Magners League - Round 3 Review
Leinster shown up by Treviso
September 18, 2010

Benetton Treviso secured a historic Magners League victory over Leinster on Saturday night, thumping the 2009 Heineken Cup champions 29-13 at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

Leinster are the second side to fall to Treviso this season, with the Scarlets losing out on the opening weekend. The visitors were missing several big names, including Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll, but nevertheless named four British & Irish Lions among their starting XV.

Isa Nacewa put Leinster ahead with a try inside the opening two minutes but the deluge never arrived, with the Italians biting back through the boots of Chris Burton and Tobie Botes to lead 12-10 at the break.

Italian international Luke McLean scored Treviso's first try on 54 minutes as they extended their lead but there threatened to be a late twist when former Italy skipper Leonardo Ghiraldini was shown yellow with six minutes to go. Again the home side kept their cool - sealing victory at the death thanks to Brendan Williams' try.

Meanwhile, Ronan O'Gara kicked Munster back to the top of the table as they triumphed over the reigning champions Ospreys 22-10 at Thomond Park on Saturday night.

A 37th-minute penalty from replacement O'Gara was the sole score of a forgettable first half, but the second period burst into life as Munster wing Doug Howlett and Ospreys flyer Tommy Bowe, playing in the centre, swapped tries.

O'Gara's right boot dominated the remainder as he added four penalty goals for a 17-point personal haul, making Richard Fussell's late try a mere consolation for the off-colour Ospreys. Munster had further reason to celebrate as fan favourite Alan Quinlan won his 200th cap for the province.

Cardiff Blues picked up all five points from their derby clash with the Dragons at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday night, running out 43-21 winners.

The Blues were behind to an early Matthew Jones penalty but were rarely under pressure from the Dragons, who have struggled to recreate their good form of last season so far, despite last weekend's win over Glasgow.

Former Wales hooker Rhys Thomas scored a try in either half for the home side, while Leigh Halfpenny celebrated his return to the side after a mouth injury with a pacy try under the posts. The bonus-point try went to the ever-reliable Xavier Rush after strong work from the pack close to the Dragons' line, while Ben Blair was accurate throughout from the kicking tee, landing 23 points.

The Dragons scored two tries of their own, Will Harries rounding off an excellent Tom Riley break with the help of an unseen knock-on on 58 minutes and replacement Adam Hughes diving over in the final act of the game.

On Friday, Ulster moved top of the league for 24 hours after registering their third successive win of the campaign, beating Edinburgh in a pulsating 29-21 victory at Ravenhill.

Tries from the returning Andrew Trimble and Ian Whitten plus a penalty from fly-half Niall O'Connor gave the home side a 13-6 interval lead, Edinburgh's points coming from Chris Paterson.

A try to Dutch wing Tim Visser briefly threatened Ulster's superiority but more precise kicking from O'Connor, who landed a further penalty and drop-goal, put the home side back in charge before Darren Cave made the points safe with a 70th minute try. Scotland centre Ben Cairns scored late on for Edinburgh, but the Murrayfield boys are still searching for their first win of the season.

Fly-half Ian Keatley kicked Connacht to a 19-17 victory over Glasgow at Firhill as he put over four penalties and also converted a scorching try by wing Fionn Carr.

In a close match the home side were in the lead until Keatley's fourth penalty gave Connacht the win five minutes from time. The home side were ahead early after a Max Evans break down the left had Connacht back pedalling and when the ball was switched right, Graeme Morrison had room to stretch over for the opening try.

Two Keatley penalties after 25 and 30 minutes put the visitors on the front foot and Carr then took control when he cut in off his wing and left five tacklers in his wake as he rocketed in to score under the posts.

The second half was only a minute old when Keatley stretched that lead further with his third penalty. Two penalties in quick succession for Ruaridh Jackson pulled Glasgow back into the game and a third gave them a narrow lead. But Keatley held his nerve and banged over his fourth successful penalty with five minutes to go.

In Llanelli, Wales centre Jonathan Davies scored a hat-trick of tries as the Scarlets cruised to a bonus-point 49-10 win over Italian new boys Aironi at Parc y Scarlets.

The Welsh region were given few problems by Aironi as they emerged winners by six tries to one. As well as Davies, fullback Andy Fenby, wing George North and scrum-half Martin Roberts all crossed with veteran Wales fly-half Stephen Jones supplying 19 points with the boot.

There was a late consolation try for Aironi through former Munster No.8 Nick Williams, but the Scarlets comfortably avoided a second defeat by Italian opposition this season. It was a second successive bonus-point win for the Scarlets after victory over Connacht last weekend and it takes them temporarily up to second in the Magners table behind Ulster.


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