Ulster and Connacht continue to set the early pace in the Magners League, with Mark McCall's men on top courtesy of their bonus point win over the Dragons.
Ulster, Connacht and Cardiff are the only unbeaten teams left in the league after the second round of matches. With the Welsh teams embarking on a midweek round of games the Blues will need a bonus point win to catch up on Ulster, who have nine points.
Ulster's four tries against the Dragons on Saturday - their first bonus point against Welsh opposition - sees them in first place. It was another good second half performance, coming from 22-17 at the break - with two tries and eleven minutes of injury-time - for more click here.
Connacht continue their excellent early season form and are laying the foundations for an exciting season. With a run of six home games, a win in the first of these sets the tone for the next few weeks at the Sportsground. Mark McHugh's five penalties and some stout defending were enough to give them victory over the Ospreys on Friday evening - for more click here.
Connacht coach Michael Bradley also paid tribute to the province's supporters: "It was superb on Friday night the way the supporters got right behind the side, especially in the second half when the game was hanging in the balance.
"That backing has to be worth a score or two. Let's hope we can build on the Friday night experience and the fan base will continue to grow in the coming weeks."
Leinster's opening game away to Edinburgh was a tough challenge. Two second half tries for the Gunners were somewhat mitigated by a late Ronan McCormack try which ensured that Leinster, at least, secured a bonus point for their efforts - for more click here.
Leinster's Jamie Heaslip felt that there were a lot of positives to be taken from the game. The talented number eight told www.LeinsterRugby.ie: "There are a lot of positives despite the defeat. We stuck with it for long periods of the game. Our defence was good in the first half and the frustrating thing is that the game was lost by one missed tackle. Our attacking wasn't as fluid as it could have been but we'll take away some good things."
...Mark McHugh is the second highest points scorer in the Magners League...
Three penalties from Jeremy Manning gave Munster what could prove to be a vital win. The Munster mystique is built on games like this and the all-round performance of some of the young guns (and the older heads like Frankie Sheahan), has kept them in touch with the early pace set by Ulster and Connacht. For more click here.
David Humphreys and Mark McHugh continue to lead the top-scoring ranks while Manning's tally pushes him to mid-table:
|Ceri Sweeney||Newport Gwent Dragons||1||3||5||0||26|
|Darren Daniel||Llanelli Scarlets||4||0||0||0||20|
|Calum MacRae||Border Reivers||0||0||6||0||18|
|Stephen Jones||Llanelli Scarlets||0||4||3||0||17|
|Chris Paterson||Edinburgh Gunners||0||2||4||0||16|
|Aled Brew||Newport Gwent Dragons||3||0||0||0||15|
|Dan Parks||Glasgow Warriors||0||4||2||0||14|
|Nick Robinson||Cardiff Blues||0||0||4||0||12|
MAGNERS LEAGUE RESULTS ROUND-UP:
Friday, September 8, 2006 at Sportsground:
Connacht (3) 15: Mark McHugh(5P)
Ospreys (10) 10: Justin Marshall(T) James Hook(C/P)
Friday September 8, 2006 at Murrayfield:
Edinburgh Gunners (6) 20: Allister Hogg(T) Duncan Hodge(T) Chris Paterson(2C/2P)
Leinster (9) 14: Ronan McCormack(T) Felipe Contepomi(3P)
Friday September 8, 2006 at Stradey Park:
Llanelli Scarlets (5) 31: Darren Daniel(3T) Dwayne Peel(T) Gavin Evans(T) Stephen Jones(3C)
Glasgow Warriors (3) 17: Francisco Leonelli Morey(D) John Barclay(T) Colin Shaw(T) Dan Parks(2C)
Saturday September 9, 2006 at Rodney Parade:
Newport Gwent Dragons (22) 25: Nic Fitisemanu(T) Aled Brew(2T) Ceri Sweeney(2C/2P)
Ulster (17) 32: Andrew Maxwell(T) Bryn Cunningham(2T) Declan Fitzpatrick(T) David Humphreys(3C/2P)
Saturday September 9, 2006 at Thomond Park:
Munster (6) 9: Jeremy Manning(3P)
Border Reivers (3) 8: Mark Robertson(T) Calum MacRae(P)
Magners League Table - click here.