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Rabo : Munster And Ulster Prevail As Connacht Fall To Defeat

In the picture:Marco Filippucci

Rabo Direct Pro 12

Munster 19 – 15 Leinster

A Keith Earls try was the crucial score that separated the sides in Thomond Park on Saturday night.

Leinster started better with two early penalties converted by Ian Madigan to give them a six point lead early in the first half. Munster began piling on the pressure shortly after and got their first score from the boot of Ian Keatley. Madigan interfered with play after some good surging play from Munster and he was sin binned for the remainder of the half. A brilliant cross field kick by Keatley found Earls who side-stepped the defender to give Munster a well deserved lead, with Keatley following up with the conversion. Fergus McFadden converted a penalty just before half time in the absence of Madigan to leave them trailing, Munster 10-9 Leinster.

Both sides traded penalties in the second half as Munster’s Keatley converted three while Leinster only converted two from the boot of Madigan. Munster did enough to edge out their old rivals Leinster on a scoreline of 19 -15.

Ulster 18- 12 Ospreys

This game was decided by the battle of kicking between Ospreys’ Dan Biggar (Ospreys) and Ulster’s Paddy Jackson.

The first half and parts of the second half were completely dominated by the Ospreys on the scoreboard as they established a comfortable lead over the Ulster men, with Biggar kicking four penalties to give them a 12-0 lead.

Ulster got back into this game with three kicks around the 50th Minute mark to reduce the gap to three points.  Jackson levelled matters after the hour mark to bring some suspense in the closing stages of this encounter. Ulster’s pressure was beginning to tell as the Ospreys were making handling errors which resulted in the sin binning of two players Aaron Jarvis and Stuart Olding, Jackson converted two penalties in the closing stages to give his side a six point lead, but they had to defend bravely in the last few minutes as Ospreys searched for a winner.  Ulster stood firm and a knock on from the Ospreys resulted in Ulster coming away with the victory.

Connacht 3- 23 Treviso

Connacht only managed a single score as they were walloped by Treviso.  Dan Parks penalty was a mere consolation as Treviso ran riot with tries from Alessandro Zanni and Luca Morisi giving the Italians the victory.

Connacht were reduced to 14 men early in the game when Paul O’Donohoe was sin binned for hands in the ruck.  A hat trick of penalties from Alberto Di Bernardo gave the Italians a 9-0 lead at half time as Connacht seemed bewildered. Dan Parks opened the scoring in the second half when he converted a penalty and this was to be Connacht’s only score of the game, closing the gap to six point.

The game was over for Connacht as Treviso’s Zanni touched down to keep his side in the driving seat, with Tobias Botes converting. Robert Barbieri was sin binned late in the second half although this didn’t seem to influence the outcome of this game. Despite Treviso being reduced to 14 men Connacht failed to capitalise on this. Treviso got in for a late try to put this game beyond any doubt when Morisi scored the second try of the evening to give them solid victory, with Botes converting to give the Italians a 23- 3 victory over Connacht.

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