Grand Stade de Lyon - Saturday 14 May 2016
KO: 17.45 HT: 6-12 Att: 58,017
HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE…
Racing 0-0 Saracens The teams are heading onto the park led by Dimitri Szarzewski & Brad Barrett
Racing 0-0 Saracens This should be epic rugby with incredible match ups...& of course Nigel Owens!
Racing 0-0 Saracens 1m Racing KO & Sarries send them back over halfway from own 22 promptly...
Racing 0-0 Saracens 2m Good start but a ball hurled at George Kruis goes unseen & knock on; scrum Racing
Racing 0-0 Saracens 3m That ball came from Owen Farrell - first mistake to Sarries
Racing 0-0 Saracens 4m Faz clears from the scrum & Brice Dulin knock on gives Sarries the next scrum
Racing 0-0 Saracens 5m Petrus du Plessis guilty of collapsing scrum & Racing tee up from 48m...
Racing 0-0 Saracens 5m Distance penalty is taken by Maxime Machenaud, but it goes wide...
Racing 0-0 Saracens 6m Chris Ashton & Dulin chase the ball to the Racing goal area but play halted...
Racing 0-0 Saracens 7m Owens checking who knocked it on - clearly Dulin so Sarries attacking 5m scrum
Racing 0-0 Saracens 7m But not before Owens lectures both captains not be naughty interrupting boys!
Racing 0-0 Saracens 8m Ben Tameifuna charged with collapsing scrum & Faz tees up for his first kick
Racing 0-3 Saracens 9m No faltering from young Faz and Sarries are on the board...
Racing 0-3 Saracens 10m And the heavens have opened - it's chucking it down!
Racing 0-3 Saracens 12m Sarries making Racing work hard but building phases despite torrential rain
Racing 0-3 Saracens 13m Racing make it up to Sarries 22 before Dan Carter knock on...Wigglesworth clears
Racing 0-3 Saracens 14m This weather we've to expect a kicking game...& it flies from one 22 to other
Racing 0-3 Saracens 15m Defensive lineout for Sarries 5m from tryline is good & clear up to halfway...
Racing 0-3 Saracens 16m Sarries scrum just over halfway but front row unsurprisingly slips; penalty Racing
Racing 0-3 Saracens 17m Owens lectures front row about firm feet - bit harsh with that much rain!
Racing 3-3 Saracens 18m Meanwhile, Springbok Johan Goosen thumps over penalty from over halfway to equalise
Racing 3-3 Saracens 20m Machenaud down in Racing territory as latter invade it & make ground...
Racing 3-3 Saracens 21m Machenaud taken off for HIA - Mike Phillips on while Faz attempts a drop goal
Racing 3-3 Saracens 21m DG goes awry & asst ref George Clancy halts Nige claiming Schalk Brits was knocked out
Racing 3-3 Saracens 22m Jamie George comes on; Sarries have scrum & win penalty off Eddie Ben Arous
Racing 3-3 Saracens 23m The jeering & whistling is almost deafening as Faz tees up at uprights...
Racing 3-6 Saracens 24m But not much bothers a focussed Owen Farrell & he adds 3 to the Sarries score
Racing 3-6 Saracens 25m Into the second quarter & Sarries just have the edge on possession & territory
Racing 3-6 Saracens 27m Bloody hard work in ball handling coz it's so wet - v odd weather as rain halts
Racing 3-6 Saracens 28m Goosen chips thru over Sarries tryline but Wiggy gets to it before Racing hands
Racing 3-6 Saracens 29m Confirmation that Machenaud is permanently off for Racing.
Racing 3-6 Saracens 30m Sarries on the attack & Faz chips under posts chased by Ashy but is beaten...
Racing 3-6 Saracens 31m ...but advantage had been called so it's back to Faz for the penalty as Brits returns to the field
Racing 3-9 Saracens 32m Another comfortable 3 points from Faz in front of posts to increase the lead
Racing 3-9 Saracens 33m Racing head towards the Sarries 22 but a loose pass from Carter doesn't help
Racing 3-9 Saracens 34m Racing recover & rebuild momentum, now into the 22 & Sarries pinged
Racing 6-9 Saracens 35m Goosen smacks over 3pts from directly in front of posts - no Carter so far...
Racing 6-9 Saracens 36m Time off for treatment & Nige slaps Ashy on wrist for unnecessary calls
Racing 6-9 Saracens 36m Nige then repeats the same to the captains before we can resume play...
Racing 6-9 Saracens 37m Sarries attacking scrum just over halfway - Racing pinged for not driving square
Racing 6-12 Saracens 38m Faz tees up from almost halfway & he curves that in beautifully for 3 more
Racing 6-12 Saracens 39m Ireland's new defence coach, Faz Senior grins proudly at his son's effort
Racing 6-12 Saracens 40m Carter restarts, Sarries kick it back over halfway; Racing on own 10m at breakdown...
Racing 6-12 Saracens 40m Dulin kicks smartly into 22; Sarries defensive lineout & they clear to touch
Racing 6-12 Saracens HT P: Goosen (2) | P: Farrell (4)
Racing 6-12 Saracens HT Racing have possession/territory edge, beaten more defenders, but 13:5 turnover, 5:3 pens
Racing 6-12 Saracens 40m It's the final countdown to the Championship & Sarries are in possession on halfway
Racing 6-12 Saracens 41m But Maro Itoje can't quite hang on so Phillips nicks it & heads towards Sarries 22
Racing 6-12 Saracens 42m Not long before ball is back in midfield as Carter is replaced by Rémi Talès
Racing 6-12 Saracens 43m Sarries have momentum but a knock on; Billy Vunipola off for blood; Jackson Wray on
Racing 6-12 Saracens 45m Whopping turnover from Will Fraser & Sarries go again with good kick from Faz
Racing 6-12 Saracens 47m Faz goes for a crosskick to Wyles but bounce of ball favours Racing with lineout
Racing 6-12 Saracens 48m It's a defensive 5m lineout for racing which they screw up completely; Sarries nick it...
Racing 6-12 Saracens 49m Sarries can't find whitewash but Szarzewski's offside so Faz tees up
Racing 6-15 Saracens 50m And it's 3 more points for Sarries as they edge ahead
Racing 6-15 Saracens 51m Meanwhile, Billy V returns to the paddock for Sarries, as does George, back on for Brits
Racing 6-15 Saracens 52m Play halted for alleged high tackle from Faz; plenty of time wasted & wrist slapped
Racing 6-15 Saracens 52m Racing in midfield in possession; Sarries heap on pressure & they're forced back...
Racing 6-15 Saracens 53m ...Racing clearly rattled & Phillips passes appallingly & ball's fumbled in own 22
Racing 6-15 Saracens 54m Another time out to check apparent late tackle this time on Faz - but it's nothing
Racing 6-15 Saracens 54m Wray comes back on as Michael Rhodes is sent off for HIA
Racing 6-15 Saracens 55m Steady work from Sarries as they head up to the Racing 22 again
Racing 6-15 Saracens 56m Sarries finding their shape but momentum halted…
Racing 6-15 Saracens 57m Henry Chavancy has to replace Dumoulin who has injured his ankle and helped off
Racing 6-15 Saracens 58m Racing have a defensive lineout & force Sarries back up to halfway, for another
Racing 6-15 Saracens 58m Mako V bulldozes Phillips down but brilliantly he manages to hold on!
Racing 6-15 Saracens 59m Racing have a dangerous lineout for Sarries in their 22 as the French crowd get back behind their own
Racing 6-15 Saracens 59m Racing now camped out deep in Sarries 22 and are fighting to make headway but Sarries defence is strong
Racing 6-15 Saracens 60m Ashy saves a try from a crosskick but whistle goes for earlier penalty & Goosen has a chance in 22
Racing 9-15 Saracens 61m Easy work for Goosen as Racing creep closer & narrow that gap to just 6...
Racing 9-15 Saracens 63m With weather mightily improved, both sides can get back to their fast game...
Racing 9-15 Saracens 64m Racing bulldoze their way up to Sarries 22 before changes are afoot...
Racing 9-15 Saracens 65m Lacombe & Carizza replace Szarzewski and van der Merwe & captain gets an ovation
Racing 9-15 Saracens 66m Racing heap on pressure in Sarries' 22 but penalty goes against then for Faz to clear
Racing 9-15 Saracens 67m Figallo on for du Plessis while for Racing, Ducalcon on for Tameifuna
Racing 9-15 Saracens 68m A few pairs of fresh legs should change the momentum one way or the other now...
Racing 9-15 Saracens 70m Another scrum falters, but Nige takes responsibility & Sarries push on....
Racing 9-15 Saracens 71m Sarries drive play up towards Racing 22 & look menacing but Racing push back as hard
Racing 9-15 Saracens 72m It's all a tad frustrating for both sides with much pushing & shoving til Sarries lineout
Racing 9-15 Saracens 73m George throws into lineout just outside Racing 22; don't find tryline yet but...
Racing 9-15 Saracens 73m ...Faz's crossfield kick is missed by Ashy, but whistle's gone for advantage & pen
Racing 9-18 Saracens 75m Faz tees up & smacks over another 3 points to leech away Racing's chances...
Racing 9-18 Saracens 76m Vartanov & Claassen for Ben Arous & le Roux | Bosch & Barrington for Taylor & Mako V
Racing 9-18 Saracens 77m Sarries all over the Racing 22 yet again & the whistle is shrill for another penalty
Racing 9-21 Saracens 78m Faz whacks over yet another 3-pointer to seal the win
Racing 9-21 Saracens 79m Hamilton, Spencer & Hodgson (his final) for Itoje, Wiggy & Faz for one last hurrah
Racing 9-21 Saracens 80m And all Sarries have to do is hold out for a minute to win their first ever
Racing 9-21 Saracens FT And it's elation all round for all the Sarries boys - a well deserved win
RACING: 15 Brice Dulin 14 Joe Rokocoko 13 Johannes Goosen 12 Alexandre Dumoulin 11 Juan Imhoff 10 Dan Carter 9 Maxime Machenaud 8 Chris Masoe 7 Bernard Le Roux 6 Wenceslas Lauret 5 Francois van der Merwe 4 Luke Charteris 3 Ben Tameifuna 2 DIMITRI SZARZEWSKI (C) 1 Eddy Ben Arous BENCH: 16 Virgile Lacombe 17 Khatchik Vartanov 18 Luc Ducalcon 19 Manuel Carizza 20 Antonie Claassen 21 Mike Phillips 22 Rémi Talès 23 Henry Chavancy
SCORERS P: Goosen (3)
SARACENS: 15 Alex Goode 14 Chris Ashton 13 Duncan Taylor 12 BRAD BARRITT (C) 11 Chris Wyles 10 Owen Farrell 9 Richard Wigglesworth 8 Billy Vunipola 7 Will Fraser 6 Michael Rhodes 5 George Kruis 4 Maro Itoje 3 Petrus Du Plessis 2 Schalk Brits 1 Mako Vunipola BENCH: 16 Jamie George 17 Richard Barrington 18 Juan Figallo 19 Jim Hamilton 20 Jackson Wray 21 Ben Spencer 22 Charlie Hodgson 23 Marcelo Bosch
SCORERS P: Farrell (7)
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU) Asst Referees: George Clancy (IRFU), Leighton Hodges (WRU) TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU) Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (IRFU)
Madejski Stadium, Reading - Saturday 23rd April 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 8-7 Att: 16,820
SARACENS edged a thrilling clash to secure a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup Final in Lyon.
Michael Rhodes crossed in the first half before the power of the Saracens pack earned a penalty try. But they were forced to recover from an early score by Dan Robson and a late try by Ashley Johnson as Wasps threatened another comeback victory.
However, Saracens, inspired yet again by Heineken Man of the Match Maro Itoje, held their nerve and Farrell shook off two early misses, a heavy blow to the head and a yellow card to kick 14 points and maintain their unbeaten run in this season's European campaign.
Now they will face Racing 92 in Lyon on May 14 after emerging winners from an entertaining clash at Reading's Madejski Stadium.
Wasps set this semi-final alight when Robson crossed after just 70 seconds. A clever switch between Jimmy Gopperth and George Smith in midfield opened space out wide and the pace of Christian Wade did the rest. Wade burst down the right touchline before stepping inside to find Robson in support. The scrum-half finished past opposite number Richard Wigglesworth in the corner and Gopperth converted.
However it was one-way traffic after that early breakthrough as Saracens commanded the rest of the first half. England brothers Billy and Mako Vunipola were at the forefront of a powerful display by Saracens.
Despite dominating both territory and possession, it was not until Farrell kicked an injury-time penalty that Saracens finally went ahead. Farrell missed with his first attempt on 14 minutes and Duncan Taylor had a try ruled out after Chris Ashton was judged to have fouled Frank Halai.
A Saracens score appeared inevitable amid the constant barrage and it was Rhodes who pulled out a try from nothing. The giant flanker charged down Gopperth's kick, picked up the loose ball and then rode the fly-half's challenge to score. Farrell was off-target again but was successful on the stroke of half time and then swiftly added two more to open a 14-7 lead.
However, the England fly-half was binned for a dangerous tackle that saw try-scorer Robson carried off; Gopperth trimmed the lead to four points.
Wade again looked Wasps prime threat but Saracens' 14-man defence held. Wasps replacement Simon McIntyre then followed to the sin bin for kicking Itoje in the head, and Farrell kicked a fourth penalty.
Against seven Wasps forwards, Saracens pack flexed their muscles with a devastating maul that was illegally dragged down and referee Romain Poite awarded a penalty try.
Wasps proved in the quarter-final against Exeter that they can never be written off, and Johnson's try four minutes from time set-up a barnstorming climax. However, Saracens held to book a return to the Champions Cup Final as they look to go one better than runners-up in 2014.
Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, BRAD BARRITT (C), Chris Wyles, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Petrus du Plessis, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Michael Rhodes, Will Fraser, Billy Vunipola BENCH: Jared Saunders, Richard Barrington, Titi Lamositele, Jim Hamilton, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Marcelo Bosch
SCORERS T: Rhodes, PT C: Farrell P: Farrell (4) Farrell
Charles Piutau, Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Siale Piutau, Frank Halai, Jimmy Gopperth, Dan Robson, Matt Mullan, Carlo Festuccia, Lorenzo Cittadini, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, JAMES HASKELL (C), George Smith, Nathan Hughes BENCH: Ashley Johnson, Simon McIntyre, Phil Swainston, Sam Jones, Thomas Young, Joe Simpson, Ruaridh Jackson, Rob Miller
SCORERS T: Robson, Johnson C: Gopperth (2) P: Gopperth McIntyre
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR) Asst Referees: Jérôme Garcès (FFR), Pascal Gaüzère (FFR) TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR)
City Ground, Nottingham - Sunday 24th April 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 6-13 Att: 22,148
RACING 92'S rapid rise from PRO2 rugby in France to the upper echelons or European club rugby was completed at the City Ground, Nottingham, as they reached their first Champions Cup final with a 19-16 victory over Leicester Tigers.
It means the club that only returned to the Top 14 in 2009 will face the English champions at the Grand Stade de Lyon on Saturday, 14 May in a game that will mean a new name will be added to the elite list of European Cup winners. It also means Racing will get the chance to avenge their home quarter-final defeat by Saracens last season.
The Tigers had roared into the semi-finals with a six try demolition of another Parisian side, Stade Français, and were hoping to reach a record equalling sixth final. But they were hit for six by a third minute try from Racing skipper Maxime Machenaud, and the French side's tough as teak defence did the rest of the damage.
Machenaud struck after a brilliant break from former All Black wing Joe Rokocoko, and the scrum half, later named as the Heineken Man of the Match, sniped his way over from two metres out. Dan Carter added the conversion and Racing were off to a flyer.
Racing stifled the Tigers in the first half and, with a handling error count that rose to 14 before the end of the game, the two-time former champions were the architects of their own downfall.
The lead grew to 10 points when Carter added a second penalty midway through first-half, though it could have been greater had Johan Goosen been on target with a 50+ metre penalty, and Carter not sliced a drop goal attempt.
Freddie Burns finally notched the fist points for the Tigers after 28 minutes, but then the Leicester playmaker had to leave the field with an ankle injury. That brought Owen Williams onto the field, and the young Welshman held his nerve to land a 40 metre penalty with his first action on the pitch on arrival. He added a second penalty before the break, but when Dom Barrow was caught holding onto the ball at the break down in front of his posts on the stroke of half-time, Carter kicked another goal to make it 13-6 at halftime.
The Tigers scrum picked up five penalties at the set-piece, and three minutes after the break the front five created another shot at goal for Williams and he cut the gap to four points. Now it was anyone's game and a Carter penalty on 50 minutes, this time against Dan Cole in the Tigers front row, eased the nerves of the Racing fans.
It looked as though the French side were going to move even further ahead on the hour when they broke up the narrow side of a scrum on half way and then swung the ball wide for Johan Goosen to cross for what would have been a wonderful score. But Nigel Owens asked the TMO to check the original pass from the outstanding Racing No 8 Chris Masoe to his scrum half; the verdict was it was a forward pass.
The Tigers breathed a huge sigh of relief, but when they coughed up an obstruction penalty on 73 minutes, they could only look on in amazement as Goosen sent a 49 metre penalty flying through the posts from out wide. That made it a 10-point lead and Racing thought they should have had more points four minutes later.
As the Tigers attacked on half way, Racing's Puma wing Juan Imhoff raced in for an interception and appeared to knock-on a pass between two Leicester players. Imhoff gathered the loose ball and would have reached the line, but the referee blew up. The Tigers fans wanted a yellow card but, after a TMO review, it because obvious that Imhoff had not touched the ball. Owens apologised for his error and the game remained in the balance.
The Tigers finally got a try in the last minute of the game, Adam Thompstone handing inside to Telusa Veainu to score, the wing having threatened to score throughout the match. Williams banged over the wide-angled conversion and the Tigers had one final shot at victory from the restart.
Leicester tried to run out of their 22, but eventually they conceded a penalty in front of their posts, and Carter kicked the ball dead to end the game and launch the French celebrations.
MATTHEW TAIT (C), Telusa Veainu, Peter Betham, Manu Tuilagi, Vereniki Goneva, Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Harry Thacker, Dan Cole, Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener, Michael Fitzgerald, Lachlan McCaffrey, Opéti Fonua BENCH: Greg Bateman, Logovi'i Mulipola, Fraser Balmain, Ed Slater, Tom Croft, Sam Harrison, Owen Williams, Adam Thompstone
SCORERS T: Veainu C: Williams P: Burns, Williams (2)
Brice Dulin, Joe Rokocoko, Johannes Goosen, Alexandre Dumoulin, Juan Imhoff, Dan Carter, MAXIME MACHENAUD (C), Eddy Ben Arous, Virgile Lacombe, Ben Tameifuna, Luke Charteris, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Chris Masoe BENCH: Camille Chat, Khatchik Vartanov, Luc Ducalcon, Manuel Carizza, Antonie Claassen, Mike Phillips, Remi Tales, Louis Dupichot
SCORERS T: Machenaud C: Carter P: Carter (3), Goosen
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU) Asst Referees: George Clancy (IRFU), Leighton Hodges (Wales) TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)
Allianz Park - Saturday 9th April 2016
KO: 17:45 HT: 6-10 Att: 8,050
SARACENS produced a late fightback against Northampton Saints to set-up a European Champions Cup semi-final against English rivals Wasps.
The top seeds were second best for much of the contest but showed their class in the final quarter to make it seven wins from seven matches in this season's competition.
England international Chris Ashton scored the decisive try just over 10 minutes left on the clock after outside-half Owen Farrell had kept the English Premiership leaders in touch with a faultless display with the boot.
