Stormers power past Scarlets who leak 50 plus points again while Connacht and Ospreys also win

Planet Rugby
Marcel Theunissen Stormers v Scarlets URC 2023 - PA.jpg

Stormers flanker Marcel Theunissen on the charge against the Scarlets in Stellenbosch.

Scarlets suffered a second heavy loss on their South African tour as Stormers duo Marcel Theunissen and Paul de Wet both scored a brace of tries in a 52-7 victory in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

The Welsh region have now conceded 115 points from their opening two United Rugby Championship matches – after also suffering a big loss to the Bulls in their tournament opener – and will be relieved to get back to Llanelli next week.

Scarlets’ only five-pointer came from scrum-half Kieran Hardy in another disappointing early-season result.

Clayton Blommetjies, Ben Loader, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Courtnall Skosan also went over for tries for the men from the Cape.

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The home side dominated the early stages and they were rewarded after seven minutes when Scarlets were penalised for offside as they just held the South Africans at bay. Theunissen took a quick tap penalty and wriggled over under the posts.

The back-row then helped himself to a second try soon after when the Stormers’ rolling maul had Scarlets on the back foot and he controlled from the back to crash over.

Scarlets got themselves back into the game with an almost carbon copy of the first Stormers try when Hardy took a quick tap penalty to go in under the sticks and Ioan Lloyd added the extras.

But the Stormers hit back and Theunissen broke the Scarlets line from a lineout win and as the ball was recycled, scrum-half De Wet squirmed over.

The bonus point was secured just short of half-time when a quick counter attack opened up Scarlets and Skosan drew in the tackler before flipping inside to Blommetjies to stroll in.

It was a lineout again that brought the fifth try with Feinberg-Mngomezulu breaking the line before playing inside to the supporting Loader to crash over.

De Wet claimed a second try early in the second half when too many missed tackles from Scarlets allowed him to dive over in the corner.

Stormers demonstrated their control with the try of the game on the hour-mark when quick hands took the ball left to right and they kept it alive beautifully to send it back the other way for Feinberg-Mngomezulu to stretch out a hand and touch down.

Skosan wrapped up the scoring when he went in for the Stormers’ eighth try of the afternoon late on.

Second-half fightback helps Connacht see off Glasgow Warriors

Connacht scored 20 unanswered points in 15 second-half minutes to see off Glasgow Warriors 34-26 at the Sportsground to maintain their winning start to the United Rugby Championship.

Tom Jordan’s try on the stroke of half-time had Warriors leading 19-14, with Kyle Rowe scoring on his debut and their maul forcing a penalty try while Jordan also added two conversions. Diarmuid Kilgallen crossed for Connacht to add to JJ Hanrahan’s three penalties.

Indeed, Glasgow leaked 15 points from penalties and were held scoreless for most of the final 40 minutes. Dylan Tierney-Martin, Kilgallen and Cathal Forde put Connacht well clear before replacement Jamie Dobie’s last-minute bonus-point score for the visitors.

Justin Tipuric shines for Ospreys in bonus-point win over Zebre

Justin Tipuric led from the front as the Ospreys sealed their first victory of the season courtesy of a 34-31 win over Zebre Parma at Stadium.

The veteran back-row delivered an outstanding all-round display as he was at the forefront of the Welsh region’s onslaught but they were made to work hard for the win over their Italian opponents.

For the Ospreys, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Mat Protheroe, Max Nagy and Nicky Smith crossed the whitewash while Jack Walsh succeeded with three conversions and a penalty and their other points came via the boot of Owen Williams, who also slotted a conversion and a three-pointer off the kicking tee.

The visitors’ points came via Simone Gessi, who crossed for a brace of tries in the first half after Luca Bigi crossed for the opening five-pointer inside the opening 10 minutes and Geronimo Prisciantelli succeeded with two conversions during that period.

The Ospreys turned on the style in the second half but Zebre were not finished and came roaring back with New Zealander Scott Gregory scoring two further tries with Prisciantelli slotting one further conversion.

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