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This weekend was a busy one for the Heineken Cup as twelve matches were played in the third round of the competion. The weekend started on Friday night with a comprehensive win for Ulster over Northampton and a win by Connacht against Biarritz. Following Munster’s win over Saracens on Saturday it looked as if there may be a clean sweep of wins for the teams from Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, Leinster stumbled to a narrow loss in their game against Clermont Auvergne on Sunday. This ended Leinster’s amazing 17 game unbeaten run in the Heineken Cup.

We bring you a round up of the all the weekend’s games as well as a look at the tables following the completion of round three.

bbc

 

 

Friday night’s games

Glasgow Warriors 6-9 Castres

Glasgow Warriors (6) 6

  • Pens: Wight 2

Castres (6) 9

  • Pens: Kockott 3

Glasgow Warriors slumped to their third straight defeat in Heineken Cup Pool 4 as Castres boosted their chances of progressing to the quarter-finals.

Warriors fly-half Scott Wight and Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott each kicked two penalties in the first half.

But Wight missed a penalty early in the second period and Kockott capitalised by kicking the visitors ahead.

And though Gregor Townsend’s side pick up a bonus point, they are now seven behind second-place Castres.

The French outfit overtake Northampton Saints, who were beaten 25-6 by runaway leaders Ulster.

Determined tackling and long kicks typified what was a dour spectacle at a freezing cold Scotstoun Stadium, with referee Wayne Barnes detecting frequent penalty offences.

Kockott missed a penalty either side of Wight’s first successful kick but the South African levelled before Wight edged Glasgow ahead again.

Another Kockott miss preceded his second successful penalty on 36 minutes.

It was Wight’s turn to miss seven minutes after the break and the wayward kick from the Castres 22 is sure to haunt the Scotsman.

Kockott took full advantage, kicking Castres ahead for the first time.

The scrum-half missed with his next attempt but it mattered little as Glasgow could not overturn their deficit.

And the hosts were dealt a further blow when captain Al Kellock went off with an arm injury.

Neither side seriously threatened to get over the try line and they will meet again at Stade Pierre-Antoine on 16 December.

Glasgow: Murchie, Seymour, Hogg, Horne, van der Merwe, Wight, Pyrgos, Grant, Hall, Cusack, Swinson, Kellock, Harley, Barclay, Strauss.

Replacements: Maitland for Seymour (66), Weir for Wight (54), Matawalu for Pyrgos (58), Reid for Grant (64), MacArthur for Hall (58), Low for Cusack (64), Ryder for Swinson (54), Wilson for Strauss (48).

Castres: Martial, Garvey, Bai, Lamerat, Andreu, Bernard, Kockott, Forestier, Bonello, Wihongi, Rolland, Samson, Diarra, Bornman, Classen.

Replacements: Kirkpatrick for Bai (50), Sanchou for Lamerat (68), Lazar for Forestier (64), Rallier for Bonello (64), Peikrishvili for Wihongi (50), Wannenburg for Bornman (74). Not Used: Caballero, Bonnefond.

Att: 3,348

Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU).

 

Connacht 22-14 Biarritz

Connacht (10) 22

  • Try: Vainikolo
  • Con: Parks
  • Pens: Parks 3
  • Drop-goal: Parks 2

Biarritz (9) 14

  • Try: Harinordoquy
  • Pens: Yachvili 3

Connacht clinched their first win over a French team in the Heineken Cup by beating Biarritz in Galway.

Tongan winger Fetu’u Vainikolo scored an early try for the Irish province with Dan Parks slotting over the conversion and landing a drop-goal.

Dimitri Yachvili’s three penalties kept Biarritz in touch but Parks kicked two penalties and another fine drop-goal.

Back row Imanol Harinordoquy got a late try but Yachvili missed the conversion which would have reaped a bonus point.

The win lifted Connacht up to second place in Pool 3 behind Harlequins.

Connacht survived back row Eoin McKeon’s sin-binning just before half-time and Tiernan O’Halloran’s yellow card near the end proved immaterial.

It was a tremendous result for Eric Elwood’s men, with Parks guiding a hard-running back-line and Mike McCarthy marshalling the young guns up front.

After Yachvili nudged Biarritz ahead, Vainikolo struck for a superbly-taken try that really lifted his team-mates and the vocal home crowd.

David McSharry intercepted a pass from Charles Gimenez near halfway and offloaded for the winger to charge away for a score against the run of play.

After two misses Yachvili landed his second successful penalty but Connacht hit back with Parks taking a drop-goal option, in front of the posts, to reopen the four-point gap.

Number eight McKeon was sin-binned for taking an airborne Iain Balshaw out and Yachvili snapped over a classy penalty to make it 10-9 at the interval.

Biarritz failed to hammer home their numerical advantage and Parks restarted the scoring in the second period with a penalty.

Biarritz introduced the fit-again Harinordoquy as they tried to reassert themselves, but strong carries from McSharry and Henshaw preceded another Parks three-pointer.

The former Scotland fly-half landed an inspirational drop goal and a third and final penalty to extend the lead to 22-9.

Biarritz lifted the tempo late on, powerhouse Harinordoquy piling over after O’Halloran was sin-binned during some desperate Connacht defence.

Connacht: Henshaw, O’Halloran, Poolman, McSharry, Vainikolo, Parks, Marmion, Wilkinson, Harris-Wright, Loughney, Kearney, McCarthy, Browne, Faloon, McKeon.

Replacements: Jarvis for Henshaw (80), Nikora for Parks (78), O’Donohoe for Marmion (60), Buckley for Wilkinson (60), Reynecke for Harris-Wright (78), O’Connor for Faloon (70).