A first-half score from Ken Pisi had given the Saints a deserved but slender 10-6 lead at the break but they were left to rue a couple of missed penalties from Stephen Myler; a failed touchdown from Jamie Elliot that would have given them a commanding half-time advantage. The errors came back to haunt the visitors late in the second period as the opportunity of another semi-final appearance slipped through their fingers.
Chris Wyles went over for a second try for Saracens in the final few minutes before Courtney Lawes crossed for a consolation try for the Saints with the last play of the game.
Saracens started well with Farrell giving them an early lead with a long-range penalty, but opposite number Stephen Myler was no such luck with the boot, as he missed two penalties.
The second penalty came after Saracens flanker Will Fraser saw yellow for a late hit on Saints full-back Ben Foden as he cleared the ball down field. Saints should have taken advantage straight away but first flanker Ben Nutley failed to find Kahn Fotuali'i on his shoulder when a simple pass would have put the scrum-half under the posts. But Saints managed to keep the ball and shift it wide, only for Elliot to lose the ball as he attempted to touch down in the corner.
Saints finally made their advantage count thanks to a superb break down the right by number eight Teimana Harrison, who found Pisi out wide to race over for the game's first try. Myler kicked the conversion and a further penalty before the interval, but a second penalty from Farrell kept the home side just four points behind at the break. 6-10.
Saracens thought they had taken the lead shortly after half-time when Duncan Taylor was sent over in the corner, but Fraser was adjudged to have blocked Luther Burrell in the build-up and the try was disallowed.
Farrell's third penalty brought the home side back to within one point but another indiscretion from Fraser, this time killing the ball with Saints in the Saracens 22, allowed Myler to restore their four-point lead with little over a quarter of the game left.
The home side were relying on the boot of Farrell to keep them in touch and he slotted his fourth penalty with 18 minutes to go to set-up a grandstand finish.
The deciding moment came when captain Brad Barritt went on a charge up the field with 12 minutes to play, the ball was swept out wide and Ashton produced his familiar swan dive to go over.
Fellow wing Wyles then put some gloss on the victory when he crossed three minutes from time after Saracens had turned the ball over in midfield before Lawes' late score for the visitors.
SARACENS: 15 Alex Goode 14 Chris Ashton 13 Duncan Taylor 12 Brad Barritt 11 Chris Wyles 10 Owen Farrell 9 Richard Wigglesworth 8 Billy Vunipola 7 Will Fraser 6 Jackson Wray 5 George Kruis 4 Maro Itoje 3 Petrus du Plessis 2 Schalk Brits 1 Mako Vunipola BENCH: 16 Jared Saunders 17 Richard Barrington 18 Titi Lamositele 19 Alistair Hargreaves 20 Michael Rhodes 21 Neil de Kock 22 Marcelo Bosch 23 Ben Ransom
SCORERS T: Ashton, Wyles C: Farrell (2) P: Farrell (5) Fraser
SAINTS: 15 BEN FODEN (C) 14 Ken Pisi 13 George Pisi 12 Luther Burrell 11 Jamie Elliott 10 Stephen Myler 9 Kahn Fotuali’i 8 Teimana Harrison 7 Ben Nutley 6 Courtney Lawes 5 Christian Day 4 James Craig 3 Paul Hill 2 Mikey Haywood 1 Alex Waller BENCH: 16 Reece Marshall 17 Campese Ma’afu 18 Gareth Denman 19 Victor Matfield 20 Michael Paterson 21 Tom Kessell 22 JJ Hanrahan 23 Harry Mallinder
SCORERS T: Ken Pisi, Lawes C: Myler (2) P: Myler (2)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR) Asst Referees: Mathieu Raynal (FFR), Pierre Brousset (FFR) TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR)
Ricoh Arena - Saturday 9th April 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 6-14 Att: 23,866
JIMMY GOPPERTH'S conversion in the last second of the match stole a sensational 25-24 triumph for Wasps thanks to their All Black contingent over the Exeter Chiefs who had long been on the front foot, and secured a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals.
The Chiefs, who were playing second-tier English rugby six years ago, looked to have earned a place in Europe's last four after a double from the continent's leading try scorer Thomas Waldrom, before Harry Williams looked to have sealed it with a drive over score to put Exeter 13 points ahead.
But Frank Halai added to Charles Piutau's first-half score, before the All Blacks back crossed in the final minute. And Gopperth showed nerves of steel to slot the conversion from out-wide and earn a semi-final against either Saracens or Northampton Saints.
Wasps had all the early possession but the Chiefs held firm on the halfway line. But after five minutes of disciplined defending, Luke Cowan-Dickie finally gave a penalty away at a ruck, and Jimmy Gopperth fired the home side in-front. A searing break from Siale Piutau put Wasps on the attack deep in Chiefs territory before a fumble allowed Exeter to clear. But the visitors were guilty of going off their feet at the next ruck and Gopperth doubled the lead to 6-0 as the first quarter drew to an end.
Meanwhile changes were forced early on as Wasps lock Kearnan Myall was replaced by Bradley Davies, and Chiefs prop Moray Low was off for Harry Williams.
Fortune favoured the brave as Rob Baxter's men turned down a number of kickable penalties, and got their rewards after 34 minutes. With 32 minutes gone, the Chiefs turned on the power from a close range lineout to shunt Waldrom over the line for his fifth try in four Champions Cup matches so far this season. Steenson converted to snatch the lead from the home side.
Gopperth hit the post with a penalty moments later, and he was made to pay by European Rugby's leading try scorer. Waldrom intercepted a pass from Bradley Davies and charged towards the try line from 35 metres. The 'tank engine' was dragged down five metres short, but his momentum took him over the line for a brace and his 19th score of the season. Steenson was on target with the conversion to give his side a 14-6 half-time lead.
But Wasps reacted quickly after the break when Siale Piutau broke the line and fed Dan Robson, who sent an inch perfect grubber kick into the path of Charles Piutau. The All Black collected the bounce and dotted down. Gopperth missed the conversion, but Wasps had cut the gap to 14-11 after four minutes.
There was no stopping a rampant Chiefs from reasserting their dominance. They rumbled back downfield after Wasps score, and Don Armand carried hard. But it was front-row replacement Williams who used every inch of his giant frame to barge over; TMO Simon McDowell confirmed the score and Steenson added the extras to reclaim a 10 point advantage.
With half an hour remaining on the clock, Henry Slade missed a long range penalty, but Steenson obliged just as the final quarter loomed, taking the visitors into a comfortable 24-11 lead.
As the benches were steadily called upon, Elliot Daly's break from behind his own line gave Wasps crucial territory, before they worked the ball wide again to Thomas Young, who offloaded to Siale Piutau. He found Halai on the charge, and wing scored a crucial converted try to cut the gap to just six.
Ten minutes remained and the Chiefs held firm; decorum left the pitch as both sides were desperate to reach the penultimate round of the Northern Hemisphere’s premier competition. Exeter kept the Wasps from the tryline with just 25 seconds left on the clock. But the hosts dug-deep to steal it at the death. Daly found Piutau after the forwards were repelled, and the full-back crashed in at the corner. Gopperth showed nerves of steel to land the difficult conversion in the 82nd minute and sent Wasps to their first semi-final since 2007, to face Saracens at the Madejski Stadium in a fortnight.
WASPS: 15 Charles Piutau 14 Christian Wade 13 Elliot Daly 12 Siale Piutau 11 Frank Halai 10 Jimmy Gopperth 9 Dan Robson 8 Nathan Hughes 7 George Smith 6 JAMES HASKELL (C) 5 Kearnan Myall 4 Joe Launchbury 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley 2 Carlo Festuccia 1 Matt Mullan BENCH: 16 Ashley Johnson 17 Simon McIntyre 18 Lorenzo Cittadini 19 Bradley Davies 20 Thomas Young 21 Joe Simpson 22 Ruaridh Jackson 23 Rob Miller
SCORERS T: Charles Piutau (2) Halai C: Gopperth (2) P: Gopperth (2)
CHIEFS: 15 Lachie Turner 14 Jack Nowell 13 Henry Slade 12 Ian Whitten 11 Olly Woodburn 10 GARETH STEENSON (C) 9 Will Chudley 8 Thomas Waldrom 7 Julian Salvi 6 Don Armand 5 Geoff Parling 4 Mitch Lees 3 Moray Low 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie 1 Ben Moon BENCH: 16 Jack Yeandle 17 Alec Hepburn 18 Harry Williams 19 Damian Welch 20 Dave Ewers 21 Dave Lewis 22 Michele Campagnaro 23 James Short
SCORERS T: Waldrom (2), Williams C: Steenson (3) P: Steenson
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR) Asst Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU), Tual Trainini (FFR) TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)
Stade Yves du Manoir - Sunday 10th April 2016
KO: 17:15 HT: 10-10 Att: 15,340
TOULON'S three season reign as the champions of Europe is over after they were beaten in their Champions Cup quarter-final by Racing 92.
A penalty two minutes from time from the boot of French scrum half Maxime Machenaud kicked the Parisians over the line and into their first semi-final with a 19-16 triumph. Machenaud took over the goal-kicking duties when Dan Carter picked up an injury and had missed with three earlier kicks.
But he kept his nerve when it mattered most and it means Carter and co will head to the City Ground, Nottingham to meet Leicester Tigers in the semi-final.
There was an explosive start at Stade Yves du Manoir as the homeside raced into a 10 point lead within the space of five minutes. The points started to flow from the kick-off as English referee Wayne Barnes penalised Charles Ollivon at the first ruck on the Toulon 22.
That gave Dan Carter an easy first shot at goal, and he was back in action a few minutes later when Argentinean wing, Juan Imhoff sniffed out an interception on half-way when Maxime Mermoz tried to find James O'Connor. He raced to the corner and Carter added the extras from wide out.
The champions were rattled, but the returning Matt Giteau steadied the ship from outside half, and when Josua Tuisova picked out a miss match in midfield on Racing lock Francois van der Merwe and broke into the home 22, Ollivon was on hand to take the off-load and make up for his earlier gaff with a try.
Jonathan Pelissié added the conversion to make it 17 points in 10 minutes and then kicked a penalty on the stroke of half-time to level the scores at 10-all at the break. By then Toulon had fully recovered their poise and Racing had lost their skipper, Dimitri Szarzewski.
It was Toulon who got the better start to the second half when Pelissié stepped up to kick another penalty four minutes after the restart. But no sooner had they got their noses in front than they gave away two penalties in succession.
With Carter on one leg, carrying a knee medial ligament injury, Machenaud took over the goal-kicking duties and having missed one at the end of the first half, he missed another early in the second. He then made amends when he got another shot to level the scores at 13-13 before he put Racing into a 16-13 lead on 53 minutes.
Pelissié responded on the hour, making it 16-all, before the dramatic finalé. Machenaud missed a third kick on 73 minutes before he hit the mark to steal the glory two minutes from time.
RACING: 15 Brice Dulin 14 Joe Rokocoko 13 Johan Goosen 12 Alexandre Dumoulin 11 Juan Imhoff 10 Dan Carter 9 Maxime Machenaud 8 Chris Masoe 7 Bernard Le Roux 6 Wenceslas Lauret 5 Francois van der Merwe 4 Luke Charteris 3 Luc Ducalcon 2 Dimitri Szarzewski 1 Eddy Ben Arous BENCH: 16 Camille Chat 17 Khatchik Vartanov 18 Martin Castrogiovanni 19 Yannick Nyanga 20 Manuel Carizza 21 Mike Phillips 22 Rémi Talès 23 Marc Andreu
SCORERS T: Imhoff C: Carter P: Carter, Machenaud (3)
TOULON: 15 Delon Armitage 14 Josua Tuisova 13 Maxime Mermoz 12 Ma'a Nonu 11 James O’Connor 10 Matt Giteau 9 Jonathan Pélissié 8 Duane Vermeulen 7 Charles Ollivon 6 Juan Smith 5 Romain Taofifenua 4 Mamuka Gorgodze 3 Manasa Paulo 2 Guilhem Guirado 1 Florian Fresia BENCH: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli 17 Xavier Chiocci 18 Levan Chilachava 19 Steffon Armitage 20 Mathieu Bastareaud 21 Tom Taylor 22 Éric Escande 23 Thibault Lassale
SCORERS T: Ollivon C: Pélissié P: Pélissié (3)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU) Asst Referees: JP Doyle (RFU), Luke Pearce (RFU) TMO: Graham Hughes (RFU)
Welford Road - Sunday 10th April 2016
KO: 13:45 HT: 24-6 Att: 20,866
LEICESTER TIGERS hit Stade Français for six in a 41-13 thumping to advance to a first European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final since 2009.
Richard Cockerill's men will face Racing 92 later this month after cruising to victory at Welford Road.
Manu Tuilagi kicked off the try fest after four minutes, before Freddie Burns and Vereniki Goneva got in on the act in the first-half. And the Tigers cut-loose after the break. Goneva crossed for a second after Julien Dupuy scored for Stade, before Mike Fitzgerald and Telusa Veainu capped off a sensational performance.
The Tigers got off to the perfect start in pursuit of a first Champions Cup semi-final since 2009. Freddie Burns, who set the early pace, sent a grubber kick towards the corner which Djibril Camara failed to handle. The Stade full-back was forced into touch, before Burns snatched the ball and found Tuilagi with a quick throw-in. The England centre crashed over and Burns converted to send Leicester 7-0 ahead after four minutes.
Morné Steyn got Stade back in it with a pair of penalties, before the pink wall finally gave way again after 33 minutes. After some resolute defence, Ben Youngs looked up and saw Vereniki Goneva in space. He found him with an inch perfect pass and the Fijian flyer waltzed home at the posts for a seven point score.
Leicester were in dreamland moments later when Burns intercepted Steyn's pass in midfield to streak home for a third first-half score. The outside-half converted his own score to give the Tigers a comfortable 24-6 half-time lead.
But former Tigers favourite Dupuy came back to haunt his old side after the break. He scampered over after some hard graft from the forwards to give the Parisians hope. But his score was quickly wiped out by Goneva. The wing exploited a yard of space and sprinted home for his side's fourth score.
The home side wrapped up a place in the Champions Cup semi-finals with a flourish. Matt Tait started an explosive counter attack on his 22, before Telusa Veainu and Brendon O'Connor continued the charge. The ball was worked wide to Goneva, who found Mike Fitzgerald with the scoring pass.
It got even better Veainu hit Stade for six. The man with the dancing feet jinked his way around two defenders and sprinted in at the corner to make it 41-13 with 15 minutes remaining, sealing a definitive win.
TIGERS: 15 MATHEW TAIT (C) 14 Telusa Veainu 13 Peter Betham 12 Manu Tuilagi 11 Vereniki Goneva 10 Freddie Burns 9 Ben Youngs 8 Lachlan McCaffrey 7 Brendon O'Connor 6 Mike Fitzgerald 5 Graham Kitchener 4 Dom Barrow 3 Dan Cole 2 Harry Thacker 1 Marcos Ayerza BENCH: 16 Greg Bateman 17 Logovi'i Mulipola 18 Fraser Balmain 19 Ed Slater 20 Tom Croft 21 Sam Harrison 22 Owen Williams 23 Adam Thompstone
SCORERS T: Tuilagi, Goneva (2), Burns, Fitzgerald, Veainu C: Burns (4) P: Burns
STADE: 15 Djibril Camara 14 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou 12 Jonathan Danty 11 Jérémy Sinzelle 10 Morné Steyn 9 Julien Dupuy 8 SERGIO PARISSE (C) 7 Raphaël Lakafia 6 Jono Ross 5 Alexandre Flanquart 4 Hugh Pyle 3 Rabah Slimani 2 Remi Bonfils 1 Zurabi Zhvania BENCH: 16 Craig Burden 17 Dany Priso 18 Paul Alo Emile 19 Paul Gabrillagues 20 Willem Alberts 21 Julien Tomas 22 Jules Plisson 23 Hugo Bonneval
SCORERS T: Dupuy C: Steyn P: Steyn (2)
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU) Asst Referees: George Clancy (IRFU), Leighton Hodges (WRU) TMO: Derek Bevan (WRU)
ULSTER RUGBY 56 - 3 OYONNAX
Kingspan Stadium - Saturday 23 January 2016
KO: 13:00 HT: 28-3 Att: 15,108
OYONNAX had a rotten day at the office in the return leg against Ulster with the homeside giving the visitors an eight try-routing, a stark contrast to the rescheduled Round 1 match a fortnight ago where Oyonnax led 23-0 at halftime before Ulster came back to beat them by a single point. Ulster trampled all over Oyonnax’s hopes of a second European win with four steady tries in the first half alongside the bonus point, the first coming in the first minute from captain Rob Herring, followed by Darren Cave, and the remaining two in the second quarter from Rory Scholes and Sean Reidy. Oyonnax mustered a single penalty from Rory Clegg, and the teams went into the break 28-3 in Belfast. Ulster’s remaining tries all came within the third quarter from Craig Gilroy, Robbie Diack, Ian Humphreys and Jared Payne, with Paddy Jackson and Humphreys converting all eight. Ulster seized the bonus point win, but had to wait out the results from the remaining Champions Cup matches to see if they had done enough to secure a runner-up quarter final place. Lady luck was not with Ulster who were the last hope of an Irish side getting to the play offs, and on Sunday they were promptly relegated to also rans.
ULSTER: Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall, Kyle McCall, ROB HERRING (C), Ricky Lutton, Alan O'Connor, Franco Van der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy, Nick Williams BENCH: Rory Best, Callum Black, Bronson Ross, Clive Ross, Roger Wilson, David Shanahan, Ian Humphreys, Rory Scholes
SCORERS T: Herring, Cave, Scholes, Reidy, Gilroy, Diack, Humphreys, Payne C: Jackson (5), Humphreys (3)
OYONNAX: FLORIAN DENOS (C), Daniel Ikpefan, Guillaume Bousses, Alaska Taufa, Dug Codjo, Rory Clegg, Julien Blanc, Soane Tonga'uiha, Thomas Bordes, Giorgi Vepkhvadze, Leon Power, Geoffrey Fabbri, Valentin Ursache, Pierrick Gunther, Pedrie Wannenburg BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, Laurent Delboulbès, Horace Pungea, Fabrice Metz, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Fabien Cibray, Regis Lespinas, Eamonn Sheridan
SCORERS P: Clegg
Referee: Marius Mitrea Asst Referees: Matteo Liperini, Simone Boaretto TMO: Stefano Penne
TOULOUSE 17 - 28 SARACENS
Stade Ernest Wallon - Saturday 23 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 7-9 Att: 12,498
DESPITE a spectacular SNAFU by Owen Farrell behind the tryline, Saracens maintained their European Rugby win record with six from six, though there was no bonus point in this last challenge against Stade Toulousain who put up a fight, but finish last in the pool having only beaten Oyonnax back in November. Three tries from Toulouse, two from Luke McAlister and one from Maxime Médard meant the homeside outscored the visitors by a brace. Only Ben Spencer secured a try for Saracens, but the boot of Charlie Hodgson kept Sarries in the lead with two penalties and a drop goal for a 9-7 lead at halftime. Hodgson was replaced in the second half by Farrell who knocked over four penalties of his own for the win, but will be forever remembered and no doubt horribly ribbed by all for a missing a magnificent team try, which was to be finished by him as he flew over the tryline, unfettered by a single defensive body and a wide open goal area, and he spilled the ball! Saracens still finished at the pinnacle of the tournament, safe with a home quarterfinal, and could only have been displaced to second if Leicester secured a bonus point win over Stade Français on Sunday with a huge points difference, but to the London team’s relief, the Tigers did not come close.
