The Rabo Round-Up: Round 1

The RaboDirect PRO12 returned to our screens this weekend and produced some fantastic rugby in the opening round. New Leinster Out-Half Jimmy Gopperth proved his worth with a fantastic performance, showing he will no doubt be snapping at Ian Madigan’s heels all season for the 10 jersey. There was another battle at 10 over at Musgrave Park with both JJ Hanrahan and Ian Keatley stepping up to try prove they can fill the void left by Ronan O’Gara. Pat Lam’s new look Connacht side managed a solid opening round win against Zebre at the Sportsground while Ulster had a disappointing opening game going down to Newport Dragons at Rodney Parade. In the remaining fixtures Glasgow opened their season at home with a win over Cardiff, while Ospreys managed a narrow away victory versus Italian side Treviso. Here’s the lowdown on all the RaboDirect PRO12 Round 1 Games… RaboLADS
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Defending champions Leinster made a winning start to their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign as Jimmy Gopperth showed he is capable of filling Jonny Sexton’s boots in the 42-19 bonus-point victory over the Scarlets.

Gopperth joined from English side Newcastle Falcons in the summer while Sexton moved to Racing Metro in France but the new arrival looked comfortable in the No.10 shirt, kicking 17 points.

 

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Jason Tovey enjoyed a fine return to the Newport Gwent Dragons, kicking all the points in a 15-8 victory over Ulster to ensure Lyn Jones’ tenure got off to a fine start.

The Dragons limped into 11th place last season but in came Jones over the summer and he has already made a difference – the Welsh outfit seeing off last season’s RaboDirect PRO12 runners-up.

 

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Tommy Seymour scored the crucial try as Glasgow Warriors got their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign off the ground with a hard-fought 22-15 win over Cardiff Blues.

Seymour struck with 12 minutes left on the clock and with his side in trouble at 15-12 down, thanks to four penalties and a drop goal from Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell.

 

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Fionn Carr marked his return to The Sportsground with a late try as Connacht got their RaboDirect PRO12 season off to a perfect start with a 25-16 victory against Zebre.

Carr, who was back in action for Connacht after a two-year stint at Leinster, scored in the second half before Andrea Manici broke through for a consolation try at the death.

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James Cronin touched down on his first competitive start as Munster opened their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign with a 34-23 bonus point victory over Edinburgh at Musgrave Park.

Edinburgh opened the scoring with a Piers Francis penalty but Denis Hurley and James Coughlan both touched down to give the hosts an early lead.Cronin made the most of the one man advantage after Lee Jones saw yellow after 25 minutes, by scoring under the posts, but Edinburgh responded after the break with a Nick De Luca try.

Ivan Dineen grabbed another Munster try a few minutes later and JJ Hanrahan extended the lead before Jones pulled one back for Edinburgh but the hosts held on.

 

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Ospreys silenced the home crowd to claim the scalp of Italian side Treviso at their fortress Stadio di Monigo, securing a 24-19 to exact revenge for last season’s defeat – again on the opening weekend of the RaboDirect PRO12 season.

Fri 6 Sep Scarlets 19 – 42 Leinster Rugby Parc y Scarlets 6,329  
Fri 6 Sep Newport Gwent Dragons 15 – 8 Ulster Rugby Rodney Parade 5,165  
Fri 6 Sep Glasgow Warriors 22 – 15 Cardiff Blues Scotstoun Stadium 5,052  
Sat 7 Sep Connacht Rugby 25 – 16 Zebre Sportsground 4,084  
Sat 7 Sep Munster Rugby 34 – 23 Edinburgh Rugby Musgrave Park 6,810  
Sat 7 Sep Benetton Treviso 19 – 24 Ospreys Stadio Monigo 4,981  

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