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Pass It Back...Kick It Forward


ERC FinalHeineken Cup Final Clermont Toulon celebrate

ASM Clermont AuvergneASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE 15 - 16 TOULON Toulon

Aviva Stadium - Saturday 18th May 2012
5pm BST 3-3 Att: 50,148

IT was a tantalising final 10 minutes to the all French Heineken Cup, which eventually saw Toulon extinguish Clermont’s dreams, and take home the crown for the first time in the club’s history.

Both Toulon and Clermont had never won the European Cup, so fans at the packed Aviva Stadium in Dublin knew that there was going to be something special, regardless of the score line. As horns and French fans’ chants interweaved, and flags of all colours rippled in the wind, the two determined teams took to the the pitch, looking weary with the heavy burden placed upon them.

As the first half got underway, the two top French sides appeared to complement the others’ style of play. With an evenly matched battle playing out on the pitch in front of them, fans were reminded of the old proverb: ‘you are only as good as your competitor,’ and they were both effortlessly ‘good’.

Heineken Cup Final Clermont Toulon Jonny WilkinsonClermont were under siege first as Toulon tested the waters to see how far they could push their opponents. Man of the moment, Jonny Wilkinson, tried to inspire his side to take control, but in the 3rd minute, Toulon were devastatingly penalised and it appeared Clermont were going to have the first points of the game. The unpredictable Morgan Parra expertly teed up and exuded confidence, before slamming the ball over to take the early lead 3-0.  

Play swayed from one half to the other, and 10 minutes on from Parra’s penalty kick, Wilkinson was granted a chance to respond. Not one to waste a golden opportunity, master of the boot, Wilkinson, pummelled the ball through the uprights to even the scores 3-3.

The clock ticked on; the crowd’s noise levels ferociously rose, but the scoreboard remained the same. Both sides desperately thrust themselves into their opposition’s territory, but it was the early leaders, Clermont, who were beginning to look the most threatening. However, after countless visits to Toulon’s 22, Clermont consistently left empty handed.

As half time approached, fans and commentators alike were left scratching their heads, unsure as to who would reign supreme in the dramatic Heineken showdown. Their question as to who was to take control of this game were answered, or so all thought, in the early minutes of the second half.

Refreshed and revitalised from the break, the players strutted back onto the paddock and the previous sing-song atmosphere transformed into an air of tension. Concentration was plastered over the players’ faces as the final 40 minutes kicked off.

Clermont instantly continued where they had left off and once again forced their way deep into Toulon’s territory. A visionary move from Aurelien Rougerie in the 41st minute set up the lightning fast top try-scorer, Naipolioni Nalaga, to thunder over the line to get his eighth try in the tournament. Clermont fans’ joy ruminated around the Dublin Stadium, despite Morgan Parra scuppering the conversion, something he would later deeply regret; 8-3.

Clermont fans were not celebrating for long as a poor passage of play from the leaders led to them giving away a kickable penalty close to the posts. Wilkinson, not easily perturbed by pressure, beautifully booted the ball over and Toulon were clawing their way back in to the match 8-6.

After Wilkinson’s penalty, Toulon’s floodgates opened once again, and only 5 minutes since the eagerly awaited first try was scored, Brock James darted over to get Clermont’s second. The conversion slipped over and Toulon’s cup dreams were ebbing away, along with the clock 15-6.

However, if there was ever a team who you could count on to tenaciously fight back, it was Toulon, and in the 60th minute club favourite, Jonny Wilkinson, led the fight back by belting over another fine penalty 15-9.

Toulon began to grow in confidence, despite the omnipresent reminder that they were running out of time. As the clock flickered to the 63rd minute, a magnificent turnover by Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and a perfectly timed pass saw Delon Armitage pelt over the line. Wilkinson confidently booted the conversion over and finally Toulon had the scoreboard working in their favour 15-16, though sadly Armitage’s pre-emptive celebrations were to cause a furore post match.

Heineken Cup Final Clermont Toulon Delon Armitage try

Time continued to tick on as Clermont hungrily sought that one point which eluded them. Their victory hung in the balance as hearts raced in Dublin, in France, and for Frenchmen all over the rest of the world.

As the game reached its dying moments, the stadium crowd began a countdown. Clermont frantically chiselled away at Toulon’s defence, but all this effort came to no avail.

In the 81st minute, referee Alain Rolland blew his whistle to mark the absolution of the match, and indeed, Clermont’s title dreams. Clermont players flung themselves to the ground in devastation, whilst Toulon players began to beam. A smile even graced Jonny Wilkinson’s face as he came to the realisation that his side had won the Heineken title in only their second season in the tournament.

Mathieu Bastareaud was named Man of the Match, and Toulon fans from all over the world began to celebrate. Toulon’s captain, Joe Van Niekerk, and Jonny Wilkinson lifted the greatly desired trophy for despite it not being an easy ride, Toulon had finally etched their name into the Heineken Cup’s history.

After a promising start, and all the statistics working in their favour, Clermont have one last attempt at silverware in the Top 14 semi final before having the summer to consider where they went wrong before they, and another 6 French sides, start their 2013- 2014 Heineken Cup campaign.

ASM Clermont Auvergne16 Lee Byrne 15 Sitiveni Sivivatu 14 AURELIEN ROUGERIE (C) 13 Wesley Fofana 12 Napolioni Nalaga 11 Brock James 10 Morgan Parra 1 Thomas Domingo 2 Benjamin Kayser 3 Davit Zirakashvili 4 Jamie Cudmore 5 Nathan Hines 6 Julien Bonnaire 7 Gerhard Vosloo 8 Damien Chouly BENCH: 16 Ti'i Paulo 17 Vincent Debaty 18 Clement Ric 19 Julien Pierre 20 Julien Bardy 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic 22 David Skrela 23 Regan King

SCORERS T: Nalaga, James C: Parra P: Parra

Toulon15 Delon Armitage 14 Rudi Wulf 13 Mathieu Bastareaud 12 Matt Giteau 11 Alexis Palisson 10 JONNY WILKINSON (C) 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde 1 Andrew Sheridan 2 Sebastien Bruno 3 Carl Hayman 4 Bakkies Botha 5 Nick Kennedy 6 Danie Rossouw 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 8 Chris Masoe BENCH: 16 Jean Charles Orioli 17 Gethin Jenkins 18 Davit Kubriashvili 19 Joe Van Niekerk 20 Steffon Armitage 21 Maxime Mermoz 22 Frederic Michalak 23 Jocelino Suta

SCORERS T: Delon Armitage C: Wilkinson P: Wilkinson (3)

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire) Asst Referees: Wayne Barnes (Eng), George Clancy (Ire) TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ire) Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (Ire)

Heineken Cup Final Preview 2013




ERC Semi Finals

Clermont Auvergne v Munster Saracens v Toulon

ASM Clermont AuvergneCLERMONT 16 - 10 MUNSTERMunster Rugby

Stade de la Mosson - Saturday 27th April 2013
KO: 18.00 HT: 13-3 Att: 31,259

THOUSANDS of fans turned out to the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier to witness the first Heineken Cup semi final of the weekend. Waving red, yellow and blue flags adorned the stands with colour, but it was clear who was at home from the reverberating French songs.

Players had but seconds to appreciate the excited atmosphere before Referee Nigel Owens blew his whistle to mark the start of the highly anticipated match. Munster instantly made their presence known by ramming into Clermont’s half and the opening minutes all went their way. In the second minute, Munster were awarded a penalty after Nathan Hines was pinged for going over the ruck. Feeling ambitious, the visitors went for the lineout option and formed a maul, driving their opponents backwards. The pressure of the occasion got too much for both sides and a fight broke out deep inside Clermont’s 22 after the home side gave away another penalty. Undeterred, Ronan O’Gara teed up and magnificently sent the ball sailing through the uprights to give Munster the early lead 0-3.

However, Munster were to have the lead for only a matter of minutes before a resurgent Clermont ground down the red side’s defence to allow a determined Napolioni Nalaga to bruise his way over the tryline. Morgan Parra gazed only briefly at the posts before striking the ball through them to add the conversion 7-3.

At the 12 minute mark, Conor Murray was penalised for not rolling away after a tackle. Taking his chance to extend Clermont’s lead, Parra set his sights back on the posts. His penalty glided over and Clermont’s lead increased, but there was still much to do to keep their visitors at bay 10-3.

Within moments of the restart, Munster gave away another penalty, which Parra sent flying into touch and only 5 minutes after his last kick at goal, Parra teed up again. Munster’s confidence and composure were slowly being decimated.  Like all his other kicks, Parra’s penalty breezed through the posts and a huge rapturous roar erupted from the crowd. The home side were now not only dominating the possession, but also the scoreboard 13-3.

Not ones to give in easily, Munster picked themselves up and battered their way into Clermont’s half. Nothing was to become of their onslaught as the wall-like defence stopped the visitors in their tracks and caused them to give away another penalty.

As the clock flickered to 30 minutes, song filled the stadium whilst Clermont took a lineout and blasted down the blindside. Regan King furiously evaded defender after defender, but his fancy footwork came to no avail when the ball went dead. Still hungry to increase the score margin before halftime, Clermont doggedly forced their way back into Munster’s 22 but the men in red held strong and caused Clermont to make a mistake. A sigh of relief was almost audible from the visiting fans.

In the dying embers of the first half, Munster found their rhythm and darted into Clermont’s 22. Going through the phases, the visitors looked like they may finally get another score but as was the story of the first half, Munster were penalised and the halftime whistle was blown 13-3.

Knowing the game could still go either way, both sets of players looked eager as they clambered back onto the pitch. Munster mirrored their great start from the first half and looked revitalised.

Moments after kick-off, the leaders found themselves under pressure with a tricky lineout in their own 22. They managed to secure the ball but Parra sliced the box kick and Munster were instantly back on the prowl for a try. Clermont refused to buckle under the pressure and minutes later, they managed to turn Munster over and cleared the ball from their 22.

With play out of their own half, Clermont began baring their teeth and forced their way into Munster’s 22. Their efforts were rewarded with a penalty and after much deliberation, Parra signalled to the posts and began his kicking preparations. The penalty swept sweetly over and Parra kept his top goal kicker of the Heineken Cup record to make the scores 16-3.

A ripple of excitement glittered around the stadium as the clock continued to tick away and Munster were no closer to adding points to the scoreboard. Songs from passionate French fans began circling the pitch and these were only quietened when Munster surged into Clermont’s 22 in the 59th minute. The visitors tenaciously hammered away at the home defence, with Denis Hurley finally answering Munster fans’ prayers fans by finding a gap and bounding over for a try. Knowing time was of the essence, O’Gara hastily added the conversion 16-10.

The hushed crowd found its voice once more as Clermont formed a maul and drove forward but the ball fell into touch. In the remaining 10 minutes, both sets of fans knew that one try could end either sides’ cup dreams and tension descended upon the stadium. The clock ticked down and a physical battle between the forwards ensued. Minutes on the clock turned to seconds and it was clear that the home side had the victory, which was confirmed when the final whistle was blown. The Munster side looked on, dejected, as both Clermont fans and players joyously celebrated getting into the final.

Munster’s Heineken Cup journey has now drawn to a close for this season but Clermont’s will continue when they take on fellow Top 14 contenders, Toulon in the final on the 18th May at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

ASM Clermont Auvergne15 Lee Byrne 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu 13 Regan King 12 Wesley Fofana 11 Napolioni Nalaga 10 Brock James 9 Morgan Parra 1 Thomas Domingo 2 Benjamin Kayser 3 Davit Zirakashvili 4 Jamie Cudmore 5 Nathan Hines 6 JULIEN BONNAIRE (C) 7 Julien Bardy 8 Damien Chouly BENCH: 16 Ti'i Paulo 17 Vincent Debaty 18 Clément Ric 19 Julien Pierre 20 Alexandre Lapandry 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic 22 Noa Nakaitaci 23 Jean-Marcel Buttin

SCORERS T: Nalaga C: Parra P: Parra (3)

Munster Rugby15 Felix Jones 14 Keith Earls 13 Casey Laulala 12 James Downey 11 Simon Zebo 10 Ronan O'Gara 9 Conor Murray 1 Dave Kilcoyne 2 Mike Sherry 3 BJ Botha 4 Donnacha Ryan 5 PAUL O'CONNELL (C) 6 Peter O'Mahony 7 Tommy O'Donnell 8 James Coughlan BENCH: 16 Damien Varley 17 Wian du Preez 18 John Ryan 19 Billy Holland 20 Paddy Butler 21 Cathal Sheridan 22 Ian Keatley 23 Denis Hurley

SCORERS T: Hurley C: O'Gara P: O'Gara

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal) Asst Refs: Leighton Hodges (Wal), Davies (Wal) TMO: Gareth Simmonds Wal) Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (Sco)

FR2 Sky Sports 1 Canal + Sky Italia




SaracensSARACENS 12 - 24 TOULONToulon

Twickenham - Sunday 28th April 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 9-12 Att: 25,584

IT was an empty affair at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon with just over 25,000 fans barely filling a quarter of the magnificent stadium’s capacity. Nevertheless, there was still an air of excitement and expectation shrouding the second Heineken Cup Semi Final.

After a riveting French war chant from Toulon, Owen Farrell kicked off the first half and within minutes had his first shot at goal after Danie Rossouw made a high tackle on Mako Vunipola. Farrell unhesitantly boomed the penalty through the uprights to get the first score of the match 3-0. 

