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In Celtic League action on Friday night, Leinster defeated Connacht at Donnybrook, while Munster had a torrid night in Wales against Gwent and Ulster won an exciting battle in Ravenhill.

Leinster have recorded their first Celtic League win of the season with a 21-6 reverse of Connacht at Donnybrook.

During a dull first period, Brian O'Meara and Eric Elwood had hit two penalties apiece, but just before the break, the Leinster scrum-half kicked a third to send the hosts in 9-6 up at the interval, with Des Dillon having been sent to the bin for foul play.

A brief period of Leinster dominance decided to outcome of the clash early in the second period. Firstly, Matt Leek went over and O'Meara converted before Aidan Carney touched down. Although O'Meara failed to add the two points after the second try, Leinster had opened up enough of a gap to cruise to victory.

Full Details at: leinsterrugby.ie & connachtrugby.ie

Munster's poor showing in this season's Celtic League continued on Friday night, as the Irish province produced a miserable performance in losing 29-6 to Gwent Dragons.

Gwent opened the scoring following their first attack, when a needless infringement from the visitors allowed Craig Warlow to kick a penalty.

Six minutes later it was 10-0 to the hosts. A quick turnover 40 metres from the Munster line saw flanker Jason Forster make a superb break, which eventually led to a Jamie Ringer try. Warlow converted from a tough angle, before kicking a second penalty just prior to the quarter-mark.

But Munster responded well with several good phases of possession immediately from the restart. However, disappointingly, Jeremy Staunton missed the chance to get his side on the board from the resulting penalty. The outhalf missed again from the opposite side of the pitch four minutes from the break.

Gwent were 16-0 up at the interval thanks to another Warlow penalty - the last significant action of the half.

Munster finally got on the board 15 minutes into the second period when a drive led to home forwards going over the top and Staunton stepped up to kick the penalty. But almost immediately Warlow scored a drop goal to restore the 16-point gap.

The Dragons went over for their second try on the hour through hooker Steve Jones following sustained pressure. Warlow again converted, before adding another penalty.

Full Details at: munsterrugby.ie

Ulster continued their fine start in this season's Celtic League when they overcame the Celtic Warriors at Ravenhill on Friday evening.

It took 28 minutes for the first score to be registered. It came from the boot of Ulster outhalf Adam Larkin, who converted a penalty. But the sides were level two minutes later as Neil Jenkins hit a penalty of his own.

The opening try came in first half stoppage time when Tyrone Howe raced over the line in the left corner, before Larkin converted well.

However, the Welsh side managed to also score a try before the break, with full-back Emyr Lewis taking advantage of some poor Ulster tackling. But Jenkins missed the conversion, so Ulster went in 13-11 ahead at the break.

Larkin and Jenkins both hit further penalties in the early stages of the second half, but it was the hosts who surged ahead when Bryn Cunningham scored a try on 48 minutes, after excellent work from James Topping and Kieran Campbell.

Jenkins hit two more penalties in the dying stages to Larkin's one, leaving Ulster with a six-point margin of victory.

Full Details at: ulsterrugby.ie

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19 June 2018
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