Leinster down Dragons to join Munster at the top


Leinster moved level on points with arch-rivals Munster at the top of the Pro12 table after securing a 28-15 bonus-point win over Newport Gwent Dragons at the RDS Arena.

Seeking an 18th-consecutive home victory in the competition, Leinster came flying out of the blocks with Peter Dooley, Ross Molony and Jack Conan all finding the line in a dominant first-half performance, before Joey Carbery added a fourth try shortly after the break.

Pat Howard and Sarel Pretorius replied in kind as the Dragons rallied in the second half, but it was not enough for the Welsh side, whose losing streak on the road in the Pro12 was extended to 17 games.

Ulster brought their run of three consecutive defeats to an end and kept in touch with the top four as they ran out 35-22 winners against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.

Tries from Charles Piutau, Stuart McCloskey and Kyle McCall helped take the Irish side out to 21-8 lead at the interval, with the home side's cause not helped by losing Blaine Scully to a yellow card.

Danny Wilson's men did rally in the second half, with Willis Halaholo and Alex Cuthbert both going over.

But despite seeing both Iain Henderson and Luke Marshall yellow-carded, Ulster eased to a bonus-point victory as Chris Henry and Louis Ludik added further scores.

Tom McCartney bagged two of Connacht's seven tries as the defending champions hammered bottom-placed Benetton Treviso 47-8.

Danie Poolman, Dennis Buckley, John Cooney, Quinn Roux and Jack Carty also touched down as Pat Lam's men continued their recent resurgence with a fifth-successive victory at home.

And the similarly in-form Scarlets made it seven Pro12 wins on the bounce as they edged out Zebre 31-24 at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

Jonathan Evans (2), Aaron Shingler, DTH van der Merwe and Aled Thomas all claimed tries for the visitors, with lock Federico Ruzza and wing Giovanbattista Venditti replying for the Italian side.