Saracens’ Matt Stevens instantly gave away a penalty at the restart and provided former England legend, Jonny Wilkinson, with his first chance to put points on the board for Toulon.  Locking his hands together, he brazenly scooted the kick over and drew the scores level at 3-3.

Toulon began to prowl down the pitch, desperate to show their hosts that they were the ones to be feared, and in the 11th minute, Jonny’s kicking boot was needed once again after Saracens were pinged in their own 22. Mr Reliable kept his pristine kicking record and gave Toulon the lead 3-6.

Five minutes after he was last spotted teeing up, Wilkinson set up for another penalty kick at goal. The gentle thud of leather hitting rubber resulted in Toulon hauling another three points to extend their lead 3-9.

In response to Toulon’s growing lead, the Saracens hit back and battled their way into Toulon’s 22 but in the midst of the excitement, Saracens knocked on giving the visitors the put-in at the scrum. The English side gained a penalty from the scrum and took it quickly. Toulon then took their turn to knock the ball on and a scrum collapse gave the Saracens another shot at goal. Farrell stepped up to the plate, and despite distant horns being blown, his kick successfully sailed between the uprights 6-9. 

However, just as quickly as the Saracens pulled back on Toulon’s lead, they gave another penalty away, a dangerous act when the man taking the penalties is Jonny Wilkinson. As a silence and appreciation adorned the air, Wilkinson strode up to the tee and belted the ball over to make the scores 6-12.

With eight minutes left of the first half, Toulon had a scrum just inside their own half. A mistake by the French side’s front row resulted in Farrell signalling to the uprights. His long kick was met with cheering and applause and it appeared that the game was very much becoming a kicking competition between the two fly halves 9-12.

As time ticked down in the first half, no more points were scored, but it was becoming clear that if the Saracens wanted to win the match, they had to stop giving away kickable penalties and punishing themselves. The whistle blew for half time and both sides had much to think about as they trundled off to Twickenham’s changing rooms.

After half time, it was obvious that the Saracens had not learnt their lesson from the first half and continued to make mistakes deep in their own territory. Toulon went straight on the attack from the restart and in the 45th minute, they were handed an advantage. Wilkinson poorly tried a drop goal, but it crashed to the ground metres in front of the posts and Referee Alain Rolland went back to the original penalty. Wilkinson’s penalty kick was a lot more successful than his drop goal attempt and Toulon pulled away once more 9-15.

Moments later Rossouw was harshly sin-binned for another alleged high tackle on Vunipola and Toulon had to face the Saracens’ ensuing onslaught with only 14 men. With Rossouw off, Farrell decided to go for the posts and moments later, he sent the ball flying between the posts 12-15.

Knowing they had an extra man, the home side became more ambitious with their play and sent the ball out wide. A cacophony of “oohs” and “aahs” were heard as the ball fell to the ground and was quickly swept back into Saracen arms. The crowd’s roar steadily grew louder as the men in red forced their way further and deeper into Toulon’s 22 but, fortunately for the visitors, a pass from Farrell was deemed forward and they were handed the scrum 5 metres out from their own tryline. The pressure mounted on the men in white as the calls from the referee reverberated through the pack. Saracens’ forwards crumbled at the scrum and Toulon were awarded a free kick.

Only a minute later, the Saracens were pinged again for holding onto the ball at a ruck and after receiving treatment on his hand, Wilkinson teed up near to halfway. Still in fine kicking form, he belted the ball over and Toulon pulled even further away 12-18.

After Roussow had wandered back onto the pitch, Saracens’ ambitions fluttered away. As the game reached its final quarter, Toulon had a throw-in inside their own 22 and calamitously did not even try to gather their own feed, much to the disbelief of Toulon’s Director of Rugby Bernard Laporte, and everyone else.

In the 72nd minute, however, Wilkinson redeemed the French side in Laporte’s eyes by landing a massive drop goal to extend the French side’s lead. It may not have been a game winner like his infamous kick in to 2003, but it certainly nailed the coffin lid shut on the Saracens’ Heineken Cup dreams 12-21.  

La Marseillaise ricocheted around the empty stands and at that point, it was the score and not the outcome which was unknown. Both sets of fans cheered as the legendary Jonny Wilkinson was named Man of the Match.

The minutes ebbed away as a dogged Saracens side desperately tried to find a gap within Toulon’s defence. No such gap existed and in the 77th minute, Wilkinson was handed his final shot at goal, which he perfectly booted over 12-24.

Toulon fans burst into song once more as the final whistle was blown and did not stop singing even as they left Twickenham. The Saracens were just not clinical enough in their rugby and were the makers of their own downfall. Victors, Toulon, will now take on Clermont in the 18th Heineken Cup Final at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday 18th May. The final will be a tough game for both sides with Clermont having won all of their Heineken fixtures this season, and Toulon having lost just one of theirs.

Saracens15 Alex Goode 14 Chris Ashton 13 Joel Tomkins 12 Brad Barritt 11 David Strettle 10 Owen Farrell 9 Richard Wigglesworth 1 Mako Vunipola 2 Schalk Brits 3 Matt Stevens 4 STEVE BORTHWICK (C) 5 Alistair Hargreaves 6 Jackson Wray 7 Kelly Brown 8 Ernst Joubert BENCH: 16 John Smit 17 Rhys Gill 18 Carlos Nieto 19 Mouritz Botha 20 George Kruis 21 Neil de Kock 22 Charlie Hodgson 23 Chris Wyles

SCORERS P: Farrell (4)

Toulon15 Delon Armitage 14 Rudi Wulf 13 Mathieu Bastareaud 12 Matt Giteau 11 Alexis Palisson 10 JONNY WILKINSON (C) 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde 1 Andrew Sheridan 2 Sebastien Bruno 3 Carl Hayman 4 Bakkies Botha 5 Nick Kennedy 6 Danie Rossouw 7 Juan Fernandez Lobbe 8 Chris Masoe BENCH: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli 17 Gethin Jenkins 18 Davit Kubriashvili 19 Joe van Niekerk 20 Steffon Armitage 21 Maxime Mermoz 22 Frederic Michalak 23 Jocelino Suta

SCORERS P: Wilkinson (7) DG: Wilkinson Yellow Card Rossouw

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire) Asst Refs: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ire), Andrew McMenemy (Sco) TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ire) Citing Commissioner: Denis Templeton (Ire)

FR2 Sky Sports 2 Canal + Sky Italia




ERC Quarter Finals










ASM Clermont Auvergne



Ulster Rugby

Leicester Tigers


Munster Rugby

HCup QF Clermont Auvergne v Montpellier HCup QF Saracens v Ulster HCup QF Harlequins v Munster HCup QF Toulon v Leicester Tigers

ASM Clermont AuvergneCLERMONT AUVERGNE 36 - 14 MONTPELLIERMontpellier

Stade Marcel Michelin - Saturday 6th April 2013
KO: 16:40 HT: 15-9 Att: 17,726


Clermont vs Montpellier The Stade Marcel Michelin is packed & alive with supporters waving flags
Clermont vs Montpellier Pressure is on home team Clermont as they hope to keep on with their winning ways
Clermont 0-0 Montpellier0mins Wayne Barnes blows whistle and it's KO in front of this roaring French & energetic crowd
Clermont 0-0 Montpellier 0mins Such a loud atmosphere as  Clermont get off to a roaring start & push Montpellier into 22
Clermont 0-0 Montpellier 1mins First lineout to Clermont just inside own half, just manage to claim the ball
Clermont 0-0 Montpellier 2mins Montpellier t/o and Clermont are trying to push them backwards. Yohann Artru looking dangerous
Clermont 0-0 Montpellier 2mins Montpellier k/o> first scrum is to be fed by the home team> free kick to Clermont
Clermont 0-0 Montpellier 4mins Benjamin Kayser pinged for taking out Francois Trinh-Duc as he goes to catch high ball
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 5mins Benoit Paillaugue goes for the posts and kicks it sweetly through
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 7mins Clermont instantly battering their way down from the restart and are into Montpellier 22
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 7mins Scrum collapses in Montpellier 22 & the visiting team are given the pen
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 8mins Montpellier now trying to battle into Clermont's 22 but manage to kick it out
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 9mins A lot of chanting from the crowd as Montpellier secure lineout on H/W
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 10mins Clermont trying to counter ruck Montpellier as the men in black still chisel away at defence
Clermont 0-3 Montpellier 11mins Clermont have given away another kickable penalty. The pressure seems to be getting to them
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 12mins Paillaugue drums the kick straight through the uprights & Montpellier increase their lead
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 13mins Clermont power down into Montpellier territory, ball k/o by Montpellier> scrum Clermont
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 14mins Great scrum from Montpellier who steal the ball & pace downfield but lose the ball in contact
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 15mins Boos in crowd as Clermont pinged again and Paillaugue just misses the penalty kick
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 16mins Clermont straight back on the attack, dancing away from defenders near H/W. Montpellier t/o
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 18mins Montpellier lineout near H/W stolen by Clermont & Wesley Fofana almost breaks through defence
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 19mins Trinh-Duc is down as the ref gives advantage to Clermont
Clermont 0-6 Montpellier 19mins Trinh-Duc limping badly as Clermont have their first chance to kick for goal
Clermont 3-6 Montpellier 20mins Huge cheer as Morgan Parra nails the kick
Clermont 3-6 Montpellier 20mins Montpellier now battering way into Clermont 22 but thought to have k/o on purpose
Clermont 3-6 Montpellier 22mins Kayser passes to his old teammates. Clermont are pinged for a high tackle
Clermont 3-9 Montpellier 23mins Trinh-Duc is on the floor receiving more treatment as Paillaugue sweetly kick pen over
Clermont 3-9 Montpellier 24mins Montpellier dominating the ball time but it doesn't look good for the limping Trinh-Duc
Clermont 3-9 Montpellier 25mins Clermont being held just inside their own half. Parra boots ball away
Clermont 3-9 Montpellier 26mins Trinh- Duc replaced, not what Montpellier wanted. Clermont bursting down field
Clermont 3-9 Montpellier 27mins Clermont counter-rucked by Montpellier but is done illegally> free kick
Clermont 3-9 Montpellier 27mins Morgan Parra beautifully chips the ball forward & Wesley Fofana appears to have a try
Clermont 8-9 Montpellier 27mins Refs arm goes up and Clermont have the first try, much to the delight of the home crowd
Clermont 8-9 Montpellier 29mins Parra misses the conversion but the crowd is happy nonetheless
Clermont 8-9 Montpellier 29mins Montpellier have lineout just outside Clermont's 22 & the 3000 Montpellier fans chant
Clermont 8-9 Montpellier 32mins Crowd roaring as danger man Sitiveni Sivivatu pelts down the left side of pitch
Clermont 13-9 Montpellier 32mins Sivivatu passes to Aurelien Rougerie who gets the try
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 34mins Parra converts and the crowd's reaction is incredible
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 35mins Montpellier trying to recover great starting form but penalised for using their shoulder
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 35mins Clermont form a maul & are beginning to look very confident
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 37mins Montpellier being pushed onto the back foot but now have their turn to go on attack
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 37mins Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino chips the ball high near Clermont's 22 but just misses catching it
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 38mins Big lineout for Clermont 5 metres away from their own line & manage to secure the ball
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 39mins Clermont clear their line but resulting lineout is not straight making crowd groan
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 40mins Scrum goes well for Clermont but Ludovic Radoslavjevic kicks the ball out for HT

Clermont 15-9 Montpellier HT T: Fofana, Rougerie C: Parra P: Parra | P: Paillaugue (3)

