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Flying Start for Irish in Europe
10 October 2004, 9:34 am
The three Irish provinces led the way for the Celtic sides in the first weekend of the Heineken Cup with wins for Munster, Leinster and Ulster.
The three Irish provinces led the way for the Celtic sides in the first weekend of the Heineken Cup with wins for Munster, Leinster and Ulster.

There were mixed fortunes for the Celtic League sides in the first weekend of this season s European competitions although all three Irish representatives opened with a win.

Munster withstood some late pressure from Harlequins to get yet another successful start to a Heineken Cup campaign.

On Friday night Llanelli Scarlets put up a spirited performance against last year s runners up going down 9-6 in a pulsating encounter at Stradey Park. However Edinburgh were unable to stay close to their French opponents with Perpignan running out 25-0 winners.

There was also a successful start for the other two Irish provinces on Saturday with Leinster running in three tries in their 25-9 win over Treviso in Italy while Ulster and Cardiff Blues were the only sides to meet in an all Celtic tie with the Irish province successfully re-establishing their home form - and, as so often in the past, had David Humphreys to thank as he kicked all their points in a 21-16 win.

However the other Celtic side s faired less well. The Dragons proud record at Rodney parade was put to the sword by Newcastle who hung on for a 10-6 win despite being reduced to 14 men while The Ospreys suffered their first defeat of the season and had Jonathan Thomas sent off as they went down 38-17 to Castres.

There was further disappointment for the final Celtic League side in action in the Heineken Cup with Glasgow losing 13-9 at home to Northampton on Sunday.

There were also mixed fortunes for the two Celtic sides in the first leg of the first round in the European Challenge Cup. Connacht lost out to Narbonne but The Borders ran up 98 points in their win over Portuguese side AA Coimbra. The Scots scored 16 tries, including three for Test winger Nikki Walker.

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Team
Pld
W
D
L
Pts
2Glasgow Warriors330013
3Connacht Rugby330012
4Ulster Rugby321012
5Munster Rugby320110
6Scarlets31118
7Leinster Rugby31027
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