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Week 3: the reaction round up

Guinness PRO12 Editor

21 Sep 2010


After each round of Magners League action we’ll be taking a look at what those involved had to say about their latest win, loss or draw.

Keep your eyes on www.magnersleague.com after a Magners League weekend for a round up of quotes from players or coaches, or even both.

Glasgow Warriors 17 Connacht 19

Having come so close against the Scarlets in Round 2, Connacht finally secured their first Magners League away victory in two-and-a-half years as they ended Glasgow’s nine-match winning run at Firhill.

Connacht were 8-0 down in as many minutes but fought back to lead 13-8 at the break before the Warriors threatened to inflict more heartbreak on Eric Elwood’s men by nicking a one-point advantage with 17 minutes remaining.

But the Irishmen weren’t to be denied as Ian Keatley struck the winning penalty with four minutes left to play to put paid to one of the league’s most-unwanted records.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen

"We came up against a team who didn’t come here to play, but came here to win.

"It’s incredibly frustrating, but through no lack of effort from the players. We need to be a bit smarter with where we play because we lost our way at times.

"Connacht’s defence was very strong in midfield and I think we maybe tried to score to quickly after Graeme Morrison’s try.

"We have a massive game next week against Munster – it just doesn’t get any easier."

Connacht director of rugby Eric Elwood

"We’ve taken steps in the right direction and the team had set themselves challenges for the last two away matches. Fair play to the lads, they showed great character from the disappointing defeat to Scarlets to front up like they did in a real physical battle to a very strong Glasgow side at home.

"I want to change people's perceptions of the province. I no longer want to lose well and have people patronise me by saying 'you played a good game'.

"I want to win and make the province proud so that instead of people talking about there being three provinces plus Connacht in Irish rugby, they'll talk of four provinces."


Connacht finally won away from home in the Magners League

Scarlets 49 Aironi Rugby 10

The Scarlets got their own back on Italian opposition following the Round 1 defeat in Treviso by inflicting a six-try thrashing on Aironi.

The Welsh side produced some superb attacking rugby to record their second bonus-point win in a row, with this one far more convincing than the previous week’s success against Connacht.

Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies

"That was a performance we have been building towards in the last two games. We felt we were very close to it and we are pleased with the result.

“Friday night's performance gives us a good platform to build from, and we have the opportunity to select from a position of strength. It's all about having hungry players who really want the shirt and that's what we are building here at the moment – the competition for place is really energising this group.

"Confidence is a vital part of it for this team. I don't think this side quite realises how good it can be at times yet. But that's a process and this win will certainly help that.

"It was good to see the things we had worked hard on in the week were improved. We were far too loose last week and we had to tighten things up to give us more continuity – which we did."

Aironi forwards coach Andrea Moretii

“We know it’s going to be tough this year, but we must stay focused and keep our confidence.

“We are missing some players, today we were without our first-choice centres and against this team, with all their top players it was a hard 80 minutes.

“We must understand we are on a learning curve and this first year is crucial to our development and our mentality to compete at this level.”


George North scored for the Scarlets against Aironi 

Ulster 29 Edinburgh 21

It was a tale of two opposites at Ravenhill as Ulster continued their 100-per-cent start to the season by condemning Edinburgh to their third straight defeat.

The home side scored three tries to the visitors’ two as they deservedly edged a hard-fought encounter that remained hugely physical throughout.

Ulster scrum-half and man of the match Paul Marshall

"We’re obviously delighted to get the victory, though we’re a wee bit disappointed not to have got the bonus point.

"We probably had opportunities we could have taken so, while we’re delighted to have won another game, as a squad moving forward we want to be ruthless.

"We want to be the best team around and for us to do that we’ve got to take our opportunities.”

Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat

"It was a good defensive effort – we just leaked a couple of soft tries and, along with the number of penalties we conceded, we couldn't get any momentum into our game.

"When we had the ball and kept it we looked dangerous, but we lost a couple of line-outs and re-starts and that killed us.

