinching try, before Cornell de Preez reduced Edinburgh's arrears late on.
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