TOULOUSE: Clément Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc, Toby Flood, Florian Fritz, Paul Perez, Luke McAlister, Jean-Marc Doussain, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Corey Flynn, Neemia Tialata, Romain Millo-Chluski, PATRICIO ALBACETE (C), Yacouba Camara, Imanol Harinordoquy, Gillian Galan BENCH: Christopher Tolofua, Cyril Baille, Gert Muller, Joe Tekori, Gregory Lamboley, David Mélé, Gaël Fickou, Maxime Médard
SCORERS T: McAlister (2), Médard C: Flood
SARACENS: Alex Goode, Duncan Taylor, Marcelo Bosch, BRAD BARRITT (C), Chris Wyles, Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock, Richard Barrington, Schalk Brits, Juan Figallo, Jim Hamilton, George Kruis, Michael Rhodes, Jacques Burger, Jackson Wray BENCH: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Petrus du Plessis, Hayden Smith, Billy Vunipola, Ben Spencer, Owen Farrell, Ben Ransom
SCORERS T: Spencer C: Farrell P: Hodgson (2), Farrell (4) DG: Hodgson
Referee: Nigel Owens Asst Referees: Rhys Thomas, Gwyn Morris TMO: Derek Bevan
THE final two matches of the weekend from Pool 2 were make or break for all four teams involved, any one of which could have fought their way into the play offs, and would also decide the fate of Ulster and the Saints who had already played all their pool matches. And neither match failed to keep all watching on the edge of their seat until moments after the final whistles had gone and all the permutations had finally been laid to rest for the Exeter Chiefs to take the final pool winners place, much to the shock, surprise and glee of the Chiefs and horror for Clermont.
EXETER CHIEFS 33 - 17 OSPREYS
Sandy Park Stadium - Sunday 24 January 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 14-7 Att: 11,415
THE Exeter Chiefs had not been beaten at home for the past year; the Ospreys needed just a win to secure their place in the quarter finals, and were Wales’ last prospect for European glory, but little went to plan. The Chiefs began in stunning fashion, Kai Horstmann awarded the first try from a huge driving maul which the Welsh could do little about but get out of the way. Steenson added the extras, but Hanno Dirksen used the blindside to his advantage running a perfect line off Brendan Leonard to match the homeside point for point with a Dan Biggar conversion. Exeter had penalty kick opportunities, but these were thwarted as only a bonus point win could give them any hope of making the final eight, so on the first occasion Thomas Waldrom barrelled over the tryline for try number #2. The conversion made this happen in just the first ten breathless minutes, the score remaining at 14-7 for the first half whilst all involved caught their breath. A host of early changes, then Biggar crept the score closer with a penalty, but promptly the Welsh were down to 14 men with prop Scott Baldwin’s late tackle on Thomas The Tank, and Dan Evans was relegated to the bench for front row cover in Sam Parry. Steenson saw the space and chipped the ball behind the defence for James Short to beat them to score again. Short soon landed a brace, this time Steenson converted and the homeside were three tries up and 26-10 ahead with 13 minutes to go. Ospreys forced Jérôme Garcès into awarding them a penalty try, which would have been enough to get into the play offs with a losing bonus point with ten minutes on the clock, but the last hopes of the Welsh nation were shattered by Man of the Match Waldrom who bulldozed over for his brace in the 79th minute, replacement Will Hooley converting, leaving Biggar to rue his earlier missed penalty kick. As Waldrom went to receive his winning trophy, only then did Exeter realise that they had done enough to take that last place at number 5 in the quarter finals line up, after the other Pool 2 match had finished and somewhere at ECPR HQ in Switzerland a person with a calculator and no doubt many charts finally worked out who had come out on top.
CHIEFS: Phil Dollman, Olly Woodburn, Michele Campagnaro, Ian Whitten, James Short, Gareth Steenson, Dave Lewis, Alec Hepburn, JACK YEANDLE (C), Alex Brown, Jonny Hill, Geoff Parling, Kai Horstmann, Don Armand, Tom Waldrom BENCH: Elvis Taione, Ben Moon, Harry Williams, Ollie Atkins, Tom Johnson, Haydn Thomas, Will Hooley, Max Bodilly
SCORERS T: Horstmann, Waldrom (2), Short (2) C: Steenson (3), Hooley
OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, ALUN-WYN JONES (C), Sam Underhill, Justin Tipuric, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Aaron Jarvis, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies, Owen Watkin
SCORERS T: Dirksen, PT C: Biggar (2) P: Biggar Baldwin
Referee: Jérôme Garcès Asst Referees: Salam Attalah, Pierre Brousset TMO: Hervé Dubès
CLERMONT 28 - 37 BORDEAUX BÈGLES
Stade Marcel-Michelin - Sunday 24 January 2016
KO: 16:15 HT: 14-17 Att: 15,702
ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE needed just a losing bonus point to make it to the last eight in the play offs. Bordeaux Bègles needed to win with some conviction. But Clermont came out of the traps with such verve, they nailed down two tries from Jonathan Davies and Noa Nakaitaci in the opening four minutes, both converted by Morgan Parra. It took ten minutes for the visitors to reply, Berend Botha running in their first with Lionel Beauxis adding the extras. And only minutes later, burly prop Sebastien Taofifenua bundled over for a second, Beauxis equalising in the first quarter. Baptiste Serin added a penalty kick to give the visitors a narrow 17-14 lead at halftime. Clermont began to bring on the big guns early including former captain Aurélien Rougerie, and whilst Sekope Kepu visited the sinbin, captain Damien Chouly countered another Serin penalty with an excellent try aided by Parra and Rougerie. At the start of the final quarter, Paul Jedrasiak grabbed a bonus point-winning fourth try and the home team looked to have the quarter final place in the bag. But Clermont got complacent and Julien Bardy was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle; Paulin Riva and Peter Saili both ran in fourth and fifth tries for Bordeaux. Pierre Bernard converted both, and added a further penalty to take the score to 28-37 with two minutes remaining. At this point, all Clermont still needed was a losing bonus point, and the opportunity came as they were in Bordeaux’s 22 and had a penalty from which three points in front of the posts would have produced the required result. The battle had been so frantic, tis likely Parra did not realise this to be the case, and obviously no messages had been sent on from the management; Clermont were so close to the tryline at this point that Parra, thinking they needed the try, took a quick tap penalty and the ball reached the line but was held up at the death. A moment of madness denied Clermont the points they needed for the play offs, and Bordeaux had played a blinder. Sadly for the visitors, however, it was not quite enough to take the final spot as Exeter Chiefs won through.
CLERMONT: Scott Spedding, Hosea Gear, Jonathan Davies, Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci, Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, John Ulugia, Daniel Kotze, Paul Jedrasiak, Sébastien Vahaamahina, DAMIEN CHOULY (C), Alexandre Lapandry, Fritz Lee BENCH: Benjamin Kayser, Raphael Chaume, Mickael Simutoga, Loic Jacquet, Julien Bardy, Ludovic Radosavljevic, Pato Fernandez, Aurélien Rougerie
SCORERS T: Davies, Nakaitaci, Chouly, Jedrasiak C: Parra (4) Bardy
BORDEAUX: Darly Domvo, Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, Jean-Baptiste Dubié, Romain Lonca, Sofiane Guitoune, Lionel Beauxis, Baptiste Serin, Sébastien Taofifenua, Clement Maynadier, Sekope Kepu, Berend Botha, Adam Jaulhac, Luke Braid, Peter Saili, MATTHEW CLARKIN (C) BENCH: Ole Avei, Steven Kitshoff, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Cyril Cazeaux, Marco Tauleigne, Heini Adams, Pierre Bernard, Paulin Riva
SCORERS T: Botha, Taofifenua, Riva, Saili C: Beauxis (2), Bernard (2) P: Serin (2), Bernard Kepu
Referee: JP Doyle Asst Referees: Matt Carley, Paul Dix TMO: Graham Hughes
GLASGOW WARRIORS 22 - 5 RACING 92
Rugby Park, Kilmarnock - Saturday 23 January 2016
KO: 17:30 HT: 3-0 Att: 9,063
RACING 92 appeared not to turn up at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock on this afternoon, as Glasgow Warriors tested them to the limit and thoroughly beat the French contenders 22 points to just five in a match which spent half its time being exceedingly tedious. After an inglorious 3-0 score from a Finn Russell penalty going into the break, on his return, the Scottish fly half added a second, and it was almost into the final quarter that the game dragged itself to life in some fashion with a try from Stuart Hogg. Russell ended his stint with one more penalty, before Duncan Weir came on to add three of his own. In the meantime, recently arrived Georgian prop Davit Khinchagishvili bulldozed over the tryline for Racing’s only score. There was no conversion for the visitors, and the game was wholly lacklustre, with not even any major infringements for entertainment! But Racing already had their home quarter final secured, and the Warriors were playing for pride, which they retained by being the only side to beat the Parisians two seasons of Champions Cup rugby in the pool stages.
GLASGOW: Stuart Hogg, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Alex Dunbar, Samuel Johnson, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Alex Allan, Shalva Mamukashvili, Sila Puafisi, Greg Peterson, JONNY GRAY (C), James Eddie, Simone Favaro, Leone Nakarawa BENCH: James Malcolm, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Chris Fusaro, Grayson Hart, Duncan Weir, Lee Jones
SCORERS T: Hogg C: Russell P: Russell (3), Weir (2)
RACING: Brice Dulin, Louis Dupichot, Henry Chavancy, Alexandre Dumoulin, Marc Andreu, Remi Tales, MAXIME MACHENAUD (C), Julien Brugnaut, Camille Chat, Luc Ducalcon, Luke Charteris, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard Le Roux, Chris Masoe BENCH: Virgile Lacombe, Davit Khinchagishvili, Cedate Gomes Sa, Thibault Dubarry, Juandré Kruger, Xavier Chauveau, Etienne Dussartre, Benjamin Dambielle
SCORERS T: Khinchagishvili
Referee: Wayne Barnes Asst Referees: Luke Pearce, Peter Allan TMO: Keith Lewis
SCARLETS 10 - 22 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Parc y Scarlets - Saturday 23 January 2016
KO: 17:30 HT: 3-12 Att: 6,823
THE Saints had no choice but to play for their lives to keep any hope alive of squeezing into the final eight qualifying teams for the play offs. And so they did, landing that fourth try to wrap up a bonus point win against the Scarlets, 22-10. The Welsh side had suffered their worst defeat by the hands of Racing 92 the previous week, and had a point to prove, though failed, making light work for the Saints at Parc y Scarlets. The visitors took only 12 minutes to score the first converted try from Harry Mallinder -his second for his club in as many weeks- from an intercept collected from a poor Morgan Allen pass. George Pisi had the second on the board by the end of the first quarter, and little else occurred other than an Aled Thomas penalty for a 3-12 score at the break. Sam Dickinson ran home a third early in the second half, and while Maselino Paulino was fractiously resting on the sidelines for ten minutes, George North slammed down try number four in the 55th minute against his former club. The Scarlets grabbed a last minute consolation try to drag their score up to 10 points whilst Saints were down to 14 for a Lee Dickson infringement, but it was not nearly enough to prevent yet another whitewash. The Saints then had to wait 24 hours to learn their fate, dependent on the results from Sunday’s matches, and eventually breathed a huge sigh of relief as they snuck into eighth place for the quarter finals.
SCARLETS: Mike Collins, Tom Williams, Regan King, Steven Shingler, DTH van der Merwe, Aled Thomas, Gareth Davies, Phil John, KEN OWENS (C), Samson Lee, Tom Price, Maselino Paulino, Aaron Shingler, Will Boyde, Morgan Allen BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Dylan Evans, Rhodri Jones, Lewis Rawlins, Tom Phillips, Aled Davies, Josh Lewis, Steff Hughes
SCORERS T: Jones C: Thomas P: Thomas Paulino
SAINTS: Ben Foden, Jamie Elliott, George Pisi, Harry Mallinder, George North, Steve Myler, Tom Kessell, Alex Waller, DYLAN HARTLEY (C), Paul Hill, Courtney Lawes, Christian Day, Jamie Gibson, Tom Wood, Sam Dickinson BENCH: Mikey Haywood, Ethan Waller, Gareth Denman, Michael Paterson, Jonathan Fisher, Lee Dickson, JJ Hanrahan, Luther Burrell
SCORERS T: Mallinder, Pisi, Dickinson, North C: Myler Dickson
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère Asst Referees: Maxime Chalon, Jean-Luc Rebollal TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau
BENETTON TREVISO 5 - 28 MUNSTER RUGBY
Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Sunday 24 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 5-14 Att: 3,200
NEITHER team had anything to play for in Treviso, so Munster just scored, scored and scored again, leaving Italy with a pointless bonus point victory. The Irish team were the only ones from the Emerald Isle left to play in this final weekend, but knew there was no chance of making the playoffs, starting out on just 10 points after three losses to the Tigers at home and away, and Stade Français the previous week. Ronan O'Mahony and David Kilcoyne ran in two quick converted tries in the first quarter, but Benetton Treviso replied with a pack effort, driving over Marco Lazzaroni for a score, which went unconverted, but took full advantage of Billy Holland in the bin for offside in a maul. The task was not insurmountable for the Italians at halftime, down 5-14 but the second half began with CJ Stander being shunted over the line for a third try; referee Alexandre Ruiz had other ideas though, and halted Ian Keatley from converting for an earlier knock on. Conor Murray sold a dummy and shot through the line to secure the third try, and in the final quarter, O’Mahony stole a brace from a devastating break by Jack O’Donoghue from his own half for the bonus point win, Keatley converting all four scores.
TREVISO: Jayden Hayward, Andrea Pratichetti, Enrico Bacchin, Alberto Sgarbi, Simone Ragusi, James Ambrosini, Alberto Lucchese, Matteo Zanusso, Ornel Gega, Simone Ferrari, Marco Fuser, Jean-François Montauriol, Marco Lazzaroni, ALESSANDRO ZANNI (C), Braam Steyn BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Andrea De Marchi, Salesi Manu, Tom Palmer, Marco Barbini, Tommaso Iannone, Samuel Christie, Luke McLean
SCORERS T: Lazzaroni
MUNSTER: Simon Zebo, Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Ronan O'Mahony, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Dave Foley, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Tommy O'Donnell, CJ STANDER (C) BENCH: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, Mario Sagario, Robin Copeland, Mark Chisholm, Jack O'Donoghue, Tomas O'Leary, Gerhard van den Heever
SCORERS T: O'Mahony (2), Kilcoyne, Murray C: Keatley (4) Holland
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz Asst Referees: Cedric Marchat, Tual Trainini TMO: Philippe Bonhoure
STADE FRANÇAIS 36 - 21 LEICESTER TIGERS
Stade Jean Bouin - Sunday 24 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 19-7 Att: 12,073
LEICESTER TIGERS arrived in Paris safe in the knowledge that they had already secured a home quarter final place, and the Parisians had all to play for to ensure they did not lose their chance of qualifying with another loss to the English midlanders. Stade Français did just that, beating the visitors five tries to three. It was the Tigers who laid down the first marker after 19 minutes, Manu Tuilagi galloping in a try from 35m out, his first since returning from his 15 month lay off from a groin injury. But the French side replied with three tries in succession from Jules Plisson, centre Waisea Nayacalevu and prop Rabah Slimani, Plisson missing just one conversion to run into the break 19-7 up. The early action in the second half was limited to Leicester captain, Tom Youngs sent off for handbags with Slimani, the prop coming out on top. The homeside took advantage immediately with flanker Raphael Lakafia rampaging over the whitewash for the bonus point try. The Tigers came back with tries from Dom Barrow using his full 6’7” stature to reach the goal line, and replacement hooker Harry Thacker; another was disallowed for a forward pass from Sam Harrison. Plisson added a penalty, but Stade Français were not yet done, and replacement centre Geoffrey Doumayrou flew over for a fifth try from an interception in the 79th minute to seal the win with a flourish, and their place in the quarter finals, which lined up in such a manner that the two would face each other again in April, this time in Leicester.
STADE: Hugo Bonneval, Jérémy Sinzelle, Waisea Nayacalevu, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara, Jules Plisson, Julien Dupuy, Zak Taulafo, Laurent Sempéré, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues, Jonathan Ross, Raphael Lakafia, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Laurent Panis, Emmanuel Felsina, Paul Alo Emile, Pascal Papé, Antoine Burban, Julien Tomas, Morné Steyn, Geoffrey Doumayrou
SCORERS T: Plisson, Nayacalevu, Slimani, Lakafia, Doumayrou C: Plisson (4) P: Plisson
TIGERS: Matthew Tait, Adam Thompstone, Manu Tuilagi, Matt Smith, Telusa Veainu, Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, TOM YOUNGS (C), Dan Cole, Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener, Michael Fitzgerald, Tom Croft, Lachlan McCaffrey BENCH: Harry Thacker, Logovi'i Mulipola, Fraser Balmain, Sebastian De Chaves, Laurence Pearce, Sam Harrison, Thomas Bell, Peter Betham
SCORERS T: Tuilagi, Barrow, Thacker C: Burns, Bell (2) Tom Youngs
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Mark Patton TMO: Marshall Kilgore
BATH RUGBY 14 - 19 RC TOULON
Recreation Ground - Saturday 23 January 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 6-11 Att: 13,285
BATH RUGBY matched RC Toulon and even stole the lead in the second half of an odd match were the home team had nothing to lose, and the visitors were already guaranteed a quarterfinal berth. But in the end, the incumbent champions pulled it out of the bag with a superb Bryan Habana try, and will be travelling away in an attempt to retain their title. The French side are missing long gone Jonny Wilkinson desperately, and Freddie Michalak was not on the bench to bail out a rotten afternoon’s work for James O’Connor who missed 10 points off his boot, but George Ford’s record was not much better for Bath. The West Country boys had more possession and territory, but Toulon being the professionals that they are, dug deep just enough with tries from Man of the Match Steffon Armitage, and Habana. Bath did cross the whitewash just once, Anthony Watson’s try eventually being awarded after the TMO intervened. Overall neither side had anything to write home about, Quade Cooper also having a shocker with his tactical kicks, and Ford missed more than one opportunity to regain the lead. The score remained 14-16 for an entire quarter before O’Connor finally knocked over a 3-pointer to seal Toulon’s narrow advantage.
BATH: Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Eastmond, Horacio Agulla, GEORGE FORD (C), Chris Cook, Nick Auterac, Ross Batty, Henry Thomas, Charlie Ewels, Dom Day, David Denton, Guy Mercer, Leroy Houston BENCH: Tom Dunn, Nathan Catt, David Wilson, Tom Ellis, Matt Garvey, Alafoti Fa'osiliva, Rhys Priestland, Ollie Devoto
SCORERS T: Watson P: Ford (3)
TOULON: James O'Connor, Josua Tuisova, Maxime Mermoz, Ma'a Nonu, Bryan Habana, Quade Cooper, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Florian Fresia, Guilhem Guirado, Levan Chilachava, JOCELINO SUTA (C), Samu Manoa, Juan Smith, Steffon Armitage, Duane Vermeulen BENCH: Jean-Charles Orioli, Xavier Chiocci, Manasa Saulo, Mamuka Gorgodze, Romain Taofifenua, Mathieu Bastareaud, Eric Escande, Thibault Lassalle
SCORERS T: Armitage, Habana P: O'Connor (3)
Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Dudley Phillips, Kieran Barry TMO: Simon McDowell
WASPS 51 - 10 LEINSTER RUGBY
Ricoh Arena - Saturday 23 January 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 15-10 Att: 16,519
LEINSTER were swiftly put out of their misery after a dire Champions Cup tournament, the three times-winners losing five of six matches in the pool stages, and ending bottom in the table with a pitiful six points. Wasps, conversely, topped the table ousting last season’s champions RC Toulon into second place with a seven-try routing of the Irish side who could only muster two of their own. The first half was not so tragic, Jimmy Gopperth and Joe Launchbury running in two tries, with the fly half adding a conversion and penalty, but this was matched by Zane Kirchner and Eoin Reddan, helped along by Lorenzo Cittadini’s absence for ten minutes. The scores were held at 15-10 at the break, but Wasps returned to the paddock and rocked Leinster’s core. Elliot Daly’s impressive solo effort five minutes into the half set the tone, followed up with a penalty try, crossings from former All Blacks Frank Halai and Charles Piutau, and a final nail in the coffin in the 79th minute from replacement Ashley Johnson as Leinster looked on in hopeless fashion. Wasps have secured a home quarter final berth, whilst Leinster will return across the Irish Sea to regroup and to focus on winning the PRO12 where they are faring far better in second place of 12.