Clermont 15-9 Montpellier HT Much discussion about whether Fofana was offside when he received the ball to score his try
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier HT Montpellier had the better start but favourites Clermont wriggled their way back into this game
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 40mins Crowd still very vocal as Montpellier KO the 2nd half
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 40mins Clermont catch the ball from the restart Gerhard Vosloo is charging down the right blindside
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 41mins Montpellier t/o but kick the ball back to Clermont & they begin attack from own half
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 42mins Ball is k/o by Parra but it's a double k/o> scrum Clermont just outside their own half
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 42mins Clermont getting off to a much better start than in the first half
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 45mins Mistake from Amorosino as his kick goes too far and goes out> scrum Clermont
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 46mins Scrum collapsed> penalty to Clermont who look to be going for the posts
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 47mins Can hear the thudding of the crowd's feet as Parra shockingly sweeps the kick right
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 48mins Montpellier given free kick, Clermont stop it going into touch but k/o
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 49mins Montpellier's scrum goes well & they are finally on the attack
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 50mins Ball goes out but it's Montpellier throw in who secure the ball & make some metres
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 51mins Montpellier frustratingly tap ball up & Clermont claim it & David Skrela boots it down field
Clermont 15-9 Montpellier 51mins Montpellier lineout going well but they kick ball downfield again
Clermont 20-9 Montpellier 52mins Montpellier seem to be napping as Fofana dances away from defence & passes to Sivivatu> try!
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 54mins Parra converts & the crowd seems to pretty happy now
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 55mins Montpellier pinged for not releasing the ball & Skrela's big boot finds touch just in 22
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 56mins Clermont gunning for a try but a pass goes awry but they do have the put in at the scrum
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 57mins Alex Tulou not with it as the kicked ball hits him in chest causing him to k/o near own 22
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 59mins Clermont desperate for a try but Montpellier have taken over the possession
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 60mins Timoci Nagusa just missed catching a cross field kick and was almost through
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 60mins Thomas Domingo gathers loose ball but passes to the touch judge
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 60mins Montpellier lineout near Clermont's 22 is caught and a running maul is pushing back Clermont
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 61mins Montpellier coming to life & metres away from tryline & handed adv
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 61mins Clermont pinged for being offside as the ref goes back to the original penalty
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 63mins Montpellier take the lineout, the ball is chipped forward over line but Clermont cover
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 64mins Montpellier had advantage so kick for lineout option but Clermont steal & Sivivatu clears it
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 65mins Montpellier relentlessly carry on their attack but it's slow ball & Montpellier are pinged
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 65mins Clermont boot for touch & have lineout just inside Montpellier half
Clermont 22-9 Montpellier 66mins Lee Byrne breaks through & it's quick ball from the home side
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 66mins Quick passing opens up the Montpellier defence & Byrne scores the try. Skrela converts
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 69mins Clermont scrum on H/W and the men in white look set to go for another try
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 69mins Clermont k/o & Montpellier gain possession but lose the ball out
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 70mins Clermont have the lineout which goes well & they try to hammer their way into Montpellier
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 70mins Parra kicks the ball out, to the crowd's annoyance but Clermont will want to wind clock down
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 70mins The home side caught a glimpse of an empty right blindside but Montpellier cover
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 71mins Rougerie passes to Byrne down the left blindside but k/o> 5 metre scrum Montpellier
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 73mins Replacements come on for Clermont, scrum goes well. Ref says there was a deliberate k/o
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 74mins Montpellier desperately pushing forwards but not getting far t/o
Clermont 29-9 Montpellier 73mins Clermont showing that fast ball is the way to win this game as Vincent Debaty batters down field
Clermont 34-9 Montpellier 75mins Debaty passes to Napolioni Nalaga & it's a try
Clermont 36-9 Montpellier 76mins Skrela converts & Montpellier are being trounced by the quick thinking Clermont
Clermont 36-9 Montpellier 78mins Mexican wave going around the stadium
Clermont 36-9 Montpellier 79mins Fans are happy as Montpellier have scrum near own 22
Clermont 36-9 Montpellier 80mins Montpellier hold their nerve & keep the ball in hand in hope of getting a try
Clermont 36-14 Montpellier 80mins Last gasp try for Montpellier after a beautiful dummy pass sets up Nagusa. The conversion is missed but Montpellier will be happy with comeback
Clermont 36-14 Montpellier FT Clermont continue as favourites to win the Heineken Cup

ASM Clermont AuvergneLee Byrne, Sitiveni Sivivatu, AURELIEN ROUGERIE (C), Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga, Ludovic Radoslavjevic, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Daniel Kotze, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Gerhard Vosloo, Julien Bardy, Julien Bonnaire BENCH: Ti’i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Julien Pierre, Alexandre Lapandry, David Skrela, Regan King, Jean-Marcel Buttin

SCORERS T: Fofana, Rougerie, Sivivatu, Byrne, Nalaga C: Parra (2), Skrela (2) P: Parra

MontpellierLucas Amorosino, Timoci Nagusa, Thomas Combezou, Santiago Fernandez, Yohann Artru, Francois Trinh-Duc, Benoit Paillaugue, Yvan Watremez, Agustin Creevy, Maximiliano Bustos, Mamuka Gorgodze, Thibault Privat, FULGENCE OUEDRAOGO (C), Alexandre Bias, Alex Tulou BENCH: Erasmus Van Vuuren, Nahuel Lobo, Barry Fa'amausili, Mickael De Marco, Johnnie Beattie, Eric Escande, Paul Bosch, Pierre Berard

SCORERS T: Nagusa P: Paillaugue (3)

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng), Asst Referees: JP Doyle (Eng), Asst Referees: Stuart Terheege (Eng), TMO: Graham Hughes (Eng), Citing Commissioner: John Byett (Eng)




SaracensSARACENS 27 - 16 ULSTERUlster Rugby

Twickenham Stadium - Saturday 6th April 2013
KO: 18:30 HT: 16-6 Att: 37,888


Saracens 0-0 Ulster KO Sounds like there's most of Ulster here at HQ today!
Saracens 0-0 Ulster 1min Good start from Sarries into Ulster 22 & immediately awarded a pen in front of posts
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 2mins Owen Farrell blocks ears to the immense Ulster chanting & opens the Sarries a/c
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 3mins I'm told by an Irish journo it's always like this. Really not on...
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 4mins Farrell's kick to touch doesn't quite go to plan & Ulster have L/O just outside own 10m
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 5mins Sloppy hands on both sides as ball slips everywhere eventually for Sarries scrum inside Ulster 10m
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 7mins Sarries pinged for holding on in the ruck & finally Ulster make it into Sarries territory L/O on 10m
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 8mins T/O from Sarries & Faz boots it downfield only to be hurled straight back
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 9mins Sarries win ball back & move forward; Ulster have scrum on own 22
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 10mins Ulster go to clear but straight into David Strettle's hands & Sarries switch over H/W
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 11mins Ulster win ball back & Chris Ashton pinged for interfering handing over penalty
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 12mins Looks like 22 drop out didn't go to plan & Sarries have scrum on Ulster 22
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 14mins Matt Stevens forced up in front row - reset - Ulster ball 7m from own T/L
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 15mins Ulster push back opposition & clear to give Sarries L/O on 10m; Ulster t/o at B/D
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 16mins Ulster L/O on Sarries 10m but another setpiece messed up & Sarries ball...tho not for long
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 18mins Ulster L/O on Sarries inside 10m is good; Paddy Jackson chips ahead but no chase & into touch
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 19mins Sarries have L/O 5m from own whitewash - is good - Faz clears Ulster back towards 10m for L/O
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 20mins Ulster pack down for rolling maul but goes precisely nowhere; Sarries tho hand over easy pen
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 20mins Ruan Pienaar tees up in front of posts at inside 10m line but misses it!
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 23mins Sarries pinged at B/D at own 10m & Pienaar tees up again...from out wide this time
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 23mins Ball hits post & tips away; Sarries fans quiet for kick - nice. But Sarries k/o so Ulster scrum
Saracens 3-0 Ulster 25mins Scrum inside Sarries 22 but so far Ulster can't find way thru defence; adv played & for pen
Saracens 3-3 Ulster 26mins Pienaar's 3rd attempt in 5mins from inside 22 in front of posts finally finds the uprights
Saracens 3-3 Ulster 27mins But Ulster threaten to cancel it out handing over pen to Faz inside own 22...
Saracens 6-3 Ulster 29min Sarries regain lead with Faz's on target kick; good restart but Ernst Joubert k/o giving Ulster scrum
Saracens 6-6 Ulster 30mins Sarries pinged as scrum heaves forward outside own 22 & Pienaar tees up & equalises
Saracens 6-6 Ulster 32mins From restart Sarries set up L/O just 10m from Ulster T/L; huge drive going sideways tho not ahead
Saracens 6-6 Ulster 32mins Ref Romaine Poite on completely wrong side of maul as Sarries eventually heave over whitewash > TMO
Saracens 6-6 Ulster 32mins Crowd getting raucous at v long wait as TMO Eric Gauzins decides if any reason not to award try...
Saracens 13-6 Ulster 33mins Will Fraser's try is good & Faz converts to create a small cushion
Saracens 13-6 Ulster 35mins Crowd finally sounding like there are Sarries fans here as homeside awarded pen inside Ulster 10m
Saracens 13-6 Ulster 36mins Sarries captain Steve Borthwick has serious word with Poite before Faz preps the tee...
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 37mins Faz manages to again drown out noise from Ulster booing & adds another 3-pointer *badformulster*
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 39mins Feels like Sarries have more territory but stats say otherwise; Sarries pen sets up L/O on 10m
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 40mins Ball to touch from Ulster 10m & it's HT already

Saracens 16-6 Ulster HT T: Fraser C: Farrell P: Farrell (3) | P: Pienaar (2)

Saracens 16-6 Ulster 40mins We're back at a somewhat cooler Twickenham for 2nd half now the sun's gone down...
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 41mins No changes to either side & Ulster has L/O on H/W...
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 43mins Ulster scrum on Sarries 10m but great defensive work & Sarries t/o ball; Sarries L/O & over H/W
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 45mins Touch of aerial football & Sarries carry back over H/W but t/o again; tennis ensues...
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 46mins Ulster in possession in midfield but running into wall of black & red til Craig Gilroy thru...
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 47mins But Gilroy's fwd momentum killed & forced sideways before Sarries set up L/O on Ulster 22
Saracens 16-6 Ulster 48mins Big driving maul from homeside just 5m out & pen Sarries; Faz tees up just to side of posts
Saracens 19-6 Ulster 48mins Easy money for Faz as he adds 4th penalty
Saracens 19-6 Ulster 50mins Neil de Kock replaces Richard Wigglesworth while Sarries clear Ulster out of own half
Saracens 19-6 Ulster 54mins Sarries getting increasingly better at kicking Ulster out of own half til Iain Henderson drives
Saracens 19-9 Ulster 56mins Henderson flicks off every defender & Ashy gets pinged giving Ulster a pen; Pienaar converts it
Saracens 19-9 Ulster 57mins Mo Botha & Rhys Gill on for Ali Hargreaves & Mako Vunipola; Tommy Bowe for Darren Cave
Saracens 19-9 Ulster 58mins Rory Best getting treatment as clock stopped; meanwhile Sarries have pen from outside 10m...
Saracens 22-9 Ulster 59mins Bugger - Schalk Brits got treatment & limps off; Best gifted penalty to Faz who converts it
Saracens 22-9 Ulster 60mins John Smit on for Brits & Ulster up to Sarries 10m but fwd movement is crawling
Saracens 22-9 Ulster 61mins An intercept from Sarries & they're over H/W & moving fast...
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 62mins Brad Barritt offloads to Ashy who sprints & Ash Splashes to break that horrid Twickenham hoodoo!
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 64mins Faz surprisingly misses conversion; meanwhile Robbie Diack on for Johann Muller
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 65mins Chris Wyles replaces Strets & Sarries take ball on Ulster throw. Ulster L/O outside Sarries 10m
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 66mins Forceful yards made by Ulster up to Sarries 22 before pushed back but still in possession
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 67mins Ulster head into 22 & have adv; pen given but Luke Marshall down & out
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 68mins Stuart Olding on for Marshall; attendance 37,888 breaking previous UK QF ERC record of 37,881
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 69mins Ulster kick to corner but Sarries have the scrum 5m from own T/L...
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 70mins Ulster pinged at the scrum & Sarries clear visitors back outside their 22; own L/O
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 71mins Ulster stall again as ball finds touch & Sarries have L/O outside own 22
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 71mins Aerial kicking results in Ulster L/O on Sarries 10m & timeout for a mo
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 72mins Ulster desperate to score & make it to 22 before fumble & Sarries k/o; Ulster scrum outside 22
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 73mins Jackson Wray on for MoM Will Fraser; Callum Black on for Tom Court
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 75mins Ulster deep inside Sarries 22 but spill from Pienaar gives Sarries the penalty
Saracens 27-9 Ulster 77mins Petrus du Plessis replaces Matty Stevens & earlier Charlie Hodgson for Joel Tomkins
Saracens 27-14 Ulster 78mins Ulster determined to salvage some pride; Olding held back but Henderson finds the space to score
Saracens 27-16 Ulster 79mins Pienaar converts perfectly from way out wide
Saracens 27-16 Ulster FT Final whistle blown & Saracens deservedly thru to Semi Finals back here in 3 wks vs Toulon or Tigers

SaracensAlex Goode, Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Brad Barritt, David Strettle, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens, STEVE BORTHWICK (C), Alistair  Hargreaves, Kelly Brown, Will Fraser, Ernst Joubert BENCH: John Smit, Rhys Gill, Petrus Du Plessis, Mouritz Botha, Jackson Wray, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Chris Wyles

SCORERS T: Fraser, Ashton C: Farrell P: Farrell (5)

Ulster RugbyJared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, JOHANN MULLER (C), Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams BENCH: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Ricky Lutton, Robbie Diack, Mike McComish, Paul Marshall, Stuart Olding, Tommy Bowe

SCORERS T: Henderson C: Pienaar P: Pienaar (3)

Referee: Romain Poite (Fra), Asst Referees: Leighton Hodges (Wal), Asst Referees: Cedric Marchat (Fra), TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra), Citing Commissioner: Yann Le Dore (Fra)




HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 12 - 18 MUNSTER RUGBYMunster Rugby

