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United Rugby Championship: Ospreys fightback floors Edinburgh, Sharks and Stormers end all square

The Ospreys kept their United Rugby Championship play-off hopes alive courtesy of a 23-19 come-from-behind win over Edinburgh in Swansea on Saturday.

Mat Protheroe and Sam Parry’s five-pointers, along with 13 points from the boot of Stephen Myler, got the job done for the home side.

For Edinburgh, loosehead prop Boan Venter led the way by scoring a remarkable hat-trick of tries – the first prop to notch the achievement in the tournament’s history – while Jaco van der Walt succeeded with four points.

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After a dull opening to the game, Ospreys second-row Lloyd Ashley got sent to the sin bin for tripping Edinburgh full-back Henry Immelman.

The visitors turned down a kickable penalty, opting to go for the corner instead.

Their driving line-out was extremely effective, with Venter powering over from close range. Van der Walt converted and Edinburgh went back on the attack.

A break from Cammy Hutchison put them on the front foot, before a tremendous offload from number eight Mesu Kunavula allowed Venter to touch down for his second try in four minutes.

Van der Walt added the extras, but Myler finally got the Ospreys on the scoreboard with a straightforward penalty, meaning the hosts trailed 14-3 at half-time.

The Ospreys began the second half with more intent and scored their first try when a well-timed offload from outside-centre Michael Collins sent Protheroe over, with Myler converting.

The momentum was now in the Ospreys’ favour and they took the lead when abrasive number two Parry squeezed over at the far right-hand corner after a period of sustained pressure from the home side, with Myler again adding the extras from the touchline.

Edinburgh hit straight back when Venter showed tremendous strength to power over from short range for his third try.

In what has become a rare occurrence in the modern era, Van der Walt’s conversion was charged down by the Ospreys in front of the posts.

A clean break by former Wales number nine Rhys Webb then put the Ospreys on the front foot in Edinburgh’s half. The visitors were forced to infringe at the breakdown, allowing Myler to kick the Welsh region into a one-point lead with just 10 minutes remaining.

Edinburgh began to cough up numerous penalties, which gave the Ospreys the field position to squeeze them into making unforced errors.

A further penalty from the boot of Myler, 35 metres out, put the visitors out of penalty range, meaning they needed a try to win the game – which never materialised.

Sharks and Stormers share the spoils in Durban

The Sharks were denied victory over the Stormers by a penalty try in the last action of their United Rugby Championship match, drawing 22-22 in Durban.

United Rugby Championship: Ospreys fightback floors Edinburgh, Sharks and Stormers end all square

Sean Everitt’s side led 19-3 at one stage thanks to tries from Springboks duo Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi and the kicking of Boeta Chamberlain, who ended the game with 12 points.

However, Damian Willemse touched down against the run of play 12 minutes into the second period before a pair of penalty tries robbed the Sharks of the win.

The second came right at the death, with Aphelele Fassi penalised for a deliberate knock on when the Stormers had a two-man overlap.

The Sharks stay top of the United Rugby Championship‘s South African Shield but were unable to stretch their two-point advantage over the second-placed Stormers.

Munster prove too strong for Zebre

Munster maintained their perfect record against Zebre Parma by winning 34-17 to make it 18 wins from as many meetings between the sides.

Shorn of their Ireland stars ahead of the Six Nations, Munster came out on top thanks to tries from Jack O’Donoghue, Dan Goggin, Fineen Wycherley, Josh Wycherley and Diarmuid Barron.

Zebre went over through Erich Cronje shortly before half-time and Junior Laloifi added a late consolation.

Jake Flannery kicked nine points and Jack Crowley booted three for Munster while Tim O’Malley delivered five points for Zebre from the tee and Antonio Rizzi contributed a conversion.

The result – Munster’s sixth win from eight United Rugby Championship fixtures – takes them to four victories on the bounce in all competitions while Zebre remain rooted to the foot of the table after head coach Emiliano Bergamaschi’s first URC match in charge.

Glasgow Warriors put Connacht to the sword

Rufus McLean and Kyle Steyn both touched down twice in Glasgow’s runaway 42-20 United Rugby Championship win over Connacht at the Sportsground.

Chasing their third straight league victory, Warriors led 17-10 at half-time thanks to tries from McLean, Steyn and co-captain Fraser Brown.

Connacht hit back through Sam Arnold during Richie Gray’s sin-binning, and a Paul Boyle try drew them level in the 43rd minute.

Connacht’s debutant fly-half Cathal Forde kicked 10 points, but McLean and Steyn struck again on the hour mark and replacement Johnny Matthews rounded off the six-try success late on.

Bulls see off Lions in Johannesburg

In the day’s early game, the Bulls clawed back some ground in the United Rugby Championship’s South African Shield with a 34-10 victory over the Lions in Johannesburg.

Jake White’s men have struggled to live up to expectations this season and came into the weekend five points adrift at the bottom of their regional pool.

However, tries from Johan Grobbelaar, Embrose Papier, Arno Botha and Harold Vorster saw them to a bonus-point victory in a match in which they also had two scores disallowed.

The Lions, themselves, had a touchdown ruled out in the first half and although they did go over through Jaco Kriel just short of the hour mark, it was an afternoon to forget for the home side.

Morne Steyn kicked 14 points for the Bulls while Fred Zeilinga and Tiaan Swanepoel split the posts once apiece with a penalty and conversion respectively for the Lions.

The result sees the Bulls pull level on points with their third-placed hosts in the South African Shield after seven matches.

Jarrod Evans the hero as Cardiff edge out Leinster

And in the day’s late match, an injury time penalty from Jarrod Evans secured Cardiff a deserved 29-27 triumph over Leinster at Cardiff Arms Park.

Leinster thought they clinched the result when Ross Byrne slotted a 75th minute penalty but Evans was the home side’s hero when he slotted a long range kick with the final act of the match.

That meant the Cardiff fly-half finished with a 16-point haul after also succeeding with three other penalties and a couple of conversions with his team’s other points coming courtesy of tries from Owen Lane and Hallam Amos and another three-pointer off the kicking tee from Ben Thomas.

For Leinster, Adam Byrne, James Tracy and Scott Penny crossed the whitewash and Byrne contributed 12 points after adding a couple of penalties and three conversions.

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