Thu 18 Sep 2014 | 08:06

Pro12: Another try-fest on the cards?

Pro12: Another try-fest on the cards?
Thu 18 Sep 2014 | 08:06
Pro12: Another try-fest on the cards?
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The try-fest continued in Round Two of the Pro12, the aggregate number of tries scored, 57, now being the best total for the first two rounds since home and away format was introduced in the 2003/04 season.

Newport Gwent Dragons' Angus O'Brien made his debut in the competition last week, and his four successful penalty attempts elevated him to joint top penalty kicker in a game so far this season, along with Rhys Patchell.

All four Irish provinces recorded wins last weekend, but will not be able to repeat that feat as Friday sees two of them go head to head when Connacht welcome Leinster to the Sportsground in Galway.

Unusually, Connacht are the only province still with a 100 percent winning record.

The two other games on Friday see the remaining Irish provinces in action, Munster hosting Zebre at Thomond Park and Ulster travelling to Wales to face Cardiff Blues.

Zebre have never won in Ireland, whilst Ulster have only been victorious once in Cardiff since 2005, so both visiting teams will have their work cut out.

There are two Welsh versus Scottish games this round, table topping Ospreys in action on Sunday – when Edinburgh visiting Liberty Stadium, a ground they have not won on since 2009.

Second placed Glasgow Warriors take centre stage with their game at Rodney Parade Saturday and will be hoping to reverse the result of last season when Newport Gwent Dragons did the double over them, the only team to do so in 2013/14.

The remaining game of the round is the Saturday fixture at Parc y Scarlets, when Benetton Treviso are the visitors.

Following a draw and a loss in the opening two rounds Scarlets will be looking for their first win and will be keen to avoid history repeating itself as it is just under two years since Treviso pulled off a shock result at the ground.

Edinburgh flyhalf Greig Tonks believes consistency is the key if his side are to claim a top-six spot in Pro12 this season.

The 25-year-old missed both the stunning victory at Munster and disappointing defeat at home to Connacht last week with a groin problem.

Ahead of Sunday's clash with Ospreys he said there can't be such a discrepancy in their performances the rest of this season if the capital side want to be playing the best teams in Europe next season.

"Obviously, Ospreys are top of the league right now and they have had two fine wins against Treviso and Dragons," he told the Scotsman.

"We go to the Liberty on Sunday knowing that this will be a real acid test for us and our ability to bounce back from the Connacht defeat.

"We have a chance to prove what we are made of against one of the teams that has been consistently at the top of the Pro12 and that is huge motivation.

"It's a huge disappointment not be in the inaugural European Champions Rugby Cup and the bottom line is that we have to get in that top six this time around.

"For a club like Edinburgh the ultimate goal has to be to be playing in the European top-flight, nothing else is good enough and that is a huge driver for us this season.

"So the Munster victory was a huge one for the club and, with us then losing to Connacht, it just shows you the importance of backing it up and making sure you are consistent.

"The Munster match has to be the benchmark for Edinburgh. We may have a young team, and as everyone knows you get a bit of inconsistency with that, but it's up to us to make sure we come up to the standard of the Munster performance as often as we can."

All the Round Three fixtures and teams!

Friday, September 19:

Munster v Zebre
(Thomond Park – Kick-off: 19.30; 18.30 GMT)

The teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones (captain), 14 Ronan O'Mahony, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Johnny Holland, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Paddy Butler, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Billy Holland, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Duncan Casey, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O'Byrne, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Johne Murphy.

Zebre: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 David Odiete, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Kelly Haimona, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Edoardo Padovani, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 George Biagi, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (captain), 3 Luciano Leibson 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 21 Andries Ferreira, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Gonzalo Garcia, 23 Mirco Bergamasco.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), Gary Glennon (Ireland)

Cardiff Blues v Ulster
(Cardiff Arms Park – Kick-off: 19.35; 18.35 GMT)

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Adam Thomas, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Richard Smith, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (captain), 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Taufa'ao Filise, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Cory Allen, 23 Geraint Walsh.

Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Andrew Warwick.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Callum Black, 18 Bronson Ross, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Leighton Hodges, Jon Mason (both Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

Connacht v Leinster
(Sportsground – Kick-off: 19.35; 18.35 GMT)

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Darragh Leader, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 John Muldoon (captain), 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Aly Muldowney, 3 Nathan White, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Matt Healy.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney. 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Ian Madigan, 11 Darragh Fanning, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9. Isaac Boss, Jimmy Gopperth, 8 Jamie Heaslip (captain), 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Gordon D'Arcy, 23 Mick McGrath.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hagan-O'Connell, Olly Hodges (both Ireland)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (Ireland)

Saturday, September 20

Newport Gwent Dragons v Glasgow Warriors
(Rodney Parade – Kick-off: 14.40; 13.40 GMT)

Teams:

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Ben John, 12 Dorian Jones, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Angus O'Brien, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Rynard Landman (captain), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 T. Rhys Thomas, 1 Boris Stankovich

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Dan Way, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Luc Jones, 22 Ashton Hewitt, 23 Barney Nightingale
 
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss (captain), 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Kevin Bryce, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 James Eddie, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Adam Ashe, 22 Henry Pyrgos, 23 Lee Jones

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Dan Jones (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

Scarlets v Benetton Treviso
(Parc y Scarlets – Kick-off: 18.00; 17.00 GMT)    

Teams:

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Scott Williams (captain), 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rory Pitman, 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Darran Harris, 17 Phil John, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Adam Warren

Treviso: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Andrea Pratichetti, 10 Sam Christie, 9 James Ambrosini, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Tomas Vallejos Cinalli, 6 Marco Lazzaroni, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Giovanni Maistri, 1 Matteo Muccignat
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Matteo Zanusso, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Leo Auva'a, 21 Enrico Bacchin, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Henry Seniloli

Referee: Matteo Liperini (Italy)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell, Jon Mason

Sunday, September 21

Ospreys v Edinburgh
(Liberty Stadium – Kick-off: 16.00; 15.00 GMT)

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James King, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Tom Grabham.
 
Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Nick McLennan, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Mike Coman (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 WP Nel, 2 James Hilterbrand, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 John Andress, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Greig Tonks.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Chris Williams (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

PV: 64
Pro12: Another Try-fest On The Cards? | Rugby365