RaboDirect PRO 12
Rabo12 wrap: Ulster and Connacht maintain perfect starts
Ulster and Connacht both enjoyed narrow victories over Aironi and Llanelli Scarlets respectively to maintain their perfect start to the RaboDirect PRO 12 League.
Aironi 19-25 Ulster
Ulster came away from Italy with a hard fought victory that was in the melting pot until the final whistle at the Stadio Zaffanella.
Ulster led by a point at the break after outscoring the visitors by two tries to one. Ian Whitten and Dan Tuohy touched down for Brian McLaughlin’s side, with Ian Humphreys adding five points with the boot.
Naas Olivier kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Italian side, but Craig Gilroy put some daylight between the sides with Ulster’s third try after 55 minutes.
That try put the visitors six points in front and it was to remain that way until the final whistle, with Humphreys and Olivier trading penalties late on.
Connacht 13-11 Llanelli Scarlets
A Niall O’Connor penalty with just over ten minutes left on the clock handed Connacht a battling victory over the Scarlets at the Sportsground.
Trailing 6-3 at the break, Eric Elwood’s side were up against it when Aaron Shinger touched down for the Welsh side just after half-time.
New signing Mark McCrea scored his first try for the province just before the hour and Matthew Jarvis converted to put Connacht within a point of their opponents.
On 67 minutes, Connacht were handed an opportunity to take the lead and substitute O’Connor didn’t disappoint, nailing the penalty to give Connacht a lead they didn’t relinquish.
The westerners now have two wins from two and join Munster and Ulster on the top of the table on eight points.