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heinekencupTwo-time defending European Cup champions Leinster host Clermont in the fourth round of the competition this weekend in the knowledge that they will have to dig deep for a “vital” bonus-point victory.

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Clermont ended the Irish province’s 17-match unbeaten run in the competition last weekend in a gripping 15-12 win.

The French Top 14 outfit’s victory – their 51st successive home win – put them five points clear of the Irish side in Pool Five ahead of the return fixture in Dublin on Saturday.

Leinster manager Guy Easterby said a win for his side was “vital”, but added: “I don’t think the result on Saturday is going to determine who’s top of the group or who goes through from the group.

“We just see it as a game we have to go out and win,” the former Ireland scrumhalf said, with one eye on the two other clubs in the pool, Exeter and winless Scarlets.

“It’s not all about topping the group. There are opportunities further down the line. Plus the fact that there are two more games, it’s not like the pool finishes on Saturday.

“We’ve got a couple of tough fixtures left, as have Clermont, and our group is particularly competitive.

“With the three games we’ve got left, we’ve got two at home and one away and we’ll just be looking to do our best in all of those.”

Easterby added: “To be so close over there and not get over the line was very disappointing.”

Clermont scrumhalf Morgan Parra, who contributed four penalties from four attempts last weekend, said his team could not repeat their showing against Leinster in the competition in 2010, having also been beaten in last season’s semifinal in Bordeaux.

“We’ve already had the chance to play this double-header, and after conceding a defensive bonus point at home, we went to Dublin with good intentions before exploding,” he said of the 24-8 victory by the Irish side.

“We don’t want to relive that experience. We’ll need to show that we’ve made some progress.”

Parra’s teammate Alexandre Lapandry, who was outstanding on the flank in the first of the double header, added: “We know what to expect at the Aviva Stadium: they promise us hell.

“But contrary to what one might believe, I hope that we won’t spend all our time defending because that would be a bad sign,” he said.

“Instead I hope we’ll have the chance to keep the ball and won’t hesitate to take the initiative.”

Leinster’s Irish rivals Munster beat Saracens 15-9 at home last weekend and now face an equally tricky away return match at Vicarage Road.

Munster’s victory saw them draw level on 10 points with the English side atop Pool One, with Racing-Metro also in the mix on eight points above winless Edinburgh, who have scored just nine points in the first three rounds.

“It is not often in sport that you get a chance to rectify what’s gone wrong a week later against the same opposition – that is the beauty of these back-to-back matches,” said Saracens coach Mark McCall.

“We are confident we can play a lot better than we did at Thomond Park and we will need to. We have a lot of respect for Munster.

“Your fundamentals and your foundations have to be good at a place like that. When one part of your set-piece doesn’t function that well it is difficult to have the foundations right.

“We were well below our best and it was a disappointing performance overall.”

French giants Toulouse and Toulon, unbeaten in the competition so far, will bid to tie up their respective pools 2 and 6, with matches against Ospreys and Sale.

Harlequins and Ulster are also both three from three, and sit firmly in the driving seats of Pools Three and Four.

All the Round Four fixtures and teams!

Friday, December 14:

Edinburgh v Racing Métro 92
(Murrayfield – Kick-off: 20.00,  20.00 GMT)

Teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14  Lee Jones, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Dougie Fife,  10 Piers Francis, 9 Chris Leck,  8 Netani Talei, 7 Roddy Grant (captain), 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Robert McAlpine, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 WP Nel, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 September Visser.

Racing Metro 92: 15 Gaetan Germain,  14 Sireli Bobo, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff,  10 Olly Barkley, 9 Sebastien Descons,  8 Jacques Cronje (captain), 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Francois Carl van der Merwe, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Mathieu Belie, 21 Juan Martin Hernandez, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Alvaro Galindo.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Jude Quinn (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque v Connacht
(Parc des Sports Aguilera – Kick-off: 21.00, 20.00 GMT)

Teams:

Biarritz Olympique PB: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Jean Pascal Barraque, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy (captain), 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Benoit August, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Thomas Synaeghel, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Seremaia Burotu, 23 Marcelo Bosch.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O’Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 David McSharry, 11 Fetu’u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks (captain), 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Johnny O’Connor, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Kearney, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Dennis Buckley, 18 Nathan White, 19 Daniel Qualter, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Paul O’Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Matthew Jarvis.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Chris Williams (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

Saturday, December 15:

Ospreys v Toulouse
(Liberty Stadium – Kick-off: 13.35; 13.35 GMT)

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ross Jones, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i (captain), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 George Stowers, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Thomas Isaacs.

