Guinness PRO12 Round 2: Five talking points

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

12 Sep 2016


Tom James 
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

After a weekend of thrilling Guinness PRO12 action, we run the rule over the major stories from around the league.

Sensational Seymour steals the show against Leinster

Scotland winger Tommy Seymour could do no wrong against four-time Guinness PRO12 Champions on Saturday.

The 28-year-old scored four tries and looked the complete package against Leo Cullen’s side – breaking tackles, plucking a stunning interception, showing superb pace and looking right at home on Warriors’ new artificial surface.

Warriors have now claimed maximum points over both of last year’s Guinness PRO12 finalists and look a formidable force as Gregor Townsend looks to go out with a bang in his final year at the helm.

It was a strong turnaround from all involved at Glasgow, they went in 19-12 at the break and fell ten points behind just into the second half.

Tim Swinson and Seymour had crossed in the first half, but Zane Kirchner Rob Kearney and Josh van der Flier had all given Cullen’s men the advantage.

Seymour turned things around with a second-half hat-trick, while co-captain Henry Pyrgos kicked four penalties.

Tom James at the heart of Cardiff Blues remarkable start.

Danny Wilson’s Cardiff Blues side finished last year’s Guinness PRO12 as arguably the competition’s form side and they have started this year with the bit between their teeth, beating Munster 24-23 away from home to stay unbeaten.

Dan Fish was the man to score the winning try in an enthralling battle with Munster at Irish Independent Park on Friday night, but Wales winger Tom James scored his 50th and 51st competitive tries for the club to lay the platform for success.

Cardiff head coach Wilson had the luxury of calling on experienced heads Gethin Jenkins and Alex Cuthbert for the trip to Cork, but it was Fish who burst through to score with 12 minutes left just after Munster had seemingly gained control, and a strong defensive effort repelled the Irish side in the final minutes.

Irresistible force meets immovable object as unbeaten Warriors arrive at BT Sport Cardiff Arms park for a mouth-watering Round 3 clash.

Captain Webb leads Ospreys to the top

Defending Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht fell to their second consecutive defeat as Wales No.9 Rhys Webb inspired his side to a win that took them top of the table.

Webb, starting alongside talented Welsh youngster Sam Davies, scored once in each half to secure the win.

Connacht had been leading 11-10 when Davies fired over a penalty to take Ospreys in to the lead.

After that point it was all Ospreys, Steve Tandy’s side turning on the style to tear Connacht to shreds, with Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler crossing and Davies pitching in with a fine 12 points from the tee.

Following their heavy 59-5 defeat of Zebre last time out, the Ospreys now sit top of the pile and welcome Benetton Treviso to the Liberty Stadium next Saturday.

Weir loving life in the capital

Duncan Weir marked his home debut for Edinburgh by kicking ten points in a 20-9 victory over Scarlets at BT Murrayfield.

Young No.8 Magnus Bradbury scored Michael Allen both crossed but it was Weir who ran the show for Alan Solomons’ side.

Weir’s opposite number Rhys Patchell contributed three penalties, but Wayne Pivac’s men fell to two losses in the opening two weeks of the Guinness PRO12 for the first time in their history.

Scarlets are now the only Welsh side without a win and face a tough trip to the Kingspan Stadium to take on Les Kiss’ unbeaten Ulster side, while Edinburgh welcome Leinster to BT Murrayfield.

Italians go down fighting:

Kiss cut a frustrated figure after immense Benetton Treviso defence prevented them from recording their second five-point win of the campaign at the Stadio Monigo.

Ireland centre Luke Marshall had crossed early on, with Rob Herring and Ruan Pienaar also going over in a 22-11 win.

But it was Marco Barbini who had the last say, going over with the final play to leave them with plenty to be positive about ahead of a Round 3 trip to league leaders the Ospreys.

Zebre grabbed a first away point of the season with a bonus-point loss to Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Carlo Canna scored all of Zebre’s points, while South African winger Pat Howard scored the crucial try with his second in as many Guinness PRO12 appearances.

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