RaboDirect Pro12 - Glasgow Warriors in record win against Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons went down to a record 60-3 defeat as Glasgow Warriors ran riot at Rodney Parade in the RaboDirect PRO12 with an eight-try haul.

The hosts conceded 27 points in the first half, with Glasgow getting tries from centre Mark Bennett, wing Niko Matawalu and centre Alex Dunbar against a solitary Tom Prydie penalty.

And, with fly-half Duncan Weir adding two penalties and three conversions before the break, the visitors added 33 unanswered points before the end via tries from Taylor Paris, Tim Swinson (two), Josh Strauss and Fraser Thomson. Weir converted two of those and Scott Wight another two.

Glasgow were the favourites to take victory, having won six of their last seven matches and with their last league defeat coming on December 1 at the formidable Irish fortress of Thomond Park, Limerick, against Munster.

The Dragons had been hoping to run them close after three successive wins against Welsh rivals the Ospreys and London Welsh in the LV= Cup plus a 23-14 triumph at home to Treviso last week, but it soon became clear they would have their work cut out to keep the Warriors at bay.

The writing was on the wall by half-time as Glasgow romped away.

The Dragons took the lead early when Prydie landed a penalty, but it was their only score of a long, depressing night for the Welshmen.

Weir levelled the game with a 30-metre penalty when the Dragons went offside at a ruck and, from there, it was all Glasgow.

Both sides played good open rugby and Dragons skipper Lewis Evans and then his centre Jack Dixon charged down attempted clearances from the 22 line from Warriors' inspirational scrum-half Henry Pyrgos.

However, Pyrgos redeemed himself when he helped Bennett grab the opening try after the scrum-half slipped the ball to his colleague.

Pyrgos was also involved in the second and third tries. The 23-year-old, who has come on twice for Scotland as a replacement in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, put in a deft corner kick on 20 minutes that sent Fijian Matawalu in.

Weir's second penalty took it to 20-3 before Pyrgos started a move from a set-piece scrum in the home 22 that saw the Warriors fly-half complete a scissors with centre Dunbar and put the Scotland A ace over from 15 metres.

Although the Dragons tried in a fluid match as both sides played open rugby, the Welshmen were blown away.

The Dragons had a go at fighting back in the opening minutes of the second half, with a couple of drives around the Glasgow 22 - lock Ian Nimmo, Evans and number eight Ieuan Jones having a go.

But they found a stonewall Glasgow defence and their ideas of how to break it down were few and far between.

It was only a matter of time before the Warriors got the bonus-point fourth try and it arrived from another set-piece - a line-out 20 metres out that saw the ball go via Pyrgos and Matawalu for Dunbar to dive past two defenders and feed flyer Paris to go over.

The Dragons were shot, never getting close to the Scotsmen's line in the entire match. They endured the last quarter but, for Glasgow, it was party time with Swinson and replacement Strauss getting the try count up to six.

Swinson got number seven and Thomson the eighth at the end as Glasgow went home delighted and the Dragons were left to look themselves in the mirror and ask some serious questions.

Ulster bounced back from last week's first home defeat in the RaboDirect Pro12 to see off Zebre 26-3 in a top-versus-bottom clash.

Seven days on from the loss to Ospreys they were made to work hard for the win which brought with it an all-important bonus point.

Two tries from Robbie Diack and single scores from Rob Herring and Ricky Andrew along with three Ruan Pienaar conversions helped Ulster register their 13th league win from 15 games to keep them seven points ahead of Glasgow Warriors.

Ulster, with Ireland squad members Chris Henry, Iain Henderson, Declan Fitzpatrick and Paddy Jackson all back, started with urgency and after only seven minutes it looked as if Chris Cochrane was over in the left corner only for the television match official to adjudge the winger had a foot in touch.

Then Zebre's lineout throw at the corner flag turned out to be an overthrow and Herring gladly accepted a gift of an eighth-minute score which Pienaar converted.

Zebre put Ulster under pressure for a while in their own 22, with Daniel Halangahu kicking a 33rd-minute penalty to cut their arrears.

Just as the game edged towards half-time though, Ulster struck back when an Andrew Trimble grubber kick was collected by Pienaar who did remarkably well before substitute Stuart Olding, on for the injured Luke Marshall, was hauled down short.

With Ulster moving the ball left, Diack drove over.

Pienaar missed the difficult conversion and Ulster trooped off 12-3 to the good. With John Afoa joining the action at the start of the second half in place of Fitzpatrick, Ulster's scrum immediately improved and the home side had another TMO call go against them when Henderson was determined to have been short of the line.

Ulster scored again three minutes before the hour when Diack crossed under the posts from Darren Cave's offload after Trimble had made a great surge.

Pienaar's conversion made it 19-3 and the home side looked comfortable for the win with a bonus point very much in their sights.

It came in the 72nd minute thanks to a try from Andrew after Ulster attacked right from a scrum. Pienaar kicked the conversion.

Ulster finished with 14 men on the field after Johann Muller left the action with only four minutes left but they conceded no further points.

