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Week 6: the reaction roundup

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 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.

Edinburgh 21-16 Ulster

Ulster’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end with Edinburgh taking a 21-16 victory at Murrayfield.

The visitors were outscored by two tries to one, as Edinburgh collected their third win of the season.

Scrum half Greg Laidlaw and try scorers Fraser McKenzie and Netani Talei played key roles for the hosts, while try-scoring centre Ian Whitten and place-kickers Paddy Wallace and Ian Humphreys shared Ulster's points.

Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat

“We'll not get carried away because we have Leinster in Dublin next week, and that's the one team we haven't beaten away from home, but I was pleased with the way the boys dug in and hopefully that will take us up a couple of places in the table.

"The effort we have put in in recent weeks has been top-notch and we maybe haven't got the rewards we deserved, and I think we did tonight.

"Conditions weren't great, and we couldn't get our game going and play the type of rugby we wanted to play, but that's life and you have to adapt.

"The one minus for me was the amount of silly penalties we gave away. We have to learn from that because, when you give away a penalty you're not going to have the ball for the next few minutes. But all in all it was a good effort and now we need to get real consistency in our performances."

Munster 39-13 Treviso

Munster left their visitors still searching for victory on the road as they ran out convincing winners at Thomond Park.

Three converted tries from James Coughlan, Damien Varley and David Wallace helped the hosts take a 27-3 interval lead, and efforts in the second half from Keith Earls and Mike Sherry sealed the bonus point.

Munster's captain for the night Ronan O'Gara had a 100% kicking return – tallying up 14 points from six successful kicks.

O'Gara's opposite number Chris Burton kicked two penalties and converted Ludovico Nitoglia's try for a gallant but well-beaten Treviso.

Munster head coach Tony McGahan

"It can often be difficult to follow on from a performance like the Toulon one a week later but I would have to be very happy with the attitude of the players and they way they played.

"I thought our application was excellent. The forwards gave us a good platform and the momentum to create the opportunities that we needed."


Mike Sherry was one of five Munster try scorers against Treviso

Blues 10-16 Scarlets

The Scarlets came out on top in the all-Welsh affair at the Cardiff City Stadium as they ended their hosts’ six-match unbeaten home run.

A second-half try from man-of-the-match Rhys Priestland was the decisive score in a typically hard-fought derby.

Priestland's fly-half rival Ceri Sweeney scored all 10 points for the Blues – a try, a conversion and a penalty – as they took a narrow lead into the break.

But Priestland's 62nd-minute try proved decisive, with replacement Stephen Jones, a steadying presence in the final quarter, adding the conversion.

Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies

“This is a game we lost last year and it had a significant effect on where we finished in the league. But now we have won this game, so it should have an impact on where we finish at the end of the season.

“When you come to a place like the Blues you have to front-up physically, and we did that. It’s a massive win for us but we have to stay level-headed because we got carried away with ourselves after the Perpignan game.

“We came down to earth with a bump against Leicester and we are not where we want to be, but this is a great step forward for us.”

Blues director or rugby Dai Young

“There were quite a few bruised egos in the changing room after the Scarlets defeat.

“The most disappointing thing was that the Scarlets seemed hungrier than us.

“We beat the Scarlets three times last season and you could see that was in their approach and perhaps it was in ours. We looked like a team who were expecting things to happen and not making it happen.

“There were no positives and you have to put your hand up and say the Scarlets played better than us. It was a frustrating game, but I am not going to take anything away from the Scarlets because I thought they completely outplayed us.

Connacht 6-18 Leinster

Last season’s Magners League Grand Finalists Leinster continued their recent resurgence by beating Connacht at the Sportsground.

Winger Isa Nacewa scored a 14th minute try for Leinster, who led 5-3 at the break. The visitors kept ahead, despite a second penalty from Ian Keatley, and Jonathan Sexton converted Dominic Ryan's last-minute effort to complete his eight-point haul.

Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt

“Connacht are a scrambling, difficult team to get on top of and I think Eric (Elwood) is doing a great job with them.

“This was every bit as tough as we thought it was going to be, to be honest.

“I really liked the way we kept our composure at the end of the game, and kept them in their own territory pretty well.”

Connacht director of rugby Eric Elwood

“I can’t fault the effort and the endeavour – there were long periods when we didn’t have the ball and we defended valiantly again.

“A part of you says, yeah, you want to try and win the game, but in a close game like that I just think maybe you take the (bonus) point and move on. To get completely nothing for all your efforts is disappointing.

“We’ve got a huge challenge against Treviso next week because, as you saw from the team they picked last night, they’ll be waiting for us in the long grass, stacked with their full team. It’s going to be another huge challenge for us on the road.”


Isa Nacewa scored in Leinster's win over Connacht

Dragons 36-5 Aironi

Jason Tovey kicked 19 points as he made a successful return from injury at Rodney Parade on Saturday, helping his Newport Gwent Dragons side to a 36-5 win over Aironi Rugby.

Tovey inspired the Dragons to only their second win of the season, ending a five-match losing sequence as wingers Aled Brew and Adam Hughes (2) crossed for tries.

It initially lifted the Dragons above Glasgow Warriors in the table, while all the visitors had to show for their efforts was a Giovanbattista Venditti try.

Dragons assistant coach Danny Wilson

“First and foremost, it was about the win. It was very important we got the victory and we achieved that. I am hoping the confidence we have gained from that will give us a lift for the coming weeks.

“The boys will be better going into work on Monday with a win. We have felt we have played some good rugby in the last few weeks but not got any reward.

“We have left a bonus point on the table and Paul Turner has made that clear. We questioned our accuracy in some areas. There are some facets we need to work on and we will be doing that in training.”

Aironi defence coach Rowland Phillips

“I felt we were a bit unlucky. Overall, we are frustrated and we expected more from the Dragons game.

“In the last couple of weeks, we have started to hold on to the ball a bit more, but we still lack the composure to finish them off.

“If we had scored half the opportunities we created against the Dragons, it would have been a different score. We would like to feel as if we are a bit further on than we are.”


Jason Tovey starred for the Dragons on his return from injury

Glasgow Warriors 31-23 Ospreys

Glasgow Warriors fought back with tries from Richie Vernon and Kevin Tkachuk in the last 20 minutes as Magners League Champions the Ospreys let slip an early lead.

The Welsh region were ahead 16-11 at half-time after two tries from Scotland winger Nikki Walker and two penalties from Dan Biggar. Richie Gray crossed for the hosts with Ruaridh Jackson adding two penalties.

But the Warriors stepped it up after the break as Vernon and Tkachuk claimed tries to give them valuable breathing space. Walker completed his hat-trick late on but the Ospreys narrowly missed out on a losing bonus point.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen

“We have improved every game this season. It’s been a frustrating time, but a victory like this was never far away. Some of the rugby we played was outstanding.”

Glasgow Warriors captain John Barclay

“That was one of the best second halves I ever been involved in during my sevens years with Glasgow. From one to 15, every player made an impact.

“It was like an international, especially in relation to some of the collisions.”

Ospreys head coach Sean Holley

“This was an opportunity missed. We had hoped to narrow the gap on the leaders after today.

“Glasgow took care of our key runners and it was disappointing to lose in this way. We were ahead early on, but let Glasgow come back into the game.

“We’re frustrated and annoyed, but we’ll channel that anger into next week’s match against the Dragons.”