Guinness PRO14's weekend wrap: Cardiff Blues, Connacht, Zebre, Leinster, Cheetahs win
Last Updated: 01/12/19 4:45pm
A round-up of the weekend's club action from around Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy in the Guinness PRO14...
Friday saw two PRO14 games as Edinburgh and Ulster beat Munster and Scarlets respectively. You can catch all the information for those two games HERE.
Saturday saw a further five fixtures....
Benetton 28-31 Cardiff Blues
Jason Harries scored a late try as Cardiff fought back for a 31-28 Guinness PRO14 victory away to Benetton.
The hosts took an early lead through Tommaso Allan's 11th-minute penalty but Blues hit back four minutes later as James Botham crossed over and Jason Tovey converted.
Benetton replied with a try from Marco Riccioni as Allan added the extras with a Tovey penalty levelling the scores at the other end before a second touchdown for the home side through Iliesa Ratuva handed the hosts a 15-10 lead.
Allan's 47th-minute penalty extended the Italian side's lead, while Tovey converted Lloyd Williams' try to narrow the scores before a try apiece from Monty Ioane and Frederico Zani looked to have put the score beyond doubt for the hosts on the hour.
But Cardiff hit back through efforts from Alun Lawrence and Harries - as Tovey was successful with both conversions to take his points tally to 11 for the match - to seal the last-gasp victory.
Connacht 24-12 Kings
Bundee Aki celebrated his three-year IRFU contract extension with the opening try in Connacht's 24-12 PRO14 win over the Isuzu Southern Kings at the Sportsground.
It was three tries to two at the end of a fast-paced first half, with Connacht leading 19-12 thanks to efforts from Aki, Finlay Bealham and Australian Sevens international John Porch. Erich Cronje and Scott van Breda struck back for the
Replacement Ruaan Lerm produced an all-action display as the Kings looked to add to their recent historic victory away to the Ospreys.
But Connacht sewed up the result when winger Porch dived over to complete his double in the 42nd minute.
Dragons 12-39 Zebre
Zebre won for the first time in 2019 by upsetting the Dragons 39-12 at Rodney Parade in the PRO14.
The Italians took the spoils and even got a bonus point thanks to tries by wing James Elliott, full-back Edoardo Padovani, centre Tommaso Boni, wing Charlie Walker and flanker Maxime Mbanda.
It was a dominant performance by the Italians and an awful one by the Dragons, whose tries came from back-row forwards Harrison Keddie and Taine Basham.
Zebre had not won in any competition since beating Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup last December, with one of their defeats a 52-28 hammering at the hands of the Dragons in Parma.
They avenged that loss in style, having the edge in the first half and then stretching away early in the second.
Glagsow 10-23 Leinster
Leinster extended their winning run and with it their lead at the top of Conference A with a 23-10 victory over Glasgow in a repeat of last season's final.
Incredible defence from @leinsterrugby to deny @GlasgowWarriors a losing BP after 30+ phases with the clock in the red 😳💪— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) November 30, 2019
A first win at Scotstoun in 7️⃣ years for the reigning champions, is that the sign of winners? 🏆#GuinnessPRO14 #GLAvLEI pic.twitter.com/787TM8MKXe
Two Ruaridh Jackson tries in the opening 25 minutes helped Glasgow take a 10-3 lead but Leinster responded with two tries from Cian Kelleher and 13 points from the boot of Ross Byrne to claim the spoils.
Leinster, who beat Glasgow 18-15 at Celtic Park in May to lift their second successive PRO14 title, have now won seven out of seven this season, while the Warriors have won three and lost four.
Ospreys 13-18 Cheetahs
Ospreys' miserable season continued as Cheetahs registered a hard-fought 18-13 PRO14 victory at the Gnoll.
The defeat came at the end of a forgettable few days for the Welsh region who parted company with head coach Allen Clarke earlier in the week.
Ospreys had led 10-8 at half-time but failed to back that up in the second half as they slumped to a sixth successive defeat in all competitions.
Cheetahs scored tries through centre William Small-Smith and hooker Wilmar Arnoldi with Ruan Pienaar and Tian Schoeman contributing the rest of the points with the boot.
For Ospreys, prop Ma'afu Fia crossed with fly-half Luke Price kicking eight out of a possible 14 points.