Leinster leave it late to beat Treviso
November 24, 2013
Jimmy Gopperth's late penalty saw Leinster claim a narrow 21-20 RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo on Sunday.
Tries from Lote Tuqiri and Noel Reid put the visitors in the driving seat early on, but Treviso fought back with a Ludovico Nitoglia score and the kicking of fly-half Matt Berquist. It then looked as if Angelo Esposito's try would hand the home side the win, before Gopperth's decisive intervention ensured the contest finished 21-20 to Leinster.
Full-back Jason Tovey scored 18 points as Newport Gwent Dragons recorded a big upset against Glasgow Warriors with an emphatic 23-8 victory at Scoutstoun Stadium.
The away side conceded a try to Nikola Matawalu after just two minutes and had three players sent to the bin throughout the game, but managed to get their noses in front and ease the game away from the Scottish side - who were limited to just a penalty from Henry Pyrgos in the second half.
It was Tovey who led the fightback, slotting two penalties and then converting his own try just after the half-hour mark as the Dragons went in 13-5 up at half-time. The Tovey show continued after the interval, as he chipped through for Will Harris to touch down before adding the conversion. A late Tovey drop goal rubbed salt into the wounds for Glasgow as they suffered just their second league defeat of the season.
Matthew Morgan kicked 20 points as Ospreys saw off a spirited display from Zebre with a pair of crucial second-half tries to prevail 30-20 in the RaboDirect PRO12.
Filippo Cristiano had crossed for the visiting side early on but the Italians were unable to build up a lead as Morgan kept the scoreboard ticking over with the boot, though with Ospreys only leading 15-13 at half-time Zebre looked in with a great chance after the interval. But Ospreys were clinical after the break, as Tyler Ardron waited just five minutes to power over from close range.
Morgan was instrumental in Ospreys' second try, launching an attack with an excellent breakaway which was eventually finished off by prop Duncan Jones to put the home side in control. A late try from Samuela Vunisa made life uncomfortable for Ospreys but another Morgan penalty in the dying embers of the game ensured the victory.
The Scarlets won for the first time in five visits to Ireland as they held off Connacht's frantic finish to triumph 24-21 at the Sportsground.
Having trailed 24-9, Pat Lam's men produced a late spurt - capitilising on Gareth Owens being sent to the bin in the closing stages. But Connacht had left themselves with too much to do and were unable to conjure up a match-winning score, their seventh consecutive defeat leaving them rooted to the bottom of the Pro12 table.
That win put Zebre top of the league for a few hours but Munster ensured it was no longer than that as they claimed a comfortable bonus-point victory over a below-strength Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park.
While the Welsh region were missing more than 20 players through international calls and injuries, the Munster squad were without only three players required by Ireland.
And their advantage in the personnel department was clear to see as they ran in tries through Felix Jones, Damien Varley, James Cronin and Andrew Conway, with fly-half JJ Hanrahan kicking four conversions and a penalty. Cardiff scored one try through Kristian Dacey, with Simon Humberstone kicking the conversion and an early penalty.
Ulster had no problems at home to Edinburgh on Friday night as they won 47-17 on former coach Alan Solomons' return to Ravenhill.
The Ulstermen went behind to Cornell Du Preez's early try but tries from Paul Marshall, Robbie Diack, Craig Gilroy (2) and James McKinney - who also added 16 points with the boot - were enough for the home side. Late tries from Dougie Fife and Grayson Hart made the score more respectable for Edinburgh, who had trailed 20-5 at half-time.
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