The Irish provinces bounced back to record three wins in round 2 of the Magners League over the weekend. Munster and Leinster secured home wins over Welsh opposition, while Ulster’s terrific defeat of the Ospreys in Swansea was undoubtedly the result of the round. Unfortunately, Connacht had a nightmare outing at Murrayfield, shipping 62 points against an in-form Edinburgh side.
Edinburgh’s 62-13 bonus point victory over Connacht on Friday night, coupled with Glasgow Warriors’ 19-11 win over the Scarlets on Sunday evening, mean that at the end of round 2, for the first time ever, Scottish teams hold the top two places in the Magners League table.
A Scottish side has not topped the table since Edinburgh did so at the end of September 2005.
The two teams also have the only remaining 100 per cent records, with two victories from two matches played, while Edinburgh’s eight tries on Friday night earned them the Magners League’s first try-scoring bonus point of the season.
Reigning Magners League champions Munster recorded their first victory of the new season over the Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park – keeping up the record that no Welsh team has won at the ground since March 2004.
Leinster also saved the first win of their 2009/10 campaign for a home game, beating the Newport Gwent Dragons 23-14. They have not lost at the RDS for almost 12 months.
The remaining Irish province, Ulster, turned all the forecasts on their head when they defeated the Ospreys 20-16 at Liberty Stadium – ending a run of 15 successive games in Wales without a victory.
2009/10 MAGNERS LEAGUE – AFTER ROUND 2:
TOP TRY SCORERS –
2 – Simon Danielli (Ulster), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh), Mark Robertson (Edinburgh), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh)
TOP POINTS SCORERS –
39 – Chris Paterson (Edinburgh) (2 tries, 10 conversions and 3 penalty goals)
29 – Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors) (1 conversion, 8 penalty goals and 1 drop goal)
23 – Jeremy Manning (Munster) (1 conversion and 7 penalty goals), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster) (1 conversion and 7 penalty goals)
19 – Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues) (2 conversions and 5 penalty goals)
18 – Ian Keatley (Connacht) (6 penalty goals)
15 – James Arlidge (Newport Gwent Dragons) (4 penalty goals and 1 drop goal)
BEST PLACE-KICKERS –
100% – Jason Tovey (Newport Gwent Dragons) (1 successful kick from 1 attempt), Miah Nikora (Connacht) (1/1)
88.89% – Jonathan Sexton (Leinster) (8/9)
87.5% – Ben Blair (Cardiff Blues) (7/8)
86.67% – Chris Paterson (Edinburgh) (13/15)
72.73% – Jeremy Manning (Munster) (8/11)
69.23% – Dan Parks (Glasgow Warriors) (9/13)
66.67% – Ian Keatley (Connacht) (6/9)
60% – Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (3/5)
55.56% – Rhys Priestland (Scarlets) (5/9)
RESULTS ROUND-UP –
Friday, September 11, 2009 at Thomond Park Stadium
Munster (16) 24: Marcus Horan(T), Denis Leamy(T), Jeremy Manning(C/4P)
Cardiff Blues (10) 13: Ben Blair(C/2P), Xavier Rush(T)
Friday, September 11, 2009 at Murrayfield
Edinburgh (20) 62: Ben Cairns(T), Roddy Grant(T), Alan MacDonald(T), Mark Robertson(2T), Allister Hogg(T), Chris Paterson(T/8C/2P), Andrew Turnbull(T)
Connacht (6) 13: Fionn Carr(T), Ian Keatley(2P), Miah Nikora(C)
Saturday, September 12, 2009 at the RDS
Leinster (9) 23: Shaun Berne(2D), Jonathan Sexton(4P), Isa Nacewa(T)
Newport Gwent Dragons (6) 14: James Arlidge(D/2P), Martyn Thomas(T)
Saturday, September 12, 2009 at Liberty Stadium
Ospreys (13) 16: James Hook(2P), Duncan Jones(T), Nikki Walker(T)
Ulster (15) 20: Dan Tuohy(T), Ian Humphreys(C/P), Simon Danielli(2T)
Sunday, September 13, 2009 at Firhill Arena
Glasgow Warriors (7) 19: Rob Dewey(T), Dan Parks(C/D/3P)
Scarlets (8) 11: Rhys Priestland(2P), Daniel Evans(T)