The newly named Celtic League kicked off this weekend and there was plenty of opening game excitement. Despite most clubs missing a whole host of players due to the World Cup there was still plenty of talent on show throughout the weekend as teams look to start their season strongly.
On Friday evening, Ospreys hammered last season’s runners up and current European champions Leinster in Wales. Much talk of the summer has been about the departures at the Liberty Stadium but it didn’t seem to affect this young Ospreys side as they stormed past what was a pretty experienced Leinster side.
The home side got off to the perfect start with a try inside the opening minutes scored by scrum half Rhys Webb which was duly converted by Dan Biggar. Ospreys went onto score two more first half tries to put the game beyond Leinster after Dirkson and Tipuric both crossed the try line. Biggar converted all three and a penalty and a drop goal to ensure his side came out 27-3 winners.
Ulster began the season as they ended last campaign with a convincing win over Glasgow at Ravenhill. After conceding an early try the home side hit back and tries from Darren Cave, Paul Marshall and Chris Henry with Ian Humphries adding two conversions and three penalties. The visitors stayed in the game until Henry’s try with regular penalties from the boot of Duncan Weir.Final score at Ravenhill, Ulster 28-14 Glasgow Warriors.
Cardiff earned a comprehensive away victory in Scotland on Friday as they ran out 38-15 winners against Edinburgh at Murrayfield. The Blues came away with full points after tries from Pretorius, James and a double from Hobbs while Keri Sweeney added the extras and struck four penalties. Edinburgh 15-38 Cardiff Blues was how it finished.
Connacht earned a massive away victory on Saturday afternoon in a very warm Italy, beating Treviso 11-9. The Irish side scored the only try of the game just before the break with prop Rodney Ah You touching down. Out half Matthew Jarvis converted two penalties and that was enough to get the four points.
Defending champions Munster kicked off their campaign with a home victory over the Dragons at Musgrave Park. The Dragons probably exceeded most people’s expectations with a battling performance but the fire power of Munster was just too much for the Welsh side.
The only tries of the game were both scored by Munster and that was the difference in Cork, Barnes and Mafi touching down. The Dragons didn’t go away though and four penalties from Jason Tovey kept them within touching distance. Final score at Musgrave Park Munster 20-12 Dragons.
The opening weekend concluded with a straight forward victory for the Scarlets at home to Italian side Aironi. Since joining the league at the start of last season, Aironi have yet to record an away victory and there was no surprise their record continued on Sunday afternoon. Scarlets running out comfortable winners 32 points to 9.