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Two Guinness PRO12 Wins for Regions Despite Missing Players

In the face of missing a raft of players through injuries and international call-ups the regions still recorded two great wins this weekend, whilst a number of younger Welsh players were handed opportunities to show what they can do.

Cardiff Blues

The Blues went down to an agonizing late defeat at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park against Munster on Saturday. Despite tries for the Blues from man of the match Manoa Vosawi and Argentinian wing Lucas Gonzalez on his debut a touchdown at the death from Paddy Butler sealed a hard fought 24-28 away win for Munster.

It was a very good performance by the improving Blues, who enjoyed a particularly impressive game up front as their pack shone against top-quality opposition, but the defeat leaves them still searching for a second win in the Guinness PRO12 this season.

Newport Gwent Dragons

Badly affected by injuries and international call-ups, the Dragons were unable to turn pressure into points against Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening, going down to a 23-6 defeat. Although they had some long periods of territory and possession during which they looked threatening, in the end they could only manage two Angus O’Brien penalties to show for their efforts.

Their hosts scored tries through Stuart Olding (2) and Declan Fitzpatrick, in a typically well organised and workmanlike display from Ulster, who also added six points from the boot of Paddy Jackson plus an Ian Humphreys conversion to claim a scrappy win.

Ospreys

A strong second half performance by the Ospreys was enough to see them home with ease in a 26-11 win against Connacht at Liberty Stadium on Friday evening.

Tries from wing Jeff Hassler and scrum half Martin Roberts, plus sixteen points from fly half Sam Davies saw the Ospreys maintain their 100% start to the Guinness PRO12 season by making it seven wins out of seven. The result means they are still sitting pretty at the top of the table with a three point lead over second placed Glasgow.

A special mention goes to Ospreys number eight Ieuan Jones, a loan signing from Cardiff Blues, who made the most of his opportunity to shine and marked his Ospreys debut with a fine performance before leaving the field injured.

Scarlets

Even though they had eighteen players missing because of international call-ups and injuries the Scarlets were still able to overcome a spirited Zebre side at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday evening.

Twenty three points from the boot of the impressive Steven Shingler and an excellent try from young replacement Steffan Hughes did the damage for Scarlets as they overcame their Italian visitors 28-13 in wet conditions in Llanelli. The important win leaves the Scarlets in seventh place in the Guinness PRO12 table, tied on eighteen points with sixth-placed Connacht.