PRO14: Munster win late at Scarlets, Connacht beat Glasgow
Last Updated: 03/10/20 10:15pm
Recap all the updates from the opening round of the Guinness PRO14 as Munster beat the Scarlets late on, while Connacht beat Glasgow Warriors in Galway...
Scarlets 27-30 Munster
Ben Healy's last-minute penalty saw 14-man Munster snatch a dramatic 30-27 Guinness PRO14 victory at Scarlets.
Leigh Halfpenny kicked nine penalties to break Scarlets' record for most penalties in a match, surpassing the previous mark of eight set by Stephen Jones and Byron Hayward.
Halfpenny's efforts appeared to have condemned Munster to defeat, particularly when Peter O'Mahony was red carded in the 68th minute after picking up two yellows.
However, the flanker's dismissal proved the catalyst for a remarkable reversal of fortunes.
Jack O'Donoghue, Chris Farrell and Kevin O'Byrne scored tries for the Irish outfit, with JJ Hanrahan adding a penalty and conversion. Healy also added two conversion and two penalties.
Connacht 28-24 Glasgow Warriors
Bundee Aki's second-half brace of tries, coupled with a late Jack Carty penalty, steered Connacht to a memorable 28-24 Guinness PRO14 win over Glasgow Warriors in Galway.
Carty finished with 13 points and another of the province's Ireland internationals, Quinn Roux, also touched down as the westerners defeated Scottish opposition for the first time since April 2017.
Glasgow's pressure eventually paid off just before half-time, Adam Hastings slipping Nick Grigg through to make it 7-3 in response to Carty's early penalty.
A run of tries from Aki, Roux, Huw Jones and Aki again produced some exciting exchanges. Tommy Seymour's 70th-minute score made it 25-24, but Connacht held on thanks to a Carty kick with four minutes remaining.
Edinburgh 10-25 Ospreys
Mat Protheroe scored a double on his first start for Ospreys as the Welsh side opened their Guinness PRO14 season with a dominant 25-10 victory in Edinburgh.
The Swansea-born wing, a summer signing from Bristol, showed his pace and class as he crossed in each half at Murrayfield.
The hosts had taken an early lead through a penalty try but Nicky Smith went over for the visitors with both sides down to 14 men.
Ospreys dealt with the torrential rain far better than Richard Cockerill's side, who spilled high balls on a number of occasions as they suffered a fourth consecutive defeat.
Ulster 35-24 Benetton
Second-half tries from Marcell Coetzee and Adam McBurney brought Ulster a hard-fought bonus-point win over Benetton Treviso in the Pro14.
James Hume, Stewart Moore and Michael Lowry also scored in a 35-24 win in front of 600 supporters at Kingspan Stadium.
Leinster 35-5 Dragons
Leinster began their Guinness PRO14 title defence with a 35-5 bonus-point win over Dragons.
The three-in-a-row champions, who fell short against Saracens in Europe a fortnight ago, coasted to victory despite losing captain Jonathan Sexton to a suspected hamstring injury in the first half.
Three weeks out from Ireland's rescheduled Six Nations clash with Italy, Sexton was a precautionary withdrawal as Leinster reeled off tries from Garry Ringrose, Jordan Larmour and James Lowe to lead 21-0 at the break.
Ireland hopeful Lowe and Ashton Hewitt swapped third-quarter tries before Leinster replacement Ryan Baird wrapped up the scoring in fine style in the 66th minute.
Zebre 6-16 Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues got off to a winning start in the Guinness PRO14 with a 16-6 victory over Zebre despite playing most of the second half with 14 men.
With the Welsh side leading through Josh Adams' first-half try, team-mate Josh Turnbull was sent off in the 43rd minute by Irish referee George Clancy.
The number eight was dismissed for a shoulder to the head of Zebre flanker Maxime Mbanda, with the lead cut to 10-6 once the resulting penalty was put through the posts.
However Cardiff managed to grow into the game and took control with kicks from Jarrod Evans and Jason Tovey, with the former finishing with eight points as well as creating Adams' try with a well-judged kick through just before the half-hour.