Twickenham Stoop - Sunday 7th April 2013
KO: 14:00 HT: 9-6 Att: 15,000


Afternoon from a very sunny Stoop in Twickers on this gloriously hung over day! *ouch*
Harlequins 0-0 Munster 1min And we have kick off...Quins deep in Munster's 22 already...
Harlequins 0-0 Munster 1min Quins L/O on Munster's 22 goes out wide but ball finds touch rather than the last man
Harlequins 0-0 Munster 2mins Quins 1st scrum & it's Quins all the way - awarded pen & Nick Evans tees up to enforced silence
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 3mins Perfection from Evans & the crowd are in raptures already
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 4mins But Quins hand over a penalty & Ronan O'Gara tees up in front of the posts outside the 22...
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 5mins But O'Gara fluffs it as ball rebounds off the uprights & Quins clear back to H/W
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 7mins Munster try & pull a fast one but ref Jerome Garces is having none of it & pen Quins...
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 8mins Quins ball & they make it over H/W but pen to Munster & Simon Zebo kicks to corner for L/O
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 12mins Munster pelt ball into Quins territory but not long til it goes opposite way; Quins scrum H/W
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 13mins Penalty to Quins & Evans tees up in front of posts just outside 10m line...
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 14mins The mighty Evans misses by pulling it just wide of the posts so its still just 3-0
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 15mins Munster gain territory but it's Quins L/O on own 22...clear & it's Munster's on the 10m
Harlequins 3-0 Munster 17mins Quins take play up to Munster 22 & have advantage; pen given but time out for injury
Harlequins 6-0 Munster 19mins Time on & Evans penalty finds its mark this time to double the homeside's score
Harlequins 6-0 Munster 20mins From restart Munster L/O just outside Quins 10m which Paul O'Connell takes; O'Gara DG hits ref
Harlequins 6-0 Munster 22mins Munster penalty was coming anyway & O'Gara tees up but misses it by a country mile!
Harlequins 6-0 Munster 23mins Munster disrupt at B/D & have scrum outside Quins' 22, good but not getting too far yet
Harlequins 6-0 Munster 24mins Finally red shirts get into 22 & Quins hands in ruck give pen to visitors; O'Gara tees up...
Harlequins 6-3 Munster 25mins From the 22 out wide this time O'Gara's finally on target & Munster are on the board
Harlequins 6-3 Munster 26mins Quins scrum just inside Munster 10m & win pen in front of posts...Evans teeing...
Harlequins 9-3 Munster 28mins Evans has no trouble this time & Quins are ahead by 6
Harlequins 9-3 Munster 30mins Munster back into Quins 22 but homeside nab possession & wallop it back to H/W
Harlequins 9-3 Munster 31mins Quins continue to drive forward & Danny Care quick taps over the Munster 10m from pen
Harlequins 9-3 Munster 32mins Care hands pen to Munster & visitors' L/O outside Qs 22; at B/D Quins give it away for ROG pen
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 34mins Matters not Conor Murray's DG attempt was bad; O'Gara has found his kicking feet & adds 3 pts
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 35mins From restart, Quins scrum inside Munster's 10m > reset but so much faffing going on...
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 36mins Scrum awarded to Munster & they win pen - tho @BrianMoore666 reckons no reason for it ;-)
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 38mins ROG forced to high kick into Quins 22 & Ugo Monye catches & clears for Munster L/O outside 10m
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 39mins Quins scrum on H/W; drive forward & Munster win pen > kick for L/O outside Quins 22
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 40mins Ball finds touch & its HT at The Twickenham Stoop

Harlequins 9-6 Munster HT P: Evans (3) | P: O'Gara (2)

Harlequins 9-6 Munster 40mins 2nd half KO as both teams return to a pretty impressive considering 2wks ago it was flooded!
Harlequins 9-6 Munster 41mins O'Gara kicks off & Munster charge into Quins territory & captain Chris Robshaw caught offside
Harlequins 9-9 Munster 42mins Quickly its all square as O'Gara splices uprights from 42m out
Harlequins 9-9 Munster 44mins Munster drive straight into Quins 22 & homeside have L/O 10m from own T/L; Munster t/o at B/D
Harlequins 9-9 Munster 44mins Munster line up to attack but Quins scramble their defence & bundle them into touch in corner
Harlequins 9-12 Munster 46mins Munster pen & O'Gara kicks it through in front of posts in 22to take lead for first time
Harlequins 9-12 Munster 47mins Quins have totally lost their shape & gift another pen to O'Gara in front of posts outside 22
Harlequins 9-15 Munster 50mins Joe Gray on for Rob Buchanan; Munster charge again & Casey Laulala breaks as does Felix Jones
Harlequins 9-15 Munster 50mins Munster attacking with ferocity & almost over whitewash but George Lowe intercepts & saves Qs
Harlequins 9-15 Munster 52mins Maurie Fa'asavalu is replaced by Tom Guest & Quins force Munster out of their 22
Harlequins 9-15 Munster 53mins Munster STILL in possession & a chip fwd is saved by Mike Brown who sprints but huge tackle
Harlequins 9-15 Munster 53mins Brown checked for injury after he's dumped to ground; scrum Munster on Quins 22
Harlequins 9-18 Munster 56mins Ball flies behind T/L but ends up beyond but pen Munster & O'Gara Kicks it thru uprights
Harlequins 9-18 Munster 57mins From restart Munster have L/O inside own 10m & Quins get driving maul going up to 22
Harlequins 9-18 Munster 58mins Fisticuffs break out after Munster awarded pen from B/D - again; scrum Munster
Harlequins 9-18 Munster 60mins Ref awards Munster pen again for JJ in front row for twisting in - Garces has word with Robbo
Harlequins 9-18 Munster 61mins Munster almost up to Quins 22 & ball goes to touch; pen Quins for illegal hands; H/W L/O
Harlequins 9-18 Munster 63mins Tom Casson makes a mess of Quins momentum into Munster 22; ref playing advantage...
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 65mins Ref calls pen & Evans kicks it through to bring score back with a converted try; Quins MUST focus
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 68mins Another pen to Quins & Evans wallops it for L/O inside Munster 22 but goes long & stolen
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 70mins Donncha O'Callaghan replaces Donnacha Ryan & Quins fwd pass gives Munster scrum on H/W
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 70mins Munster are only team to have won QF matches away from home 3 times
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 71mins Evans gets hands on ball & clears away from own 22 for Munster L/O outside 10m
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 72mins Quins win pen & will have scrum just inside own 10m; timeout for JJ
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 73mins Munster fans have turned Stoop redder than Ulster did Twickers yesterday as Fields of Athenry
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 74mins Good L/O position for Quins & into Munster half but George Lowe pinged for not releasing
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 76mins Munster pen kicked to outside Quins 22 & entire front row replaced; scrum Munster
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 76mins Scrum being reset again & taking forever - come on ref!
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 78mins Munster over Quins 22 and driving ahead but pen to Quins
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 78mins Time off for injury check & play on Quins 22 as Munster flags fly at full height around Stoop
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 79mins Peter O'Mahony blood replaced by Patrick Butler as Quins knock on!
Harlequins 12-18 Munster 80mins Munster keep going until Simon Zebo kicks to touch & it's all over for Quins' Heineken Cup
So Munster will play Clermont at Stade de la Mosson - Saturday 27th April 2013 in the semi final

HarlequinsMike Brown, Tom Williams, George Lowe, Tom Casson, Ugo Monye, Nick Evans, Danny Care, Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, George Robson, Maurie Fa'asavalu, CHRIS ROBSHAW (C), Nick Easter BENCH: Joe Gray, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Matt Hopper

SCORERS P: Evans (4)

Munster RugbyFelix Jones, Denis Hurley, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo, Ronan O'Gara, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donnacha Ryan, PAUL O'CONNELL (C), Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlan BENCH: Damien Varley, Wian Du Preez, Stephen Archer, Donncha O'Callaghan, Patrick Butler, Cathal Sheridan, Ian Keatley, Ivan Dineen

SCORERS P: O'Gara (6)

Referee: Jerome Garces (Fra), Asst Referees: Marius Mitrea (Ita), Asst Referees: Laurent Cardona (Fra), TMO: Iain Ramage (Sco), Citing Commissioner: Yves Thieffine (Fra)




ToulonTOULON vs LEICESTER TIGERSLeicester Tigers

Stade Félix Mayol - Sunday 7th April
KO: 17:30 HT: 6-9 Att: tbc


Toulon vs Leicester Massive roar from the crowd as the home team dashes out and the crowd's a sea of red
Toulon vs Leicester Just had a false kick off by legendary former 8 of Toulon and a man is chanting to get crowd going
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 0mins KO & Geoff Parling taken out in air giving Tigers 1st pen. Toby Flood kicks for touch
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 0mins Jordan Crane fumbled the ball forward & Toulon have first scrum near H/W
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 1mins Crowd happily chanting at wonderfully sunny stadium, Leicester handed free kick from scrum
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 2mins Tigers on attack near to Toulon 22 but Ben Youngs boots ball too far
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 3mins Tigers back on the attack with Anthony Allen bursting down left side
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 4mins Tom Croft darts down blindside but tackled out. Handbags come out & both captains talked to
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 4mins Play still in Toulon 22 but they manage to kick it out the danger zone
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 5mins Mathew Tait k/o ball but Manu Tuilagi thought he was going to get try> scrum Toulon
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 6mins Delon Armitage boots ball downfield finds space forcing Flood back. He kicks out> Toulon L/O
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 7mins Tigers t/o ball and are back on the attack. Massive tackle on Tigers player & Ben Youngs k/o
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 9mins Scrum to Toulon inside their own half. Leicester scrum well & get the penalty
Toulon 0-0 Leicester 9mins Toby Flood going for goal, so much disrespectful noise by fans
Toulon 0-3 Leicester 10mins Flood's kick from nearly 40 metres out goes over & Tigers take lead
Toulon 0-3 Leicester 12mins Steffon Armitage k/o> Tiger scrum & Tigers dominating this area so far
Toulon 0-3 Leicester 12mins Leicester handed the penalty once again as Andrew Sheridan pinged> Flood kicks for touch
Toulon 0-3 Leicester 12mins 'Tigers' chanted around the stadium as Croft secures lineout ball. Steffon Armitage pinged
Toulon 0-6 Leicester 14mins Steffon Armitage came in from the side. Flood goes for posts once again and his kick sails through
Toulon 0-6 Leicester 16mins Another error by Toulon as they k/o near H/W> Tigers scrum
Toulon 0-6 Leicester 16mins Another great drive from Leicester tears up Toulon scrum> Tigers have pen
Toulon 0-6 Leicester 16mins Flood marching into place with tee in hand for a massive kick
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 17mins Flood looking happy with himself as he lands a fantastic penalty
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 18mins Uncharacteristically bad restart from Jonny Wilkinson gives Leicester a scrum
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 19mins Toulon will want to avoid any more scrums
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 19mins Scrum stays up and it's a good kick from Ben Youngs into Toulon 22
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 20mins Drama for Toulon as they lose the lineout ball and Tigers are looking quick
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 20mins Toulon defence recovered quickly, and Tigers pinged for going in from the side
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 22mins A nice kick from Wilko caught by Tait. Tigers kick ball away, Wilko kicks well into touch
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 24mins Toulon pinged again & game is going Leicester's way as they catch their lineout near H/W
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 25mins Tigers bruising their way into Toulon 22, mistake by Ben Youngs
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 25mins Toulon pace downfield Mathieu Bastareaud looking on for a try but great covering from Tait
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 26mins Tait covers well, beats 3 players and goes on the charge towards Toulon 22
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 26mins Could get whiplash from that great period of play. Toulon on attack
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 27mins Delon Armitage tries to pass but Flood intercepts & purposefully knocks forward
Toulon 0-9 Leicester 28mins Flood shown yellow as no intent to catch ball whilst Toulon were deep in 22 on attack
Toulon 3-9 Leicester 28mins Wilkinson takes a penalty kick at goal & nails it
Toulon 3-9 Leicester 29mins Tait restarts & Wilko takes eye off ball & k/o. Almost on for Tigers but ref calls adv over
Toulon 3-9 Leicester 31mins Matt Giteau tries a dummy pass, passes to Bakkies Botha & Toulon are coming alive
Toulon 3-9 Leicester 32mins Leicester pinged and give away another kickable penalty
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 33mins Much quieter as Wilkinson kicks for goal & cheering erupts from the crowd as it goes over
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 33mins Wilko makes no mistake at restart. Tigers lineout going well as a maul is formed
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 34mins Nick Kennedy knocked the ball to the ground & Tigers handed pen. Croft needing to stretch
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 35mins Leicester have the scrum & Dan Cole gets up from the floor
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 36mins Toulon pinged after massive Tiger drive. Tait boots downfield but Croft clasping at back
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 36mins Tigers L/O goes well. Ben Youngs steps inside Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 37mins Toulon pinged & Tigers have penalty kick at goal
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 38mins It's perfect timing as Flood is back from the sin bin,
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 38mins Flood missed the kick and looks annoyed with himself. Croft is off
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 40mins Leicester have the possession. Flood goes to kick ball out & is late- tackled by Delon Armitage
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 40mins Doesn't seem to be any love shown between Toulon's no 15 & Tigers' no 10

