Leinster hope to slay Dragons
September 8, 2011
Leinster will call on Fijian Isa Nacewa to head up their charge against the Dragons on Friday © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues 33 - 18 Benetton Treviso Ospreys 26 - 19 Edinburgh Connacht 13 - 11 Scarlets Aironi 19 - 25 Ulster Leinster 31 - 10 Dragons Glasgow 12 - 23 Munster
Leinster hope to bounce back against the Newport Gwent-Dragons on Friday evening in Dublin in the second round of the RaboDirect PRO12.
Leinster lost out to a belligerent Ospreys side in the opening round of the tournament losing 27-3. And the Dragons suffered a similar fate at the hands of the reigning Celtic league champions Munster. Isa Nacewa continues for the Heineken Cup champions but Luke Fitzgerald and Shane Horgan are notable absentees. Rhys Ruddock once again captains the side from the back of the pack.
The Dragons will hope Jason Tovey will keep the scoreboard ticking over from fly-half while Ashley Smith and Tom Brown miss out on selection through injury. Back-row Ashley Coombs is looking forward to the clash and is wary of a Leinster team smarting from their opening round reverse.
"We probably were a bit rusty on the weekend," Coombs said. "But we've been training hard this week to get back to where we were last season. A lot of planning has gone into how to break Leinster down and I think we'll do well this weekend.
"I don't think Leinster would have been too happy with their performance against the Ospreys and they'll probably want to put things right this weekend, so it'll be a good game."
In Friday's other clash, Glasgow will be going up against Munster at Firhill Stadium and have made four changes for the match. Loose-head prop Ryan Grant will pack down alongside Nick Campbell while Colin Gregor makes way for Henry Pyrgosm at scrum-half and an injury-enforced switch on the wing sees Federico Aramburu replacing Tommy Seymour. Munster have made four changes with Simon Zebo coming onto the wing and Wian du Preez, Damien Varley and veteran John Hayes returning in the front-row.
Saturday's premier clash sees the Ospreys taking on Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium. The Swansea-based side started the 2011-12 campaign well with a win over Leinster while Edinburgh lost at home to the Cardiff Blues. Edinburgh have bolstered their front-row resources with Gloucester prop Shaun Knight this week in light of the World Cup in New Zealand.
Connacht will hope to make it two from two against the Scarlets who themselves recorded an opening round win with a commanding performance over Aironi. While their Irish neighbours Ulster travel to Aironi. The Ravenhill side have made one change from the team which overcame Glasgow last weekend 28-14 with Tim Barker replacing Lewis Stevenson in the second-row.
Edinburgh's conquerors the Blues complete the weekend's line-up with a match against Italian side Treviso. The Italians lost to Connacht 11-9 in the opening weekend of the match and will hope to put down a marker at Murrayfield.
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