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Jean Marc Doussain, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Jean Bouilhou (captain), 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Yohann Montes, 19 Romain Millo-Chluski, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Gregory Lamboley, 22 Yannick Jauzion, 23 Sebastien Bezy

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Richard Kerr (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Benetton Treviso v Leicester Tigers
(Stadio Comunale di Monigo – Kick-off: 14.35; 13.35 GMT)

Teams:

Benetton Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Christian Loamanu, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Francesco Minto, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (captain), 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Simone Favaro, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Kristopher Burton.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Brett Deacon, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (captain), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Geordan Murphy, 23 Dan Bowden.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Shaun Gallagher (Ireland), Olly Hodges (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

Harlequins v Zebre
(The Twickenham Stoop – Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)

Teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ugo Monye, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Jordan Turner-Hall.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Samuele Pace, 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Alberto Chillon,
8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Filippo Ferrarini, 6 Nicola Cattina (captain), 5 Josh Sole, 4 Micheal van Vuuren, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Andrea De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Andrea Manici, 17 Carlo Fazzari, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Nicola Belardo, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Luca Martinelli, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Gonzalo Garcia.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Cédric Marchat (France), Stéphane Boyer (France)

Exeter Chiefs v Scarlets
(Sandy Park Stadium – Kick-off: 15.40; 15.40 GMT)

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Tom Johnson, 7 James Scaysbrook (captain), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 James Hanks, 4 Aly Muldowney, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Ben White, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Luke Arscott.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies (captain), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Gareth Maule, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Jonathan Edwards, 6 George Earle, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Shaun Hopkins.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Johan Snyman, 20 Tomas Vallejos-Cinalli, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Daniel Newton, 23 Kristian Phillips.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Eric Soulan (France)
TMO: Eric Gonthier (France)

Leinster v ASM Clermont Auvergne
(Aviva Stadium – Kick-off: 15.40; 15.40 GMT)

Teams:

Leinster Rugby: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Gordon D’Arcy, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Damien Browne, 4 Leo Cullen (captain), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke Van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Andrew Conway, 23 David Kearney.

ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurelien Rougerie (captain), 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Ti’I Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 22 David Skrela, 23 Regan King.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)

Ulster v Northampton Saints
(Ravenhill – Kick-off: 18.00; 18.00 GMT)

Teams:

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Chris Henry (captain), 6 Nick Williams, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Nigel Brady, 17 Callum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Calum Clark, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Luther Burrell.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Jonathan Mason (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Montpellier v Cardiff Blues
(Stade Yves du Manoir – Kick-off: 19.00; 18.00 GMT)

Teams:

Montpellier: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Matthew Carraro, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Julien Tomas (captain), 8 John Beattie, 7 Kelian Galletier, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Aliki Fakate, 4 Mickael De Marco, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Erasmus van Vuuren, 1 Yvan Watremez.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ladhuie, 17 Naama Leleimalefaga, 18 Barry Fa’amausili, 19 Thibault Privat, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Eric Escande, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Benjamin Thiery.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius (captain), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Taufa’ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Robert Lewis, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Owen Williams.

Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts (England), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Sunday, December 16:

Castres Olympique v Glasgow Warriors
(Stade Pierre Antoine – Kick-off: 13.45; 12.45 GMT)

Teams:

Castres Olympique: 15 Romain Teulet, 14 Paul Bonnefond, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Remy Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Matthias Rolland (captain), 3 Michael Coetzee, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Hai Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Karena Wihongi, 18 Saimone Taumoepeau, 19 Christophe Samson, 20 Ibrahim Diarra, 21 Thomas Sanchou, 22 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 23 Brice Dulin.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay (captain), 6 James Eddie, 5 Tom Ryder, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 George Hunter, 19 Nick Campbell, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Graeme Morrison, 23 Byron McGuigan.

Referee: Andrew Small (England)
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Roy Maybank (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

Saracens v Munster:
(Vicarage Road – Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)

Teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Kelly Brown, 7 Will Fraser, 6 George Kruis, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Chris Wyles.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (captain), 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O’Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Peter O’Mahony, 6 David O’Callaghan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian Du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Patrick Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Luke O’Dea.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Gérard Borreani (France)

Toulon v Sale Sharks
(Stade Félix Mayol – Kick-off: 16.00; 15.00 GMT)

Teams:

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Rudi Wulf, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Joe Van Niekerk (captain), 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Nick Kennedy, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Jean Charles Orioli, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 22 Jonny Wilkinson, 23 Simon Shaw.

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Rob Miller, 10 Daniel Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour (captain), 6 James Gaskell, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Aston Croall, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Andrew Powell, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Brian MacNiece (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

3 Responses to Heineken Cup: Round Four

  • 1

    Halftime scores: Biarritz 10 – 0 Connacht; Edinburgh 3 – 6 Racing Metro

  • 2

    Final scores: Biarritz 17 – 0 Connacht; Edinburgh 3 – 15 Racing Metro – all the points from the boot, must have been a disapointing night of rugby at a damp Murrayfield.

  • 3

    All the best to Josh Strauss who is not in the Glasgow Warriors squad for this weekend’s Heineken Cup game as he is away getting married.


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