WASPS: Charles Piutau, Josh Bassett, Elliot Daly, Brendan Macken, Frank Halai, Jimmy Gopperth, Joe Simpson, Matt Mullan, Edd Shervington, Lorenzo Cittadini, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, JAMES HASKELL (C), George Smith, Sam Jones BENCH: Ashley Johnson, Tom Bristow, Jake Cooper-Woolley, James Gaskell, Nathan Hughes, Dan Robson, Ruaridh Jackson, Rob Miller
SCORERS T: Gopperth, Launchbury, Daly, PT, Halai, Piutau, Johnson C: Gopperth (4), Jackson P: Gopperth (2) Cittadini
LEINSTER: Rob Kearney, Zane Kirchner, Luke Fitzgerald, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton (C), Eoin Reddan, Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Martin Moore, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Richardt Strauss, Peter Dooley, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Josh Van der Flier, Isaac Boss, Cathal Marsh, Ben Te'o
SCORERS T: Kirchner, Reddan
Referee: Mathieu Raynal Asst Referees: Sebastien Minery, Thomas Dejean TMO: Eric Gauzins
SARACENS 33 - 17 ULSTER RUGBY
Allianz Park - Saturday 16 January 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 13-7 Att: 9,462
SARACENS secured a home quarter-final with an impressive bonus-point victory over Ulster. The homeside produced a dominant display against their nearest pool one rivals to enhance their credentials as potential winners of this year's Champions Cup. A fourth bonus-point victory of the pool stages came thanks to tries from Billy Vunipola, Duncan Taylor, Maro Itoje and Schalk Brits. Owen Farrell produced another superb display switching from 10 to 12 and despite missing four of nine kicks at goal. After a tricky start where Ulster appeared to have their number and shut down all attempts at Sarries playing to their gameplan, it was Vunipola’s try two minutes from half time that turned the tide. From then on, Saracens, who remain unbeaten in Europe and are just one point short of the maximum 25 in five rounds, never really looked like losing.
SARACENS: Ben Ransom, Chris Ashton, Marcelo Bosch, Duncan Taylor, Chris Wyles, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, JAMIE GEORGE (C), Petrus du Plessis, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Michael Rhodes, Will Fraser, Billy Vunipola BENCH: Schalk Brits, Richard Barrington, Juan Figallo, Jim Hamilton, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Nick Tomkins
SCORERS T: Billy Vunipola, Taylor, Itoje, Brits C: Farrell (2) P: Farrell (3)
ULSTER: Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Kyle McCall, RORY BEST (C), Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O'Connor, Franco Van Der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson BENCH: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson, Clive Ross, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Rory Scholes
SCORERS T: Luke Marshall, Humphreys C: Jackson, Pienaar P: Jackson Gilroy
Referee: Jérôme Garcès Asst Referees: Mathieu Raynal, Mathieu Noirot TMO: Gilles Gogne
OYONNAX 32 - 14 TOULOUSE
Stade Charles Mathon - Saturday 16 January 2016
KO: 16:15 HT: 17-7 Att: 7,200
OYANNAX claimed their first-ever victory in the European Rugby Champions Cup as they beat four-time champions Toulouse 32-14 with a four-try bonus-point display. Those tries for the hosts came through Silvere Tian, Uwa Tawalo, Fabien Cibray and Eamonn Sheridan with Nicky Robinson and Regis Lespinas kicking their remaining points. Toulouse registered two tries through powerful number eight Gillian Galan, both converted by scrum-half David Mélé but it was nowhere near enough on a snowy day at Stade Charles-Mathon. The home team were on the front foot from the 26th second, and the closest visitors got was reducing the deficit to just five in the second half before Oyannax pulled away again. The loss leaves Toulouse floundering at the bottom of the table with just one win from five in their home game against Oyannax. Neither team is in contention for a a best runner-up spot in the play offs.
OYONNAX: Quentin Etienne, Silvere Tian, Vincent Martin, Eamonn Sheridan, Uwa Tawalo, Nicky Robinson, FABIEN CIBRAY (C), Laurent Delboulbès, Jody Jenneker, Antoine Guillamon, Geoffrey Fabbri, Fabrice Metz, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Olivier Missoup, Viliami Ma’afu BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, Soane Tonga'uiha, Giorgi Vepkhvadze, Valentin Ursache, Pierrick Gunther, Julien Blanc, Regis Lespinas, Guillaume Bousses
SCORERS T: Tian, Tawalo, Cibray, Sheridan C: Robinson (2), Lespinas P: Robinson, Lespinas Metz
TOULOUSE: Clément Poitrenaud, Semi Kunatani, Toby Flood, Paul Perez, Timoci Matanavou, Luke McAlister, David Mele, Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Neemia Tialata, Romain Millo-Chluski, Joe Tekori, THIERRY DUSAUTOIR (C), Gregory Lamboley, Gillian Galan BENCH: Dorian Aldegheri, Vasil Kakovin, Gert Muller, Patricio Albacete, François Cros, Christopher Tolofua, Jean-Marc Doussain, Vincent Clerc
SCORERS T: Galan (2) C: Mele (2)
Referee: Greg Garner Asst Referees: Tim Wigglesworth, Andrew Pearce TMO: Geoff Warren
OSPREYS 21 - 13 ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE
Liberty Stadium - Friday 15 January 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 6-13 Att: 9,479
OSPREYS took a big stride towards their first European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final in six years as they edged ASM Clermont Auvergne 21-13 to move top of Pool 2. Replacement fly-half Sam Davies was the hero, kicking 15 second-half points to add to two Dan Biggar penalties as the hosts secured a famous triumph. Clermont scored the only try of the game through centre Wesley Fofana, with scrum-half Morgan Parra adding eight points with the boot, but they will wonder how they let what looked a comfortable seven-point lead vanish in such spectacular fashion. A win over Exeter in Round 6 will be enough to put the Ospreys in the last eight as pool winners, with Clermont only able to finish level on points with them and having taken five match points to the Welsh side's six in their two meetings. The Ospreys were protecting a proud Liberty Stadium record against French sides, with no team from across the Channel having won in 13 attempts at the Swansea venue.
OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Ashley, ALUN-WYN JONES (C), Sam Underhill, Justin Tipuric, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Ma'afu Fia, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies, Owen Watkin
SCORERS P: Biggar (2), Davies (4) DG: Davies
CLERMONT: Scott Spedding, David Strettle, Jonathan Davies, Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci, Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra, Raphael Chaume, Benjamin Kayser, Daniel Kotze, Loic Jacquet, Sébastien Vahaamahina, DAMIEN CHOULY (C), Vito Kolelishvili, Fritz Lee BENCH: John Ulugia, Vincent Debaty, Mickael Simutoga, Paul Jedrasiak, Camille Gerondeau, Ludovic Radosavljevic, Brock James, Albert Vulivuli
SCORERS T: Fofana C: Parra P: Parra (2) Kolelishvili, Ulugia
Referee: Wayne Barnes Asst Referees: Luke Pearce, Peter Allan TMO: Sean Davey
BORDEAUX BÈGLES 34 - 27 EXETER CHIEFS
Stade Chaban-Delmas - Saturday 16 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 20-20 Att: 17,233
MARCO TAULEIGNE crossed for a late try to give Bordeaux Bègles a crucial 34-27 bonus-point victory over Exeter Chiefs. The result means all four sides in Pool 2 are still alive in the competition heading into round six. Ospreys sit at the summit with 16 points, two ahead of ASM Clermont Auvergne, but Exeter and Bordeaux can still make it into the final eight if results go their way. Lewis, McGuigan and Bodilly kept the Chiefs in the game until the 71st minute when Tauleigne scored the winning try after Adam Ashley-Cooper, Blair Conor, Louis-Benoit Madaule and Benat Auzqui had crossed earlier.
BORDEAUX: Jean-Marcellin Buttin, Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Julien Rey, Blair Connor, Pierre Bernard, Yann Lesgourgues, Jefferson Poirot, Ole Avei, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Jan Andre Marais, Adam Jaulhac, LOUIS MADAULE (C), Hugh Chalmers, Loann Goujon BENCH: Benat Auzqui, Sébastien Taofifenua, Sekope Kepu, Cyril Cazeaux, Marco Tauleigne, Baptiste Serin, Lionel Beauxis, Felix Le Bourhis
SCORERS T: Ashley-Cooper, Connor, Madaule, Auzqui, Tauleigne C: Bernard, Beauxis (2) P: Bernard Kepu
CHIEFS: Byron McGuigan, Olly Woodburn, Michele Campagnaro, Max Bodilly, Matt Jess, Will Hooley, Dave Lewis, Moray Low, Elvis Taione, Alex Brown, Ollie Atkins, Jonny Hill, Tom Johnson, Ben White, KAI HORSTMANN (C) BENCH: Shaun Malton, Alec Hepburn, Carl Rimmer, Sam Skinner, Julian Salvi, Haydn Thomas, Gareth Steenson, Chrysander Botha
SCORERS T: Lewis, McGuigan, Bodilly C: Hooley (3) P: Hooley (2) Hooley
Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Sean Gallagher, Brian MacNeice TMO: Simon McDowell
RACING 92 64 - 14 SCARLETS
Stade Yves-Du-Manoir - Sunday 17 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 38-0 Att: 6,931
RACING 92 sealed a home quarter-final tie in the European Champions Cup with a record victory over Scarlets in Paris. Racing racked up their biggest win in the tournament while also inflicting Scarlets' heaviest defeat in Europe. Casey Laulala scored a hat-trick as the French league leaders ran in nine tries at Stade Yves-du-Manoir. Former All Black Laulala crossed twice while Juan Imhoff, Bernard Le Roux, Louis Dupichot also touched down in the first half that also saw Scarlets briefly reduced to 13 men. Scarlets reduced the damage on the scoreboard with tries from DTH van der Merwe and Gareth Davies early in the second half. But Imhoff claimed his second after the pack secured a penalty try and Johan Goosen and Laulala completed the rout late on.
RACING: Brice Dulin, Louis Dupichot, Casey Laulala, Dan Carter, Juan Imhoff, Remi Tales, Mike Phillips, Eddy Ben Arous, DIMITRI SZARZEWSKI (C), Ben Tameifuna, Luke Charteris, Manuel Carizza, Yannick Nyanga, Bernard Le Roux, Antonie Claassen BENCH: Camille Chat, Julien Brugnaut, Martin Castrogiovanni, Thibault Dubarry, Chris Masoe, Maxime Machenaud, Henry Chavancy, Johannes Goosen
SCORERS T: Imhoff (2), Laulala (3), Claassen, Dupichot, PT, Goosen C: Carter (5), Dulin (2), Goosen P: Carter Phillips
SCARLETS: Mike Collins, Steff Evans, Regan King, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe, Steven Shingler, Gareth Davies, Phil John, KEN OWENS (C), Samson Lee, George Earle, Maselino Paulino, Rory Pitman, Aaron Shingler, Morgan Allen BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Tom Price, Tom Phillips, Rhodri Williams, Dan Jones, Steff Hughes
SCORERS T: van der Merwe, Davies C: Shingler (2) Paulino, van der Merwe
Referee: Matt Carley Asst Referees: Ian Tempest, Wayne Falla TMO: David Grashoff
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 19 - 15 GLASGOW
Franklin's Gardens - Sunday 17 January 2016
KO: 17:30 HT: 7-6 Att: 14,874
HARRY MALLINDER turned into a baby face assassin on his Champions Cup debut as he gave his director of rugby, and Dad, Jim plenty to smile about with a match-winning try in the last play of the game. Mallinder junior came on in the 26th minute to replace Tom Collins, who was injured in a collision with Stuart Hogg's knee, and slotted in superbly at full back. And when his big moment came, he grabbed it to earn the Heineken Man of the Match award. Finn Russell had kicked four penalties to keep Glasgow Warriors in touch after Saints had picked up two tries from their irresistible driving line-out through Teimana Harrison and Christian Day, and then Hogg's booming right boot gave the visitors the lead at 15-12 with 10 minutes to go. The game seemed well within the Warriors' grasp until replacement back row man Tim Swinson was caught delivering a left upper cut into the face of Saints replacement hooker Mikey Haywood five minutes from time. He saw yellow and the home sent went on the offensive with Mallinder’s try, and Myler iced the win with the conversion.
SAINTS: Ben Foden, Tom Collins, George Pisi, Luther Burrell, George North, JJ Hanrahan, LEE DICKSON (C), Alex Waller, Dylan Hartley, Paul Hill, Courtney Lawes, Christian Day, Jamie Gibson, Tom Wood, Teimana Harrison BENCH: Mikey Haywood, Ethan Waller, Gareth Denman, Michael Paterson, Jonathan Fisher, Tom Kessell, Steve Myler, Harry Mallinder
SCORERS T: Harrison, Day, Mallinder C: Hanrahan, Myler
GLASGOW: Stuart Hogg, Lee Jones, Alex Dunbar, Samuel Johnson, Sean Lamont, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur, Sila Puafisi, Leone Nakarawa, JONNY GRAY (C), Ryan Wilson, Chris Fusaro, Adam Ashe BENCH: Shalva Mamukashvili, Alex Allan, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Simone Favaro, Grayson Hart, Duncan Weir, Taqele Naiyaravoro
SCORERS P: Russell (4), Hogg Swinson
Referee: Romain Poite Asst Referees: Cyril Lafon, Stephane Boyer TMO: Philippe Bonhoure
MUNSTER RUGBY 26 - 13 STADE FRANÇAIS
Thomond Park - Saturday 16 January 2016
KO: 13:00 HT: 12-6 Att: 18,884
MUNSTER bounced back in fine style with a 26-13 bonus-point win over Stade Français which seriously dents the French side's hopes of advancing from Pool 4. Munster had been humbled by 14-man Stade in Paris in the rescheduled first round match, but they gained revenge as Mike Sherry, Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and CJ Stander scored tries, with Ian Keatley adding three conversions. Stade's only try came from flanker Jono Ross, with Morne Steyn kicking the rest of their points; Stade need to beat Leicester Tigers in their final fixture to have any hope of reaching the knock-out stage.
MUNSTER: Simon Zebo, Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Ronan O'Mahony, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, Mario Sagario, Dave Foley, Mark Chisholm, Billy Holland, Tommy O'Donnell, CJ STANDER (C) BENCH: Kevin O'Byrne, Liam O'Connor, John Ryan, Donnacha Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O'Donoghue, Tomas O'Leary, Lucas Amorosino
SCORERS T: Sherry, Earls, Zebo, Stander C: Keatley (3) O'Mahony
STADE: Hugo Bonneval, Waisea Vuidravuwalu, Jonathan Danty, Paul Williams, Julien Arias, Morné Steyn, Julien Dupuy, Zak Taulafo, Laurent Panis, Rabah Slimani, Paul Gabrillagues, Pascal Papé, Sekou Macalou, Jonathan Ross, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Zurabi Zhvania, Heinke Van der Merwe, Paul Alo Emile, Hugh Pyle, Sylvain Nicolas, Julien Tomas, Jules Plisson, Jérémy Sinzelle
SCORERS T: Ross C: Steyn P: Steyn (2)
Referee: JP Doyle Asst Referees: Tom Foley, Paul Dix TMO: Graham Hughes
LEICESTER TIGERS 47 - 7 BENETTON TREVISO
Welford Road - Saturday 16 January 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 28-7 Att: 19,076
TWO-TIME Champions Cup winners Leicester Tigers booked their place in the play offs with an emphatic victory over Treviso. Richard Cockerill's side had secured a four-try bonus point before half-time against the Italian strugglers and the win moved them out of reach in Pool four. The tries rolled in from a penalty, Fitzgerald, Goneva, Thompstone, Ben Youngs, Burns and Pearce, while Treviso only breached the gain line once to secure a converted try. Stade Français' 26-13 defeat in Munster earlier in the day means Tigers go into the Round 6 clash against the French club having already secured an all-important home quarter-final.
TIGERS: Thomas Bell, Adam Thompstone, Matthew Tait, Manu Tuilagi, Vereniki Goneva, Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs, Logovi’i Mulipola, TOM YOUNGS (C), Dan Cole, Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener, Michael Fitzgerald, Tom Croft, Jordan Crane BENCH: Harry Thacker, Marcos Ayerza, Fraser Balmain, Sebastian De Chaves, Laurence Pearce, Jonathon Kitto, Seremaia Bai, Peter Betham
SCORERS T: Fitzgerald, PT, Goneva, Thompstone, Ben Youngs, Burns, Pearce C: Burns (5), Bell
TREVISO: Jayden Hayward, Andrea Pratichetti, Samuel Christie, ALBERTO SGARBI (C), Simone Ragusi, James Ambrosini, Alberto Lucchese, Alberto de Marchi, Ornel Gega, Salesi Manu, Filo Paulo, Jean-François Montauriol, Marco Lazzaroni, Francesco Minto, Robert Barbieri BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Cherif Traorè, Filippo Filippetto, Marco Fuser, Alessandro Zanni, Braam Steyn, Enrico Bacchin, Luke McLean
SCORERS T: Pratichetti C: Ambrosini Ferrari
Referee: Ben Whitehouse Asst Referees: Sean Brickell, Gwyn Morris TMO: Derek Bevan
LEINSTER RUGBY 25 - 11 BATH RUGBY
RDS Arena - Saturday 16 January 2016
KO: 17:30 HT: 12-3 Att: 14,569
LEINSTER RUGBY knocked Bath Rugby out of the European Champions Cup with their first win of the campaign. Ian Madigan kicked 20 points while Sean Cronin claimed a second-half try that settled a gripping tie at the RDS. With nothing more than pride to play for, this victory ended Leinster's worst run in the Champions Cup of five successive defeats. Leroy Houston had crossed to give Bath a glimmer of hope earlier in the second half. But this defeat, just six days after pushing holders Toulon to the limit in France, ended any hope of progressing to the quarter-finals for a second year in a row.
LEINSTER: Zane Kirchner, ISA NACEWA (C), Garry Ringrose, Ben Te'o, Dave Kearney, Ian Madigan, Luke McGrath, Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh Van Der Flier, Jordi Murphy BENCH: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Sean O'Brien, Eoin Reddan, Johnny Sexton, Noel Reid
SCORERS T: Cronin C: Madigan P: Madigan (6)
BATH: Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Eastmond, Matt Banahan, George Ford, Chris Cook, Max Lahiff, Rob Webber, David Wilson, STUART HOOPER (C), Dom Day, Matt Garvey, Francois Louw, Leroy Houston BENCH: Ross Batty, Nick Auterac, Henry Thomas, Charlie Ewels, David Denton, Jonathan Evans, Rhys Priestland, Tom Homer
SCORERS T: Houston P: Ford, Priestland Day
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère Asst Referees: Maxime Chalon, Jean-Luc Rebollal TMO: Eric Gonthier
RC TOULON 15 - 11 WASPS
Stade Félix Mayol - Sunday 17 January 2016
KO: 16:15 HT: 8-3 Att: 13,344
DREW MITCHELL's injury-time try denied Wasps an historic win over European champions Toulon and inched them closer to the Champions Cup quarter-finals. The former Wallaby crossed to salvage a dramatic win for the three-time Champions Cup winners and extend Toulon's 17-game unbeaten run at Stade Felix Mayol. Neither kicker had a good day at the office, but Toulon took advantage of Wasps being a man down early on, the score was a feeble 8-3 at the break. Guy Thompson looked to have given Wasps the victory that would have clinched a quarter-finals spot with a try ten minutes from time; Jimmy Gopperth missed the conversion and Toulon mustered a final attack as time ran out. The result saw Toulon take over at the top of Pool 5, and they can win the pool with a bonus-point win at Bath next weekend when Wasps welcome Leinster at the Ricoh Arena. Wasps stunned the holders with a remarkable 32-6 win in Coventry in November but today were without key forwards Joe Launchbury, James Haskell and Nathan Hughes through injury. Toulon re-called Steffon Armitage after sitting out the scrappy win over Bath last week and the former England flanker lit up this tie from the outset.
