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Week 7: the reaction round up

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Nov 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.

Aironi 3 Blues 20

The Blues bounced back from a disappointing defeat to the Scarlets with a valuable win in Italy.

Having already won in Treviso this term, the Blues were comfortable victors against the league’s bottom side despite the absence of many of their international contingent.

First-half tries from Lloyd Williams and Richard Mustoe set the platform for a fifth league win, although an improved display from the hosts prevented the Blues from securing a bonus-point after the break.

Blues director of rugby Dai Young

"The boys showed a lot of grit and determination to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last week. In fairness to them they knew we didn't play well. On that day, the Scarlets showed more hunger and we never want to allow a team to win by wanting it more.

"They put that right against a full-strength Aironi side who were really targeting a win against us knowing we were without most of our internationals.

"It was a good win and we were in control right through 80 minutes. We struggled at times in the second half but you can't have all the pressure.

"We put in a good performance and got the win. With a better second half and one or two better decisions we could have got the bonus-point.

"Perhaps if we had snuck a try 10 minutes into the second half we would have run away with it. But you can't always score four tries and from my point of view a win is a good result."

Ulster 6 Munster 16

A last-minute try from young centre Ivan Dineen sealed what could be a crucial away win for league leaders Munster.

Dineen’s converted score even prevented the home side from taking a losing bonus-point from a game in which a draw had seemed the likeliest outcome.

With Munster ahead 9-6 with three minutes left on the clock, Ruan Pienaar had the chance to tie things up. But the Springbok star was off target with the boot before Dineen rubbed salt into Ulster’s wounds.

The result saw Munster cement top spot, while Ulster slip nine points behind after their second successive league defeat.

Munster head coach Tony McGahan

"We asked for a huge effort from the forwards and I believe we got it. Right across the park the forwards were very good, from the set pieces to their work at the contact areas, both in attack and defence.

"We were missing 21 players, we were here in Ravenhill against a good Ulster side and not many sides come away from here with a result, not to mention denying them a bonus point."

Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin

“We’re exceptionally disappointed with the result. The most disappointing fact for me was that we weren’t able to turn our possession into points and that’s a problem we’ve had now for the last couple of weeks.

“When you’re playing with the wind you’ve got to make sure you’ve got territory and you take your points.

“We got down there, we kicked our penalties but we missed one and then we missed a vital one in the second half. Those are the little things which cost you at this level.

“We tried to stay in the game at the end, running the ball when we should have maybe looked for field position. But those are the options you take and, unfortunately, we let the bonus point slip away.”


Ivan Dineen was Munster's hero at Ravenhill

Scarlets 18 Glasgow Warriors 14

The Scarlets ended a run of five straight defeats to the Warriors with a tense victory in Llanelli.

The Welsh side made it five wins from seven Magners League games this term thanks to six penalties from Rhys Priestland as they built on a famous Round 6 win at Cardiff Blues.

Glasgow scored the game’s only tries through DTH van der Merwe and Duncan Weir as they came close to over-turning a 15-0 half-time deficit.

The Scarlets stay in second just four points behind leaders Munster, while Glasgow are a long way from last season’s Play-Off spot as they sit just one place off the foot of the table in 11th.

Scarlets director of rugby Nigel Davies

"That was a big result for us in tough conditions. We can be pleased with where we are after our first seven games, albeit we are disappointed to have lost the two games we did.

"But from where we have come from and to sign-off now in second place, I'm pleased with the campaign so far and more importantly pleased with the depth of the squad that is coming through for us.

"Some people may have thought we'd struggle because some of our big names were away, but really the stars for me are the boys who played today. Our senior players are really important to us of course, but for me the real stars of the show this season are the guys who stood-up today – our new breed of Scarlets and what they are doing is making a real difference to us this year.

Glasgow Warriors head coach Sean Lineen

“A night like that would have been made for Dan (Parks, former Glasgow outside-half), but he was up in the commentary box (working for BBBC Wales).

“We never gave up and scored two cracking tries but we needed to get our kicks and keep our discipline. It was very frustrating.”


Conditions made life hard for the Scarlets and Glasgow

Leinster 19 Edinburgh 18

Leinster scraped a narrow home win over Edinburgh on Saturday as they climbed to within a point of the Play-Off places.

A single try from Andrew Conway and 14 points from the boot of Isa Nacewa was enough to see off a dogged Edinburgh side who scored two tries of their own.

Chris Paterson crossed in the second period after Tim Visser, last season’s top try scorer in the Magners League, had given the Scots the perfect start after eight minutes at the RDS.

