Edinburgh claimed their first victory of the PRO14 season against Connacht, while Munster bounced back to winning ways in style with a drubbing of Ospreys.
Edinburgh 17-10 Connacht
Edinburgh saw off Connacht 17-10 in a hard-fought contest at Murrayfield, having led 10-0 at half-time.
The hosts came into the match desperate for victory after narrow defeats to Ospreys and Ulster in their first two fixtures.
They suffered a blow ahead of kick-off as Simon Hickey dropped out of the starting XV due to injury and was replaced by Jaco van der Walt, with Jamie Farndale coming onto the bench.
Nevertheless, Edinburgh applied most of the early pressure, enjoying the lion’s share of territory and possession in the opening minutes. Connacht held firm at first, but the balance tipped when their skipper, Jarrad Butler, was yellow carded 24 minutes into the game for a deliberate knock-on.
Almost immediately afterwards, Duhan van der Merwe scored the opening try of the game in the corner, with van der Walt adding the extras from the conversion.
Both sides enjoyed spells on attack between the opening try of the game and the half-time whistle, but the only additional score came through a van der Walt penalty right before the break.
It took 15 minutes after half-time before either side could add to the scoreboard, but crucially, it was Edinburgh who broke the deadlock once again through Pierre Schoeman following a powerful lineout drive.
Van der Walt’s conversion left the score at 17-0, but Connacht enjoyed a late surge to bring the game back to life.
A fine pass from Jack Carty set Niyi Adeolokun up to go over, and after Carty had added the conversion 62 minutes in, he clawed back some more ground with a penalty 13 minutes later.
However, it was too little, too late as Connacht failed to make it back-to-back wins after their triumph over Zebre. For Edinburgh, however, it was a case of third time lucky.
Tries: Van der Merwe, Schoeman
Cons: Van der Walt 2
Pen: Van der Walt
Yellow Card: Butler
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Jamie Farndale, 23 Juan Pablo Socino
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun,13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Paul Boyle, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Ultan Dillane, 4 Gavin Thornbury, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 Conan O’Donnell
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Peter McCabe, 18 Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19 James Cannon, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Bundee Aki
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Craig Evans (Wales), Ian Kenny (Scotland)
Television match official: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Munster 49-13 Ospreys
After victories over Edinburgh and the Cheetahs in their first two games, Ospreys could have been forgiven for feeling confident ahead of their visit to Irish Independent Park.
However, they were in for a rude awakening.
On his return from injury, Chris Cloete was in fine form for Munster, winning several turnovers in the early minutes.
It was evident from the get-go that the hosts were hungry to bounce back from defeat to Glasgow.
They opened the scoring with a penalty try off a driving maul in the 16th minute after successive infringements from Giorgi Nemsadze.
Nemsadze picked up a yellow card for his sins, and things went from bad to worse when Joey Carbery ran in for a magnificent solo try in the 22nd minute, although Ospreys got on the board through Sam Davies penalties either side of that.
James Cronin crashed over in the 28th minute to stretch the lead, and then Ospreys were reduced to 14 men again when Adam Beard was yellow-carded for an infringement at the maul.
Straight afterwards, Rhys Marshall profited off a drive from close range to send Munster into the break 28-6 up.
The hosts then picked up where they left off once the match had restarted, with Marshall scoring another try, almost identical to the first.
Just five minutes after the half had got underway, Munster had another try to their name, with Peter O’Mahony having initiated the move by cutting out a Sam Davies pass and Arno Botha finishing off after a well-executed attack down the left.
Luke Morgan scored a fantastic solo try with 20 minutes remaining on the clock to give Ospreys some consolation, but the Irish side capped off the win with a try from Darren Sweetnam.
Tries: Penalty try, Carbery, Cronin, Marshall 2, Botha, Sweetnam
Cons: Carbery 5, Keatley
Pens: Davies 2
Yellow Cards: Nemsadze, Beard
Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Dan Goggin, 11 Darren Sweetnam, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Darren O’Shea, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 James Hart, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Jaco Taute
Ospreys: 15 James Hook, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Joe Thomas, 12 Cory Allen, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Sam Cross, 6 Olly Cracknell (c), 5 Adam Beard, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Rhodri Jones
Replacements: 16 Nicky Smith, 17 Ifan Phillips, 18 Alex Jeffries, 19 James Ratti, 20 Guido Volpi, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 23 Hanno Dirksen
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)