TOULON: Drew Mitchell, Josua Tuisova, Mathieu Bastareaud, Ma'a Nonu, Bryan Habana, Quade Cooper, Eric Escande, Florian Fresia, Guilhem Guirado, Levan Chilachava, JOCELINO SUTA (C), Konstantine Mikautadze, Juan Smith, Steffon Armitage, Duane Vermeulen BENCH: Anthony Etrillard, Xavier Chiocci, Manasa Saulo, Mamuka Gorgodze, Frederic Michalak, Maxime Mermoz, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Thibault Lassalle
SCORERS T: Cooper, Mitchell C: Michalak P: Escande
WASPS: Charles Piutau, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Frank Halai, Jimmy Gopperth, Joe Simpson, MATT MULLAN (C), Edd Shervington, Lorenzo Cittadini, Bradley Davies, James Gaskell, Sam Jones, George Smith, Guy Thompson BENCH: Ashley Johnson, Simon McIntyre, Phil Swainston, Kearnan Myall, Thomas Young, Dan Robson, Ruaridh Jackson, Rob Miller
SCORERS T: Thompson P: Gopperth (2) Smith
Referee: Nigel Owens Asst Referees: Leighton Hodges, Wayne Davies TMO: Jonathan Mason
BORDEAUX BÈGLES 10 - 28 CLERMONT
Stade Chaban-Delmas - Friday 08 January 2016
KO: 20:45 HT: 10-17 Att: 28,483
ASM Clermont Auvergne have taken charge of Pool 2 in the Champions Cup after picking up a priceless away win at Stade Chaban-Delmas. Last season's beaten finalists overtook the Ospreys with a power-packed performance that was aided by the sending off of the Bordeaux replacement lock Julien Le Devdec after 50 minutes. He had only been on the field for a minute and was dismissed for leading with his head in a fracas. It was the second red card for Bordeaux in this season's tournament and things got even worse for them moments later when replacement prop Francisco Gomes Kodela was given a yellow card for a late shoulder charge on the Heineken Man of the Match, Morgan Parra. Bordeaux did not concede any more points while they were reduced to 13 men, but there was a final sting in the tail for the home side when Jonathan Davies released wing Noa Nakitaci to dive over in the left corner for the visitor's third try of the night.
BORDEAUX: 15 Darly Domvo 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina 13 Felix Le Bourhis 12 Romain Lonca 11 Jean-Baptiste Dubié 10 Lionel Beauxis 9 Heini Adams 8 Matthew Clarkin 7 Luke Braid 6 Louis Madaule 5 Adam Jaulhac 4 Berend Botha 3 Sekope Kepu 2 Clement Maynadier 1 Jefferson Poirot BENCH: 16 Ronan Chambord 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela 19 Julien Le Devedec 20 Marco Tauleigne 21 Yann Lesgourgues 22 Pierre Bernard 23 Nans Ducuing
SCORERS T: Maynadier C: Beauxis P: Beauxis Gomez Kodela Le Devedec
CLERMONT: 15 Nick Abendanon 14 David Strettle 13 Jonathan Davies 12 Wesley Fofana 11 Noa Nakaitaci 10 Camille Lopez 9 Morgan Parra 8 Damien Chouly 7 Alexandre Lapandry 6 Vito Kolelishvili 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina 4 Paul Jedrasiak 3 Daniel Kotze 2 John Ulugia 1 Thomas Domingo BENCH: 16 Benjamin Kayser 17 Raphael Chaume 18 Vincent Debaty 19 Loic Jacquet 20 Fritz Lee 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic 22 Pato Fernandez 23 Aurélien Rougerie
SCORERS T: Abendanon, Lopez, Nakaitaci C: Parra (2) P: Parra (3) Kayser
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon Asst Referees: Leo Colgan, Jonathan Peak TMO: Jude Quinn
Stade Yves-Du-Manoir - Saturday 09 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 13-3 Att: 8,133
DAN CARTER kicked 12 points as Racing 92 maintained their unbeaten run in the Champions Cup against Glasgow Warriors. The current World Player of the Year kicked five from five as the French league leaders tightened their grip on Pool 3 with a bonus-point win. But defeat at Stade Yves-du-Manoir put a serious dent in Glasgow's hopes of progressing the quarter-finals. Leone Nakarawa's second-half try briefly offered a glimmer of hope. But the power of the Racing pack proved too much as front-row trio Ben Tameifuna, Dimitri Szarzewski and Eddy Ben Arous all crossed before Manuel Carizza injury-time effort clinched the bonus. That saw Racing take a seven-point lead over Northampton Saints while third-placed Glasgow must now win both of their remaining ties to be in with a chance of progressing as one of three best runners-up. This tie was originally due to be played in November but was postponed following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
RACING: 15 Johan Goosen 14 Juan Imhoff 13 Henry Chavancy 12 Alexandre Dumoulin 11 Marc Andreu 10 Dan Carter 9 Maxime Machenaud 8 Chris Masoe 7 Wenceslas Lauret 6 Yannick Nyanga 5 Manuel Carizza 4 Luke Charteris 3 Ben Tameifuna 2 Dimitri Szarzewski 1 Eddy Ben Arous BENCH: 16 Camille Chat 17 Julien Brugnaut 18 Luc Ducalcon 19 Bernard Le Roux 20 Antonie Claassen 21 Brice Dulin 22 Mike Phillips 23 Casey Laulala
SCORERS T: Tameifuna, Szarzewski, Ben Arous, Carizza C: Carter (3), Goosen P: Carter (2)
WARRIORS: 15 Stuart Hogg 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro 13 Mark Bennett 12 Finn Russell 11 Sean Lamont 10 Duncan Weir 9 Ali Price 8 Adam Ashe 7 Chris Fusaro 6 Ryan Wilson 5 JONNY GRAY (C) 4 Leone Nakarawa 3 Zander Fagerson 2 Pat MacArthur 1 Gordon Reid BENCH: 16 Fraser Brown 17 Alex Allan 18 Sila Puafisi 19 Greg Peterson 20 Hugh Blake 21 Lee Jones 22 Sam Johnson 23 Glenn Bryce
SCORERS T: Nakarawa C: Russell P: Russell
Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Simon Harding, Paul Burton TMO: Graham Hughes
STADE FRANÇAIS 27 - 7 MUNSTER RUGBY
Stade Jean Bouin - Saturday 09 January 2016
KO: 17:45 HT: 10-0 Att: 13,820
STADE FRANÇAIS wing Josaia Raisuqe was sent off but that did not stop the French champions inflicting a heavy defeat on Munster in Paris. Raisuqe was sent off World Cup Final referee Nigel Owens on the stroke of half-time for gauging Munster captain CJ Stander as the pair wrestled for the ball. Yet despite playing for 40 minutes with just 14 men, it was Stade who ran out comfortable winners at Stade Jean Bouin. And such was their dominance that only a try by Conor Murray five minutes from time prevented Munster suffering their first shut-out in 21 years of European rugby. Paul Williams, Sekou Macalou and Hugo Bonneval all crossed as Stade halved Leicester Tigers' lead at the top of Pool 4 to four points. Munster are now out of the Champions Cup barring a miracle turn of results after suffering three pool defeats in a row for the first time.
STADE: 15 Hugo Bonneval 14 Julien Arias 13 Waisea Vuidravuwalu 12 Paul Williams 11 Josaia Raisque 10 Morné Steyn 9 Julien Dupuy 8 Sergio Parisse 7 Sylvain Nicolas 6 Sekou Macalou 5 Paul Gabrillagues 4 Hugh Pyle 3 Paul Alo Emile 2 Laurent Sempéré 1 Zak Taulafo BENCH: 16 Laurent Panis 17 Heinke Van der Merwe 18 Rabah Slimani 19 Gerhard Mostert 20 Jonathan Ross 21 Julien Tomas 22 Jules Plisson 23 Jonathan Danty
SCORERS T: Williams, Macalou, Bonneval C: Steyn (3) P: Steyn (2) Raisuqe
MUNSTER: 15 Andrew Conway 14 Keith Earls 13 Francis Saili 12 Rory Scannell 11 Simon Zebo 10 Ian Keatley 9 Conor Murray 8 CJ Stander 7 Tommy O'Donnell 6 Robin Copeland 5 Mark Chisholm 4 Dave Foley 3 BJ Botha 2 Mike Sherry 1 Dave Kilcoyne BENCH: 16 Niall Scannell 17 John Ryan 18 Mario Sagario 19 Billy Holland 20 Jack O'Donoghue 21 Tomás O'Leary 22 Denis Hurley 23 Ronan O'Mahony
SCORERS T: Murray C: Rory Scannell
Referee: Nigel Owens Asst Referees: Ian Tempest, Andrew Pearce TMO: Geoff Warren
OYONNAX 23 - 24 ULSTER RUGBY
Stade Charles Mathon - Sunday 10 January 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 23-0 Att: 7,500
ULSTER staged one of the great European rugby comebacks as they turned-over a 23 point half-time deficit in Oyonnax to keep alive their chances of progressing to the last eight in the Champions Cup with a sensational 24-23 triumph. It was a second successive victory on French soil for Rory Best's men following on from their 25-23 win in Toulouse in round four. It means they closed the gap at the top of Pool 1 to six points with two games left to play. Oyonnax used the conditions to their advantage in the first 40 minutes and looked set to break their Champions Cup duck in Pool 1 after three harrowing defeats. Having won only once in their last eight games they were desperate for a victory. And with two unanswered first-half tries they seemed to have set themselves on the right track to secure that historic first win in the tournament. But from the outset of the second half, tries from Rory Scholes, Craig Gilroy and Kyle McCall went unanswered by the homeside, with Paddy Jackson adding the extras and a penalty, and Oyannax got not a sniff as they were deftly turned over on the Ulster 22 in the last play of the game.
OYONNAX: 15 Quentin Etienne 14 Dug Codjo 13 Alaska Taufa 12 Eamonn Sheridan 11 Uwa Tawalo 10 Nicky Robinson 9 Julien Blanc 8 Pedrie Wannenburg 7 Maurie Fa'asavalu 6 Pierrick Gunther 5 Fabrice Metz 4 George Robson 3 Marc Clerc 2 Jeremie Maurouard 1 Laurent Delboulbès BENCH: 16 Thomas Bordes 17 Stan Wright 18 Horace Pungea 19 Leon Power 20 Viliami Ma’afu 21 Arthur Aziza 22 Rory Clegg 23 Daniel Ikpefan
SCORERS T: Maurouard, Tawalo C: Robinson (2) P: Robinson (3)
ULSTER: 15 Craig Gilroy 14 Sammy Arnold 13 Luke Marshall 12 Stuart McCloskey 11 Rory Scholes 10 Ian Humphreys 9 Paul Marshall 8 Roger Wilson 7 Chris Henry 6 Robbie Diack 5 Franco van der Merwe 4 Lewis Stevenson 3 Ricky Lutton 2 RORY BEST (C) 1 Kyle McCall BENCH: 16 Rob Herring 17 Callum Black 18 Bronson Ross 19 Nick Williams 20 Sean Reidy 21 Ruan Pienaar 22 Paddy Jackson 23 Louis Ludik
SCORERS T: Scholes, Gilroy, McCall C: Jackson (3) P: Jackson
Referee: Luke Pearce Asst Referees: Darren Gamage, Robin Goodliffe TMO: Trevor Fisher
RC TOULON 12 - 9 BATH RUGBY
Stade Félix Mayol - Sunday 10 January 2016
KO: 16:15 HT: 6-6 Att: 12,772
FREDERIC MICHALAK came off the bench to mark his first game in the Champions Cup this season with the match winning penalty for reigning champions RC Toulon. The former French international's 75th minute penalty gave the home side the lead for the first time in the match at 12-9 and allowed them to move to within two points of the Pool 5 leaders Wasps, who they meet at Stade Felix-Mayol in Round 5. Toulon matched the visitors point for point in the first half after George Ford pumped over a penalty and a drop goal, and went into the break all square at 6-all, Eric Escande having missed one opportunity to take the lead. The Bath fly half then dropped another directly returning to the paddock but Escande replied swiftly to equalise. Bath managed to haemorrhage 15 penalties to Toulon’s five, and it was the last one in their own 22 that Freddie took advantage of. The narrow triumph made it 17 successive home wins for Toulon and they have also won two European Cup semi-finals at Stade Vélodrome, in Marseille. If Wasps want to stay on top of the pool then they will need to succeed where everyone else has failed this weekend.
TOULON: 15 James O'Connor 14 Josua Tuisova 13 Mathieu Bastareaud 12 Ma'a Nonu 11 Bryan Habana 10 Quade Cooper 9 Eric Escande 8 Duane Vermeulen 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe 6 Juan Smith 5 Konstantine Mikautadze 4 Jocelino Suta 3 Levan Chilachava 2 Guilhem Guirado 1 Florian Fresia BENCH: 16 Anthony Etrillard 17 Xavier Chiocci 18 Matt Stevens 19 Steffon Armitage 20 Frédéric Michalak 21 Maxime Mermoz 22 Sébastien Tillous-Borde 23 Thibault Lassalle
SCORERSP: Escande (3), Michalak
BATH: 15 Anthony Watson 14 Semesa Rokoduguni 13 Jonathan Joseph 12 Kyle Eastmond 11 Matt Banahan 10 George Ford 9 Chris Cook 8 Leroy Houston 7 Francois Louw 6 Matt Garvey 5 Dominic Day 4 STUART HOOPER (C) 3 David Wilson 2 Rob Webber 1 Nick Auterac BENCH: 16 Ross Batty 17 Max Lahiff 18 Henry Thomas 19 Charlie Ewels 20 David Denton 21 Jonathan Evans 22 Rhys Priestland 23 Tom Homer
SCORERS P: Ford DG: Ford (2)
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: Neil Hennessy, Gwyn Morris TMO: Derek Bevan
SARACENS 55 - 13 OYONNAX
Allianz Park - Saturday 19 December 2015
KO: 13:00 HT: 20-6 Att: 9,207
CHRIS ASHTON's hat-trick put the seal on an emphatic win for Saracens that moved them even further ahead of the rest in Pool 1 of the Champions Cup. Ashton scored the first and last of his team's eight tries at Allianz Park. And that was enough to see the England wing overtake former British & Irish Lion Dafydd James for third place in the list of all-time top try-scorers in the Champions Cup. Only Vincent Clerc (36) of Toulouse and Brian O'Driscoll (33) have crossed the whitewash more times than Ashton in Europe's premier club tournament. Samuela Vunisa scored tries either side of half-time that effectively settled the tie. That was before Alex Goode, Mike Ellery and Jamie George all followed in the rout as Saracens moved 14 points clear of Ulster in Pool One. A week earlier, Saracens continued their unbeaten season against Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon.
SARACENS: Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, BRAD BARRITT (C), Michael Ellery, Owen Farrell, Neil de Kock, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Petrus du Plessis, Jim Hamilton, Maro Itoje, Jackson Wray, Kelly Brown, Samu Vunisa BENCH: Jamie George, Richard Barrington, Juan Figallo, Michael Rhodes, Will Fraser, Richard Wigglesworth, Charlie Hodgson, Ben Ransom
SCORERS T: Ashton (3), Vunisa (2), Goode, Ellery, George C: Farrell (4), Hodgson (2) P: Farrell
OYONNAX: FLORIAN DENOS (C), Daniel Ikpefan, Guillaume Bousses, Uwa Tawalo, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Regis Lespinas, Julien Blanc, Laurent Delboulbès, Jeremie Maurouard, Marc Clerc, Leon Power, Geoffrey Fabbri, Valentin Ursache, Pedrie Wannenburg, Florian Faure BENCH: Jody Jenneker, Stan Wright, Horace Pungea, Viliami Maafu, Thomas Bordes, Arthur Aziza, Rory Clegg, Vincent Martin
SCORERS T: Vainikolo C: Clegg P: Lespinas (2)
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Jonathan Peak TMO: Marshall Kilgore
TOULOUSE 23 - 25 ULSTER RUGBY
Stade Ernest Wallon - Sunday 20 December 2015
KO: 14:00 HT: 3-10 Att: 13,852
ULSTER grabbed their first-ever victory on the banks of the Garonne this afternoon at the Stade Ernest Wallon, following up the previous weekend's historic 38-0 defeat of Toulouse with a hard-fought and fully-deserved away win, keeping their quarter-final dreams alive.. Standout performances from Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar at 10 and nine respectively set the tone, with tries from Pienaar, Andrew Trimble and Luke Marshall putting paid to any threat of a backlash from the Rouge et Noir after last week's humiliation in Belfast. Gaël Fickou and Louis Picamoles hit-back, but it was not enough to stop Ulster from claiming their second win in three Champions Cup outings.
TOULOUSE: Alexis Palisson, Kunatani Kunabuli, Gael Fickou, Florian Fritz, Timoci Matanavou, Jean-Marc Doussain, Sébastien Bézy, Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Census Johnston, Gregory Lamboley, Yoann Maestri, Yacouba Camara, THIERRY DUSAUTOIR (C), Imanol Harinordoquy BENCH: Christopher Tolofua, Gurthro Steenkamp, Gert Muller, Joe Tekori, Louis Picamoles, Gillian Galan, David Mele, Clément Poitrenaud
SCORERS T: Fickou, Picamoles C: Bezy, Doussain P: Bezy (3)
ULSTER: Louis Ludik, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Kyle McCall, RORY BEST (C), Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O'Connor, Franco Van Der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Sean Reidy, Roger Wilson BENCH: Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson, Nick Williams, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Rory Scholes
SCORERS T: Pienaar, Trimble, Luke Marshall C: Jackson (2) P: Jackson (2) Jackson
Referee: JP Doyle Asst Referees: Darren Gamage, Paul Burton TMO: David Grashoff
BORDEAUX BÈGLES 33 - 27 OSPREYS
Stade Chaban-Delmas - Saturday 19 December 2015
KO: 18:15 HT: 25-10 Att: 2,152
BORDEAUX BÈGLES came out on top of an incredible game against the Ospreys but the Welsh region's two bonus points keeps alive their hopes of qualification. The French side stunned the Ospreys with three first half tries and secured the bonus point after the break. But a stunning late fightback from the Welsh region saw them claim a losing bonus point and a try bonus point after almost snatching the victory.