Not used: Cooney, Qualter.

Sin bin: McKeon 37, O’Halloran (80).

Biarritz: Balshaw, Ngwenya, Gimenez, Bosch, Brew, Berquist, Yachvili, Barcella, August, Gomez Kodela, E. Lund, Dubarry, Lauret, Guyot, Lakafia.

Replacements: Burotu for Bosch (41), Barraque for Berquist (52), Blaauw for Barcella (63), Genevois for August (70), Synagehel for Gomez Kodela (60), Taele for Dubarry (48).

Not used: Harinordoquy, Lesgourgues.

Att: 8,000

Referee: Greg Garner (RFU)

 

Northampton 6-25 Ulster

Northampton Saints (6) 6

  • Pens: Lamb 2

Ulster (13) 25

  • Tries: Trimble, Bowe, Payne, Tuohy
  • Pens: Jackson
  • Cons: Jackson

Ulster maintained their perfect season as they beat Northampton Saints in the Heineken Cup at Franklin’s Gardens.

Tries from Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe helped the visitors to a 13-6 half-time lead, with Saints’ points coming from two Ryan Lamb penalties.

Further second-half scores from Jared Payne and Dan Tuohy secured a bonus-point victory for Ulster.

Ulster, who have won all 13 of their Pro 12 and Heineken Cup games in 2012-13, are six points clear in Pool Four.

This clash was a meeting of the last two losing Heineken Cup finalists as Ulster, beaten by Leinster in last season’s final, met 2010-11 runners-up Northampton.

Ulster winger Craig Gilroy, who had scored a try on his Ireland debut against Argentina two weeks ago, was left on the bench as the visitors showed their squad strength.

Saints had an opportunity to take an early lead but Lamb missed a penalty before being involved again when his kick was charged down by Ruan Pienaar, although the covering Ben Foden denied Ulster.

However, the visitors were soon ahead when Gilroy’s replacement, Trimble, scored his 20th try in the Heineken Cup as he raced ahead of Foden to touch down following Paddy Jackson’s kick over the top.

Jackson missed the conversion attempt before Lamb and Jackson again missed further penalties in the blustery conditions.

Lamb, at the third attempt, finally got Northampton’s first points to reduce the deficit to two but Ulster restored their five-point lead two minutes later thanks to Jackson’s penalty.

Ulster, top of the Pro 12 with 10 league wins out of 10, scored their second try six minutes before the break after Payne’s precise kick into touch led to a sustained spell of pressure.

Pienaar and Iain Henderson were both blocked short of the line, but a quick passing move to the other side of the pitch, involving Darren Cave and Paddy Wallace, led to the overlapping Bowe diving over in the corner.

Lamb’s late penalty left Saints 13-6 behind at half-time but his side would have held the lead if he had been successful with his other three attempts.

Ulster stretched their advantage within five minutes of the restart when full-back Payne collected a pass from Trimble, fooled Foden with a dummy and sprinted through a gap in the home defence.

Saints pushed to get back in the match but Pienaar held up Jamie Elliott before replacement Tom May fumbled the ball five yards from the line.

Ulster, who ended the match with 14-men after Henderson was sin-binned with nine minutes left for not releasing a player on the ground, snatched the bonus point in the last minute when Payne released Tuohy, who dived over.

The two sides play again on Saturday, 15 December at Ravenhill in a match Northampton must win to keep alive their Heineken Cup hopes.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder told BBC Radio Northampton:

“I’m hugely disappointed. It was a big night for us. They were physical, defensively very good and we were struggling to put together any serious attacking threats.

“We got caught on a couple of occasions and they took their opportunities – four of them, and they scored from all of them.

“Phil Dowson and Lee Dickson brought a bit of tempo to the game but overall it was a bad night. They were the better team and they deserved to win.

“Ulster are clear favourites to go through.”

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe said:

“That was a bit of a statement. We weren’t even thinking about the bonus point – we were more than happy to come here and take the win.

“We’re not getting carried away as Northampton have too many quality players and they will bounce back from this performance.

“We have to go out and do it again next week or this will count for nothing.”

Northampton: B Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, D Waldouck, J Elliott; R Lamb, M Roberts; S Tonga’uiha, D Hartley (capt), B Mujati; S Manoa, C Lawes; C Clark, T Wood, GJ Van Velze.

Replacements: M Haywood (for Hartley 71), A Waller (for Tonga’uiha 63), P Doran-Jones (for Mujati 60), P Dowson (for Clark 57), L Dickson (for Roberts 51), S Myler (for Lamb 60), T May (for Waldouck 66).

Ulster: J Payne; T Bowe, D Cave, P Wallace, A Trimble; P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, I Henderson, C Henry, R Wilson.

Replacements: C Black (for Court 69), R Diack (for Wilson 79), N Williams (for Muller 50),L Marshall (for Wallace 69), C Gilroy (for Trimble 69).

Sin-binned: I Henderson 71.

Attendance: 13,475.

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)

 

 

Saturday’s games

 

Scarlets 16-22 Exeter Chiefs

Scarlets (6) 16

  • Tries: Penalty try
  • Con: A Thomas
  • Pens: Priestland 2, A Thomas

Exeter (16) 22

  • Tries: H Thomas
  • Con: Steenson
  • Pens: Steenson 5

Exeter secured their first Heineken Cup win in a compelling encounter to end the Scarlets’ slim hopes of progress.

Haydn Thomas’ try and 17 points from Gareth Steenson’s boot consigned the hosts to a third successive tournament defeat this season.

