Rugby: 2010-11 Magners League Gets Off To Exciting Start

Alistair HunterContributor ISeptember 5, 2010

Italian side Treviso in action (taken earlier this year)
Italian side Treviso in action (taken earlier this year)Roberto Serra/Getty Images

The 2010-11 Magners League welcomed two new Italian teams for their first matches this weekend, and Italian pride soared as Benetton Treviso overcame Llanelli Scarlets by 34 points to 28. Aironi Rugby, the other new team, lost 33-17 to Munster, who finished fourth in the league last season, in Ireland, leaving the Italian side 10th out of the 12 teams so far.

Defending champions Ospreys lost by one point to Ulster, after the Irish team converted what would turn out to be the winning penalty in the 71st minute, leading them to a 27-26 victory on Friday night. The other match that day saw Glasgow Warriors beat Leinster after overcoming a 16-6 half time lead to win 22-19 in front of 2,879 spectators at Firhill.

The other two matches this weekend saw Connacht beat Newport Gwent Dragons 40-17, while Edinburgh lost in Cardiff 34-23. After the first round of matches, Connacht lead the table by points difference from Munster and Cardiff Blues, who all picked up five points. One point behind are Italian champions Treviso, Glasgow Warriors and Ulster, who all won. Leinster and Scarlets picked up one point each to occupy the seventh and eighth places, while Edinburgh, Aironi and Dragons have no points.

The team at the bottom of the table are last season's champions Ospreys, who picked up a four point penalty from the start of this season after postponing their match against Ulster during last season. The performance of the week really goes to Treviso, simply because they are the new team and they did better than I expected, although Scarlets were not the toughest opposition in the league.