Gareth Davies slides in as James Lowe of Leinster goes over to score. Pic: Getty Sport.

Scarlets Gareth Davies Is Accused Of Dirty Tricks As Irish Pundit Puts The Boot In

Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has been accused of “dirty play” by former Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald for allegedly aiming a knee at Leinster’s James Lowe.

The incident occured in the first-half of the Scarlets’ thrilling 23-21 victory at home to the Guinness Pro 14 champions on Saturday.

New Zealander Lowe scored just before half-time, but as he slid in at the corner he was struck by a sliding Davies as the players collided.

It was the type of challenge that has become more common in recent seasons, but few referees seem as keen to clamp down on it as they are on other forms of mis-timed tackles.

Former Lions wing Fitzgerald, speaking on Irish broadcaster Eir Sport, said: “I think that’s just such a dirty bit of play. They missed that badly. He needs to be going in with his upper body. He slips in and it’s a bad shot actually.

“It’s like a slide tackle in football but you’re in no danger of getting hurt when your sliding in, but there is when you use your upper body. There is no bravery involved. I hate it.”

The Scarlets held on to win an intense, hard-fought clash that gave them some sense of revenge for their defeat to Leinster in last season’s Pro 14 final and European Champions Cup semi-final.

The Scarlets were indebted to tries from Ken Owens and Davies, while Leigh Halfpenny kicked 13 points.

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Head coach Wayne Pivac said: “We have had a bit of time to reflect on last season and we knew we needed to improve against Leinster so to have them in round two allowed us to see how much work we have done.

“The result is first and foremost very pleasing. To control the last 10 minutes and the discipline not to give away a penalty was superb stuff.

“And to do it with some casualties in the first half – everyone did their bit and I’m really pleased from a squad point of view.”

The home side trailed 14-10 at half-time but edged a gripping second period despite Leinster captain Rhys Ruddock claiming a try five minutes from the end, a score that put the match into the melting pot.

Right at the end Leigh Halfpenny forced a Leinster penalty just as the Irish side looked they might steal a victory – but the visitors had to settle for a losing bonus point from the 23-21 defeat.

The Ospreys, Connacht and the Dragons all recorded wins in round two of the new season as they saw off the Cheetahs, Zebre and the Southern Kings, respectively.

But for the second week running, Cardiff Blues surrendered a lead as they were beaten away to Italians Benetton.

It means new head coach John Mulvihill is still looking for his first win as the Blues prepare for a week’s stay in Italy ahead of their meeting with Zebre on Saturday.

Mulvihill said: “It’s a defeat that is very hard for us to take and it’s going to take us a few days to get over it. We are here for a week and next week is vitally important for us because we can’t repeat what happened last year. We have to win next week.

“There was a little bit of indiscipline in the first half, they had five penalties in a row and worked themselves up the field. In that last passage of play we gave away that penalty on half way and the next six penalties went their way. We didn’t control the ball in crucial areas of the game.

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“We had two disallowed tries where they were very quick to go to TMO and make a decision but at the end of the day we just weren’t good enough. If we put ourselves in front in games, we have to win and that’s all there is to it.

“We will take a really hard look at ourselves over the weekend, the boys will come back to training on Monday and they are determined to put those last two games right.

“I wouldn’t park it too quickly, they need to internalise that, they need to go through it and it needs to be with them all the way until kick-off next week because we don’t want that feeling in the dressing room again for a long time to come.”

Benetton 27-25 Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues led by five points with the 80 minutes up at Benetton but, down to 13 men, they were breached at the death by Monty Ioane to fall to a 27-25 defeat.

Tomasso Allan put the hosts in front but a penalty try, won at the scrum in the 34th minute, and the boot of Jarrod Evans sent the Blues in 16-10 ahead at the interval.

Benetton retook the lead after a frenetic phase of play ended up with Jayden Hayward sending Braam Steyn through in the corner, and Allan converting.

The visitors had another try ruled out due to a Tomos Williams forward pass but three Gareth Anscombe penalties put them back into the lead.

But Olly Robinson and Rhys Gill were sin-binned and Ioane dramatically levelled the scores before Allan sealed the win.

Ospreys 46-14 Cheetahs

Wales pair Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones both scored twice as Ospreys sealed a 46-14 bonus-point victory over Cheetahs at the Liberty Stadium.

George North also got himself on the try sheet again after scoring twice in the 17-13 victory over Edinburgh last week. It was the first time since 2014 that the Ospreys have won their opening two matches of a campaign.

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The Ospreys crossed the whitewash seven times in total, with their other tries came from Scott Otten and Alex Jeffries. Sam Davies also supplied 11 points with the boot.

Though it was a comprehensive win over the South African side, Ospreys suffered injury blows to Scott Williams (knee), Nicky Smith and Dan Evans (both head).

Dragons 27-22 Kings

Fly-half Josh Lewis scored 17 points as the Dragons got their first Guinness PRO14 victory of the season in a tense 27-22 success against Southern Kings at Rodney Parade.

Lewis scored a try, two penalties and converted his own try and touchdowns from flankers Ollie Griffiths and Aaron Wainwright.

But the Kings got two bonus points as they nearly won it via touchdowns from hooker Michael Willemse, wing Bjorn Basson, replacement Godlen Masimla and full-back Yaw Penxe, with fly-half Masixole Banda booting a conversion.


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