With the November Internationals under way the four Welsh regions have taken a break from Magners League action until November 19 and lined up against England opponents in the LV = Cup at the Weekend.
With the bulk of starting line-ups away on International duty, the competition is ideal opportunity to give squad players well deserved game time and it was a bag of missed results for the regions as the competition kicked off.
The Scarlets and Dragons recorded impressive victories whilst the Blues and the Ospreys started their campaigns with defeats.
Scarlets 52-13 Leeds Carnegie
The Scarlets raked up 50-points again Leeds Carnegie at Parc y Scarlets, Jonny Fa’amatuainu staring with a hat-trick.
The Samoan back-rower on a season long loan from Bath scored three of his side’s seven tries in his first start for the club.
George North made a welcome return to the field for the home-side and played for over 60-minutes in his return from a fractured ankle.
Fa’amatuainu scored the first try of the afternoon cancelling out an early penalty from
Christian Lewis-Pratt's early penalty before Leeds regained the lead through Warren Fury's try.
It was one-way traffic from then on as the Scarlets scored 45 unanswered points with Scott Williams (2), Aaron Shingler and Daniel Newton all scoring.
Newport Gwent Dragons 18-12 Gloucester
The Dragons continued their run of good form, toppling Gloucester at Rodney Parade.
Robin Sowden-Taylor’s second half score was the decisive blow as the visitors failed to compete with the Dragons’ commitment.
The boot of fly-half Matthew Jones kept the Dragons ahead after an early try from Adam Hughes.
Gloucester replied with a penalty try and then a Lesley Vainikolo 5-pointer but the hosts defence held firm as the Cherry and Whites launched sustained attacks on their line in the last ten minutes.
Bath 29-19 Blues
Gareth Davies scored all 19-points for the Blues in a tight, rain-soaked affair at the Rec.
Davies kicked four penalties and converted his own try but it wasn’t enough to deny a determined Bath.
The hosts had the upper hand up-front and captain Matt Banahan and Tom Briggs both crossed for tries, Olly Barkley adding 19-points with the boot as the weather deteriorated in the South West.
Newcastle 18-17 Ospreys
A late Matthew Jarvis penalty struck the cross bar and denied the Ospreys victory in the North of England after they had fought back twice against Newcastle.
The hosts raced into a 13-0 lead with two Jimmy Gopperth penalties and a Luke Fielden try to their name. Matthew Morgan kicked two penalties and Gareth Owen touched down to reduce the deficit but Fielden again struck and look to have won the game with his second score.
There was still a twist in the tale though as Jarvis kicked two more penalties, leaving the Magners League champions just a point behind the Falcons’ but Jarvis’ late effort could not cap a spirited display.
Round two of the LV = Cup is this weekend and all the regions are once again involved:
Blues v Exeter (Fri Nov 12)
Ospreys v Leicester (Fri Nov 12)
Northampton v Dragons (Fri Nov 12)
London Irish v Scarlets (Sun Nov 14)