The hosts fought back from 16-6 down at the break with a penalty try from a scrum giving them hope.

But the visitors held out against the Scarlets’ increasingly desperate late attempts to score.

Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland added to his nation and region’s injury worries by being carried off on a stretcher with an Achilles injury soon after the break.

He had already seen Exeter’s Fijian centre Sireli Naqelevuki pave the way for the visitors’ opening try as the Aviva Premiership club took the game to the hosts.

His powerful burst from deep was followed by a timely offload and Thomas was rewarded for his support run with a clear path to the line.

Steenson converted the fifth-minute try, giving the Chiefs the early momentum that they carried through the opening period, even though they lost try-scorer Thomas to injury early on.

In that time, the visitors put the hosts under telling pressure at the line-out and also enjoyed the better of the scrums.

The Scarlets lost 20-year-old Wales autumn squad tight-head Samson Lee to a shoulder injury after 13 minutes, replaced by this season’s recruit Jacobie Adriaanse.

South African Adriaanse gave the hosts a boost in the set-piece following his introduction.

But Rob Baxter’s forwards had the better of their hosts, giving fly-half Steenson the opportunities to kick three penalties as the first-half went on.

Priestland had replied to Thomas’ try and added a second penalty before his opposite number ensured Exeter’s 16-6 half-time lead.

Steenson added penalties in the 48th and 58th minutes as the visitors continued to pressurise the home defence in their search for a first Heineken Cup win.

Those hopes came into doubt after replacement prop Ben Moon was sin-binned in the 65th minute following persistent scrum offences.

From the next scrum, the Scarlets’ increasing power earned a penalty try and replacement fly-half Aled Thomas’ conversion put the hosts within a converted try of the lead.

However, the hosts could not make their numerical advantage count amid Exeter’s defence and some poor home execution in attack.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Scarlets coach Simon Easterby said: “You can’t give any side the start they had and we slipped off a couple of tackles and they scored a soft try and they scored a couple of points from our error and indiscipline.

“The second half was much better. We played a lot more tempo and we won the second half 10-6.

“When you give a side the start we did it was always going to be difficult to get back into the game.”

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon: “It’s another landmark for us to enjoy and celebrate and it just shows we’ve taken another little bit of a step forward.

“We really enjoy the Heineken Cup and the guys have trained well this week and they’ve shown a great attitude.

“Hitting the pitch we had a great intensity and enthusiasm about us and we really went for it.

“We’ve probably had 10 penalties go our way and there’s not a hint of a yellow card, and then we’re defending for two minutes and there’s yellow cards.”

Scarlets: Dan Newton; Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies (capt), Scott Williams, Andy Fenby; Rhys Priestland, Aled Davies; Phil John, Matthew Rees, Samson Lee, George Earle, Richard Kelly, Aaron Shingler, Kieran Murphy, Johnathan Edwards.

Replacements: Aled Thomas for Priestland (47), Tavis Knoyle for A Davies (60), Shaun Hopkins for John (77), Ken Owens for Rees (51), Jacobie Adriaanse for Lee (13), Sione Timani for Earle (51), Johan Snyman for Shingler (64).

Not used: Gareth Maule.

Exeter Chiefs: Luke Arscott, Gonzalo Camacho, Sireli Naqelevuki, Jason Shoemark, Matt Jess, Gareth Steenson, Haydn Thomas; Brett Sturgess, Simon Alcott, Hoani Tui, Tom Hayes (capt), Damian Welch, Tom Johnson, James Scaysbrook, Richard Baxter.

Replacements: Ian Whitten for Naqelevuki (54), Ignacio Mieres for Shoemark (73), Kevin Barrett for Thomas (12), Ben Moon for Sturgess (57), Neil Clark for Alcott (54), Carl Rimmer for Tui (57), Aly Muldowney for Welch (54), Mumm for Johnson (73).

Att: 7,512

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

 

Toulouse 30-14 Ospreys

Toulouse (12) 30

  • Tries: Fritz, Nyanga, Clerc, Johnstone, Huget
  • Cons: McCallister
  • Pens: Doussain

Ospreys (7) 14

  • Tries: Fotouali’i, Bevington
  • Cons: Biggar, Morgan

Toulouse battered the battling Ospreys into submission to claim a bonus point win in Pool 2 of the Heineken Cup.

The Welsh region offered brave resistance in the first half, but crumbled after the break.

Number eight Louis Picamoles inspired Toulouse, with Florian Fritz, Yanick Nyanga, Vincent Clerc, Census Johnstone and Yoann Huget scoring tries.

Kahn Fotouali’i and Ryan Bevington crossed for the Ospreys, who face Toulouse again next week.

Ospreys went into the match shorn of five international front five forwards through injury and were rocked onto their heels as Toulouse started at a terrific pace.

Toulouse pinned the Ospreys back from the start, with powerful interplay among the forwards asking serious questions of the Welsh region’s defence.

The Ospreys appeared to have repelled one assault as Biggar just missed an attempted interception. But as they looked on, centre Florian Fritz scooped up the loose ball and ran through some weak tackles from 30 metres to score between the posts. Luke McCallister converted.

Another comedy of errors in the 15th minute saw led to Toulouse’s second try, this time captain Yannick Nayanga grabbed a loose tap back from a lineout and run over unopposed in the corner.

Ospreys finally managed to exert some pressure after enduring a tough opening quarter, but wing Eli Walker slipped and was forced into touch.

They were rewarded, however, when a powerful drive by centre Andrew Bishop into the Toulouse 22 resulted in a penalty.

Scrum half Kahn Fotuali’i took a quick tap and nipped in for the try past a static defence. Andrew Biggar converted from in front of the posts.