"We are talking about the performance and I am a believer that, if you keep improving your performance, the results will come. We started last season with three wins: this is completely different but this league is over 22 games and a lot will happen.

"We must keep faith in what we are trying to do and then the performance will lead to a win, hopefully against Leinster next week."


Darren Cave scored in Ulster's third win of the season

Cardiff Blues 43 Newport Gwent Dragons 21

The Blues were comfortable winners of the first Welsh derby of the season as they racked up four tries and a bonus point for the second successive home game.

There were just seven points between the two sides with 20 minutes to go, but the Blues were the better side throughout and the Dragons never looked like improving on their disappointing away record of recent seasons.

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Dai Young

"We had maximum points and can’t do more than that and I was pleased with the effort and desire we showed, but we have some things to work on because we blew some ball out there and need to be more clinical.

"We weren’t ruthless enough and we still squandered chances.

"I don’t feel we are anywhere near to hitting top gear yet, and in a way that’s pleasing because we have a decent amount of points on the board knowing there is improvement in us."

Dragons head coach Paul Turner

"We weren’t smart enough and made too many errors. We want the players looking after the ball better because we coughed up too much.

"I felt we could climb back, and had the Will Harries try come earlier we could have made a game of it, but we made those errors and we got what we deserved.

"When the Blues bring on guys like Michael Paterson and Dan Parks is on the side you’re going to be under the cosh and they showed what a good squad they’ve got. 40-20 was about fair on the night.

"We knew it was going to be tough given the strength of their squad, especially with a whole back division out, and we didn’t adhere to the basics."


The Blues won the first Welsh derby of the year
Benetton Treviso 29 Leinster 13

Benetton Treviso claimed their second win in as many Magners Laegue home games as they shocked last season’s beaten finalists Leinster.

The win was Treviso’s first over Irish opposition in any competition and sees the Italian newcomers jump above Leinster into sixth-place in the standings.

Benetton Treviso head coach Franco Smith

"We made some mistakes and were not perfect but the early try awoke us and we are learning and growing.

"We are capable of everything. I have a fantastic group of players all working hard and not just the ones that took to the field today but all the ones who trained all week as well. All their efforts have paid off with a good victory.

"We want to surprise teams every week, but opponents will start to look at us and try to work us out."

Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt

"I'm really disappointed with the result and the performance as well.

"Treviso are a very combative team and they put a lot of pressure on our line-out. They defended very strongly and they got up over the advantage line a lot of times and made it difficult for us to play in difficult conditions where you can't secure your ball off a solid platform.

"In those conditions you really need to have a platform and I don't think we ever gave ourselves one. Some of our decision-making also wasn't as good as it could have been."


Treviso stunned former champions Leinster in Italy 

Munster 22 Ospreys 10

The reigning Magners League Champions went down to their second defeat in three games as they failed to repeat last year’s historic triumph at Thomond Park.

The Ospreys outscore their hosts by two tries to one in Limerick but 17 points from the boot of Ronan O’Gara proved the difference and allowed Munster to cement their spot at the head of the table.

Munster head coach Tony McGahan

"Our first five games were always going to be extremely tough. It was really important that we made progress each week. Slowly but surely, we're taking those steps.

"We're getting there; we've still got a bit of way to go – in some aspects a long way to go – but we're slowly taking steps forward. As long as we can get results, that's pleasing."

Ospreys head coach Sean Holley

"We defended valiantly in the first half.To go in at half time just 3-0 down was probably a bonus for us but we didn't capitalise on that in the second half.

"We were ill-disciplined, and we've seen a performance that isn't what we expect from an Ospreys team, so I'm very disappointed.

"We didn’t have enough possession. We lost the race at the breakdown. We didn’t get the rub of the green with the decisions and we didn’t get any territory. The only thing that we can perhaps take away is that it's early in the season and we’ve got plenty of time to improve.

"We are the champions of this competition, we know we're a good team, but we're just not quite there yet. We're a little bit inaccurate and are clearly undercooked, but we’ll work hard to put it right."