Having led 9-8 at the break, Conway’s 46th-minute score put the Dubliners eight points clear, with Nacewa re-establishing that gap with his fourth penalty after Paterson had slotted one of his own.

Paterson made it a nervy finish when he converted his own try with 22 minutes still to play but last season’s beaten finalists held on to move up into fifth place in the standings, hot on the heals of both Ulster and the Blues.

Leinster have now won their last five games in all competitions.

Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt

“It’s been a fantastic October. We just wanted to make sure we got that five-in-a-row win.

“There was massive support from the guys who are in the international side at the moment. Johnny Sexton ran water for us, making sure his knowledge and experience was getting on to Ian Madigan. That’s the squad ethos at the moment.

“I believe Edinburgh are one of the toughest teams to keep under wraps. You’ve got to be really well balanced defensively all the time and, if you turn ball over, as we did when they scored their first try, you know you’ve (Tim) Visser out there and Chris Paterson’s got a bit of class and a bit of speed. They don’t need too many chances to finish it off.”

Edinburgh full back Chris Paterson

"It is a huge opportunity missed. So many individual errors basically strangled our own game.

“Credit to Leinster, no matter who they field they are a hard side to play against. They are cheered on here by the (16,786) crowd, so it is a tough ask but it was definitely one where, if we had cut out the mistakes, we could have come away with a victory."

Ospreys 16 Dragons 21

The Dragons claimed their first-ever win at the Liberty Stadium as they stunned reigning Magners League Champions the Ospreys.

Toby Faletau and Wayne Evans scored the tries that ended the Ospreys’ 12-match winning streak on home turf.

Fly-half Jason Tovey added 11 points with the boot, while the Ospreys could only manage a try and conversion from Gareth Owen and eight points from Dai Flanagan in difficult conditions in South Wales.

The win was the Dragons’ second in a row as they continue to improve upon what had previously been a disappointing start to the season.

Ospreys assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys

"That was very disappointing. We've got a proud home record, which we've just lost. We're obviously disappointed to lose but we have, against what I thought was a better side tonight.

"We'd conceded four tries in the Magners League before last week and all of a sudden we've conceded five in two games.

"We just turned the ball over too much, we didn't keep the ball. We tried to play the miracle offloads, which cost us. I thought we needed to keep the ball and play it in the right areas, which we didn't for long periods of time. Again though, I thought the Dragons defended well. Take nothing away from the Dragons. They played the right game.

"We're realistic though, we're just a point shy of where were at this stage last year and we went on to win the league.

"As coaches, it's easy to say that we've got 'x' amount of players away. We're well aware of that, but we have to take this team forward. It's a testing time for some of the guys here, they've got to stand up and put their hand up over the next few weeks.”

Dragons head coach Paul Turner

“I felt we controlled the match, it was a limited game plan once the rain came, but Jason Tovey kept the scoreboard ticking over and we can play like that in the dry away.

“I began to worry that, after one win (against Aironi), we were expected to win here all of a sudden, but we have beaten a good squad.

“The Ospreys had nine internationals missing and we had about eight, but we’ve broken their line twice and scored from it, and we’ve muscled up in the right areas. Our scrum was dominant…and we took our chances.

“We played smart rugby, put them under pressure and they made errors. We could have taken a bonus point away from them, but we’ll take what we got.”


Wayne Evans scored for the Dragons in Swansea

Benetton Treviso 24 Connacht 17

Treviso made it four wins from five on Italian soil as they jumped back up to sixth in the standings.

Having already beaten the Scarlets, Leinster and the Dragons at the Stadio Monigo, Treviso continued their fantastic start to their debut season with another fine victory.

Tries from Chris Burton and Ludovico Nitoglia, together with an impressive kicking display from scrum-half Tobie Botes, secured the points against a Connacht side who have been on the slide since starting the campaign with two wins and two bonus points from their first three matches.

Treviso led by 11 points just three minutes into the second period but Connacht made it a nervy last quarter when Niva Ta'auso added to Adrian Flavin’s early try.

But the newboys held on, with Botes sealing the win with an 80th-minute penalty as Treviso moved to within three points of the Play-Off places.

Connacht director of rugby Eric Elwood

"It didn't look good for us when we fell 11 points behind, but the lads kept battling away. We got the bonus point and then went to win the match in the closing minutes.

"Last week we put in a huge effort against Leinster and coughed up the bonus point with the last play, so at least we got something, although we are disappointed to lose.

"Treviso are a strong side with a lot of Italian internationals. Teams will get nothing easy there.

"We created chances to win the game in the end and, on another day, would have secured it. There is plenty there for us to build on."