The first half finished with the Ospreys rampant and the hosts defending desperately, having to force Andrew Bishop into touch at the corner.

Toulouse stepped up the pressure from the restart and put pressure on a creaking Ospreys scrum near the Welsh team’s tryline.

The breakthrough finally came in the 56th minute when the impressive Louis Picamoles made ground and fed Luke Burgess who worked Vincent Clerc over at the right corner.

Then Toulouse claimed the bonus point when Picamoles was again the provider for Census Johnson.

Yoann Huget rounded off another sweeping move for the Toulouse fifth try as the Ospreys finally wilted under pressure.

Ryan Bevington crashed over in the corner for a consolation try which Matthew Morgan converted.

But Toulouse had the final word when Jean Marc Doussain slotted a penalty with the last kick of the game.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys told BBC Radio Wales: “We were happy at half time, but in the second half they exerted a lot of pressure, we had 15 set-pieces inside our own 22.

“The financial implications of it mean that we have to develop our players – I’ve got James King, Lloyd Peers, Scott Baldwin, Sam Lewis, all these people, you know Ross Jones all coming through our system, playing in their first European rugby against Toulouse out here, off the back of limited preparation.

“We’d be silly not to be proud of it. Will we get the benefits this year? Maybe not. But we will get it long term.”

Toulouse: Yoann Huget; Maxime Medard, Yann David, Florian Fritz, Vincent Clerc; Luke McAlister, Luke Burgess; Gurthro Steenkamp, Gary Botha, Census Johnston, Romain Millo-Chluski, Patricio Albacete, Jean Bouilhou, Louis Picamoles, Yannick Nyanga (capt).

Replacements: Gael Fickou for Fritz (22), Jean Marc Doussain for McAlister (60), Jean-Baptiste Poux for Steenkamp (44), Christopher Tolofua for Botha (44), Yoann Maestri for Millo-Chluski (44), Edwin Maka for Picamoles (67).

Not Used: Montes, Lamboley.

Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Ross Jones, Andrew Bishop, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker; Dan Biggar, Kahn Fotuali’i (capt); Duncan Jones, Scott Baldwin, Campbell Johnstone, Ian Gough, James King, Ryan Jones, Joe Bearman, Justin Tipuric.

Replacements: Tommy Isaacs for Beck (68), Matthew Morgan for Biggar (70), Ryan Bevington for D Jones (46), Dmitri Arhip for Johnstone (78), Lloyd Peers for Gough (46), Sam Lewis for R Jones (57), Rhys Webb for Peers (77).

Not Used: Dwyer.

Att: 16,000

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

 

Zebre 14-57 Harlequins

Zebre (7) 14

  • Tries:: Sarto, Chillon
  • Cons:: Orquera 2

Harlequins (17) 57

  • Tries: Smith 2, Easter, Penalty 2, Hopper, Buchanan, Botica
  • Cons: Evans 6
  • Pen: Evans

Harlequins maintained their unbeaten start in the Heineken Cup with a thumping win over Italian side Zebre.

Sam Smith (2), Nick Easter, Matt Hopper, Rob Buchanan and Ben Botica crossed for Quins, while there were also two penalty tries.

Zebre could only manage a first-half breakaway try by Leonardo Sarto and a late consolation for Alberto Chillon.

The bonus point win extends the English champions’ lead at the top of Pool Three to six points.

With Biarritz losing to Connacht on Friday, Quins’s fate is in their own hands and victory in next week’s return against Zebre will effectively seal a quarter-final berth.

Zebre: Trevisan, Venditti, Pratichetti, Garcia, Sarto, Orquera, Tebaldi, Aguero, Festuccia, Ryan, Geldenhuys, Sole, Cattina, Bergamasco, Van Schalkwyk.

Replacements: Ferrarini for Trevisan (48), Chillon for Garcia (69), Buso for Aguero (48), Redolfini for Festuccia (48), Perugini for Ryan (48), Caffini for Sole (69), Giazzon for Cattina (48).

Not Used : Pace.

Sin Bin: Bergamasco (33), Redolfini (65).

Harlequins: Brown, Williams, Hopper, Casson, Smith, Evans, Care, Lambert, Gray, Johnston, Kohn, Robson, Fa’asavalu, Wallace, Easter.

Replacements: Dickson for Brown (65), Buchanan for Care (65), Marfo for Lambert (65), Botica for Gray (65), Trayfoot for Robson (70).

Not Used: Collier, Matthews, Monye.

Referee: Neil Paterson (SRFU).

 

Sale 6-17 Toulon

Sale (6) 6

  • Pens: Cipriani 2

Toulon (11) 17

  • Tries: Smith
  • Pens: Wilkinson 4

Star-studded Toulon condemned Sale to defeat in Heineken Cup Pool Six but the performance of the English side gave cause for optimism.

Winger David Smith scored the only try of the match in the first half and the French side led 11-6 at the break.

Danny Cipriani gave a sound display but fellow Englishman Jonny Wilkinson outkicked him four goals to two.

Toulon are nine points clear at the top of the pool with Cardiff Blues hosting Montpellier on Sunday.

Horrendous conditions at the Salford City Stadium helped bridge the gulf in class between a side leading the French Top 14 and one propping up the Premiership.

However, the visitors did just enough to secure the crucial points before next Sunday’s rematch, while Sale head coach John Mitchell will be heartened by his side’s gritty display.

Sale: Miller, Jennings, Uys, Leota, Cueto, Cipriani, Cliff, Harrison, Taylor, Buckley, Gray, McKenzie, Gaskell, Seymour, Vernon.

