Ulster beat Dragons in PRO14 as Edinburgh fall and Scarlets rally to win thriller
Last Updated: 26/10/18 10:31pm
Ulster, Zebre, Scarlets and Ospreys came out successful on a Friday night filled with tries and excitement in the Guinness PRO14.
Ulster 36-18 Dragons
Ulster returned to winning ways in the Guinness PRO14 and also managed their first winning bonus point of the season when scoring five tries to defeat the Dragons 36-18 at Kingspan Stadium.
Tries from Henry Speight, Dave Shanahan, Michael Lowry and two from Stuart McCloskey saw coach Dan McFarlands side home after leading 24-13 at half-time.
Johnny McPhillips kicked 11 points, from four conversions and a penalty, as a strong Ulster side won their first PRO14 game since beating the Kings in mid-September.
Dragons, who had not won in Belfast for a decade, scored tries from Huw Taylor and Jarryd Sage, with Jason Tovey kicking two conversions and a penalty.
Zebre 34-16 Edinburgh
Edinburgh let slip a 13-0 first-half lead to slump to a 34-16 defeat at the hands of Zebre in Parma.
The visitors, despite making 10 changes to the side that thrashed Toulon in the Champions Cup last weekend, began well and looked in control following a converted Darcy Graham try and two penalties from Simon Hickey.
However, hopes of a third successive Pro14 victory started to slip away from Richard Cockerill's men as Zebre scored 20 points in just 17 minutes either side of half-time at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
Former Bath flanker Dave Sisi and Gabriele di Giulio both crossed for the hosts, with Carlo Canna adding 12 points with the boot as Zebre turned the match on its head to lead 20-16.
Italy internationals Canna and Tommaso Castello added further tries in the last eight minutes to complete the home side's comeback and consign Edinburgh to a fourth defeat in seven Pro14 games.
Southern Kings 34-41 Scarlets
Short-handed Scarlets came from behind to record a thrilling 41-34 bonus-point win over Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Despite the absence of a number of key players through injury and Wales call-ups, Scarlets scored the final three tries of a topsy-turvy Guinness PRO14 clash through Werner Kruger, Kieran Hardy and Taylor Davies to turn a 34-22 deficit into an impressive win.
The Kings had opened the scoring just two minutes in as Masixole Banda took advantage of mistakes in defence, and Yaw Penxe's 21st-minute try made it 17-3, but Steffan Hughes' first try for Scarlets and another from Will Boyde helped Scarlets cut the deficit to 20-15 at the break.
They nosed in front after Ioan Nicholas crossed the line two minutes into the second half, but the Kings looked to be in control as Harlon Klaasen and Bjorn Basson made it 34-22 before the hour mark.
Ospreys 22-17 Connacht
Full-back Dan Evans scored a dramatic late try to earn a depleted Ospreys side a thrilling 22-17 victory over Connacht in the region's first-ever home match at Brewery Field.
With the scores locked at 17-17 in the 80th minute, centre Cory Allen made a break for the line and went close to scoring before Evans went over for the try, which was awarded after being dramatically referred to the TMO.
It secured the bonus point for Ospreys after earlier scores for Keelan Giles (two) and debutant scrum-half Harri Morgan.
Connacht scored two second-half tries through Bundi Aki and skipper Jarrad Butler, with Jack Carty kicking a drop goal and a conversion.