Toulon 6-9 Leicester HT P: Wilkinson (2) | P: Flood (3) Yellow Card Flood

Toulon 6-9 Leicester HT Leicester's scrums have been the dominant driving force of this first half. Game is still too close to call
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 40mins Flood K/O 2nd half & this is going to be an exciting half
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 40mins Tigers secure L/O just inside Toulon half but Allen chip goes too far into touch
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 41mins Toulon catch the L/O, Wilko kicks a high ball & setting sun is making it difficult to see
Toulon 6-9 Leicester 42mins Nice start from Ben Youngs but boos erupt after Ed Slater trips Steffon Armitage
Toulon 9-9 Leicester 43mins Wilko tees up at posts & near silence descends on stadium. Kick sails through
Toulon 9-9 Leicester 44mins Toulon straight on attack from restart, they kick to Tait who kicks it back
Toulon 9-9 Leicester 45mins Toulon k/o and Leicester seem to be losing their cool. Tigers come in ruck off their feet
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 46mins Familiar sight of Wilko taking position & he sweeps the tricky kick sweetly through
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 47mins Flood can only look on as the home side take the lead
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 47mins Tigers pinged again and ref talking to captain Toby Flood
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 48mins Toulon have L/O near H/W and they are baying for a try but the ball slows
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 48mins Noting the slow ball, Wilko goes for the DG but it just misses
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 49mins Teams taking it in turns to boot it back & forth. Tait dances his way down field
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 50mins Toulon t/o & are raring down towards the T/L. The crowd is incredible but pass goes loose
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 50mins Tigers cover & kick ball away. Almost sounds gladiatorial at the Stade
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 51mins Pressure on Tigers as Toulon L/O secured & Bastareaud runs down left blindside
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 52mins Did Bastareaud get the ball down before going into touch? No try declared
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 51mins Try saving tackle by Adam Thompstone
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 52mins Leicester have throw in in own half, they clear ball, Delon Armitage catches
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 53mins Toulon pegging towards Tiger TL. Botha thought he was but ref declares no try again
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 53mins Leicester have pen as Botha crawled over the line in three movements
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 53mins Marcos Ayerza having to be helped off pitch & hope injury isn't too bad
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 53mins Ben Youngs gets the ball away from 22 but Toulon are straight back on attack
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 54mins Toulon pinged for going in at the side & Flood boots the ball into touch
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 55mins Lineouts still going well for Leicester as Tigers go on attack
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 55mins Flood almost sparked something spectacular but Toulon read it well.
Toulon 12-9 Leicester 56mins Toulon getting back on the attack but are pinged. Flood looks to posts to level scores
Toulon 12-12 Leicester 57mins Flood kicks perfectly and the scores are even
Toulon 12-12 Leicester 57mins Drama from the restart. Toulon on the attack. Dan Cole k/o on purpose> pen Toulon
Toulon 12-12 Leicester 58mins Wilko tees up once more as Dan Cole is sent to the sin bin
Toulon 15-12 Leicester 58mins Wilko's kicking form is as perfect as ever & roar erupts as Toulon take lead
Toulon 15-12 Leicester 59mins Fantastic tackling from Tom Youngs today but now looks to be limping
Toulon 15-12 Leicester 60mins Poor kick from Delon Armitage gives Tigers a L/O inside Toulon half
Toulon 15-12 Leicester 61mins Lineout goes wrong, Wilko boots downfield & Tait covers, heading back towards Toulon half
Toulon 15-12 Leicester 62mins Toulon receive high ball & Tigers are pinged for not rolling away
Toulon 15-12 Leicester 63mins Another kickable penalty for Wilko
Toulon 18-12 Leicester 64mins Wilkinson boots it over once again & the sea of red goes crazy
Toulon 18-12 Leicester 65mins Tigers go on the prowl for points towards Toulon 22 & pressure gets to Toulon> Tigers pen
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 65mins More booing from the crowd as Flood tees up but that doesn't disturb him & kick goes over
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 66mins Two players appear to have clashed heads in the centre of the field> time out
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 66mins Nasty head wound for Alexis Palisson & he goes off. Booing from the French crowd
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 68mins Martin Castrogiovanni comes on at the scrum for sinbinned Cole> Tigers have pen
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 68mins Tigers secure L/O and Wilko smash tackles into Niall Morris causing k/o
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 69mins Scrum goes well for Toulon in their own half & Wilko really wants the win
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 70mins Kennedy knocks ball out of Tait's hand & into touch> Tigers' L/O
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 70mins Great kick from Ben Youngs puts Toulon L/O under pressure in their 22
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 71mins Leicester pinged as Castrogiovanni goes off feet. Ref talking to both captains again
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 72mins Tait uncharacteristically drops a high ball and k/o in own 22
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 73mins Massive scrum for both sides. Toulon gunning towards Tigers T/L
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 74mins Tigers covering well & forcing Toulon back. Wilko passes to Fernandez Lobbe
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 74mins Bastareaud can't hold onto ball> Tigers scrum in own 22
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 75mins Massive push from Toulon near the right blindside. Scrum has to be reset
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 76mins Crowd really getting behind their team, chanting & clapping
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 76mins Story of the game repeats as Tigers handed pen from scrum
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 76mins Tigers L/O on H/W goes well, Allen chips ahead & Tigers manage to keep the ball
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 77mins Toulon gathered the ball and Tuilagi pinged, Wilko boots ball away
Toulon 18-15 Leicester 78mins Tigers have possession but t/o, Fernandez Lobbe belts down the centre. Toulon in 22
Toulon 21-15 Leicester 78mins Toulon have advantage, Wilko gets into the pocket & lands the DG
Toulon 21-15 Leicester 79mins Newspapers flailing everywhere as the crowd celebrates
Toulon 21-15 Leicester 80mins Leicester desperate at the restart but k/o. Toulon have scrum & the ball's kicked out
Toulon 21-15 Leicester FT Tigers players congratulate Toulon & the home crowd is pretty happy now
Toulon 21-15 Leicester FT Toulon just the better side in the 2nd half but Tigers did well not to concede a try
Toulon 21-15 Leicester FT The men in red look delighted & even Wilko cracked a smile
Toulon 21-15 Leicester FT Toulon will now take on Saracens in the Semi Final at Twickenham

ToulonDelon Armitage, Rudi Wulf, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Alexis Palisson, JONNY WILKINSON (C), Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Andrew Sheridan, Sebastien Bruno, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Nick Kennedy, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Steffon Armitage, Chris Masoe BENCH: Mickael Ivaldi, Gethin Jenkins, Levan Chilachava, Jocelino Suta, Vincent Martin, Maxime Mermoz, Nicolas Durand, Joe van Niekerk

SCORERS P: Wilkinson (6) DG: Wilkinson

Leicester TigersMathew Tait, Niall Morris, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Adam Thompstone, TOBY FLOOD (C), Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Ed Slater, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Julian Salvi, Jordan Crane BENCH: Rob Hawkins, Logovi'i Mulipola, Martin Castrogiovanni, Graham Kitchener, Thomas Waldrom, Sam Harrison, George Ford, Matt Smith

SCORERS P: Flood (5) Yellow Card Flood, Cole

Referee: George Clancy (Ire), Asst Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ire), Asst Referees: Leo Colgan (Ire), TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ire), Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (Ire)




ERC Round 6

POOL 1Heineken Cup Round 6 Pool 1

Munster Rugby MUNSTER RUGBY 29 - 6 RACING MÉTRO 92 Racing Metro

Thomond Park - 20 January 2013
KO: 12:45 HT: 17-6

Munster Racing Metro Simon Zebo 4th tryA decade on from their last miraculous escape from the Heineken Cup Pool stages into the quarter-finals, Munster did all they could to re-join European rugby's top eight. They went into their final Pool game against Racing Metro at Thomond Park needing to win with at least four tries to knock-out the reigning champions Leinster from the second best runners-up spot.

Munster scored three tries in a blistering first-half to wipe out an early 3-0 deficit to lead 17-6 at the break. Then it was a question of the home crowd being patient and waiting for the bonus point score. They did not have to wait long as Simon Zebo became the hero as he completed his hat-trick within 15 minutes of the re-start to complete the job and add an extra one as well.

Munster still had to wait on the mathematical outcome of the game between Leicester Tigers and Toulouse in Pool 2 to be certain of their ticket to play No 1 seeds Harlequins in April, but as the gap grew and the tries flowed it became an increasingly difficult game for the Leinster players to watch.

Racing Métro came with only pride to play for and their cause was dealt a bitter blow when English referee Wayne Barnes dismissed their back row man Antoine Battut after a mere five minutes. The Racing man was visibly fired up and appeared to strike Tommy O'Donnell with the knee as tempers frayed.

Racing did not let that set-back upset them and full back Gaetan Germain drew first blood with a penalty after 12 minutes. Munster did not score in the first quarter but, as the pressure mounted, they notched three tries in 15 minutes before half-time to calm the nerves.

Scrum half Conor Murray drove over from close range, Zebo ran in his first and then hooker Mike Sherry converted another close-range line-out drive. That set-up a second-half hunt for one more try and a march to victory.

Zebo's second and third tries made the bonus point and victory safe and meant the champions were relegated to the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals. All that was left was for the nervy wait to see if Leicester Tigers could beat Toulouse and the Frenchmen could pick up two points in defeat by scoring four or more tries and finish within seven points.

MUNSTER RUGBY: Felix Jones, DOUG HOWLETT (C), Keith Earls, James Downey, Simon Zebo, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlan BENCH: Damien Varley, Wian Du Preez, John Ryan, Billy Holland, Patrick Butler, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Casey Laulala

SCORERS T: Murray, Zebo (3), Sherry C: Keatley (2) Yellow Card Butler

RACING METRO 92: Gaetan Germain, Julien Jane, Guillaume Bousses, Alexandre Dumoulin, Sireli Bobo, Olly Barkley, Mathieu Belie, Julien Brugnaut, Benjamin Noirot, Benjamin Salemane Sa, Karim Ghezal, Fabrice Metz, Antoine Battut, Bernard Le Roux, JACQUES CRONJE (C) BENCH: Thomas Bianchin, Andrea Lo Cicero, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Jone Qovu Nailiko, Benjamin Fall, Santiago Dellape, Sebastien Descons, Sakiusa Matadigo

SCORERS P: Germain (2) Yellow Card Matadigo Red Card Battut


SaracensSARACENS 40 - 7 EDINBURGH RUGBYEdinburgh

Vicarage Road - 20 January 2013
KO: 12:45 HT: 14-7

SARACENS booked their place in the quarter-finals with this bonus point 40-7 victory over Edinburgh Rugby in the swirling snow at Vicarage Road.

The Londoners only needed a victory to qualify for the last eight of the tournament but this bonus point puts them in the mix of a home tie in the knock-out stages. The English Premiership side have now reached their second successive tournament quarter-final with England wing Chris Ashton crossing for two tries as they were never really troubled by Edinburgh.

This was the perfect farewell in their final game at their adopted home of Vicarage Road before they move to their new £20m state of the art stadium Allianz Park in Barnet.

Edinburgh, who reached the semi-finals of last season's Heineken Cup, ended their miserable campaign with another defeat and failed to win a game in their Pool this season.

Owen Farrell, playing at centre, slotted over three penalties before England wing Ashton crossed for his 10th Heineken Cup try after a superb grubber kick by scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth. Farrell missed the touchline conversion of Ashton's try and in the process his incredible run of 26 successful consecutive kicks at goal came to an end as the ball hit the post.

Wigglesworth then was involved in a comedy of errors in defence when he fumbled the ball and Edinburgh full-back Greig Tonks took full advantage to score the Scots side's third try in this season's competition to make it 14-7 at half-time.

Farrell then delivered a superb crosskick from a quick penalty for Ashton to gather after one bounce to score his second try to stretch the home side's lead just after the break.

Prop Matt Steven scored Sarries third try from a well worked driving lineout which steamrollered the hapless Edinburgh pack and Farrell added the conversion to make it 26-7.

Fly-half Charlie Hodgson crossed for the vital fourth and bonus point try and full-back Chris Wyles sealed the win with their fifth try.

SARACENS: Chris Wyles, Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, David Strettle, Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens, STEVE BORTHWICK (C), George Kruis, Kelly Brown, Will Fraser, Ernst Joubert  BENCH: John Smit, Rhys Gill, Petrus Du Plessis, Mouritz Botha, Nic Fenton-Wells, Neil de Kock, Joel Tomkins, Duncan Taylor

SCORERS T: Ashton (2), Stevens, Hodgson, Wyles C: Farrell (3) P: Farrell (3)

EDINBURGH RUGBY: Greig Tonks, Dougie Fife, Ben Cairns, Matthew Scott, Tim Visser, GREIG LAIDLAW (C), Richie Rees, Robin Hislop, Steven Lawrie, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox, Stuart McInally, Dimitri Basilaia, Netani Talei BENCH: Andy Titterrell, Alex Allan, Geoff Cross, Perry Parker, Robert McAlpine, Piers Francis, Ben Atiga, Lee Jones

SCORERS T: Tonks C: Laidlaw




POOL 2Heineken Cup Round 6 Pool 2

Leicester Tigers LEICESTER TIGERS 9 - 5 TOULOUSE Toulouse

Welford Road - 20 January 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 9-0

LEICESTER TIGERS went through to the knock-out stages for the 11th time after a thrilling and full-blooded 9-5 victory over Toulouse in front of a capacity 24,000 strong Welford Road crowd.

It was a winner-takes-all contest in appalling conditions of swirling snow and in the end it was sheer dogged determination that came out on top - and they will next face another major French test when they go to Toulon in the quarter-finals.

It meant four-times champions Toulouse fail to qualify for the quarter-finals for only the fourth time in 18 tournaments and will go on to contest Amlin Challenge Cup honours on the road at Perpignan.

The Tigers last lost a home tournament game when they went down to Munster in 2006 with Toulouse's poor goal kicking letting them down when it really mattered in this contest. Yet the Tigers suffered a blow before kick-off with Manu Tuilagi failing an 11th hour fitness test on the leg injury that saw him limp off against the Ospreys seven days earlier but they still started far the brighter.

Niall Morris did lose the ball in the act of diving for the line but significantly in the testing conditions the Tigers had already demonstrated they held the whip hand at the scrums and another Toulouse infringement gave Toby Flood the chance for the first points.

Despite the swirling snow the outside half struck his penalty sweetly for the first points, Lionel Beauxis failing to master the conditions at the other end with his initial chance to level matters. And although he got closer with his next attempt, Toulouse saw that bounce back off the upright to let the Tigers off the hook.