Replacements: Amesbury for Uys (69), Roberts for Harrison (60), Cobilas for Buckley (60), Myall for McKenzie (54), Powell for Vernon (51).

Not Used: Cruse, Fowles, Holmes.

Toulon: D. Armitage, Wulf, Bastareaud, Giteau, Smith, Wilkinson, Michalak, Sheridan, Bruno, Hayman, Botha, Suta, Fernandez Lobbe, S. Armitage, Masoe.

Replacements: Tillous-Borde for Michalak (69), Chiocci for Sheridan (69), Orioli for Bruno (54), Kubriashvili for Hayman (75), Kennedy for Botha (68), Shaw for Suta (57), Gunther for Masoe (54).

Not Used: Mermoz.

Att: 9,154

Referee: Leighton Hodges (RFU).

 

Munster 15-9 Saracens

MUNSTER (9) 15

  • Pens: O’Gara 5

SARACENS (3) 9

  • Pens: Farrell 3

Ronan O’Gara kicked all Munster’s points as they kept their Heineken Cup hopes alive by beating Saracens in a bruising Pool 1 clash at Thomond Park.

O’Gara won his kicking battle with Owen Farrell as the England star missed four penalty chances.

Munster led 9-3 at the interval and two penalties extended the lead to 15-6.

Will Fraser looked certain to score a Saracens try before being bundled into touch but Farrell’s third penalty did earn the English club a bonus point.

The game started amid a tremendous atmosphere in Limerick with home fans knowing that a second pool defeat would probably end Munster’s chance of qualification.

Rob Penney’s side had put themselves under immediate pressure in Pool 1 following their opening day reverse against Racing Metro in Paris.

England stars Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt were back in the Saracens line-up after their heroics against the All Blacks although Charlie Hodgson remained at fly-half.

O’Gara kicked Munster into the lead with a fifth-minute penalty and Munster should have added to their advantage three minutes later as a charging Conor Murray attempted to find Simon Zebo instead of driving for the line himself.

Farrell was inches short with a chance to level on 14 minutes after Mike Sherry had gone over the top at the breakdown.

The game was already threatening to boil over and a melee involving several players resulted in both Donncha O’Callaghan and Saracens prop Rhys Gill being sin-binned.

Saracens’ frustrations were being increased by a misfiring line-out although Munster were not taking advantage as they conceded a number of penalties in ruck situations.

O’Gara did add to Munster’s lead in the 29th minute only for Farrell to reply in kind eight minutes later after the Munster front row had been penalised.

But with the Saracens line-out continuing to struggle, Ernst Joubert was ruled to have taken out O’Callaghan a minute before the interval which allowed O’Gara to restore Munster’s six-point advantage.

After Farrell was once again short with a penalty from around the 40-metre mark three minutes after the restart, the England star did reduce Munster’s lead with a successful kick two minutes later.

But given the titanic nature of the contest, Munster were in a degree of control by the 53rd minute after O’Gara had kicked two penalties within four minutes to leave nine between the teams.

Farrell missed a straightforward penalty chance in the 56th minute as his struggles with the boot continued.

Saracens looked certain to score a try in the 63rd minute as they had numbers out wide but Simon Zebo and Doug Howlett performed heroics to bundle Will Fraser into touch.

As Saracens continued to press, Munster full-back Felix Jones then produced a try-saving tackle to bundle charging replacement Dave Strettle into touch.

Farrell’s third penalty six minutes from time did secure a bonus point for the Premiership club ahead of next weekend’s return clash between the clubs in Watford.

Munster: Felix Jones; Doug Howlett (capt), Keith Earls, James Downey, Simon Zebo; Ronan O’Gara, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha; Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan; Dave O’Callaghan, Peter O’Mahony, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Casey Laulala for Jones 67, Ian Keatley for Zebo 75, Wian du Preez for Kilcoyne 67, Damian Varley for Sherry 67, Paddy Butler for Dave O’Callaghan 62.

Not used: Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Duncan Williams

Saracens: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock; Rhys Gill, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens; Steve Borthwick (capt), Mouritz Botha; Kelly Brown, Will Fraser, Ernst Joubert.

Replacements: Dave Strettle for Hodgson 58, Richard Wigglesworth for de Kock 51, Mako Vunipola for Gill 51, John Smit for Brits 60, George Kruis for Botha 60, Andy Saull for Fraser 65.

Not Used: Petrus Du Plessis, Joel Tomkins.

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)

 

Racing Metro 19-9 Edinburgh

Racing Metro (11) 19

  • Tries: Imhoff, Ben Arous
  • Pen: Barkley 2, Machenaud

Edinburgh (6) 9

  • Pen: Laidlaw 3

Edinburgh slumped to their third defeat in this season’s Heineken Cup, a result which all but ends their involvement in the competition.

Juan Imhoff’s try was the highlight of a cagey opening half on which neither side could stamp their authority.

Greig Laidlaw penalties kept Edinburgh in touch, but a try from Eddy Ben Arous gave the French side a 10-point lead.

A Laidlaw penalty reduced the deficit to seven, but a late Maxime Machenaud penalty denied them a bonus point.

In the stadium which hosted the 1924 Olympic Games, Edinburgh were hoping to invoke the spirit of Eric Liddell and ignite a European campaign which had already seen defeats by Saracens and Munster.

And Edinburgh took an early lead through a penalty from the boot of Laidlaw – Edinburgh’s first points of the campaign.

Richie Rees broke through the Racing line, but, with the try line approaching, he failed to evade the tackle of Juan Martin Hernandez.

