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Connacht's winning run ends, Ulster shocked and all the Pro12 highlights

Catch up on the action from what was, overall, a negative weekend for the Irish provinces.

LEINSTER MOVED UP to fifth in the Guinness Pro12 with a bonus-point 37-23 victory over the Cardiff Blues at the RDS on Friday night.

Gordon D’Arcy was man of the match, joining Mick McGrath, Luke McGrath and Rhys Ruddock as try-scorers. It was the latter’s effort that stood out, as the 23-year-old back row powered onto a Jimmy Gopperth pass and handed-off Lewis Jones to score in the corner.

Ian Madigan converted all four tries and added three penalties for the eastern province.

Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

Elsewhere on Friday evening, Connacht’s winning start to the season came to an end against the Glasgow Warriors in Scotstoun. Gregor Townsend’s men scored five tries tin win on a 39-21 scoreline.

Connacht did manage three tries of their own through Darragh Leader, Dave McSharry and a penalty try, while Ian Porter showed his place-kicking ability to slot all three conversions.

Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

The third Pro12 fixture on Friday saw Edinburgh draw 20-20 with the Scarlets after a tense encounter in Murrayfield. Harry Robinson and Liam Williams crossed the whitewash for the visitors, while Phil Burleigh and Tim Visser dotted down for Edinburgh.

Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

Ulster were shocked by Zebre on Saturday afternoon at Stadio XXV Aprile, losing out on a 13-6 scoreline. An early red card for Declan Fitzpatrick didn’t help the northern province’s cause, and the only scoring they could muster were two penalties from Ian Humphreys.

A losing bonus point does, however, mean that Ulster have moved up to third in the Pro12 table.

Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

Later in the day, a negative weekend for the Irish sides was concluded with Munster’s 19-14 defeat to the in-form Ospreys at Thomond Park. An early try for Gerhard van den Heever suggested that Anthony Foley’s men would be in for a good evening, but Jeff Hassler hit back for the Welsh region soon after.

Dan Biggar was 100% off the tee for the Ospreys, as their breakdown work and aggressive defence held Munster at bay. There were chances late on for the home side to grab a win, but inaccuracies let them down at crucial points.

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Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

The closing fixture of the Pro12 weekend was the Dragons’ 33-15 success over Treviso on Sunday, one which saw the Welsh region secure a try-scoring bonus point.

Left wing Hallam Amos scored twice, while Ashley Smith and Jonathan Evans added further tries. On the score-sheet for Treviso was former Leinster No. 8 Leo Auva’a.

Source: PRO12 Rugby/YouTube

Guinness Pro12 round four results:
  • Leinster 37-23 Cardiff Blues
  • Glasgow Warriors 39-21 Connacht
  • Edinburgh 20-20 Scarlets
  • Zebre 13-6 Ulster
  • Munster 14-19 Ospreys
  • Dragons 33-15 Treviso

Table Source: Guinness Pro12

Round five fixtures:
  • Connacht v Cardiff Blues [Sportsground, Friday, 19.35]
  • Ulster v Edinburgh [Kingspan Stadium, Friday, 19.35]
  • Zebre v Ospreys [Stadio XXV Aprile, Friday, 19.35]
  • Leinster v Munster [Aviva Stadium, Saturday, 18.30]
  • Treviso v Glasgow Warriors [Stadio Monigo, Sunday, 15.00]
  • Scarlets v Dragons [Parc y Scarlets, Sunday, 16.00]

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Murray Kinsella

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