Scarlets thrash Euro heavyweights Leinster at start of PRO12

The Scarlets beat Leinster 45-20 on Saturday night to open their PRO12 campaign - and the new regime of head coach Simon Easterby - in thrilling seven-try style.

Wingers George North and Andy Fenby scored two each, and Liam Williams, Scott Williams and Kieran Murphy also crossed the line, as the Llanelli side beat the Irish giants for the first time in almost two years, and grabbed a bonus point in the process.

It was an under-strength Leinster side that lined up at Parc y Scarlets, missing 11 rested international players and another seven players who were injured. The Irish side did take the lead with an early penalty, but found themselves 14-6 down at half-time, after two Scarlets tries.

The home side pulled away early in the second half, with Fenby finishing off a flowing move that took in the length of the field. Leinster did manage two second-half tries themselves, but by then the Scarlets were out of sight.

Cardiff Blues also began their season with a win over Irish opposition - but their game at Connacht was a much tighter contest.

The visitors scored all of their points in the first half, with the wind at the backs, and a 13-0 lead at the break proved enough for victory. Lewis Jones scored the only try after 30 minutes. Ceri Sweeney was in fine form with the boot, adding the conversion and two penalties.

Three Miah Nikora penalties in the second half got Connacht back within touching distance, but they couldn't overcome the Blues' stubborn defence. They clung on to record a confidence-boosing victory for new director of rugby Phil Davies.