It was a bright start from the visitors and Tim Visser was next to go close, but his cute grubber kick was too powerful and he could not gather.

Matt Scott gave away a penalty for not rolling away from the contact area with Olly Barkley converting the penalty.

The French crowd were irked as the referee gave two penalties Edinburgh’s way, but Laidlaw pulled both wide of the posts.

Flying winger Virimi Vakatawa’s pace was causing Edinburgh concern, but twice he knocked the ball out of play when breaking.

But the breakthrough came on the other side, when a series of slick passes begun by Barkley ended with Juan Imhoff going over in the corner, with Barkley missing the conversion.

As the half progressed Racing increased the pressure. They failed to deliver another try, although Barkley put another penalty between the sticks.

The game was developing into a cagey affair, with both sides conceding penalties, and Laidlaw converted another just before half-time to keep the visitors in touch.

Edinburgh began the second period with a greater sense of urgency, but struggled to turn pressure into try-scoring chances, although Visser was unfortunate not to catch a Laidlaw crossfield kick on the try-line.

In two spells of pressure on the five-metre line Edinburgh pressed hard on the Racing defence, but the French stood firm until errors ended the attacks.

The position was reversed shortly after as Edinburgh had to defend grimly on their own line, with John Yapp pulling off a try-saving tackle.

Pressure told in the end, though, and after a driving maul, referee Peter Fitzgibbon decided that Ben Arous had touched the ball down.

Laidlaw slotted over a third penalty to raise hopes of picking up a losing bonus point, but Machenaud’s late penalty meant the Scots left Paris empty-handed.

Racing Metro: Hernandez, Vakatawa, Bousses, Estebanez, Imhoff, Barkley, Descons, Brugnaut, Bianchin, Sa, Metz, Van Der Merwe, Battut, Cronje, Matadigo.

Replacements : Machenaud for Descons (69), Orlandi for Brugnaut (56), Ben Arous for Sa (55), Nailiko for Metz (59), Gerondeau for Battut (66), Le Roux for Matadigo (53).

Not Used: Szarzewski, Dumoulin.

Edinburgh: Tonks, Brown, De Luca, Scott, T. Visser, Laidlaw, Rees, Yapp, Ford, Cross, Gilchrist, Cox, Denton, Grant, McInally.

Replacements: Jones for Brown (64), Francis for Rees (54), Jacobsen for Yapp (64), Titterrell for Ford (65), Nel for Cross (42), Parker for Cox (66).

Not Used: McAlpine, Fife.

Att: 6,000

Ref: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland).

 

 

Sunday’s games

 

Cardiff Blues 24-35 Montpellier

Cardiff Blues (15) 24

  • Pens: Patchell (7)
  • Drop-goal: Patchell

Montpellier (19) 35

  • Tries: Audrin, Gorgodze, Nagusa
  • Cons: Paillaugue
  • Pens: Paillaugue (6)

Scrum half Lloyd Williams was sent-off as Cardiff Blues crashed to their third defeat in this season’s Heineken Cup.

Williams was dismissed in the 25th minute when referee John Lacey adjudged he had tip-tackled Benoit Paillaugue.

Montpellier scored tries through Yoan Audrin, Mamuka Gorgodze and Timoci Nagusa. Paillaugue converted one and kicked six penalties.

19-year-old fly-half Rhys Patchell kicked all the Blues’ points with seven penalties and a drop-goal.

It was a third defeat for the Welsh regions in a disappointing weekend of Heineken Cup action, following the Ospreys’ 3-14 defeat in Toulouse and the Scarlets’ 22-16 home loss to Exeter .

The Welsh regions have managed only one win in nine Heineken Cup pool matches this season.

The Blues suffered a blow before kick off when Wales captain Sam Warburton withdrew with a chest infection.

They were already without Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts and Bradley Davies who were all injured on international duty.

But the Blues enjoyed a good start as young fly half Lee Patchell kicked a penalty from 42 metres, but he fell just short with a second attempt from slightly further shortly afterwards.

Benoit Paillaugue drew the French level with a superb penalty before Patchell was again on target for the Blues.

There were worrying signs for the Blues, however, as Montpellier’s scrum was getting on top and a Blues infringement gave Paillaugue a simple second penalty.

But it was Patchell who struck next, kicking a penalty from wide on the 22, but the game turned on an incident in the 25th minute.

Scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue stole a ball from the base of a Blues scrum and was upended by his opposite number Lloyd Williams.

When the ensuing wrestling match subsided, referee John Lacey issued a straight red card to Welsh international Williams for a tip-tackle.

Paillaugue had recovered sufficiently to kick the resulting penalty, but the Blues moved back ahead when Patchell dropped a goal.

But the 14-men of the Blues were put under pressure and eventually ran out of tacklers as the French side worked left wing Yoan Audrin over in the left hand corner for a try which Paillaugue converted.

Patchell slotted a fourth penalty, but Paillaugue replied in kind to restore the four point advantage at the interval.

The 19-year-old Blues fly-half kicked a monster penalty from inside his own half to give his team a dream start to the second half.

Blues were making a real fist of it, helped by a strengthening wind behind them.

And there was a let-off for the Blues when Pierre Beard intercepted a Patchell pass, but was chased down by the fly-half.

It took the French team until the 63rd minute to finally score in the second half as Paillaugue kicked a penalty.

And they finally broke the Blues’ resistance when skipper Mamuka Gorgodze forced his way over from close range two minutes later.

