Jones hits 200 but Ospreys miss out
Alun Wyn Jones made his 200th appearance in an Ospreys shirt on Saturday, but his influence wasn’t enough to prevent a first Guinness PRO12 defeat of the season 31-19 to Leinster.
Despite being 31-0 down, the Welsh region almost pulled off a thrilling comeback, with Ben John, Dafydd Howells and James King all crossing in vain in the second half as Ospreys missed out on any bonus points from the contest.
Josh van der Flier grabbed a try-double while Johnny Sexton also touched down to add to a penalty try as Leinster secured a bonus point in a rampant opening at the RDS Arena.
And in spite of the comeback, Jones was not to get the fairytale finish on his milestone game as Ospreys lost their place atop the Guinness PRO12 table.
Williams at the double gets Scarlets up and running
Elsewhere, Liam Williams’ try double heaped further disappointment on Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht as Scarlets ended their losing run with a first victory of the season.
That was despite winger Niyi Adeolokun scoring an impressive first-half try before Williams stole the show, crossing to round off a slick move from the hosts.
And the same man was to dot down in the second half as Wayne Pivac’s side looked a different animal after the restart as Connacht were unable to add to their tally to lose 17-8.
It continued their difficult start to the season, now sitting bottom of the pile after three games, yet to pick up a point so far.
Stander takes the mic as Munster take the points
Munster’s back-line came to the fore as Thomond Park continued to be a fortress for the Irish side in a 28-14 win over Edinburgh.
Conor Murray crossed twice but it was the scrum which led the Munster domination, with both of the Irish scrum-half’s tries coming from the set-piece.
Chris Dean had earlier opened the scoring for Edinburgh, who also dotted down through John Hardie for a late consolation at a ground where Munster have not lost this calendar year.
Conor Oliver and Dave O’Callaghan secured the bonus-point win, while viewers also had an entertaining player mic to watch out for in the form of CJ Stander.
Mixed day for Russell on birthday return
Birthday points and a return from injury – it was far from the worst day of the year for Finn Russell.
But the fly-half was unable to mark the occasion with a win for his Glasgow Warriors side, going down 22-17 to Ulster at Scotstoun.
Russell was on the scoresheet on his 24th birthday, kicking seven points to add to tries from Gordon Reid and Tommy Seymour, with the Scots pushing late on without avail as a resolute Ulster defence held firm.
It maintained a 100 per cent start for the Ulstermen, themselves crossing through Paddy Jackson’s spectacular effort, while Darren Cave and a penalty score helped edge the encounter by five points.
Dacey reaches 100 as Blues maintain winning start
And the accolades were not done there in this Guinness PRO12 weekend, with Kristian Dacey celebrating his 100th appearance in the Cardiff Blues jersey with a tight 23-21 win in Zebre.
That continued the Blues’ perfect start to the season, also arresting a run which had seen them win just one of their last eight matches in Italy.
Zebre were unable to replicate the strong form which saw them leading Connacht before rain intervened last week, although Guglielmo Palazzani, Giulio Bisegni and Giovanbattista Venditti crossed to keep them well in contention.
But Danny Wilson’s side did just enough to leave Parma with the points, with Tom James, Blaine Scully and Matthew Morgan dotting down, with the Blues management with content with how they saw out the game.
Allan shines as Zebre slay the Dragons
Tommaso Allan is making a habit out of starring in the Benetton Rugby Treviso shirt, with this display over Newport Gwent Dragons enough to earn the Italians a first win of the campaign.
Tommaso Benvenuti’s score led the way in a 10-8 half-time advantage, while Filo Paulo and Marco Fuser compounded Dragons to a third defeat of the Guinness PRO12 season at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.
The Dragons fought back at the close of the first half, with lock Rynard Landman crossing but it wasn’t enough to stop the Italians securing a second successive victory over Newport on home territory, 27-11.
But Allan did enough to have the final say, kicking 10 points to earn the man-of-the-match gong, although neither side were able to pick up a bonus point from the evening.
Read more at http://www.pro12rugby.com/2016/09/26/round-4-wrap-guinness-pro12-action-jones-hits-200/#OV42Vyzwi8TVsiDI.99