Tigers then lost major ball-carrier Steve Mafi as the Tongan when down as if pole-axed when his hamstring went in a kick-and-chase.

And not even a change of goal kicker could improve Toulouse's efforts to get points on the board as reward for their pressure and slick off-loading as Luke McAlister also saw his penalty attempt hit the upright and bounce to safety.

Then it was Flood's turn to see points go begging as he sent his next penalty chance wide before getting back in the groove to open up a six-points advantage.

Louis Picamoles thought he had been driven over by his fellow forward for the try the game was crying out for but the TMO ruled no try to deny the powerhouse No 8.

And if that was a reprieve for the Tigers, they promptly cashed in with Flood firing over a long-range penalty to open up a healthy advantage in the most trying and testing of conditions.

And it was those conditions that contributed to the try that brought Toulouse back into the game, Matthew Tait failing to take a high ball and Yoann Huget pouncing on the loose ball for an unconverted try. That was two points squandered and another wayward penalty followed from McAlister as they had clearly left their kicking boots back in Toulouse.

Flood, who had done so much to put the Tigers in a promising position, was yellow carded for a professional foul as Toulouse attacked to leave the Tigers a man short for almost all the remaining time. But they held out with Toulouse left to kick themselves for those missed chances.

LEICESTER TIGERS: Mathew Tait, Niall Morris, Matt Smith, Anthony Allen, Adam Thompstone, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, LOUIS DEACON (C), Geoff Parling, Steve Mafi, Julian Salvi, Thomas Waldrom BENCH: George Chuter, Logovi'i Mulipola, Martin Castrogiovanni, Graham Kitchener, Jordan Crane, Sam Harrison, George Ford, Scott Hamilton

SCORERS P: Flood (3) Yellow Card Flood

TOULOUSE: Clement Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Luke McAlister, Yoann Huget, Lionel Beauxis, Jean Marc Doussain, Gurthro Steenkamp, Christopher Tolofua, Census Johnston, Yoann Maestri, Patricio Albacete, Gregory Lamboley, THIERRY DUSAUTOIR (C), Louis Picamoles BENCH: Gary Botha, Vasil Kakovin, Yohann Montes, Romain Millo-Chluski, Yannick Nyanga, Luke Burgess, Jean Bouilhou, Maxime Medard



Benetton TrevisoBENETTON TREVISO 17 - 14 OSPREYS Ospreys

Stadio Comunale di Monigo - 20 January 2013
KO: 16:00 HT: 3-6

Benetton Treviso OspreysBENETTON TREVISO recorded their first win in the Heineken Cup in nine games with this hard-fought 17-14 victory over the reigning Pro12 champions, the Ospreys, at Stadio Comunale di Monigo. The Italian side had lost their previous eight Heineken Cup games since they beat former finalists and French side Biarritz Olympique 30-26 at Stadio Monigo back in December 2011.

A late try by replacement wing Andrea Pratichetti on the 79th minute secured an unlikely win and gave Treviso their first victory in this season's Pool over the Welsh region.

The Ospreys 15-all draw with the Leicester Tigers last Sunday ended the Welsh sides hopes of a Heineken Cup quarter-final place and knocked them out of the tournament for this season. The Ospreys elimination means there is no Welsh representation in the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup for the second time in the last three seasons and this victory will rub salt into their wounds.

The Welsh side have now lost their last 11 away games in Europe since they recorded a victory over Italian part-timers Viadana 62-7 at Reggio nell'Emilia back in December 2009.

Fly-half Kristopher Burton gave the home side an early lead with a penalty before his opposite number for the Ospreys, Biggar, levelled the score with his first penalty of the game.

Biggar put the visitors ahead with his second penalty midway through the first half to make it 6-3 to the Welsh side at half-time and his drop goal stretched the Ospreys lead just after the break.

Centre Tom Isaacs crossed for the Ospreys try midway through the second-half but Treviso's flanker Alessandro Zanni and replacement wing Pratichetti in the dying moments secured victory.

BENETTON TREVISO: Luke McLean, Ludovico Nitoglia, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Giulio Toniolatti, Kristopher Burton, Edoardo Gori, Michele Rizzo, Giovanni Maistri, Lorenzo Cittadini, Francesco Minto, VALERIO BERNABO (C), Paul Derbyshire, Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri BENCH: Enrico Ceccato, Alberto De Marchi, Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, Marco Fuser, Corniel Van Zyl, Dean Budd, Fabio Semenzato, Andrea Pratichetti

SCORERS T: Zanni, Pratichetti C: Burton (2) P: Burton

OSPREYS: Richard Fussell, Tom Grabham, Thomas Isaacs, Andrew Bishop, Ben John, Dan Biggar, KAHN FOTUALI'I (C), Duncan Jones, Scott Baldwin, Adam Jones, Lloyd Peers, James King, Jonathan Thomas, Sam Lewis, Joe Bearman BENCH: Matthew Dwyer, Ryan Bevington, Campbell Johnstone, Ian Gough, George Stowers, Rhys Webb, Matthew Morgan, Jonathan Spratt

SCORERS T: Isaacs P: Biggar (2) DG: Biggar




POOL 3 Heineken Cup Round 6 Pool 3

Connacht Rugby CONNACHT RUGBY 25 - 20 ZEBRE Zebre

The Sportsground - 18 January 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 12-6

CONNACHT finished their Heineken Cup campaign with a third win but Zebre could so easily have been celebrating an historic first victory at The Sportsground. The Irish province ensured their second season in Europe's top competition finished with as many victories as defeats as they edged home 25-20 on Friday night.


Zebre gave as good as they got in Galway and overturned a 13-point deficit to lead 20-19 with 12 minutes remaining but Connacht kept their composure to stop the debutants from registering a maiden triumph in 18 domestic and European fixtures.

The first half was all about the boot, with a quartet of three pointers from Dan Parks handing the hosts a 12-6 lead at the interval. The former Scotland playmaker struck successful penalties after 10 minutes, 15 minutes and 33 minutes, with a 25th-minute drop goal from the veteran the other scoring method in an opening half that failed to really fire.

Zebre's points also came from the tee, as former Waratahs No10 Daniel Halangahu slotted penalties after 12 and 27 minutes to keep his side in touch.

A penalty try five minutes after the restart gave Connacht clear water at 19-6 but Zebre refused to give up the fight and Halangahu cut the gap to 10 with his third penalty six minutes later.

Zebre battered away at the Connacht line with 56 minutes gone but Luca Martinelli's indecisive show and go at the base of a close-range ruck led to turnover ball as the replacement scrum-half let the hosts off the hook. But it did not take long for Zebre to gain the reward their hard work deserved as Giovanbattista Venditti's brilliant break from halfway saw them claim the try they looked like registering moments earlier.

Kieran Marmion's decision to shoot out of the defensive line too quickly left Connacht exposed in midfield and Venditti burst through before offloading to create a two-on-one which Ruggero Trevisan finished off in the left-hand corner with 59 minutes gone.

The TMO was called into action to check whether Tiernan O'Halloran's last-gasp tackle had forced his opposite man into touch but the decision rightly went in Zebre's favour as the gap was cut to just two points.

Halangahu missed the chance to level affairs as he sent his touchline conversion wide of the near post but Parks was also off target with a penalty attempt four minutes later.

Zebre took the lead after 68 minutes when Halangahu kept his nerve from 10 metres to the left of the posts and 30 metres out but their one-point advantage was shortlived as a 40-metre effort from Parks pushed Connacht back in front three minutes later.

A second drop goal from Parks sealed the win - and took his tally to 20 - with six minutes left to ensure Connacht finished just three points shy of second-placed Biarritz Olympique in Pool 3.

CONNACHT RUGBY: Robbie Henshaw, Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion, Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, NATHAN WHITE (C), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Michael Kearney, Johnny O'Connor, Andrew Browne BENCH: Ethienne Reynecke, James Cooney, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Eoghan Grace, Paul O'Donohoe, Miah Nikora, Danie Poolman

SCORERS T: PT C: Parks P: Parks (4) DG: Parks (2)

ZEBRE: Tito Tebaldi, Giovanbattista Venditti, Roberto Quartaroli, Matteo Pratichetti, Ruggero Trevisan, Daniel Halangahu, Alberto Chillon, Salvatore Perugini, Davide Giazzon, Luca Redolfini, Michael van Vuuren, Josh Sole, Emiliano Caffini, MAURO BERGAMASCO (C), Filippo Ferrarini BENCH: Carlo Festuccia, Matias Aguero, Dave Ryan, Nicola Belardo, Andrea Manici, Luca Martinelli, Alberto Chiesa, Samuele Pace

SCORERS T: Trevisan P: Halangahu (5)


Biarritz Olympique BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 9 - 16 HARLEQUINS Harlequins

Parc des Sports Aguilera - 18 January 2013
KO: 21:00 HT: 3-10

HARLEQUINS did their hopes of securing the Heineken Cup's top seeding the world of good with a 16-9 win over Biarritz Olympique. Conor O'Shea's men already had Pool 3 sewn up prior to the last round of group matches but they sent out a message to the other tournament contenders with a hugely mature display at the Parc des Sports Aguilera.

A first-half try from Tom Guest and three penalties and a conversion from the boot of the ever-reliable Nick Evans ensured Quins finished with six wins from six and 28 points from a possible 30.

Biarritz led 3-0 through an 11th-minute penalty from Dimitri Yachvili in atrocious conditions in France but Quins were level five minutes later courtesy of Evans' first strike of the night.

The wet weather meant whoever claimed the opening try was always going to be in the box seat and it was Quins who were celebrating on the half hour. Back rower Guest, who replaced the injured Nick Easter in the Quins line up, powered over from a well-worked lineout to put the visitors in control.

Evans' successful conversion had the English Champions 10-3 to the good and it stayed that way until the end of the half, although there was still drama to come in the closing 10 minutes as both teams had a man yellow carded. Quins prop Joe Marler and Biarritz blindside Wenceslas Lauret were both binned to ensure the first six minutes of the second period featured just 14 men apiece.

Yachvili cut the gap to four points after 45 minutes when Mike Brown was penalised for playing the ball off his feet when attempting to clear up Jean-Pascal Barraque's chip ahead halfway inside his own 22 and Quins' lead was down to one when the scrum-half struck again eight minutes later.

But the visitors stayed calm and composed despite the threat of a first defeat of the campaign and two further penalties from Evans after 56 and 73 minutes saw them finish the job in some style.

BIARRITZ: Iain Balshaw, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Benoit Baby, Damien Traille, Aled Brew, Jean Pascal Barraque, Dimitri Yachvili, Fabien Barcella, Arnaud Heguy, Ben Broster, Thibault Dubarry, Pelu Taele, Wenceslas Lauret, Raphael Lakafia, IMANOL HARINORDOQUY (C) BENCH: Jean-Philippe Genevois, Thomas Synaeghel, Eugene van Staden, Erik Lund, Talalelei Gray, Yann Lesgourgues, Julien Peyrelongue, Seremaia Burotu

SCORERS P: Yachvili (3) Yellow Card Lauret

HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Tom Williams, George Lowe, Jordan Turner-Hall, Ugo Monye, Nick Evans, Danny Care, Joe Marler, Joe Gray, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, George Robson, Maurie Fa'asavalu, CHRIS ROBSHAW (C), Tom Guest BENCH: Rob Buchanan, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Luke Wallace, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Ollie Lindsay-Hague

SCORERS T: Guest C: Evans P: Evans (3) Yellow Card Marler




POOL 4 Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 4

Glasgow WarriorsGLASGOW 27 - 20 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS Northampton Saints

Scotstoun Stadium - 19 January 2013
KO: 13:35 HT: 6-10

Glasgow Warriors Northampton Saints NORTHAMPTON SAINTS were bundled out of European club rugby's 18th Heineken Cup at Scotstoun Stadium as Glasgow Warriors notched up their first win of the campaign and ended any faint Saints hopes of ongoing interest. The Warriors clinched a 27-20 win at the death through replacement Peter Horne, leaving Ulster Rugby as the clear group winners and ensuring 15 points will not be enough to keep the Saints in the mix for one of the two best runners-up spots.

With the sides feeling each other out in the opening quarter, home outside-half Ruaridh Jackson edged the Warriors ahead with penalty goals in the first and 11th minutes, Steve Myler on target for the Saints soon after to get them off the mark.

Wing Jamie Elliott had his effort to open the try scoring ruled out by the TMO and the Warriors briefly lost influential lock Al Kellock for some running repairs before the try the game was crying out for came in the 30th minute.

Inside centre Dom Waldouck bulldozed his way through to cross the home line and Myler added the conversion to put the 2000 Heineken Cup Champions in front for the first time.

Scott Wight, who had come on for Jackson, was off target with a penalty chance to enable the Saints, who were beginning to dominate and were 24-15 winners in Round 1, to go into the break with a narrow four-point advantage.

But it was the Warriors who struck first in the second half as flanker Josh Strauss breached the Saints defence, with Wight adding the conversion to put them back in front at 13-10 - albeit for just 12 minutes.

That was how long it took for the Saints to see the lead change hands for the fourth time, with George Pisi getting their second of a ding-dong battle that simply went on and on as scrum-half Niko Matawalu went over for Saints to slip behind yet again.

But after 72 minutes it was back to where they had started at all square as Ryan Lamb missed the conversion of Ben Foden's try to leave it on a knife edge at 20-20.