Patchell dragged the Blues back to within three points with two further penalties, but a successful Paillaugue penalty and a late try for substitute wing Timoci Nagusa made the game safe for Montpellier.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Blues’ director of rugby Phil Davies praised the way his team played after the sending off: “That was tough for us, but fortunately no one was hurt and we just carried on after it I suppose.

“I’m not sure actually [if it was correct decision]. I’ve just got to have another look at it, their guy finished the game which is important, but we’ll just have a little look and see what we’ll do with it after.

“The pack fronted up well in all aspects of the game and we had some good ball and Rhys [Patchell] moved the ball nicely, he kicked well for his penalties and he kicked out of hand quite smartly at times.

“It was a good performance by him but a lot of people around him were very instrumental in helping him also, I’m pleased with that maturity really.”

Cardiff Blues: Jason Tovey, Alex Cuthbert , Gavin Evans, Dafydd Hewitt, Harry Robinson, Rhys Patchell, Lloyd Williams; Andries Pretorius (c), Robin Copeland, Josh Navidi, James Down, Lou Reed, Scott Andrews, Marc Breeze, Sam Hobbs

Replacements: Lewis Jones for Tovey (40), Owen Williams for Robinson (66), Tafa’ao Filise for Hobbs (57), Rhys Williams for Breeze (57), Benoit Bourrust for Andrews (63), Luke Hamilton for Copeland (66). Not Used: Macauley Cook, Ceri Sweeney.

Sent Off: Lloyd Williams (24).

Montpellier: Benjamin Thiery; Yoan Audrin, Thomas Combezou, Paul Bosch, Pierre Berard; Santiago Fernandez, Benoit Paillaugue; Mikheil Nariashvili, Agustin Creevy, Maximiliano Bustos, Drikus Hancke, Aliki Fakate, Alexandre Bias, John Beattie, Mamuka Gorgodze (capt).

Replacements: Tomici Nagusa for Thiery (56), Yvan Watremez for Nariashvili (50), Erasmus van Vuuren for Creevy (50), Barry Fa’amausili for Bustos (73), Mickael De Marco for Fakate (64), Kelian Galletier for Bias (66). Not Used: Eric Escande, Shontayne Hape.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

 

Leicester 33-25 Treviso

Leicester (26) 33

  • Tries:: Penalty, Tuilagi, Salvi 2, Smith
  • Cons:: Ford 4

Treviso (7) 25

  • Tries: Budd, Cittadini, Loamanu
  • Cons:: Di Bernado 2
  • Pens: Di Bernado 2

Leicester moved clear of Ospreys in Heineken Cup Pool Two after a bonus-point win over Treviso at Welford Road.

A penalty try got the Tigers on the scoreboard and Manu Tuilagi and Julian Salvi (2) crossed before the break.

Dean Budd and Lorenzo Cittadini hit back before a Matt Smith try clinched a bonus point for the hosts.

Christian Loamanu touched down late on but Leicester held on for a win that leaves them very much in the hunt for a quarter-final place.

However, the manner in which Leicester faded in the second half does not auger well for them ahead of Saturday’s return fixture at Stadio Communale di Monigo.

If the group goes to form and pedigree, four-time European champions Toulouse’s Welford Road visit next month is likely to decide whether they or the Tigers progress as pool winners.

Leicester: Tait, Hamilton, Tuilagi, Bowden, Goneva, Ford, B. Youngs, Ayerza, T. Youngs, Castrogiovanni, Kitchener, Parling, Slater, Salvi, Waldrom.

Replacements: Smith for Goneva (41), Young for B. Youngs (66), Mulipola for Ayerza (61), Hawkins for T. Youngs (41), Crane for Parling (61), Thorpe for Salvi (60).

Not Used: Cole, Murphy.

Benetton Treviso: McLean, Loamanu, Benvenuti, Morisi, Pratichetti, Ambrosini, Gori, Rouyet, Sbaraglini, B. Roux, Pavanello, Bernabo, Favaro, Budd, Vosawai.

Replacements: Semenzato for Morisi (64), Rizzo for Rouyet (40), Ghiraldini for Sbaraglini (40), Cittadini for B. Roux (40), Minto for Pavanello (40), Derbyshire for Vosawai (64).

Not Used: C. van Zyl, Di Bernardo.

Sin Bin: Favaro (54).

Att: 18,432

Ref: Pascal Gauzere (France).

 

Clermont Auvergne 15-12 Leinster

CLERMONT AUVERGNE (15) 15

  • Pens: Parra 4
  • Drop goal: James

LEINSTER (9) 12

  • Pens: Sexton 4

Leinster’s 17-match unbeaten run in the Heineken Cup came to an end as Clermont Auvergne edged out the holders in a grinding encounter in France.

Morgan Parra kicked four penalties for Clermont with Brock James adding a drop goal as the French home extended their run of home wins to a remarkable 51.

Parra and Sexton swapped penalties to leave the score at 9-9 but Clermont struck six points before the interval.

Despite a Sexton penalty, Clermont held on to take a five-point pool advantage.

Something had to give in Saturday’s clash with Clermont undefeated at home in an amazing 50 matches and Leinster protecting a two-year unbeaten record in the Heineken Cup.

In fact, Leinster’s last defeat in Europe’s premier club competition had come against the French outfit in December 2010.

With Brian O’Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald still among Leinster absentees, Clermont must have fancied their chances heading into the game – a repeat of last year’s epic semi-final in the competition.

Clermont had the Leinster scrum under early pressure and Parra punished a Mike Ross indiscretion to put the French outfit ahead in the fourth minute.

However, Leinster responded in spirited fashion as an Ian Madigan break forced Clermont to concede a penalty in the seventh minute which Sexton slotted.

