RaboDirect Pro12 review: George North’s star continues to rise

Wales international George North impresses for Scarlets as they beat Heineken Cup champions Leinster 45-20 in their opener

Sportsbeat
By Sportsbeat
wales six nations squad
North was part of Wales' squad which won the Six Nations Photo: WRU

wales six nations squad

Wales star George North once again demonstrated the kind of finishing that has made him one of rugby’s most dangerous wide-men – scoring twice as the Scarlets shocked Heineken Cup champions Leinster 45-20 in their Celtic League opener at Parc y Scarlets.

North, who played a key role in the Wales side that won this year’s Six Nations, was part of a destructive Scarlets back three that combined for five tries on Saturday evening.

Fellow winger Andy Fenby went over twice and the impressive Liam Williams added another – as Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland came off the bench to make his 100th appearance for the region.

The win – in Simon Easterby’s first competitive game as head coach – was the Welsh side’s first over Leinster since 2009, but came against a squad hit heavily by injury and missing eleven internationals.

In Jonathan Sexton’s absence, 23-year-old Ian Madigan kicked ten points for the Irish province and added a consolation try, but his side were overpowered by a focused Scarlets team that repeatedly turned down kickable penalties en route to a seven-try haul.

Elsewhere Cardiff Blues made it two from two in the day’s Ireland versus Wales match-ups, edging out Connacht in a hard-fought 13-9 win.

Phil Davies marked his first game as the Blues’ director of rugby with a win, behind the goal-kicking of experienced fly-half Ceri Sweeney.

Scrum-half Lewis Jones, 19, scored his first try for the club as the Welsh side took advantage of a strong wind in the first half to go in 13-0 up at the break.

With ex-Cardiff fly-half Dan Parks unavailable to make his Connacht debut, Miah Nikora took the kicking duties and, after struggling early on, hit three second-half penalties to restore some pride.

It was Munster who had the last laugh in the final game of the night, beating Heineken Cup semi-finalists Edinburgh 23-18 at Murrayfield.

Wing Tim Visser continued in the electric form he showed on tour with Scotland this summer, running in a hat-trick for the hosts, but it was not enough to overcome a confident Munster performance led by a 18-point haul from fly-half Ian Keatley.

© Sportsbeat 2012

MORE:

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Juan Mata sends ‘moving’ message to Man United fans about Wayne Rooney
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Paul Pogba sends message to Man United fans about his mentor
The Sport Review
Ian Wright makes controversial Arsenal claim about Mesut Ozil
The Sport Review
Ander Herrera replies when asked if Man United will keep David De Gea