Despite having five of the pack that started last season’s final against the Cornish Pirates on duty, Munster slipped to a 15-13 defeat at home to Llanelli in

their 2010/11 British & Irish Cup curtain- raiser. In a game frequently punctuated by the referee’s whistle, Llanelli had five Steve Shingler penalties to thank for

their success in Waterford, which saw them come back from a 10-3 half- time deficit.

Pontypridd, whose cup campaign last season was quite literally a wash out, got off to the perfect start this time around with a 13- point haul from Simon

Humberstone helping them to a 28-18 win at newcomers Llandovery. Swansea, also making their competition bow, were no match for the Ulster Ravens at St

Helen’s. Ulster’s second string effectively had the game in the bag by half- time, rattling up 22 unanswered points to leave Richard Webster’s previously

unbeaten side with just pride to play for thereafter.

Leinster got their British & Irish Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 33-28 victory over Newport at Rodney Parade on Sunday. Ireland Under-20 outside

back Andrew Conway scored a try in each half and scrum- half Paul O’Donohoe also got on the scoresheet as Colin McEntee’s side fell just short of a tryscoring

bonus point. Ian Madigan enjoyed a fine kicking performance in slotting home all three conversions and four penalties.

The B&I Cup continues on the weekend of December 11th when all 24 sides will be in action.