It was left to midfield replacement Horne to finally end the Saints hopes of any further interest in this season's tournament in the 80th minute with a fine try he converted himself.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Byron McGuigan, Graeme Morrison, Sean Maitland, Ruaridh Jackson, Nikola Matawalu, Gordon Reid, Pat MacArthur, Moray Low, Tim Swinson, ALASTAIR KELLOCK (C), Josh Strauss, James Eddie, Ryan Wilson BENCH: Dougie Hall, Ryan Grant, Tom Ryder, Alex Dunbar, Sean Kennedy, Scott Wight, Peter Horne

SCORERS T: Strauss, Matawalu, Horne C: Wight (2), Horne P: Jackson (2)

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS: Ben Foden, James Wilson, George Pisi, Dominic Waldouck, Jamie Elliott, Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson, Soane Tonga'uiha, DYLAN HARTLEY (C), Paul Doran-Jones, Samu Manoa, Courtney Lawes, Calum Clark, Tom Wood, Phil Dowson BENCH: Mike Haywood, Alex Waller, Tom Mercey, Mark Sorenson, Rhys Oakley, Martin Roberts, Ryan Lamb, Tom May

SCORERS T: Waldouck, Pisi, Foden C: Myler P: Myler Yellow Card Waller


Castres OlympiqueCASTRES OLYMPIQUE 8 - 9 ULSTER RUGBYUlster Rugby

Stade Pierre Antoine - 19 January 2013
KO: 14:35 HT: 8-6

ULSTER recorded their first win on French soil with a 9-8 victory over Castres but had to wait to see if other results went  their way before discovering they had not done enough to secure a home draw in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. A bonus-point victory would have secured a home draw but Ulster, who lost last season's Heineken Cup final to Leinster at Twickenham, never looked like scoring four tries in a tense encounter at the Stade Pierre Antoine.

Ruan Pienaar kicked all the Irish side's points in this hard-fought win after Ulster began the game already assured of their third Heineken Cup quarter-final place in the last three seasons. Talisman and inspiration Pienaar was switched from scrum-half to fly-half for the trip to France, with first-choice Paddy Jackson ruled out with an ankle injury, and Paul Marshall at scrum-half.

Castres opened the scoring when Scotland wing Max Evans' superb behind the back pass gave his centre Remi Lamerat a straight run-in from halfway to give the home side a ninth-minute lead.

Ulster were in control at the scrum and put the home side's pack under pressure throughout the contest and not even Castres' former Ulster No8 Pedrie Wannenburg had an answer to their power in that area.

Pienaar and his fellow South African, Rory Kockott, swapped penalties in a tight first half to make it 8-6 at the break and the Ulster half-back's solitary second-half penalty after 63 minutes secured the win.

CASTRES OLYMPIQUE: Pierre Bernard, Max Evans, Seremaia Bai, Remy Lamerat, Marcel Garvey, Remi Tales, Rory Kockott, Yannick Forestier, Marc-Antoine Rallier, Anton Peikrishvili, MATTHIAS ROLLAND (C), Christophe Samson, Mathieu Babillot, Piula Faasalele, Pedrie Wannenburg BENCH: Brice Mach, Saimone Taumoepeau, Hai Lazar, Joe Tekori, Thierry Lacrampe, Jannie Bornman, Paul Bonnefond, Marc Andreu

SCORERS T: Lemarat P: Kockott

ULSTER RUGBY: Craig Gilroy, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Mike Allen, Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall, Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Lewis Stevenson, Neil McComb, Robbie Diack, CHRIS HENRY (C), Roger Wilson BENCH: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Iain Henderson, Mike McComish, Michael Heaney, Paddy Jackson, Chris Cochrane

SCORERS P: Pienaar (3)




POOL 5 Heineken Cup Round 6 Pool 5


Exeter Chiefs EXETER CHIEFS 20 - 29 LEINSTER RUGBY Leinster Rugby

Sandy Park Stadium - 19 January 2013
KO: 18:00 HT: 17-12

Exeter Chiefs Leinster Sean O'BrienREIGNING champions Leinster got a bonus-point victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park, but it was not enough to secure a place in the final eight of the tournament.

Joe Schmidt's men missed out on a place in the last eight for the first time in five years despite their fourth win of the campaign - they last failed to reach the quarter-finals back in 2008. The Irish province won the title in 2009, 2011 and 2012 but found themselves in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals.

Centres Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll, full back Rob Kearney and No8 Jamie Heaslip got the vital tries for Leinster against a spirited Chiefs outfit who refused to lie down. Leinster made a perfect start when centre D’Arcy crossed for the first try after only four minutes of the game and fly-half Sexton added the extras with the conversion.

But the Chiefs hit back with a well-worked try from a lineout by hooker Neil Clark to draw level midway through the first half before Kearney replied with the visitor's second try.

Exeter then took the lead when they were awarded a penalty try by French referee Roman Poite when he penalised Leinster for bringing down a Chiefs driving lineout near their own line.

Gareth Steenson, the former Ulster fly-half, added the conversion and a penalty on the stroke of half-time to make it 17-12 to the Chiefs before Leinster replied at the start of the second-half.

Centre O'Driscoll scored his 32nd Heineken Cup try and Leinster's third four minutes after the restart before new Ireland skipper Heaslip got the vital bonus point try after 53 minutes.

Leinster led 26-17 at that stage but could not push on to further boost their try tally, with a penalty apiece from Steenson and Sexton the only remaining scores.

EXETER CHIEFS: Luke Arscott, Ian Whitten, Sireli Naqelevuki, Jason Shoemark, Matt Jess, Gareth Steenson, Kevin Barrett, Ben Moon, Neil Clark, Hoani Tui, TOM HAYES (C), Dean Mumm, Tom Johnson, James Scaysbrook, Richard Baxter BENCH: Jack Yeandle, Carl Rimmer, Craig Mitchell, James Hanks, Ben White, Will Chudley, Ignacio Mieres, Nicholas Sestaret

SCORERS T: Clark, PT C: Steenson (2) P: Steenson (2) Yellow Card White

LEINSTER RUGBY: Rob Kearney, Isa Nacewa, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, LEO CULLEN (C), Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Sean Cronin, Heinke Van der Merwe, Michael Bent, Rhys Ruddock, Shane Jennings, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden

SCORERS T: D'Arcy, Kearney, O'Driscoll, Heaslip C: Sexton (3) P: Sexton Yellow Card Boss


ScarletsSCARLETS 0 - 29 ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNEASM Clermont Auvergne

Parc y Scarlets - 19 January 2013
KO: 18:00 HT: 0-24

ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE banked the maximum five points from their 29-0 win over the Scarlets in Llanelli to join Harlequins on 28 points in the Heineken Cup standings at the completion of the pool stages, though the English champions claim the top ranking spot courtesy of their superior 28-23 try count from all six of each clubs' group matches.

Clermont had booked their last-eight place with a match to spare but they still went off at a fast and furious pace, scoring 17 points in as many minutes to silence the Parc y Scarlets crowd.

Julien Malzieu did most of the ground work for fellow wing Napolioni Nalaga to finish things off from 30 metres out after just six minutes and the always threatening Morgan Parra soon got the second as he capitalised on a Scarlets muddle at the back of a scrum. Scrum half Parra added both conversions and a penalty goal to leave the Scarlets facing a tough final hour.

And things only got worse with All Blacks centre Benson Stanley adding a third and, although Parra departed to the safety of the touchline after taking a couple of heavy tackles, his replacement Ludovic Radoslavjevic quickly got in on the act by setting up Stanley's score with a glorious long pass.

And the goal kicking duties were simply handed to another master of his art with outside-half David Skrela adding the conversion to take his tournament points tally to 496 and put Clermont 24 points clear at the break.

It was hardly surprising when Clermont virtually cleared their replacements bench before an hour of play but captain and centre Aurelien Rougerie was required to carry on and responded with the try that earned the bonus point with 15 minutes to go.

SCARLETS: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Adam Warren, Kristian Phillips, Aled Thomas, Tavis Knoyle, Phil John, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, George Earle, Johan Snyman, Sione Timani, Josh Turnbull, ROB MCCUSKER (C) BENCH: Matthew Rees, Rhodri Jones, Jacobie Adriaanse, Richard Kelly, Aaron Shingler, Gareth Davies, Gareth Maule, Nic Reynolds

ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE: Lee Byrne, Julien Malzieu, AURELIEN ROUGERIE (C), Benson Stanley, Napolioni Nalaga, David Skrela, Morgan Parra, Raphael Chaume, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Julien Bonnaire, Alexandre Lapandry, Elvis Vermeulen BENCH: Ti'i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Julien Pierre, Damien Chouly, Ludovic Radoslavjevic, Kevin Senio, Regan King

SCORERS T: Nalaga, Parra, Stanley, Rougerie C: Parra (2), Skrela P: Parra




POOL 6 Heineken Cup Round 6 Pool 6


Cardiff BluesCARDIFF BLUES 26 - 14 SALE SHARKS Sale Sharks

Cardiff Arms Park - 19 January 2013
KO: 15:40 HT: 9-7

CARDIFF BLUES had a campaign to forget - but at least they finished on a high with their first tournament win with a 26-14 victory over Sale Sharks at the Arms Park.

Droves of loyal supporters answered a call to arms at the iconic ground and cleared more than six inches of snow after Cardiff was hit by the big freeze - and their efforts were rewarded with the four points.

Wales scrum half Lloyd Williams returned from suspension to inspire the Blues with a performance of the highest class as the Welsh region piled the misery on Sale Sharks.

Tommy Taylor drove over for the game's opening try but Cardiff lead at the break thanks to the boot of Leigh Halfpenny.

Aston Croall grabbed a second try for the visitors but the Blues battled back into contention with Williams pouncing for a sublime individual effort before creating another for Michael Paterson.

Halfpenny kept the score ticking over to end with 16 points as the Blues avoided a Heineken Cup whitewash and leap-frogged Sale Sharks into third at the bottom of Pool 6.

CARDIFF BLUES: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Owen Williams, Jamie Roberts, Harry Robinson, Rhys Patchell, Lloyd Williams, Sam Hobbs, Rhys Williams, Scott Andrews, Lou Reed, James Down, Josh Navidi, Sam Warburton, ANDRIES PRETORIUS (C) BENCH: Kristian Dacey, Nathan Trevett, Benoit Bourrust, Luke Hamilton, Michael Paterson, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Dafydd Hewitt

SCORERS T: Lloyd Williams, Paterson C: Halfpenny (2) P: Halfpenny (4)

SALE SHARKS: Cameron Shepherd, Tom Brady, Jordan Davies, Mark Jennings, Charlie Amesbury, Rob Miller, Will Cliff, Aston Croall, Tommy Taylor, Vadim Cobilas, Tom Holmes, Kearnan Myall, James Doyle, DAVID SEYMOUR (C), Richie Vernon BENCH: Marc Jones, Ross Harrison, Eifion Roberts, Richie Gray, Tom Cruse, Nathan Fowles, Daniel Cipriani, Mark Cueto

SCORERS T: Taylor, Croall C: Miller (2)


Montpellier MONTPELLIER 23 - 3 TOULONToulon

Stade Yves du Manoir - 19 January 2013
KO: 16:40 HT: 16-3

Montpellier ToulonTOULON had already qualified for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals but this 23-3 defeat by Montpellier saw their fellow French side in the Pool also qualify for the knock-out stages as one of the two best runners up.

Montpellier, who are in only their second season of Heineken Cup rugby, inflicted Toulon's first defeat in Europe this season with this impressive victory at the Stade Yves du Manoir.

Toulon had reached their second quarter-final in only their second season of Heineken Cup rugby before this game, and secured the all-important home draw despite failing to get a losing bonus point.

Montpellier were without their injured skipper Fulgence Ouedraogo, and produced a performance full of emotion following the death of their forwards coach, Eric Bechu, on Tuesday.

Toulon, the current Top 14 leaders, had the luxury of leaving international stars Gethin Jenkins, Carl Hayman, Mathieu Bastareaud, Juan-Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Joe van Niekerk on their bench.

But Jonny Wilkinson and his Toulon side surrendered their unbeaten Pool record to their French rivals to leave ASM Clermont Auvergne and Harlequins as the only unbeaten sides in the tournament.

Centre Thomas Combezou crossed for the game's first try when a superb flat-pass by fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc left Toulon's defence flat-footed to make it 7-3 to Montpellier.

Scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue stretched the home side's lead with three penalties before Toulon's full-back Delon Armitage was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle just before the break.

Toulon were down to 14-men when they went in 16-3 behind at half-time and things went from bad to worse when scrum-half Paillaugue scored his side's second try at the start of the first-half to secure the win for Montpellier.