Sexton then missed a straightforward chance to put Leinster ahead and boosted by the let-off, Clermont regrouped to notch six quick points from Parra’s boot.

However, Leinster were showing appetite for the fight and a rolling maul to the edge of the Clermont 22 set up a 29th-minute penalty which Sexton successfully kicked.

Sean O’Brien was producing an impressive return to action for Leinster while centre Andrew Goodman was also performing well on Heineken Cup debut for the Irish province.

A careless offside offence by Jamie Cudmore gifted three more points to Sexton in the 33rd minute but the parity didn’t last long as Parra restored Clermont’s lead four minutes later after a Leinster offence at the breakdown.

Leinster’s good first-half endeavour was threatening to be undone right on the stroke of half-time as James drilled over a drop goal to put six points between the teams again.

The holders produced pressure in the 10 minutes after half-time but it failed to produce any points.

Sexton’s gamble of attempting to find the impressive Fergus McFadden with a quickly taken penalty from inside the Clermont 22 backfired in the 48th minute as the wing was unable to field the fly-half’s diagonal kick.

However, Sexton did take his three points in the 53rd minute after a huge Leinster shove resulted in a penalty.

After a superb Sean O’Brien tackle had halted Aurelien Rougerie in the Leinster 22, the Irish province wasted a chance at the other end as replacement hooker Richardt Strauss produced a crooked line-out throw as the holders threatened.

Both teams produced moments of threat in the closing stages and Leinster had to defend bravely in the final play of the game to hold on to the losing bonus point ahead of next Saturday’s return clash between the sides.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Clermont Auvergne coach Vern Cotter described the contest as a “good old boxing battle”.

“We exchanged blows from the start to the end and luckily sneaked away with a three-point advantage.

“We’re happy with the win but not probably with the way we played in the second half.

“Hopefully our confidence levels will increase and we’ll be able to go to the Aviva and not get treated the same way we did two years ago.”

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt described his team’s defeat as “incredibly disappointing”.

“We were close enough to steal it. We dominated territory in the second half and created some really good opportunities but we just were not precise enough.

“We lost a couple of key balls on the line-out throw and that didn’t allow us to keep the pressure on them.

“But I was happy with a lot of what we did.”

Clermont Auvergne: L Byrne; S Sivivatu, A Rougerie (cpt), W Fofana, N Nalaga; B James, M Parra; V Debaty, B Kayser, D Zirakashvili, J Cudmore, N Hines, J Bonnaire, A Lapandry, D Chouly.

Replacements: R Chaume for Debaty 53, T Paulo for Kayser 59, D Kotze for Zirakashvili 60, J Pierre for Cudmore 66, J Bardy for Bonnaire 78

Not Used: L Radoslavjevic, D Skrela, R King.

Leinster: I Madigan, F McFadden, G D’Arcy, A Goodman, I Nacewa, J Sexton, I Boss; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross, L Cullen (cpt), D Browne, K McLaughlin, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: E Reddan for Boss 65, R Strauss for Cronin 48, D Toner for Browne 56, S Jennings for O’Brien 65

Not Used: J McGrath, M Bent, F Carr, A Conway.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

 

 

Tables after Round three

Pool 1 Table

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

BP

PTS

1 Saracens

3

2

0

1

84

28

2

10

2 Munster

3

2

0

1

65

31

2

10

3 Racing Metro 92

3

2

0

1

54

56

0

8

4 Edinburgh

3

0

0

3

9

97

0

0

 

Pool 2 Table

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

BP

PTS

1 Toulouse

3

3

0

0

86

44

1

13

2 Leicester

3

2

0

1

81

65

2

10

3 Ospreys

3

1

0

2

74

86

1

5

4 Treviso

3

0

0

3

58

104

0

0

 

Pool 3 Table

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

BP

PTS

1 Harlequins

3

3

0

0

127

49

2

14

2 Connacht

3

2

0

1

63

54

0

8

3 Biarritz

3

1

0

2

65

79

1

5

4 Zebre

3

0

0

3

41

114

0

0

 

Pool 4 Table

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

BP

PTS

1 Ulster

3

3

0

0

85

31

2

14

2 Castres

3

2

0

1

47

63

0

8

3 Northampton

3

1

0

2

46

61

2

6

4 Glasgow

3

0

0

3

29

52

1

1

 

Pool 5 Table

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

BP

PTS

1 Clermont Auvergne

3

3

0

0

110

40

2

14

2 Leinster

3

2

0

1

41

34

1

9

3 Exeter

3

1

0

2

40

71

1

5

4 Scarlets

3

0

0

3

45

91

2

2

 

Pool 6 Table 

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

BP

PTS

1 Toulon

3

3

0

0

76

36

1

13

2 Montpellier

3

2

0

1

84

79

0

8

3 Sale

3

1

0

2

58

83

0

4

4 Cardiff Blues

3

0

0

3

71

91

1

1

 

2 Responses to Heineken Cup : Round three roundup

  • 1

    Wow, what a comprehensive article Bullscot. Kudos to you.

    South Africans featuring prominently in the action as usual.

  • 2

    2 @ Stormersboy:
    Thanks a lot Stormersboy, just wrote the first few introductory paragraphs and sourced the rest of the information from various bbc pages, would have liked to have had it a bit more ‘polished’ but it all took a lot longer to paste together than thought. The idea is to have it all in one place in one article to make it easier to access all the info for you folk, in fact would be interested to see if there is another site on the net that has all this in one link like here. As you say South Africans doing quite well, when you look through the team sheets its quite a revelation how many are plying their trade in Europe now.


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