BORDEAUX: Jean-Marcellin Buttin, Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Julien Rey, Sofiane Guitoune, Pierre Bernard, Heini Adams, Jefferson Poirot, Clement Maynadier, Sekope Kepu, Julien Le Devedec, Berend Botha, Louis Madaule, MATTHEW CLARKIN (C), Marco Tauleigne BENCH: Ole Avei, Steven Kitshoff, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Jan Andre Marais, Loann Goujon, Yann Lesgourgues, Baptiste Serin, Darly Domvo
SCORERS T: Rey, Botha, Guitoune, Lesgourgues C: Bernard (2) P: Bernard (2), Serin Maynadier, Serin
OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Jeff Hassler, Ben John, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Thomas Habberfield, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, ALUN-WYN JONES (C), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Ryan Bevington, Aaron Jarvis, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Martin Roberts, Sam Davies, Hanno Dirksen
SCORERS T: Tupuric, Walker, Jones, Biggar C: Biggar (2) P: Biggar
Referee: Luke Pearce Asst Referees: Matt Carley, Peter Allan TMO: Rowan Kitt
CLERMONT AUVERGNE 42 - 10 EXETER CHIEFS
Stade Marcel-Michelin - Sunday 20 December 2015
KO: 16:15 HT: 21-3 Att: 16,768
EXETER CHIEFS were made to pay for their bonus-point win over French giants ASM Clermont Auvergne as they were put to the sword in the return game in the Champions Cup at Stade Marcel-Michelin. Despite a bright start, in which they kept the ball for almost three minutes from the kick-off and earned a penalty from Gareth Steenson, the Chiefs were then on the end of a hiding as last season's beaten finalists got back on course for another stab at the title in Pool 2. Even though the home side lost outside half Camille Lopez to the first of the game's four yellow cards after only three minutes, Clermont turned on the style to end those 10 minutes with a 13-3 lead. The tries then rolled in from Lapandry, Lee, Vahaamahina and Davies, while the Chiefs only reply was a consolation try from Tom Johnson in the 73rd minute, relegating the English side to third place in the pool.
CLERMONT: Scott Spedding, David Strettle, Jonathan Davies, Hosea Gear, Noa Nakaitaci, Camille Lopez, MORGAN PARRA (C), Vincent Debaty, Benjamin Kayser, Daniel Kotze, Jamie Cudmore, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Vito Kolelishvili, Alexandre Lapandry, Fritz Lee BENCH: John Ulugia, Thomas Domingo, Clément Ric, Paul Jedrasiak, Damien Chouly, Ludovic Radoslavjevic, Pato Fernandez, Albert Vulivuli
SCORERS T: Strettle, Lapandry, Lee, Vahaamahina, Davies C: Parra (3), Lopez P: Parra (2), Spedding Lopez, Kolelishvili, Ric
CHIEFS: Phil Dollman, Matt Jess, Jack Nowell, Ian Whitten, James Short, Gareth Steenson, Dave Lewis, Carl Rimmer, JACK YEANDLE (C), Tom Francis, Geoff Parling, Damian Welch, Don Armand, Julian Salvi, Tom Waldrom BENCH: Elvis Taione, Alec Hepburn, Moray Low, Mitch Lees, Tom Johnson, Haydn Thomas, Will Hooley, Michele Campagnaro
SCORERS T: Johnson C: Hooley P: Steenson Waldrom
Referee: Marius Mitrea Asst Referees: Stefano Penne, Simone Boaretto TMO: Carlo Damasco
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 9 - 9 RACING 92
Franklin's Gardens - Friday 18 December 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 3-6 Att: 15,064
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS proved they are not 30 points worse than Champions Cup Pool 3 rivals Racing 92 as they held the unbeaten French side to a 9-9 draw at Franklin's Gardens. It was Saints first draw in 125 games in the top tier of European rugby and keeps them in the hunt for a top two finish in their Pool as they chase another quarter-final. All the points came from the boots of the respective outside halves - three apiece for home No 10 Steve Myler, who also missed once from the half-way line, and three from Dan Carter. The closest either side came to scoring a try was in the 66th minute when Carter had a clearance kick from behind his own line charged down. The ball fell into the hands of home wing Jamie Elliott, but he could not force his way over to celebrated his 100th appearance for the club. But a final quarter penalty allowed Myler to equalise and the Saints held out to the final whistle.
SAINTS: Ben Foden, Ah See Tuala, George Pisi, Luther Burrell, George North, Steve Myler, LEE DICKSON (C), Alex Waller, Mikey Haywood, Kieran Brookes, Courtney Lawes, Victor Matfield, Jamie Gibson, Teimana Harrison, Sam Dickinson BENCH: Matti Williams, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Christian Day, Michael Paterson, Kahn Fotuali'i, JJ Hanrahan, Jamie Elliott
SCORERS P: Myler (3)
RACING: Brice Dulin, Joe Rokocoko, Casey Laulala, Henry Chavancy, Juan Imhoff, Dan Carter, Mike Phillips, Eddy Ben Arous, DIMITRI SZARZEWSKI (C), Ben Tameifuna, Luke Charteris, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Yannick Nyanga, Chris Masoe BENCH: Camille Chat, Julien Brugnaut, Cedate Gomes Sa, Manuel Carizza, Antonie Claassen, Maxime Machenaud, Johannes Goosen, Marc Andreu
SCORERS P: Carter (3)
Referee: Nigel Owens Asst Referees: Gwyn Morris, Wayne Davies TMO: Derek Bevan
SCARLETS 6 - 9 GLASGOW WARRIORS
Parc y Scarlets - Saturday 19 December 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 0-6 Att: 5,767
GLASGOW WARRIORS marked their 100th game in the European Cup by doing the double over Guinness PRO12 rivals the Scarlets to stay in the hunt for a quarter-final place in the Champions Cup. In appalling conditions at Parc y Scarlets, Gregor Townsend's team celebrated their century with four points and also made it back-to-back victories in the middle of the pool stages for the first time in 15 seasons as they triumphed 9-6. But they were forced to dig deep in the second half when they were reduced to 13 men for seven minutes after ex-Scarlets player Sean Lamont and back row man Chris Fusaro were both sent to the sin-bin by French official Pascal Gauzere in the pace of three minutes. Lamont got his marching orders for playing the ball on the floor after a tackle and then Fusaro followed him into the bin for a late charge on Thomas after he had kicked ahead. The win means the reigning PRO12 champions are back in the hunt for a quarter-final place after losing their opening game at home against Northampton Saints. They now sit in third place in Pool 3, one point behind Saints, with a game in hand, and three behind Racing 92, who they still have to play home and away.
SCARLETS: Mike Collins, Steff Evans, Gareth Owen, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe, Aled Thomas, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, EMYR PHILLIPS (C), Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Maselino Paulino, Lewis Rawlins, Jack Condy, Morgan Allen BENCH: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, George Earle, Tom Price, Aled Davies, Steven Shingler, Harry Robinson
SCORERS P: Thomas (2) Thomas
GLASGOW: Tommy Seymour, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Sean Lamont, Finn Russell, Mike Blair, Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Sila Puafisi, Leone Nakarawa, JONNY GRAY (C), Robert Harley, Simone Favaro, Josh Strauss BENCH: Shalva Mamukashvili, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson, Grayson Hart, Duncan Weir, Lee Jones
SCORERS P: Russell (3) Lamont, Favaro
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère Asst Referees: Maxime Chalon, Jean-Luc Rebollal TMO: Bruno Bessot
STADE FRANÇAIS 40 - 14 BENETTON TREVISO
Stade Jean Bouin - Saturday 19 December 2015
KO: 16:15 HT: 21-0 Att: 9,785
STADE FRANÇAIS kept the pressure on Leicester in Pool 4 of the European Rugby Champions Cup as they completed back-to-back bonus-point wins over Treviso with a 40-14 triumph in Paris. Fijian wing Josaia Raisuqe impressed with two of their tries, while the French side also scored a penalty try and registered further scores through Hugo Bonneval, Zurab Zhvania and Geoffrey Doumayrou. Fly-half Morne Steyn kicked five of six conversions, while Alberto Sgarbi and Davide Giazzon got consolation tries for the visitors.
STADE: Hugo Bonneval, Josaia Raisuqe, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara, Morné Steyn, Julien Tomas, Emmanuel Felsina, Laurent Sempéré, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues, Raphael Lakafia, Sylvain Nicolas, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Laurent Panis, Zurabi Zhvania, Paul Alo Emile, Gerhard Mostert, Jonathan Ross, Clement Daguin, Herman Meyer Bosman, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu
SCORERS T: PT, Bonneval, Raisuqe (2), Zhvania, Doumayrou C: Steyn (5)
TREVISO: Simone Ragusi, Andrea Pratichetti, Enrico Bacchin, Alberto Sgarbi, Tommaso Iannone, Jayden Hayward, Christopher Smylie, Alberto de Marchi, Roberto Santamaria, Salesi Manu, Marco Lazzaroni, Tom Palmer, Marco Barbini, ALESSANDRO ZANNI (C), Abraham Jurgens Steyn BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Matteo Zanusso, Rupert Harden, Filo Paulo, Marco Fuser, Robert Barbieri, Samuel Christie, James Ambrosini
SCORERS T: Sgarbi, Giazzon C: Hayward, Ambrosini
Referee: Greg Garner Asst Referees: Dean Richards, Kevin Stewart TMO: David Sainsbury
LEICESTER TIGERS 17 - 6 MUNSTER RUGBY
Welford Road - Sunday 20 December 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 10-6 Att: 21,645
LEICESTER TIGERS strengthened their grip on pool four with a hard-fought victory over Munster. Captain Ed Slater secured a first half try for the homeside, and Niki Goneva's second settled a fierce contest in favour of the Tigers that all-but ended Munster's chances of qualification for the knock-out stages. Munster fought back whilst Leicester were down to 14 men early in the second half, but James Cronin's try was disallowed for a forward pass, with the Tigers promptly shutting down every opportunity the visitors created.
TIGERS: Telusa Veainu, Adam Thompstone, Peter Betham, Matt Smith, Vereniki Goneva, Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Michael Fitzgerald, Graham Kitchener, ED SLATER (C), Brendon O'Connor, Lachlan McCaffrey BENCH: Harry Thacker, Matias Aguero, Fraser Balmain, Dom Barrow, Tom Croft, Sam Harrison, Thomas Bell, Seremaia Bai
SCORERS T: Slater, Goneva C: Burns (2) P: Burns Barrow
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, James Cronin, Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Donnacha Ryan, Robin Copeland, Dave O'Callaghan, CJ STANDER (C) BENCH: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Mario Sagario, Dave Foley, Jack O'Donoghue, Tomas O'Leary, Rory Scannell, Lucas Amorosino
SCORERS P: Keatley (2)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès Asst Referees: Thomas Charabas, Salem Attalah TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau
BATH RUGBY 10 - 36 WASPS
Recreation Ground - Saturday 19 December 2015
KO: 15:15 HT: 7-23 Att: 12,961
BATH RUGBY were unable to emulate their heroics of last weekend in the return Champions Cup fixture against Wasps at the Rec this afternoon, losing 10-36. As the ten-minute mark of the match approached, Bath had opened up the Wasps backline putting Semesa Rokoduguni in for the first try of the match. Ford converted from the right touchline. But the only addition for the home side was a third quarter penalty from the fly half, and finishing up with just 14 men after Roko was sent to the bin. Meanwhile, the visitors racked up three tries from Daly, Gopperth and Leuia, and Jimmy Gopperth took advantage of each kickable penalty from Bath, adding four penalties, followed up by a drop goal from Daly. The West Country club drop down to third in the pool, but like second place Toulon, still have a game in hand.
BATH: Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Eastmond, Matt Banahan, George Ford, Niko Matawalu, Nick Auterac, Ross Batty, David Wilson, Matt Garvey, David Attwood, Leroy Houston, FRANCOIS LOUW (C), David Denton BENCH: Rob Webber, Max Lahiff, Henry Thomas, Charlie Ewels, Guy Mercer, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Tom Homer
SCORERS T: Rokoduguni C: Ford P: Ford Rokoduguni
WASPS: Rob Miller, Frank Halai, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Charles Piutau, Jimmy Gopperth, Joe Simpson, Matt Mullan, Ashley Johnson, Lorenzo Cittadini, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, JAMES HASKELL (C), George Smith, Nathan Hughes BENCH: Edd Shervington, Simon McIntyre, Phil Swainston, James Gaskell, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Ruaridh Jackson, Alapati Leiua
SCORERS T: Daly, Gopperth, Leiua C: Gopperth (3) P: Gopperth (4) DG: Daly
Referee: Romain Poite Asst Referees: Cyril Lafon, Stephane Boyer TMO: Eric Gonthier
LEINSTER RUGBY 16 - 20 RC TOULON
Aviva Stadium - Saturday 19 December 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 16-5 Att: 44,925
TOULON turned on the pack power to come from 11 points adrift and inflict an unheard of fifth straight defeat on Leinster - the Dublin club suffering their worst losing streak in their 140 match Champions Cup history. The defending champions were second best in the first half but turned that around after the break with 15 unanswered points to make it 17 wins in their last 19 tournament matches and their fourth in four meetings with Leinster. The defeat leaves Leinster, who had never previously lost back-to-back home games in the same season of a Champions Cup campaign, pegged and stranded at the basement of Pool 5 with just two points. In front of almost 45,000 fans at a vibrant Aviva Stadium, who were, however, silenced by Toulon's comeback on their way to a 20-16 victory, Leinster's bravery ultimately was not enough to see off Toulon's experience and power. The two European heavyweights have won six of the last seven titles between them - Leinster in 2009, 2011 and 2012 while Toulon have since reigned supreme in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with an unprecedented hat-trick of crowns - and in the end Toulon proved why they are the defending champions. They are now six points behind group leaders Wasps, but have a rearranged home game in hand to play against Bath Rugby in the new year.
LEINSTER: Rob Kearney, Dave Kearney, Ben Te'o, Luke Fitzgerald, ISA NACEWA (C), Johnny Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh Van Der Flier, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Sean Cronin, Michael Bent, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Jordi Murphy, Nick Mc Carthy, Ian Madigan, Zane Kirchner
SCORERS T: PT C: Sexton P: Sexton (3) Murphy
TOULON: Delon Armitage, Bryan Habana, Mathieu Bastareaud, Ma'a Nonu, Drew Mitchell, MATT GITEAU (C), Eric Escande, Florian Fresia, Guilhem Guirado, Matt Stevens, Jocelino Suta, Romain Taofifenua, Juan Smith, Steffon Armitage, Duane Vermeulen BENCH: Anthony Etrillard, Xavier Chiocci, Levan Chilachava, Mamuka Gorgodze, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Tom Taylor, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Konstantine Mikautadze
SCORERS T: Smith, PT, Etrillard C: Taylor P: Taylor Vermeulen
Referee: Wayne Barnes Asst Referees: Tim Wigglesworth, Paul Dix TMO: Graham Hughes
ULSTER RUGBY 38 - 0 TOULOUSE
Kingspan Stadium - Friday 11 December 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 17-0 Att: 16,016
ULSTER produced one of the most famous victories in their history with a five try demolition of four-time winners Toulouse at Ravenhill. Two first half tries and three more after the interval gave the home side a much-deserved victory as Toulouse failed to score a single point in a European game for the first time. It puts Ulster back in contention to qualify for the knock-out stages from pool one, despite their shock defeat at home to Saracens in round one of the competition.
ULSTER: Louis Ludik, Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Kyle McCall, RORY BEST (C), Wiehahn Herbst, Alan O'Connor, Franco Van Der Merwe, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams BENCH: Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Ricky Lutton, Clive Ross, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Rory Scholes
SCORERS T: Williams, Trimble, Luke Marshall, McCloskey, Henry C: Jackson (4), Humphreys P: Jackson Williams
TOULOUSE: Clément Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc, Gael Fickou, Toby Flood, Maxime Médard, Luke McAlister, Sébastien Bézy, Vasil Kakovin, Corey Flynn, Census Johnston, Yoann Maestri, Joe Tekori, Yacouba Camara, THIERRY DUSAUTOIR (C), Louis Picamoles BENCH: Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille, Dorian Aldegheri, Edwin Maka, Gregory Lamboley, Gillian Galan, Jean-Marc Doussain, Alexis Palisson
SCORERS Bezy, Camara
Referee: Wayne Barnes Asst Referees: Tim Wigglesworth, Paul Dix TMO: Graham Hughes
OYONNAX 10 - 45 SARACENS
Stade Charles Mathon - Sunday 13 December 2015
KO: 14:00 HT: 3-24 Att: 8,800
SARACENS cemented their place at the top of Pool 1 of the European Rugby Champions Cup with a 45-10 bonus-point win over Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon. The English champions have a full haul of 15 points from three games after a penalty try, plus further scores from Alex Goode, Chris Wyles, Maro Itoje, Richard Wigglesworth and Schalk Brits sealed an emphatic victory. Owen Farrell added a penalty and five conversions for a personal 13-point haul, with Charlie Hodgson kicking one conversion of his own. Replacement Arthur Aziza scored a consolation try for the home side on the occasion of their first home fixture in Europe's top-tier competition.
OYONNAX: Quentin Etienne, Silvere Tian, Guillaume Bousses, Alaska Taufa, Dug Codjo, Rory Clegg, FABIEN CIBRAY (C), Soane Tonga'uiha, Jeremie Maurouard, Horace Pungea, Leon Power, Geoffrey Fabbri, Valentin Ursache, Olivier Missoup, Pedrie Wannenburg BENCH: Thomas Bordes, Lukas Rapant, Marc Clerc, Antoine Guillamon, Pierrick Gunther, Florian Faure, Arthur Aziza, Regis Lespinas
SCORERS T: Aziza C: Lespinas P: Clegg
SARACENS: Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Marcelo Bosch, BRAD BARRITT (C), Chris Wyles, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Juan Figallo, Jim Hamilton, Maro Itoje, Michael Rhodes, Will Fraser, Billy Vunipola BENCH: Schalk Brits, Rhys Gill, Petrus du Plessis, Kelly Brown, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Michael Ellery
SCORERS T: PT, Goode, Wyles, Itoje, Wigglesworth, Brits C: Farrell (5), Hodgson P: Farrell
Referee: Marius Mitrea Asst Referees: Matteo Liperini, Stefano Penne TMO: Carlo Damasco
EXETER CHIEFS 31 - 14 CLERMONT AUVERGNE
Sandy Park Stadium - Saturday 12 December 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 10-14 Att: 10,930
EXETER CHIEFS produced one of the biggest results in their history as they secured maximum points at home to French giants Clermont Auvergne. Clermont looked to be ready to repeat the 46-12 hammering they dished out the last time the two sides met at Sandy Park in 2012 when they raced into a 14-3 lead after just 20 minutes. But a try in each half from Thomas Waldron and two late scores from Don Armand and Mitch Lees completed a famous comeback to blow the race for qualification from pool two wide open.
CHIEFS: Phil Dollman, Jack Nowell, Ian Whitten, Sam Hill, James Short, Gareth Steenson, Will Chudley, Ben Moon, JACK YEANDLE (C), Tom Francis, Mitch Lees, Damian Welch, Don Armand, Julian Salvi, Tom Waldrom BENCH: Elvis Taione, Carl Rimmer, Moray Low, Geoff Parling, Tom Johnson, Dave Lewis, Will Hooley, Olly Woodburn
SCORERS T: Waldrom (2), Armand, Lees C: Steenson (4) P: Steenson Dollman
CLERMONT: Scott Spedding, David Strettle, Aurélien Rougerie, Hosea Gear, Noa Nakaitaci, Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, John Ulugia, Clément Ric, Paul Jedrasiak, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Peceli Yato, Vito Kolelishvili, DAMIEN CHOULY (C) BENCH: Marthinius Van Der Westhuizen, Raphael Chaume, Daniel Kotze, Flip Van Der Merwe, Judicaël Cancoriet, Ludovic Radoslavjevic, Pato Fernandez, Albert Vulivuli
SCORERS T: Gear, Rougerie C: Parra (2) Yato
Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Gary Conway, Nigel Correll TMO: Simon McDowell
OSPREYS 19 - 16 BORDEAUX BÈGLES
Liberty Stadium - Saturday 12 December 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 9-13 Att: 8,733
THE Ospreys were made to work for every inch as they edged to a 19-16 triumph against a 14-man Bordeaux Bègles. The result puts the Liberty Stadium side in a strong position in Pool 2 with 10 points from three matches. Dan Biggar scored all 19 points for his side after being floored by a Jean-Baptiste Dubié swinging arm, with the Bordeaux man seeing red. The French side never gave up, and pushed the Ospreys all the way despite having 13-men at one point.
OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, ALUN-WYN JONES (C), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Aaron Jarvis, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies, Ben John
SCORERS T: Biggar C: Biggar P: Biggar (4) Jones
BORDEAUX: Jean-Marcellin Buttin, Jean-Baptiste Dubié, Felix Le Bourhis, Charles Brousse, Nans Ducuing, Pierre Bernard, Heini Adams, Jefferson Poirot, Clement Maynadier, Sekope Kepu, Berend Botha, Adam Jaulhac, MATTHEW CLARKIN (C), Hugh Chalmers, Marco Tauleigne BENCH: Ronan Chambord, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Patrick Toetu, Cyril Cazeaux, Louis Madaule, Baptiste Serin, Romain Lonca, Paulin Riva
SCORERS T: le Bourhis C: Bernard P: Bernard (2), Lonca Poux Dubie
Referee: JP Doyle Asst Referees: Greg Garner, Paul Burton TMO: Sean Davey
GLASGOW WARRIORS 43 - 6 SCARLETS
Scotstoun Stadium - Saturday 12 December 2015
KO: 13:00 HT: 10-3 Att: 6,576
TAQELE NAIYARAVORO ensured reigning Guinness PRO12 champions Glasgow Warriors steamrollered their way past Scarlets, and back into contention in Pool 3 of the Champions Cup, as he ran in a hat-trick of tries at Scotstoun. The Aussie wing joined Thom Evans as the only player to score three tries in a match for the Warriors in 99 games in the top flight of European club rugby and he could have had four if his feet had been a fraction smaller. The 6ft 5in, 19st 9lb giant showed off his full range of skills in the first half when he caught a ball that was heading for touch high over his shoulder, seemingly kept his feet inside the touch-line and then ran through three defenders to reach the line. It would have been a brilliant solo effort, but the TMO ruled his toe had touched the whitewash as he caught the ball. The Scarlets, who had beaten the Warriors in an earlier trip to Scotstoun this season, were well below full strength because of injuries, but were well below par after a competitive first half that ended 10-3 in favour of the home side.
GLASGOW: Stuart Hogg, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Weir, Mike Blair, Ryan Grant, James Malcolm, Sila Puafisi, Leone Nakarawa, JONNY GRAY (C), Josh Strauss, Simone Favaro, Adam Ashe BENCH: Shalva Mamukashvili, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Robert Harley, Grayson Hart, Finn Russell, Sean Lamont
SCORERS T: Weir, Malcolm, Naiyaravoro (3), Swinson C: Weir (2), Russell (3) P: Weir
SCARLETS: Steff Evans, Harry Robinson, Regan King, Gareth Owen, Michael Tagicakibau, Steven Shingler, Gareth Davies, Phil John, EMYR PHILLIPS (C), Rhodri Jones, George Earle, Tom Price, Lewis Rawlins, Tom Phillips, Morgan Allen BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Dylan Evans, Samson Lee, Maselino Paulino, Jack Condy, Rhodri Williams, Aled Thomas, Mike Collins
SCORERS P: Shingler (2)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal Asst Referees: Sebastien Minery, Thomas Dejean TMO: Vincent Azoulay
RACING 92 33 - 3 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Stade Yves-Du-Manoir - Saturday 12 December 2015
KO: 16:15 HT: 21-3 Att: 8,733
WITH a little help from his All Black friends, Dan Carter's helped Racing 92 to an impressive bonus point win over Northampton Saints at the Stade Yves-Du-Manoir. The World Cup winner kicked three conversions on his debut and produced an accomplished display as Racing made light work of the Saints. Henry Chavancy, Eddy Ben Arous and Brice Dulin touched down before the break and a second from Dulin and a late try from Juan Imhoff completed the rout for the home side. The visiting Saints did not get a look in after Luther Burrell’s half time try was cruelly disallowed by referee George Clancy who refused to go to the TMO, though the replay clearly showed a good score.
RACING: Brice Dulin, Joe Rokocoko, Casey Laulala, Henry Chavancy, Juan Imhoff, Dan Carter, Mike Phillips, Eddy Ben Arous, DIMITRI SZARZEWSKI (C), Ben Tameifuna, Luke Charteris, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Yannick Nyanga, Chris Masoe BENCH: Camille Chat, Julien Brugnaut, Cedate Gomes Sa, Manuel Carizza, Antonie Claassen, Johannes Goosen, Alexandre Dumoulin, Maxime Machenaud
SCORERS T: Chavancy, Ben Arous, Dulin (2), Imhoff C: Carter (3), Goosen
SAINTS: Ben Foden, Jamie Elliott, Luther Burrell, Tom Stephenson, George North, JJ Hanrahan, LEE DICKSON (C), Alex Waller, Mikey Haywood, Kieran Brookes, Michael Paterson, Victor Matfield, Courtney Lawes, Teimana Harrison, Sam Dickinson BENCH: Matti Williams, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Christian Day, Jamie Gibson, Kahn Fotuali'i, Steve Myler, Ah See Tuala
SCORERS P: Hanrahan
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: Dudley Phillips, Mark Patton TMO: Marshall Kilgore
BENETTON TREVISO 17 - 50 STADE FRANÇAIS
Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 12 December 2015
KO: 16:15 HT: 0-36 Att: 4,600
STADE FRANCAIS marked their arrival in this season's European Champions Cup in style with a 50-17 thumping of Benetton Treviso in Italy. A Parisian onslaught in the first 11 minutes saw Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Julien Arias and Paul Williams cross to put the French side in the driving seat. The bonus-point was wrapped up soon after through Sylvain Nicolas, before captain Sergio Parisse and a second try from Williams wrapped-up the rout. The Top14 champions have lift-off in this season's Champions Cup after defeat to Leicester Tigers in round one.
TREVISO: Luke McLean, Andrea Pratichetti, Enrico Bacchin, Samuel Christie, Edoardo Gori, Jayden Hayward, Christopher Smylie, Matteo Zanusso, Ornel Gega, Alberto de Marchi, Rudolph Duncan Naude, Filo Paulo, Andrea De Marchi, Francesco Minto, ALESSANDRO ZANNI (C) BENCH: Roberto Santamaria, Cherif Traore, Rupert Harden, Tom Palmer, Marco Lazzaroni, Alberto Sgarbi, James Ambrosini, Simone Ragusi
SCORERS T: Christie, Ragusi, Lazzaroni C: Hayward
STADE: Djibril Camara, Julien Arias, Paul Williams, Herman Meyer Bosman, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Jules Plisson, Will Genia, Heinke Van der Merwe, Laurent Sempéré, Paul Alo Emile, Hugh Pyle, Pascal Papé, Willem Alberts, Sylvain Nicolas, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Laurent Panis, Zurabi Zhvania, Zak Taulafo, Paul Gabrillagues, Raphael Lakafia, Clement Daguin, Jonathan Danty, Hugo Bonneval
SCORERS T: Nayacalevu, Arias, Williams (2), Nicolas, Bosnan, Parisse C: Plisson (6) P: Plisson
Referee: Matthew Carley Asst Referees: Luke Pearce, Peter Allan TMO: Rowan Kitt
MUNSTER RUGBY 19 - 31 LEICESTER TIGERS
Thomond Park - Saturday 12 December 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 6-18 Att: 22,261
LEICESTER TIGERS stunned Thomond Park with a quick-fire pair of first-half tries to send them on their way to a 31-19 triumph over Munster to take control of Pool Four. Scores from Vereniki Goneva and Mike Fitzgerald just before the break swung the game in the visitors favour. Sean Cronin dabbed down to get Munster back in it before Ben Youngs sniped over, and Mike Sherry's try was too little, too late for Munster. Leicester have three wins from three as they head back to Welford Road for the return leg next Sunday, and will be confident of progressing from pool four.
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, James Cronin, Niall Scannell, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Donnacha Ryan, Robin Copeland, Dave O'Callaghan, CJ STANDER (C) BENCH: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Jack O'Donoghue, Tomas O'Leary, Tyler Bleyendaal, Lucas Amorosino
SCORERS T: Cronin, Sherry P: Keatley (3)
TIGERS: Telusa Veainu, Adam Thompstone, Matt Smith, Seremaia Bai, Vereniki Goneva, Owen Williams, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Graham Kitchener, Michael Fitzgerald, ED SLATER (C), Brendon O'Connor, Lachlan McCaffrey BENCH: Harry Thacker, Matias Aguero, Fraser Balmain, Dom Barrow, Tom Croft, Sam Harrison, Thomas Bell, Gonzalo Camacho
SCORERS T: Goneva, Fitzgerald, Ben Youngs C: Williams (2) P: Williams (2), Bell (2) Ayerza
Referee: Romain Poite Asst Referees: Tual Trainini, Laurent Breil TMO: Gilles Cogne
RC TOULON 24 - 9 LEINSTER RUGBY
Stade Félix Mayol - Sunday 13 December 2015
KO: 16:15 HT: 10-9 Att: 12,590
REIGNING champions RC Toulon got back to winning ways in the Champions Cup thanks to two tries from England back row man Steffon Armitage as they condemned another triple winner, Leinster, to a third successive loss with a 24-9 victory at Stade Mayol. The home side had been put to the sword by Wasps at the Ricoh Arena in the opening game of their latest defence of the title, but they extended their unbeaten home record to 16 games in the tournament with a hard-fought victory. Leinster arrived knowing that a third consecutive win in Pool 1 would end any hopes of reaching the last eight and they didn't help themselves by having three forwards sent to the sin-bin. Steffon Armitage scored both tries for the home side from driving line-outs. The home side, chasing a fourth successive title, paraded their latest big name signing, All Black World Cup winner Ma'a Nonu, for the first time in Europe and they were looking to pick themselves up from their heavy defeat by Wasps in Coventry in Round 2, which they did admirably.
TOULON: Delon Armitage, Bryan Habana, Mathieu Bastareaud, Ma'a Nonu, Drew Mitchell, Matt Giteau, Eric Escande, Florian Fresia, Guilhem Guirado, Matt Stevens, Samu Manoa, Romain Taofifenua, Mamuka Gorgodze, Steffon Armitage, Duane Vermeulen BENCH: Anthony Etrillard, Xavier Chiocci, Levan Chilachava, Juan Smith, Tom Taylor, Maxime Mermoz, Anthony Meric, Jocelino Suta
SCORERS T: Steffon Armitage (2) C: Escande P: Escande (3)
LEINSTER: Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Ben Te'o, Luke Fitzgerald, ISA NACEWA (C), Johnny Sexton, Isaac Boss, Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Josh Van Der Flier, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Jordi Murphy, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney
SCORERS P: Sexton (3) Healy, Toner, Denton
Referee: Nigel Owens Asst Referees: Gwyn Morris, Wayne Davies TMO: Derek Bevan
WASPS 23 - 25 BATH RUGBY
Ricoh Arena - Sunday 13 December 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 12-15 Att: 11,319
GEORGE FORD kicked an 86th minute conversion to earn Bath a dramatic win at English rivals Wasps to maintain their unbeaten record in Pool 5 of the Champions Cup. Wasps looked to be heading for the victory until Anthony Watson scored a late try with the home side down to 13 men. England international Ford nailed the conversion from the touchline to give Bath the four points and move into second place in the pool with a game in hand on leaders, Wasps. Bath had raced into a first half lead with tries from Jonathan Joseph and Matt Banahan but the home side were kept in contention by the boot of outside-half Ruaridh Jackson. A Rob Miller try 20 minutes from the end put Wasps in front but they couldn't cling on to their slender advantage. The victory moves Bath two points behind Wasps at the top of pool five and four points ahead of reigning champions and three-time winners Toulon.
WASPS: Rob Miller, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Charles Piutau, Ruaridh Jackson, Joe Simpson, Matt Mullan, Ashley Johnson, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, JAMES HASKELL (C), George Smith, Nathan Hughes BENCH: Edd Shervington, Simon McIntyre, Lorenzo Cittadini, James Gaskell, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Jimmy Gopperth, Alapati Leiua
SCORERS T: Miller P: Jackson (3), Daly, Gopperth Smith, Cittadini
BATH: Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Eastmond, Matt Banahan, George Ford, Niko Matawalu, Max Lahiff, Ross Batty, David Wilson, Tom Ellis, David Attwood, Matt Garvey, FRANCOIS LOUW (C), David Denton BENCH: Rob Webber, Nathan Catt, Henry Thomas, Charlie Ewels, Leroy Houston, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Tom Homer
SCORERS T: Joseph, Banahan, Watson C: Ford (2) P: Ford (2)
Referee: Jerome Garces Asst Referees: Maxime Chalon, Jean-Luc Rebollal TMO: Eric Gauzins
IT was a good Champions Cup weekend for the Aviva Premiership clubs with all six registering victories, but not so hot for the PRO12 representatives as the six who were in action all lost. There were wins on the road for Racing 92, Saracens, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers.
ULSTER RUGBY 9 - 27 SARACENS
Kingspan Stadium - Friday 20 November 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 9-5 Att: 17,209
SARACENS piled on 22 points in the second half at the Kingspan to pick up an away win and bonus-point to put them in control of Pool 1 in the Champions Cup. Having put Toulouse to the sword at Allianz Park in round one, the English champions ran out 27-9 winners over an Ulster side that hadn't lost at home since RC Toulon beat them on 25 October last year. It means Mark McCall's men have started their European campaign with a bang and now lead two of their biggest rivals, Toulouse and Ulster, by nine points with Oyonnax yet to play. Having reached the semi-finals and the final in the past three seasons then maybe this is going to be their year.
ULSTER Rugby Louis Ludik, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart McCloskey, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Callum Black, RORY BEST (C), Wiehahn Herbst, Dan Tuohy, Franco Van Der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams BENCH: Rob Herring, Kyle McCall, Ricky Lutton, Robbie Diack, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Peter Nelson
SCORERS P: Jackson (2) DG: Jackson Best
SARACENS Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, BRAD BARRITT (C), Chris Wyles, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Petrus du Plessis, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Michael Rhodes, Jacques Burger, Billy Vunipola BENCH: Jamie George, Rhys Gill, Juan Figallo, Alistair Hargreaves, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Marcelo Bosch
SCORERS T: Wyles, Goode, Taylor, Billy Vunipola C: Farrell, Hodgson P: Farrell Rhodes, Billy Vunipola
Referee: Romain Poite Asst Referees: Cyril Lafon, Pierre Brousset TMO: Eric Gauzins
TOULOUSE 24 - 18 OYONNAX
Stade Ernest Wallon - Saturday 21 November 2015
KO: 16:15 HT: 3-6 Att: 10,469
TOULOUSE reignited their quest for Champions Cup glory with a hard-fought 24-18 win over Oyonnax at Stade Ernest Wallon. Whenever the four-time champions thought they had put breathing distance between them, the plucky visitors fought-back. Timoci Matanavou was first to go over after a tight first-half before Maxime Medard crossed. But Oyonnax fought-back through Vincent Martin, before Gael Ficou looked to have won it, but there was still time for Fabien Cibray to make for a nervy final few minutes.
TOULOUSE Clément Poitrenaud, Maxime Médard, Gael Fickou, Florian Fritz, Timoci Matanavou, Luke McAlister, Jean-Marc Doussain, Vasil Kakovin, Christopher Tolofua, Dorian Aldegheri, YOANN MAESTRI (C), Romain Millo-Chluski, Talalelei Gray, Imanol Harinordoquy, Louis Picamoles BENCH: Julien Marchand, Nemiah Tialata, Census Johnston, Joe Tekori, Gregory Lamboley, David Mele, Yann David, Arthur Bonneval
SCORERS T: Matanavou, Médard, Fickou C: McAlister (3) P: McAlister
OYONNAX Florian Denos, Silvere Tian, Vincent Martin, Eamonn Sheridan, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Regis Lespinas, FABIEN CIBRAY (C), Laurent Delboulbès, Jody Jenneker, Antoine Guillamon, George Robson, Leon Power, Pierrick Gunther, Olivier Missoup, Viliami Maafu BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, Soane Tonga'uiha, Marc Clerc, Valentin Ursache, Pedrie Wannenburg, Piri Weepu, Nicky Robinson, Geoffrey Fabbri
SCORERS T: Martin, Cibray C: Robinson P: Lespinas (2)
Referee: Matt Carley Asst Referees: Andrew Jackson, Robin Goodliffe TMO: Stuart Terheege
EXETER CHIEFS 34 - 19 BORDEAUX BÈGLES
Sandy Park Stadium - Saturday 21 November 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 21-7 Att: 9,577
OLLY WOODBURN got a belated 24th birthday present out of Exeter Chiefs' 34-19 home win over Bordeaux-Begles as his two tries earned him the Heineken Man of the Match award. The former Bath wing notched his first European tries for his new club to ensure the Chiefs kept their Champions Cup campaign alive after their opening round defeat at the Ospreys. Having failed to pick up any points at the Liberty Stadium Rob Baxter's men knew they need to get a full house in the first of three successive games against Top 14 opposition in Pool 2 and they did just with two tries in each half.
CHIEFS Phil Dollman, Jack Nowell, Ian Whitten, Sam Hill, Olly Woodburn, Henry Slade, Will Chudley, Ben Moon, JACK YEANDLE (C), Moray Low, Geoff Parling, Damian Welch, Ben White, Julian Salvi, Tom Johnson BENCH: Elvis Taione, Carl Rimmer, Alex Brown, Ollie Atkins, Don Armand, Dave Lewis, Gareth Steenson, Michele Campagnaro
SCORERS T: Woodburn (2), Low, Whitten C: Slade P: Slade (4)
BORDEAUX Nans Ducuing, Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, Sofiane Guitoune, Julien Rey, Blair Connor, Lionel Beauxis, Yann Lesgourgues, Steven Kitshoff, Ole Avei, Patrick Toetu, Julien Le Devedec, JAN ANDRE MARAIS (C), Louis Madaule, Hugh Chalmers, Loann Goujon BENCH: Clement Maynadier, Sébastien Taofifenua, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Adam Jaulhac, Marco Tauleigne, Baptiste Serin, Romain Lonca, Charles Brousse
SCORERS T: Ducuing, Rey, Lesgourgues C: Beauxis, Lonca
Referee: Leighton Hodges Asst Referees: Gwyn Morris, Greg Morgan TMO: Gareth Simmonds
ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE 34 - 31 OSPREYS
Stade Marcel-Michelin - Sunday 22 November 2015
KO: 14:00 HT: 20-3 Att: 16,838
CLERMONT AUVERGNE kicked off their European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 2 campaign with a 34-29 bonus-point win over the Ospreys in a thriller at Stade Marcel-Michelin. Man of the match David Strettle scored two tries for the home side, with centres Aurelien Rougerie and Wesley Fofana also crossing while fly-half Camille Lopez and scrum-half Morgan Parra kicked their remaining points. But the Ospreys battled bravely, bookending the second half with quickfire tries from Justin Tipuric and Eli Walker and a late brace courtesy of replacements Sam Parry and Tom Habberfield, and came away with two bonus points that could yet prove crucial come the end of the pool stage. Clermont's dramatic 34-29 victory over the Ospreys means that last season's beaten finalists have extended their unbeaten run in Europe at Stade Marcel-Michelin to 24 games.