Connacht claimed the scalp of the in-form Ospreys as they beat the reigning RaboDirect Pro12 champions 22-10 for the first time since 2008.

The Ospreys had won the last nine contests between the teams but they faltered at the Sportsground, allowing 17-point hero Dan Parks to dictate.

They traded tries in the first quarter, Kahn Fotuali'i striking first for the Ospreys before Willie Faloon replied with his maiden effort in Connacht colours.

Parks slotted two of his first three penalty attempts to move Eric Elwood's men 13-7 ahead at half-time.

Penalties cost the westerners when going down to the Scarlets last weekend, however this time they gave the Ospreys - conquerors of Ulster last week - precious few chances to close the gap.

Matthew Morgan slotted a 69th-minute penalty, but Parks rubber-stamped the home victory with two second-half penalties and a late drop goal.

Although the visitors had the better of possession early on, Connacht snuck into a seventh-minute lead as Parks punished a scrum infringement by Cai Griffiths.

Playing into the wind, a good spell of ball retention duly paid off for the Ospreys on the quarter-hour mark. Morgan was held up short before his half-back partner Fotuali'i quickly tapped a penalty and burrowed over from close range.

Morgan converted but the Ospreys lead lasted barely four minutes as the hosts hit back in determined fashion.

Connacht attacked from a solid scrum with John Muldoon and Michael Swift linking on the right wing. The ball was recycled and flanker Faloon's clever line took him over past two defenders.

Parks landed the difficult conversion for a 10-7 lead and was narrowly wide with a subsequent penalty from long distance, with the Ospreys front row coming under further scrum pressure.

Faloon was unceremoniously dumped in an apparent spear tackle that the match officials failed to penalise as the game continued to canter along at a brisk pace.

Connacht had the final scoring opportunity before the break and Parks stepped up to widen the gap to six points, rewarding his forwards for another power-packed scrum.

The wind advantage was with the Ospreys for the second period, but a Kyle Tonetti block and a subsequent three-pointer from Parks kept Connacht on course.

The Ospreys failed to follow up on a promising lineout maul, while Parks' cross-field kick helped the returning Gavin Duffy bring Connacht downfield.

The former Scotland international drew a drop-goal attempt wide and as time ticked by, the Ospreys continued to make errors and struggle for accuracy.

Alun Wyn Jones' first start for the Welsh region since October was not going to plan, and Danie Poolman went close to collecting a loose ball during a dangerous counter-attack.

Minus a raft of Wales internationals, the title holders brought on Rhys Webb and Jonathan Thomas and a gradual improvement led to Morgan's lone penalty goal.

Steve Tandy's men probed from the restart, yet a crucial turnover from Duffy relieved the pressure on Connacht.

Then a pinpoint kick from Parks allowed Robbie Henshaw to hammer Richard Fussell in the tackle and the Ospreys full-back coughed up a penalty for holding on.

Parks clipped the place-kick over from the left for a 19-10 scoreline and the final nail in the Ospreys coffin was driven in by the out-half's sweetly-struck drop goal, two minutes from time.

Those kicks took the losing bonus point away from the Ospreys and James King's yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Faloon saw them end the match with 14 men.

Cardiff survived a late onslaught to secure a narrow 17-16 win that capped a dismal few days for Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley, who learned in midweek that his contract with the Scottish outfit will not be renewed next season.

The result hung in the balance right to the final whistle as the hosts sought to overturn a single-point deficit, but ultimately they were unable to convert pressure into points and repeat the win they had posted in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign.

The visitors owed their victory to an impressive man-of-the-match performance from Rhys Patchell, who created a try for Michael Paterson and was on the mark with four penalties.

The hosts bagged a try through Willem Nel, converted by Gregor Hunter, who also booted two penalties, while his replacement Harry Leonard slotted one.

Patchell struck the opening points of the match after five minutes when he stroked over a close-range penalty following an offence at a scrum. And he doubled Cardiff's lead with a second strike from a similar distance on 13 minutes.

Edinburgh created the best try-scoring opportunity of the first quarter but a wayward pass by Dave Denton missed out his supporting colleagues and the ball trundled into touch.

Hunter, who had missed with two earlier efforts from long distance, found the target at the third time of asking to trim the deficit, but Patchell responded immediately in kind to restore a six-point gap. And the kicking battle continued with Hunter again wide of the mark before landing his next effort.

Patchell showed that there is more to his game than a trusty boot when he evaded two Edinburgh defenders as he drifted into the home 22 then offloaded to Paterson, who plunged over at the corner for an unconverted try that sent the Welsh side in at the break with a 14-6 advantage.

The home team made a lively start to the second period and deservedly grabbed a try in the 49th minute when Dougie Fife carried the ball into contact where Nel was on hand to pick up and force his way over. Hunter converted before making way for Leonard whose first task was to kick the penalty that edged Edinburgh into the lead for the first time.

Cardiff's response was a slick handling move that yielded a penalty which Patchell booted to move the visitors in front once more.

Edinburgh mounted a series of attacks but a string of errors in sight of the line proved expensive and the fatal blow came when Cardiff stole a lineout on the edge of their own 22 in what proved to be the final play of the game.