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Week 5: The reaction roundup

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 Oct 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.

Cardiff Blues 22-6 Connacht

Casey Laulala’s fantastic individual try was the difference at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Blues collected their fourth victory of the season.

The New Zealander sliced through the visitors’ defence and stepped around the covering tacklers to score the games only try after 30 minutes.

Connachtgave the Blues plenty to think about, with winger Fionn Carr a constant threat, but they only had two Ian Keatley penalties to show for their efforts on the night.

Dan Parks kicked 14 points in a solid display from the Scottish fly-half.

Blues director of rugby Dai Young

"We have to give Connacht credit but we caused ourselves problems with our lack of accuracy, especially at the set piece.

"A bit of magic and Dan Parks' boot made the difference. It's a win but it shows how far we've come that we can really play poorly and win.

"It's a disappointed dressing room but we know we have to improve for the Heineken Cup – Edinburgh will be rubbing their hands watching that."


Casey Laulala scored the only try in Cardiff

Benetton Treviso 20-13 Newport Gwent Dragons

Benetton Treviso continued their fantastic start to the season with victory over the Dragons at the Stadio di Monigo.

The home side took charge in the first half through the boot of Tobie Botes and a try from Robert Barbieri.

The Dragons hit back with tries of their own from Scott Morgan and Phil Price after the break, but Treviso earned the victory they deserved, and their third on home soil, as Chris Burton went over following a break from Brendan Williams.

Dragons head coach Paul Turner

“The players are disappointed, but I still see this as a major step forward.

“They are a powerful side and we were dealing with a lot of big Italian internationals and a few South Africans. They were a bigger side than us and they shoved us a bit on their ball.

“But given the situation with players out through injury, I feel we can build on this.

"I felt all the backs played really well. Tom Cheeseman was very good and Ashley Smith got on as well. Matthew Jones missed two conversions and a penalty, but his passing game was good and he's improved his defence.”


Tobias Botes on the attack for Benetton Treviso

Ulster19-17 Glasgow Warriors

Ulster continued their unbeaten start to the season with Ruan Pienaar staring on debut, scoring all 19 points for the home side.

Glasgow, who did the double over the Irish side last season, were much improved but still fell to their fourth successive defeat.

The Scottish side started the brighter, taking the lead through a Duncan Weir penalty and a try by Canadian winger DTH van der Merwe. 

Pienaar then took centre stage, scoring 13 points in a lively nine-minute spell, much to the delight of the Ravenhill crowd.

Pienaar and Weir exchanged penalties in the second half, but it was the South African who clinched victory with his fifth successful kick.

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin

"We knew it was going to be very competitive and the match turned out to be very tight. Glasgow pushed us hard.

"We're happy with the result but we still have a fair bit to go in terms of performance as we are making too many basic errors.

"We need to hold onto the ball and have to push away from sides when we get our noses in front. It's good to get the results but we want to play quality rugby."


Ulster continued their unbeaten start to the season at Ravenhill

Aironi 9-10 Edinburgh

Aironi’s hopes of a first Magners League success were dashed as Edinburgh clinched victory in the final few minutes in Northern Italy.

Allan Jacobsen came off the bench to crash over late in the game to earn his side back-to-back victories following their win over Leinster last weekend.

Riccardo Bocchino kicked over a third penalty at Stadio Zaffanella as the Italian’s looked set for a famous triumph, before Scottish prop Jacobsen scored. David Blair converted, adding to an earlier penalty for the visitors.

Match-winning try scorer Allan Jacobson

“We did not play well, we are not happy, but we did win away from home.

"There were a lot of stupid mistakes, a lot of silly penalties and dropped balls…but we stood firm and got out of there.

"There was a lot of pressure and usually that is when the mistakes happen but we held our nerve and got away with it.

"We have not started the season well but now we have won two in a row – that has got to be worth something.”


Tim Visser leads the charge for Edinburgh in Italy

Leinster 13-9 Munster

A record 50,000 supporters witnessed Brian O’Driscoll score the decisive try in Dublin as Leinster ended Munster’s unbeaten start to the season and recorded their fifth straight victory over their bitter rivals.

Fly-half’s Ronan O’Gara and Isa Nacewa exchanged penalties in the first half and the visitors went into the break 9-6 ahead.

Leinsterdominated the closing stages and a slick offload from Seon O’Brien sent O’Driscoll over for the match winning try.

Leinster Coach Joe Schmidt

“It was a great arm-wrestle and we didn’t expect any less.

I have to say that I’m delighted with the win. We opened them up a few times in the second half, but they had massive territorial dominance in the first half.

“I have to pay tribute to Munster who put two or three phases together consistently early on. I thought our defensive effort was fantastic and that put us on the front foot.”

Munster’s stand-in captain Denis Leamy

"Let's be honest, it hurts an awful lot.

"What do we do? We can't dwell on it. We've had a decent start. We came up here to win the game but that didn't happen. Leinster probably just deserved it.

"We'll take the positives and move on. We have to. We have no other choice.

"There is work to be done but it is not all bad. It is a great game to get under our belts – two of the best teams in Europe, I feel.”


Ronan O'Gara tries to stop Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy's in Dublin

Scarlets 18-21 Ospreys

Dan Biggar slotted a late drop goal to secure victory for the Magners League Champions in a highly-charged derby at Parc-Y-Scarlets.

Stephen Jones, who had already kicked six penalties, missed a late long-distance shot at goal which would have won it for the home side who dominated early the early encounters.

The Scarlets should have gone into the break with a bigger advantage than 9-6 but it was the Ospreys who came out the stronger after the interval.

Tries from Richard Fussell and captain Alun-Wyn Jones brought the visitors back into the game before Biggar’s 74th minute strike.

Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies

“The Ospreys picked their game up tonight. They are a quality side and have some real quality players in their ranks

“I’m really proud of my players and it definitely shows progression from where we have been.

“We have to believe in that and take it forward. I am confident we will get stronger and stronger.

“It shows how far we have come that we are this disappointed to lose.”

Ospreys director or rugby Sean Holley

“In derby matches we know it is a fine line between winning and losing.

“Our clinical nature was the difference and it is something we have learned from past experiences over the last two seasons.

“We showed that against the Scarlets, not only from the two tries, but also the drop goal which was the deciding factor in the end.

“The Scarlets deserve credit for turning up with more urgency than ourselves.

“They will be disappointed they did not put more points on us in the first half, but we defended well.”


Mike Phillips gets the ball away at Parc Y Scarlets in the west Wales derby