CLERMONT Nick Abendanon, David Strettle, Aurélien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci, Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Sébastien Vahaamahina, DAMIEN CHOULY (C), Alexandre Lapandry, Fritz Lee BENCH: Marthinius Van Der Westhuizen, Raphael Chaume, Daniel Kotze, Flip Van Der Merwe, Vito Kolelishvili, Ludovic Radosavljevic , Brock James, Albert Vulivuli
SCORERS T: Strettle (2), Rougerie, Fofana C: Lopez (2), Parra (2) P: Lopez (2) Lapandry
OSPREYS Daniel Evans, Thomas Grabham, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, ALUN-WYN JONES (C), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Ryan Bevington, Aaron Jarvis, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies, Hanno Dirksen
SCORERS T: Tipuric, Walker, Parry, Habberfield C: Biggar (4) DG: Biggar Davies
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: David Wilkinson, Olly Hodges TMO: Marshall Kilgore
GLASGOW 15 - 26 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Scotstoun Stadium - Saturday 21 November 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 10-21 Att: 6,800
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS crushed the Glasgow Warriors pack to earn a 26-15 Champions Cup triumph at Scotstoun. George Pisi crossed to kick-off a first-half blitz, before Ah See Tuala scored a brace of tries to put Jim Mallinder's side in command of pool three. Peter Horne and Josh Strauss gave the hosts hope, but the damage had been done by Northampton's ruthless forward performance.
WARRIORS Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Peter Horne, Sean Lamont, Finn Russell, Mike Blair, Ryan Grant, Pat MacArthur, Sila Puafisi, Leone Nakarawa, JONNY GRAY (C), Robert Harley, Simone Favaro, Josh Strauss BENCH: Shalva Mamukashvili, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson, Grayson Hart, Richie Vernon, Taqele Naiyaravoro
SCORERS T: Horne, Strauss C: Russell P: Russell Grant
SAINTS Ben Foden, Ah See Tuala, George Pisi, Luther Burrell, George North, Steve Myler, LEE DICKSON (C), Alex Waller, Mikey Haywood, Kieran Brookes, Michael Paterson, Christian Day, Jamie Gibson, Tom Wood, Sam Dickinson BENCH: Matti Williams, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Jonathan Fisher, Teimana Harrison, Kahn Fotuali'i, JJ Hanrahan, Jamie Elliott
SCORERS T: Pisi, Tuala (2) C: Myler P: Myler (3) Burrell
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère Asst Referees: Maxime Chalon, Jean-Luc Rebollal TMO: Gilles Cognes
SCARLETS 12 - 29 RACING 92
Parc y Scarlets - Saturday 21 November 2015
KO: 17:30 HT: 0-26 Att: 8,512
RACING 92 kicked-off their Champions Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory over the Scarlets. The French club run-in four tries before half-time through Maxime Machenaud, Joe Rokocoko, Chris Mascoe and Marc Andreu to open up a commanding 26-0 lead at halftime. But after cruising through the opening 40 minutes Racing had Bernard le Roux sent off and Ben Tameifuna sent to the sin bin after the break to give the Scarlets a route back into the contest. It allowed the home side to hit back with two tries in the second period through Aled Thomas and Lewis Rawlings but the deficit was too much for the Scarlets to overturn and Racing held on for a deserved victory.
SCARLETS Aled Thomas, Michael Tagicakibau, Gareth Owen, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe, Dan Jones, Gareth Davies, Phil John, KEN OWENS (C), Peter Edwards, Jake Ball, Maselno Paulino, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, John Barclay BENCH: Emyr Phillips, Dylan Evans, Samson Lee, Tom Price, Lewis Rawlins, Aled Davies, Mike Collins, Steff Evans
SCORERS T: Thomas, Rawlins C: Thomas
RACING 92 Johannes Goosen, Joe Rokocoko, Casey Laulala, Henry Chavancy, Marc Andreu, Remi Tales, Maxime Machenaud, Julien Brugnaut, DIMITRI SZARZEWSKI (C), Cedate Gomes Sa, Luke Charteris, Francois van der Merwe, Bernard Le Roux, Wenceslas Lauret, Chris Masoe BENCH: Camille Chat, Eddy Ben Arous, Ben Tameifuna, Thibault Dubarry, Yannick Nyanga, Mike Phillips, Juan Imhoff, Brice Dulin
SCORERS T: Machenaud, Rokocoko, Masoe, Andreu C: Machenaud (3) P: Goosen Tameifuna RC le Roux
Referee: Greg Garner Asst Referees: Dean Richards, Peter Allan TMO: Keith Lewis
BENETTON TREVISO 3 - 36 LEICESTER TIGERS
Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 21 November 2015
KO: 14:00 HT: 3-22 Att: 2,300
LEICESTER TIGERS took control of their European Rugby Champions Cup pool with a bonus-point win at Benetton Treviso. Telusa Veainu scored twice, Peter Betham and Greg Bateman followed while Tigers also claimed a first-half penalty try. The victory rubber-stamped Leicester's place at the top of Pool 4 with maximum points from their opening two games, while Stade-Français' game against Munster was postponed. For Treviso, this marked a 16th consecutive loss in the Champions Cup and disappointment at only managing a solitary kick from James Ambrosini in front of their home fans.
TREVISO Luke McLean, Ludovico Nitoglia, Enrico Bacchin, Samuel Christie, Tommaso Iannone, James Ambrosini, EDOARDO GORI (C), Matteo Zanusso, Ornel Gega, Rupert Harden, Filo Paulo, Jean-François Montauriol, Marco Barbini, Francesco Minto, Abraham Jurgens Steyn BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Matteo Muccignat, Filippo Filippetto, Dean Budd, Marco Lazzaroni, Alberto de Marchi, Christopher Smylie, Andrea Pratichetti
SCORERS P: Ambrosini Harden, Montauriol
TIGERS Telusa Veainu, Peter Betham, MATTHEW TAIT (C), Matt Smith, Vereniki Goneva, Thomas Bell, Sam Harrison, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Fraser Balmain, Dom Barrow, Michael Fitzgerald, Tom Croft, Brendon O'Connor, Jordan Crane BENCH: Greg Bateman, Matias Aguero, Dan Cole, Ed Slater, Lachlan McCaffrey, Ben Youngs, Seremaia Bai, George Catchpole
SCORERS T: PT, Veaniu (2), Betham, Bateman C: Bell (3), Bai P: Bell
Referee: Mathieu Raynal Asst Referees: Sébastien Minery, Vivien Praderie TMO: Hervé Dubès
STADE FRANÇAIS P-P MUNSTER RUGBY
Stade Jean Bouin - Sunday 22 November 2015
BATH RUGBY 19 - 16 LEINSTER RUGBY
Recreation Ground - Saturday 21 November 2015
KO: 15:15 HT: 6-9 Att: 13,480
BATH RUGBY turned to their firepower up front to bag their first European win over Leinster Rugby at The Recreation Ground and leave the three-time champions floundering in Pool 5 after a 19-16 defeat. The 13,480 attendance was the biggest in Bath's long history at the Rec. It surpassed the previous record home gate in Europe of 13,360 for last season's Round 2 fixture against Toulouse. Three-time champions, Leinster, who have lost their opening two games in Pool 5, might take heart from the fact that Bath also lost their first two matches last season and still qualified for the quarter-finals.
BATH Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Ollie Devoto, Kyle Eastmond, Matt Banahan, George Ford, Chris Cook, Nick Auterac, Rob Webber, Henry Thomas, Dom Day, David Attwood, Matt Garvey, FRANCOIS LOUW (C), Leroy Houston BENCH: Ross Batty, Nathan Catt, Max Lahiff, Stuart Hooper, Alafoti Fa'osiliva, Niko Matawalu, Rhys Priestland, Tom Homer
SCORERS T: PT C: Ford P: Ford (3) DG: Ford Faosiliva
LEINSTER ISA NACEWA (C), Fergus McFadden, Ben Te'o, Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Isaac Boss, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Dominic Ryan, Josh Van Der Flier, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Zane Kirchner
SCORERS T: van der Flier C: Sexton P: Sexton (3)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès Asst Referees: Salem Attalah, Laurent Milotte TMO: Bruno Bessot
WASPS 32 - 6 RC TOULON
Ricoh Arena - Sunday 22 November 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 20-6 Att: 20,050
WASPS got their revenge for last season's quarter-final defeat with a stunning bonus-point victory over three-time champions Toulon. Two tries in two minutes in the first half put Dai Young's side in complete control against the French giants and two more after the break ensured a famous victory at the Ricoh Arena. Toulon had only lost three times in their previous 27 fixtures in the Champions Cup but they had no answer for Wasps' pace and power in attack. The victory puts Wasps five points clear of Bath at the top of the so-called 'pool of death' with Leinster in third with one point after two defeats and Toulon still pointless after just one game. By defeating Leinster and RC Toulon, Wasps have seen off the two winners of the European Cup in the past five seasons and taken control of Pool 5.
WASPS Charles Piutau, Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Frank Halai, Ruaridh Jackson, Joe Simpson, Matt Mullan, Carlo Festuccia, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, JAMES HASKELL (C), George Smith, Nathan Hughes BENCH: Ashley Johnson, Simon McIntyre, Lorenzo Cittadini, James Gaskell, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Alex Lozowski, Sailosi Tagicakibau
SCORERS T: Hughes (2), Jackson, Halai C: Jackson (3) P: Daly, Jackson
TOULON Delon Armitage, Josua Tuisova, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz, Bryan Habana, Quade Cooper, Jonathan Pelissie, Xavier Chiocci, Anthony Etrillard, Matt Stevens, Samu Manoa, Romain Taofifenua, JUAN SMITH (C), Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Steffon Armitage BENCH: Bastien Soury, Florian Fresia, Levan Chilachava, Duane Vermeulen, Mamuka Gorgodze, Theo Belan, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Konstantine Mikautadze
SCORERS P: Pelissie (2)
Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Dudley Phillips, Leo Colgan TMO: Simon McDowell
FOLLOWING the tragic events in Paris this weekend, a dark cloud hung over the European club rugby Round 1 programme with EPCR and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) taking the decision to postpone all matches on French soil.
Four matches in the Champions Cup – Racing 92 v Glasgow Warriors, Oyonnax v Ulster Rugby, Bordeaux Bègles v ASM Clermont and RC Toulon v Bath Rugby – as well as the Pau v Castres Olympique game in the Challenge Cup were postponed.
A minute's silence was observed before the games which went ahead in both tournaments, and praise from all quarters went out to Toulouse, La Rochelle and Agen who fulfilled their fixtures in England in what were particularly trying circumstances.
On the pitch, Aviva Premiership clubs had a largely successful opening round in Europe's elite club tournament with Wasps pulling off arguably the most impressive victory with a storming 33-6 success over Leinster Rugby at the RDS Arena in Pool 5.
Defensively outstanding and superbly opportunistic in attack, Wasps ran in three tries through Christian Wade, Joe Simpson and Heineken Man of the Match, Charles Piutau, as three-time tournament champions, Leinster, slumped to their heaviest home defeat in Europe.
Saracens also got off the mark in fine style with a typically efficient 32-7 win over Toulouse at Allianz Park. This tie in Pool 1 was as good as settled at half time by which stage Sarries were 27-0 in front. Chris Wyles (2) and Mako Vunipola crossed for tries and Owen Farrell kicked five penalties and a conversion.
There was also good news for Leicester Tigers in Pool 4 as they outplayed French champions Stade Français. It finished 33-20 at Welford Road with the home side picking up a valuable four-try bonus point into the bargain.
Elsewhere in Pool 4, Munster Rugby were hampered by poor conditions at Thomond Park, but eventually got the better of Benetton Treviso 32-7 and secured the bonus point through tries by BJ Botha, Heineken Man of the Match, CJ Stander, Duncan Casey and Simon Zebo.
Northampton Saints had it tougher against the Scarlets before coming through 15-11 in Pool 3 at Franklin's Gardens. The Welsh region picked up a losing bonus point with a strong performance while their PRO12 compatriots, the Ospreys, saw off the challenge of the Exeter Chiefs by 25-13 at the Liberty Stadium where Dan Biggar kicked 20 points.
OYONNAX P-P ULSTER RUGBY
Stade Charles Mathon - Saturday 14 November 2015
SARACENS 32 - 7 TOULOUSE
Allianz Park - Saturday 14 November 2015
KO: 17:30 HT: 27-0 Att: 9,674
SARACENS Alex Goode, Chris Ashton, Duncan Taylor, BRAD BARRITT (C), Chris Wyles, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Petrus du Plessis, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Michael Rhodes, Will Fraser, Billy Vunipola BENCH: Schalk Brits, Rhys Gill, Juan Figallo, Alistair Hargreaves, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Marcelo Bosch
SCORERS T: Mako Vunipola, Wyles (2) C: Farrell P: Farrell (5)
TOULOUSE Maxime Médard, Vincent Clerc, Gael Fickou, Toby Flood, Timoci Matanavou, Luke McAlister, Sébastien Bézy, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Julien Marchand, Census Johnston, Yoann Maestri, Joe Tekori, Yacouba Camara, THIERRY DUSAUTOIR (C), Louis Picamoles BENCH: Christopher Tolofua, Vasil Kakovin, Dorian Aldegheri, Romain Millo-Chluski, Imanol Harinordoquy, Talalelei Gray, Jean-Marc Doussain, Yann David
SCORERS T: Tolofua C: Bézy Johnston
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: Mark Paton, Kieran Barry TMO: Eddie Walsh
BORDEAUX BÈGLES P-P CLERMONT
Stade Chaban-Delmas - Sunday 15 November 2015
OSPREYS 25 - 13 EXETER CHIEFS
Liberty Stadium - Sunday 15 November 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 6-10 Att: 7,969
OSPREYS Daniel Evans, Daf Howells, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, ALUN-WYN JONES (C), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Ryan Bevington, Aaron Jarvis, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies, Ben John
SCORERS T: Matavesi C: Biggar DG: Biggar P: Biggar (5)
CHIEFS Jack Nowell, Matt Jess, Henry Slade, Sam Hill, James Short, GARETH STEENSON (C), Will Chudley, Alec Hepburn, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Francis, Mitch Lees, Damian Welch, Dave Ewers, Julian Salvi, Don Armand BENCH: Jack Yeandle, Carl Rimmer, Moray Low, Ollie Atkins, Tom Johnson, Dave Lewis, Ian Whitten, Michele Campagnaro
SCORERS T: Short C: Steenson P: Steenson (2)
Referee: Marius Mitrea Asst Referees: Giuseppe Vivarini, Stefano Roscini TMO: Stefano Penne
RACING 92 P-P GLASGOW WARRIORS
Stade Yves-Du-Manoir - Saturday 14 November 2015
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 15 - 11 SCARLETS
Franklin's Gardens - Saturday 14 November 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 7-6 Att: 14,512
SAINTS Ben Foden, Ken Pisi, George Pisi, Luther Burrell, George North, JJ Hanrahan, LEE DICKSON (C), Alex Waller, Mikey Haywood, Kieran Brookes, James Craig, Christian Day, Jamie Gibson, Tom Wood, Sam Dickinson BENCH: Matti Williams, Ethan Waller, Paul Hill, Michael Paterson, Teimana Harrison, Kahn Fotuali'i, Steve Myler, Ah See Tuala
SCORERS T: Ken Pisi, Alex Waller C: Hanrahan P: Hanrahan North, Gibson
SCARLETS Aled Thomas, Michael Tagicakibau, Gareth Owen, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe, Steven Shingler, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Emyr Phillips, Peter Edwards, Jake Ball, Maselno Paulino, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, JOHN BARCLAY (C) BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Phil John, Will Taylor, Tom Price, Lewis Rawlins, Aled Davies, Regan King, Tom Williams
SCORERS T: Gareth Davies P: Steve Shingler (2)
Referee: Romain Poite Asst Referees: Tual Tranini, Pierre Brousset TMO: Eric Gonthier
LEICESTER TIGERS 33 - 20 STADE FRANÇAIS
Welford Road - Friday 13 November 2015
KO: 19:45 HT: 12-8 Att: 20,286
TIGERS MATTHEW TAIT (C), Adam Thompstone, Peter Betham, Matt Smith, Vereniki Goneva, Owen Williams, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Mike Williams, Michael Fitzgerald, Tom Croft, Brendon O'Connor, Lachlan McCaffrey BENCH: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Matias Aguero, Fraser Balmain, Dom Barrow, Jordan Crane, Sam Harrison, Seremaia Bai, Telusa Veainu
SCORERS T: Goneva, Smith, O'Connor, Ben Youngs C: Owen Williams (2) P: Owen Williams (2), Bai
Stade Hugo Bonneval, Julien Arias, Paul Williams, Herman Meyer Bosman, Jérémy Sinzelle, Morné Steyn, Julien Dupuy, Zak Taulafo, Laurent Panis, Adrien Oleon, Paul Gabrillagues, Pascal Papé, Patrick Sio, Sylvain Nicolas, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Dany Priso, Zurabi Zhvania, Rabah Slimani, Alexandre Flanquart, Jonathan Ross, Julien Tomas, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Josaia Raisuqe
SCORERS T: Tomas, Williams, Arias C: Steyn P: Steyn
Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: David Wilkinson, Olly Hodges TMO: Simon McDowell
MUNSTER RUGBY 32 - 7 BENETTON TREVISO
Thomond Park - Saturday 14 November 2015
KO: 17:15 HT: 10-7 Att: 17,763
MUNSTER Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donnacha Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Dave O'Callaghan, Jack O'Donoghue, CJ STANDER (C) BENCH: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, John Ryan, Dave Foley, Robin Copeland, Tomas O'Leary, Rory Scannell, Lucas Amorosino
SCORERS T: Botha, Stander, Casey, Zebo C: Keatley (3) P: Keatley (2)
TREVISO Luke McLean, Ludovico Nitoglia, Jayden Hayward, Enrico Bacchin, Tommaso Iannone, James Ambrosini, Edoardo Gori, Matteo Zanusso, Ornel Gega, Rupert Harden, Rudolph Duncan Naude, Jean-François Montauriol, Francesco Minto, Alessandro Zanni, Abraham Jurgens Steyn BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Matteo Muccignat, Filippo Filippetto, Dean Budd, Marco Barbini, Andrea De Marchi, Christopher Smylie, Samuel Christie
SCORERS T: Steyn C: Hayward Muccignat
Referee: Matt Carley Asst Referees: Tim Wiggleworth, Paul Dix TMO: Rowan Kitt
LEINSTER RUGBY 6 - 33 WASPS
RDS Arena - Sunday 15 November 2015
KO: 13:00 HT: tbc Att: 16,791
LEINSTER ISA NACEWA (C), Zane Kirchner, Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Jordi Murphy, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Hayden Triggs, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Garry Ringrose
SCORERS P: Sexton (2)
WASPS Charles Piutau, Christian Wade, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Frank Halai, Ruaridh Jackson, Joe Simpson, MATT MULLAN (C), Carlo Festuccia, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, Sam Jones, George Smith, Nathan Hughes BENCH: Ashley Johnson, Simon McIntyre, Phil Swainston, James Gaskell, Guy Thompson, Dan Robson, Alex Lozowski, Sailosi Tagicakibau
SCORERS T: Wade, Simpson, Piutau C: Jackson (2), Lozowiski P: Jackson (3), Daly
Referee: Mathieu Raynal Asst Referees: Cyril Lafon, Thonas Dejean TMO: Philippe Bonhoure
RC TOULON P-P BATH RUGBY
Stade Félix Mayol - Sunday 15 November 2015
POOL STAGE DATES
Round 1: 12/13/14/15 November
Round 2: 19/20/21/22 November
Round 3: 10/11/12/13 December
Round 4: 17/18/19/20 December
Round 5: 14/15/16/17 January 2016
Round 6: 21/22/23/24 January 2016
7/8/9/10 April 2016
22/23/24 April 2016
CHAMPIONS CUP FINAL
14 MAY 2016 Stade des Lumières, Lyon KO 17:45