Guinness PRO14 Saturday wrap: Ospreys, Connacht and Dragons pick up wins
Last Updated: 08/09/18 10:54pm
Ospreys, Connacht and Dragons all recorded wins in round two of the new PRO14 season as they saw off the Cheetahs, Zebre and Kings respectively.
Scarlets 23-21 Leinster
Scarlets held on to win an intense, hard-fought Guinness PRO14 clash against champions Leinster at Parc y Scarlets.
The home side trailed 14-10 at half-time but edged a gripping second period despite Leinster captain Rhys Ruddock claiming a try five minutes from the end, a score that put the match into the melting pot.
Right at the end Leigh Halfpenny forced a Leinster penalty just as the Irish side looked they might steal a victory - but the visitors had to settle for a losing bonus point from the 23-21 defeat.
Scarlets were indebted to tries from Ken Owens and Gareth Davies, while Halfpenny kicked 13 points.
Ospreys 46-14 Cheetahs
Wales pair Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones both scored twice as Ospreys sealed a 46-14 bonus-point victory over Cheetahs at the Liberty Stadium.
George North also got himself on the try sheet again after scoring twice in the 17-13 victory over Edinburgh last week. It was the first time since 2014 that the Ospreys have won their opening two matches of a campaign.
The Ospreys crossed the whitewash seven times in total, with their other tries came from Scott Otten and Alex Jeffries. Sam Davies also supplied 11 points with the boot.
Though it was a comprehensive win over the South African side, Ospreys suffered injury blows to Scott Williams (knee), Nicky Smith and Dan Evans (both head).
Connacht 32-13 Zebre
Paul Boyle's first-half pair of tries put Connacht on course for a 32-13 bonus-point win over Zebre at a rain-hit Sportsground.
The 21-year-old back-rower scored twice on only his second Guinness PRO14 start for the Irish province, who led 17-3 at half-time with Jack Carty kicking seven points and his opposite number Carlo Canna landing a penalty.
A first competitive victory for Connacht's new head coach Andy Friend was sealed by further tries from Caolin Blade, Eoin Griffin and Niyi Adeolokun, before Giulio Bisegni, adding to a second Canna penalty, claimed a late seven-pointer for well-beaten Zebre.
Dragons 27-22 Kings
Fly-half Josh Lewis scored 17 points as the Dragons got their first Guinness PRO14 victory of the season in a tense 27-22 success against Southern Kings at Rodney Parade.
Lewis scored a try, two penalties and converted his own try and touchdowns from flankers Ollie Griffiths and Aaron Wainwright.
But the Kings got two bonus points as they nearly won it via touchdowns from hooker Michael Willemse, wing Bjorn Basson, replacement Godlen Masimla and full-back Yaw Penxe, with fly-half Masixole Banda booting a conversion.
Benetton 27-25 Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues led by five points with the 80 minutes up at Benetton but, down to 13 men, they were breached at the death by Monty Ioane to fall to a 27-25 defeat.
Tomasso Allan put the hosts in front but a penalty try, won at the scrum in the 34th minute, and the boot of Jarrod
Evans sent the Blues in 16-10 ahead at the interval.
Benetton retook the lead after a frenetic phase of play ended up with Jayden Hayward sending Braam Steyn through in the corner, and Allan converting.
The visitors had another try ruled out due to a Tomos Williams forward pass but three Gareth Anscombe penalties put them back into the lead.
But Olly Robinson and Rhys Gill were sin-binned and Ioane dramatically levelled the scores before Allan sealed the win.