Warriors reclaim top spot
January 2, 2010
Glasgow fullback Bernardo Stortoni is congratulated after scoring © PA Photos
Glasgow returned to the summit of the Magners League and claimed the 1872 Cup by beating Edinburgh 22-15 at Murrayfield.
Initially Edinburgh showed an improvement on the form they showed in last week's encounter but by the end they were well beaten, with coach Rob Moffat's side now four games without a try.
Instead, Edinburgh's points were once again all scored by Chris Paterson's boot, while Glasgow touched down in each half through DTH Van Der Merwe and Bernardo Stortoni. The league's top points scorer, Dan Parks, advanced his own total with three penalties and a drop goal.
Glasgow dominated and confirmed early superiority with a slick, though unconverted, try. The move began with a Max Evans break up centre field and finished with Parks side footing the ball to the left corner where Van Der Merwe touched down for the score.
Van Der Merwe and Al Kellock both saw yellow before the break and during the first sin-bin period Paterson and Parks exchanged penalties before Paterson cut Glasgow's lead to 14-9, after some heroic defence had kept the home side at bay. Kellock had just returned when Glasgow scored their second unconverted try. Richie Vernon forced a five-metre scrum and from the pressure Parks produced a perfect kick for the unmarked Stortoni, who duly scored.
Ospreys kept the pressure on by thrashing Cardiff Blues at the Liberty Stadium in our Game of the Week.
A quick-fire brace from Scotland wing Simon Danielli helped Ulster beat rivals Munster 15-10 at a sold-out Ravenhill.
Ulster ended a run of three straight Magners League defeats to boost their hopes of making the play-offs but they were made to battle hard against a makeshift Munster side at a bitterly cold Ravenhill. The visitors will be pleased with their losing bonus point while Ulster will be relieved at the result after failing to register a single score after Danielli's second effort. In fact, neither side managed to score any points in a scrappy second half.
Danielli's first came from an unexpected source when a Paul Warwick chip ricocheted off Paddy Wallace into the Ulster winger's hands and he simply turned and ran in to score.
Humphreys nailed a great conversion and then, virtually from the restart, Danielli was over the line again, this time after Andrew Trimble's burst drew tacklers before he released Danielli, who streaked up the left wing. Munster upped the pressure and South Africa international Jean de Villiers scored under the posts after the ball bobbled loose from a tackle, but the centre's try was in vain.
Wales star Stephen Jones gave national coach Warren Gatland an injury worry just four weeks before they play England at Twickenham as the Scarlets claimed a vital 14-9 Magners League win against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.
The British and Irish Lions fly-half came off after 54 minutes in his side's victory complaining of soreness on the AC joint of his right shoulder following a heavy tackle in the first-half.
The Dragons led 9-8 at the interval as they sought a win to move them up to third in the table. But Scarlets, who are languishing one place off the bottom, had most of the territorial advantage during the first period, grabbing the only try of the match, although they should have added another two. Fullback Rhys Priestland was put over for that touchdown after centre Jonathan Davies, who was dynamic in midfield attack, went past opposite number Matthew Watkins and put Priestland in the clear.
The home side relied on the boot of outside-half Shaun Connor who grabbed an early drop goal from in front of the Scarlets' posts before landing two penalties, but his efforts were matched by Jones and Priestland, who slotted a crucial late penalty.
Leinster's trip to face Connacht at the Sportsground was a victim of the weather. The game had been given the all clear following a 12.00pm pitch inspection, but a second inspection by match referee Peter Fitzgibbon and coaches Michael Bradley and Michael Cheika resulted in the game being postponed.
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery