Ulster returned to winning ways in the Magners League at the weekend, while six-try Leinster continue to put pressure on the champions.
…Round 14 Fixtures: Friday, Jan 26: Dragons v Borders, Rodney Parade, 7.30pm…Edinburgh v Connacht, Murrayfield, 7.30pm…Glasgow v Cardiff, Hughenden, 7.30pm…Leinster v Llanelli, Donnybrook, 7.40pm; Saturday, Jan 27: Ospreys v Ulster, Liberty Stadium, 5.30pm…Munster: Free Weekend…
Ulster returned to winning ways in the Magners League at the weekend, six-try Leinster continued to put pressure on the champions whilst Munster lost ground when they went down to the Dragons.
Ulster battled hard for a three-try victory over Glasgow on Saturday. The Warriors were tough opponents for Mark McCall’s men and were still in contention going into the final quarter. But tries from Neil Best and Tommy Bowe, adding to a first half effort from Rory Best, saw the league leaders return to form and retain their top spot in the table.
Meanwhile, the most anticipated fixture of the round was played at Donnybrook where second-placed Leinster hosted the third in the table Ospreys. The in-form Welsh region managed to score three tries in Dublin, but they were not enough to prevent Leinster from closing the margin on Ulster at the summit to two points – Michael Cheika’s side ran in six tries of their own with a brace each from Rob Kearney and Brian O’Driscoll.
At the Arms Park, the Blues’ back row ere in top form as Cardiff put five tries past bottom side Borders to maintain their 100% home record. Flanker Rhys Shellard led the way with two tries with number eight Xavier Rush and blindside Ben White also scoring.
Friday night was ‘home night’ in the Magners League. At Rodney Parade, the Newport Gwent Dragons extended their unbeaten home record to six matches against Munster. Ceri Sweeney’s 14 points were at the heart of a second half comeback from the Dragons. The defeat continued the European champions’ poor league form in Wales, with the high points being centre Lifeimi Mafi’s two first half tries.
At Murrayfield the boot dominated the contest between Edinburgh and the Llanelli Scarlets. Though the Welsh outfit scored the only try through Darren Daniel, Chris Paterson and Duncan Hodge kicked 24 points between them to maintain the visitors’ losing record at the home of Scottish rugby.
MAGNERS LEAGUE TABLE
|Newport Gwent Dragons||10||5||0||5||169||184||0||4||24|
TOP TRY SCORERS
|Darren Daniel||Llanelli Scarlets||7|
|Gavin Evans||Llanelli Scarlets||4|
|Xavier Rush||Cardiff Blues||3|
|Simon Danielli||Border Reivers||3|
|Ben White||Cardiff Blues||3|
|Aled Brew||Newport Gwent Dragons||3|
|Ben Blair||Cardiff Blues||3|
|Chris Czekaj||Cardiff Blues||3|
|Thom Evans||Glasgow Warriors||3|
|Dafydd James||Llanelli Scarlets||3|
|Regan King||Llanelli Scarlets||3|
|Nathan Brew||Newport Gwent Dragons||3|
|Dan Parks||Glasgow Warriors||3|
TOP POINTS SCORERS
|Dan Parks||Glasgow Warriors||3||14||21||2||112|
|Ben Blair||Cardiff Blues||3||14||18||0||97|
|Ceri Sweeney||Newport Gwent Dragons||1||7||22||2||91|
|Calum MacRae||Border Reivers||0||4||20||0||68|
|Stephen Jones||Llanelli Scarlets||0||11||14||0||64|
|Colin Gregor||Glasgow Warriors||1||1||10||1||40|
|Colin Gregor||Glasgow Warriors||11||12||91.67|
|Dan Parks||Glasgow Warriors||35||45||77.78|
|Ben Blair||Cardiff Blues||32||43||74.42|
|Ceri Sweeney||Newport Gwent Dragons||29||39||74.36|
|Stephen Jones||Llanelli Scarlets||25||35||71.43|
|Ceiron Thomas||Llanelli Scarlets||13||19||68.42|
|Calum MacRae||Border Reivers||24||36||66.67|
|Qual: 10 place kicks at goal.|
RESULTS ROUND 13
Friday, January 5, 2007 at Rodney Parade:
Newport Gwent Dragons (6) 19: Ceri Sweeney(C/D/3P) Jamie Ringer(T)
Munster (12) 12: Jeremy Manning(C) Lifeimi Mafi(2T)
Friday 5 January 5, 2007 at Murrayfield:
Edinburgh (9) 24: Duncan Hodge(D/2P) Chris Paterson(5P)
Llanelli Scarlets (9) 14: Darren Daniel(T) Stephen Jones(3P)
Saturday, January 6, 2007 at Arms Park:
Cardiff Blues (10) 36: Ben White(T) Ben Blair(4C/P) Jamie Robinson(T) Xavier Rush(T) Rhys Shellard(2T)
Border Reivers (8) 15: Garry Law(T) Calum MacRae(C/P) Simon Danielli(T)
Saturday, January 6, 2007 at Hughenden:
Glasgow Warriors (0) 8: Andy Newman(T) Dan Parks(P)
Ulster (7) 19: Neil Best(T) Rory Best(T) Tommy Bowe(T) Paddy Wallace(2C)
Saturday, January 6, 2007 at Donnybrook:
Leinster (17) 45: Felipe Contepomi(5C/P) Denis Hickie(T) Brian O’Driscoll(2T) Rob Kearney(2T) Keith Gleeson(T) Jonathan Sexton(C)
Ospreys (8) 22: Brent Cockbain(T) Richie Pugh(T) Shaun Connor(2C/P) Stefan Terblanche(T)