MONTPELLIER: Pierre Berard, Timoci Nagusa, Thomas Combezou, Santiago Fernandez, Yoan Audrin, Francois Trinh-Duc, Benoit Paillaugue, Mikheil Nariashvili, Agustin Creevy, Maximiliano Bustos, Mickael De Marco, MAMUKA GORGODZE (C), Alexandre Bias, John Beattie, Alex Tulou BENCH: Erasmus Van Vuuren, Yvan Watremez, Barry Fa'amausili, Aliki Fakate, Thibault Privat, Kelian Galletier, Eric Escande, Lucas Amorosino

SCORERS T: Combezou, Paillaugue C: Paillaugue (2) P: Paillaugue (3)

TOULON: Delon Armitage, Rudi Wulf, Maxime Mermoz, Matt Giteau, Alexis Palisson, JONNY WILKINSON (C), Frederic Michalak, Andrew Sheridan, Mickael Ivaldi, Davit Kubriashvili, Simon Shaw, Jocelino Suta, Pierrick Gunther, Steffon Armitage, Chris Masoe BENCH: Jean Charles Orioli, Gethin Jenkins, Carl Hayman, Nick Kennedy, Mathieu Bastareaud, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Vincent Martin, Joe Van Niekerk

SCORERS P: Wilkinson Yellow Card Delon Armitage




ERC Round 5

POOL 1Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 1

Racing MetroRACING MÉTRO 28 - 37 SARACENSSaracens

Stade Yves du Manoir - 12 January 2013
KO: 16:40 HT: 25-18 Att: 35,085

Racing Metro SaracensSARACENS have their quarter-final qualification destiny in their own hands after their 37-28 victory over Racing Métro 92 at Stade de La Beaujoire.

The fiery contest in Nantes was settled by the immaculate goal kicking of Owen Farrell as he punished Racing’s indiscipline with 10 penalty goals - though Sarries were not entirely blameless and had to do it the hard way after twice being reduced to 14 men with Will Fraser and Chris Ashton spending spells in the sin bin.

Farrell kicked everything that came his way, including the conversion of full back Chris Wyles' try, after Farrell had inevitably provided the platform for the score from a line-out with his pin-point touch finder.

The win took Steve Borthwick's team to 18 points with a regulation win at home against Edinburgh Rugby on Sunday good enough for a last eight place.

Racing are now out of the hunt on 12 points - Farrell's final last-gasp penalty denying them even a sniff of a losing bonus point - and Munster, who play Edinburgh at Murrayfield in their Round 5 game, are the only remaining threat for group honours.

But it was Farrell's masterclass with the boot that decided this make-or-break contest as Racing outscored them 3-1 in tries.

Prop Luc Ducalcon got the first after just six minutes and Pumas wing ace Juan Imhoff got two in just four minutes at the end of the first quarter.

It all added up to Saracens finding themselves 13 points adrift three times before they steadied the ship and staged a fightback brimming with never-say-die character.

Racing MetroBenjamin Fall, Juan Imhoff, Henry Chavancy, Fabrice Estebanez, Sireli Bobo, Juan Martin Hernandez, Sebastien Descons, Eddy Ben Arous, Dimitri Szarzewski (C), Luc Ducalcon, Francois Carl Van der Merwe, Jone Qovu Nailiko, Antoine Battut, Alvaro Galindo, Sakiusa Matadigo BENCH: Benjamin Noirot, Julien Brugnaut, Benjamin Salemane Sa, Fabrice Metz, Camille Gerondeau, Jacques Cronje, Mathieu Belie, Olly Barkley

SCORERS T: Ducalcon, Imhoff (3) C: Descons (2) P: Descons (3) Yellow Card Nailiko, Noirot

SaracensChris Wyles, Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Brad Barritt, David Strettle, Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth, Rhys Gill, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens, Steve Borthwick (C), Mouritz Botha, Kelly Brown, Will Fraser, Ernst Joubert BENCH: John Smit, Mako Vunipola, Petrus Du Plessis, George Kruis, Nic Fenton-Wells, Neil de Kock, Charlie Hodgson, Duncan Taylor

SCORERS T: Wyles C: Farrell P: Farrell (10) Yellow Card Fraser, Ashton

Referee: Alain Rolland (IRE) Asst Ref: Mark Patton (IRE) Asst Ref: Brian MacNeice (IRE) TMO: Simon McDowell (IRE) Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (IRE)




EdinburghEDINBURGH RUGBY 17 - 26 MUNSTER RUGBYMunster Rugby

Murrayfield - 13 January 2013
KO: 12:45 HT: 3-12 Att: tbc

MUNSTER kept their Heineken Cup quarter-final hopes alive with a 26-17 victory over Edinburgh Rugby at Murrayfield, but failed to get the vital bonus point which would have really kept the pressure on Pool leaders Saracens.

Munster are now in a straight dogfight with the English side for qualification but the Irish province could still qualify as one of the Pool runners-up for the knock-out stages.

Munster, who won this tournament in 2006 and 2008, had the boot of fly-half Ronan O'Gara to thank a for narrow 12-3 lead at half-time against a stubborn Edinburgh side in the Scottish capital.

The veteran Ireland fly-half landed four penalties in the first half, while his opposite number Greig Laidlaw, the Scotland fly-half, slotted a solitary penalty for the home side.

Edinburgh's Laidlaw and Munster prop Dave Kilcoyne both found themselves yellow carded for professional fouls, leaving both sides with 14-men at the start of the second-half.

Munster took full advantage and were awarded a penalty try at a five metre scrum in the shadow of the home side's posts, which O'Gara converted, to make it 19-3 to the Irish province.

Scrum-half Connor Murray than barged his way over from a line-out for the visitors second try before wing Dougie Fife crossed for Edinburgh's first two tries in this season's European campaign. It had taken 392 minutes for them to cross the opposition line this tournament and then Fife did it twice in as many minutes

Munster, who host Racing Métro 92 at Thomond Park in their final Pool game, have only failed to reach the last eight of European rugby's premier tournament once in the last 14 seasons and that was in 2011.

EdinburghGreig Tonks, Dougie Fife, Ben Cairns, Matthew Scott, Tim Visser, Greig Laidlaw (C), Richie Rees, Allan Jacobsen, Steven Lawrie, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox, Stuart McInally, Dimitri Basilaia, Dave Denton BENCH: Andy Titterrell, Robin Hislop, Geoff Cross, Netani Talei, Roddy Grant, Piers Francis, Ben Atiga, Sep Visser

SCORERS T: Fife (2) C: Laidlaw (2) P: Laidlaw Yellow Card Laidlaw

Munster RugbyFelix Jones, Doug Howlett (C), Keith Earls, James Downey, Simon Zebo, Ronan O'Gara, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlan BENCH: Mike Sherry, Wian Du Preez, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Paddy Butler, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Casey Laulala

SCORERS T: PT, Murray C: O'Gara (2) P: O'Gara (4) Yellow Card Kilcoyne

Referee: Romain Poite (FRA) Asst Ref: Cyril Lafon (FRA) Asst Ref: Stephane Boyer (FRA) TMO: Daniel Gillet (FRA) Citing Commissioner: Alberto Recaldini (ITA)




POOL 2Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 2

OspreysOSPREYS 15 - 15 LEICESTER TIGERSLeicester Tigers

Liberty Stadium - 13 January 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 14-14 Att: tbc

Ospreys Leicester TigersLEICESTER TIGERS kept their Heineken Cup hopes alive with a hard-fought 15-15 draw at the Liberty Stadium - but the result knocked the Ospreys out, and with them the last hope of Welsh interest in the knock-out stages.

The English club appeared on course to clinch 4 points after staging a second-half comeback with tries from Niall Morris and Ben Youngs.

But the Ospreys, who had led for much of the game thanks to Joe Bearman's score, had other ideas and they salvaged a share of the points as Jonathan Spratt dived over at the death.

The draw sees the Ospreys bow out of Europe while next week's clash between Leicester and Toulouse will decide the outcome of Pool Two.

Following a lively start the Ospreys had the opportunity to open the scoring on 9 minutes, after winning a penalty at the first scrum of the match, but Biggar struck the left upright. The Ospreys fly-half was agonisingly off-target twice more before kicking the scoreboard into action on 28 minutes, following a sustained period of pressure.

Tandy's men continued to turn the screw and they stretched their lead to 10-points shortly after the hour mark as Bearman cantered over.

Fotuali’i and Tipuric combined to create the opening and the flanker found Ryan Bevington on the left. The dynamic prop was unable to feed Richard Fussell but the ball was moved inside for Bearman to charge over.

Biggar added the extras before Flood responded with the Tigers' first points to bring the score to 10-3 at the interval.

Both teams threatened in a fiercely competitive return to play and the Ospreys almost added a second try. Richard Fussell danced his way out of danger and launched a counter-attack. He combined with Eli Walker, who chipped through and outpaced Niall Morris but was beaten by the bounce of the ball.

Following a scoreless 27 minutes, the Tigers hit-back to level the scores. Toby Flood laid the foundations and Youngs sniped over from the base of the ruck.

Flood slotted the conversion to level the scores and within 5 minutes the visitors surged in front.

The Ospreys held their own at the scrum but the pressure eventually told and Morris dived over in the corner. Flood missed the ensuing conversion but the try had handed the visitors a 5-point lead with 7 minutes to spare.

But the thrilling encounter was far from over and an electric break from Walker handed the Ospreys a lifeline. The red-hot wing failed to find support but the ball was quickly recycled and Fotuali’i sent Spratt diving over.

Biggar had the chance to boot the Ospreys into the lead but he pushed his effort narrowly wide as the two sides settled for a draw.

OspreysRichard Fussell, Ross Jones, Thomas Isaacs, Andrew Bishop, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Kahn Fotuali'i (C), Ryan Bevington, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, James King, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Joe Bearman BENCH: Scott Baldwin, Duncan Jones, Campbell Johnstone, Lloyd Peers, Sam Lewis, Rhys Webb, Matthew Morgan, Jonathan Spratt

SCORERS T: Bearman, Spratt C: Biggar P: Biggar

Leicester TigersMathew Tait, Niall Morris, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Adam Thompstone, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Louis Deacon (C), Geoff Parling, Steve Mafi, Julian Salvi, Jordan Crane BENCH: Rob Hawkins, Logovi'i Mulipola, Martin Castrogiovanni, Ed Slater, Thomas Waldrom, Sam Harrison, George Ford, Matt Smith

SCORERS T: Ben Youngs, Morris C: Flood P: Flood

Referee: John Lacey (IRE) Asst Ref: Sean Gallagher (IRE) Asst Ref: Kevin Beggs (IRE) TMO: Marshall Kilgore (IRE) Citing Commissioner: Iain Goodall (SCO)



ToulouseTOULOUSE 35 - 14 BENETTON TREVISOBenetton Treviso

Stade Ernest Wallon - 13 January 2013
KO: 16:00 HT: 10-3 Att: tbc

TOULOUSE bounced back from their defeat at the Ospreys with a bonus point 25-14 win against Benetton Treviso at Stade Ernest Wallon that took them to the top of the group and with a 2-point advantage over Leicester Tigers.

It means it will be a winner-takes-all Sunday showdown at Welford Road between Toulouse and the Tigers with the defeat of the Ospreys ending Welsh interest in the tournament.

Treviso struck first with scrum half Tobias Botes on target with a penalty, but Toulouse responded with the ball in hand, albeit from close range as a quickly taken penalty ended with hooker Gary Botha being driven over by his fellow forwards.

But the lead lasted just 4 minutes before centre Tommaso Benvenuti finished off a sweeping virtual length of the field move to remind the four-times champions they could not let their guard down for a moment.

And in a virtual repeat of their first try, Toulouse's second also came from a quickly taken penalty and the forwards collectively doing the business with lock Patricio Albacete adjudged to be the try score from under the pile of bodies.

However, the home crowd were getting restless and when Botes landed a penalty just before the break it was 14-14 with all to play for in the second period.

Treviso made a raft of replacements at the start of the second half and one of them - prop Michele Rizzo - had only been on the field for a couple of minutes before departing for a 10-minute spell in the sin bin.

And while they were down to 14 men, the tournament's leading try scorer Vincent Clerc struck with his 35th Heineken Cup try courtesy of a pin-point cross-kick.

Luke McAlister added his third successful conversion and another cross-kick and another try - this time for centre Florian Fritz - and that was the bonus point in the bank with Yoann Huget getting a fifth at the death.

ToulouseClement Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Yoann Huget, Luke McAlister, Luke Burgess, Vasil Kakovin, Gary Botha, Census Johnston, Romain Millo-Chluski, Patricio Albacete, Gregory Lamboley, Yannick Nyanga (C), Louis Picamoles BENCH: Christopher Tolofua, Gurthro Steenkamp, Yohann Montes, Yoann Maestri, Sylvain Nicolas, Jean-Marc Doussain, Lionel Beauxis, Gael Fickou

SCORERS T: Botha, Albacete, Clerc, Fritz, Huget C: McAlister (5) Yellow Card Tolofua

Benetton TrevisoGiulio Toniolatti, Ludovico Nitoglia, Tommaso Benvenuti, Andrea Pratichetti, Tommaso Iannone, Luca Morisi, Tobie Botes, Matteo Muccignat, Enrico Ceccato, Alberto De Marchi, Antonio Pavanello (C), Valerio Bernabo, Paul Derbyshire, Dean Budd, Robert Barbieri BENCH: Franco Sbaraglini, Michele Rizzo, Lorenzo Cittadini, Marco Fuser, Francesco Minto, Fabio Semenzato, Kristopher Burton, Brendan Williams  

SCORERS T: Benvenuti P: Botes (3) Yellow Card Rizzo

Referee: Wayne Barnes (ENG) Asst Ref: Greg Garner (ENG) Asst Ref: Robin Goodliffe (ENG) TMO: Graham Hughes (ENG) Citing Commissioner: Matt Bayliss (ENG)




POOL 3Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 3

HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 47 - 8 CONNACHT RUGBYConnacht Rugby

The Twickenham Stoop - 12 January 2013
KO: 13:35 HT: 16-3 Att: 13,270

Harlequins Connacht Ugo MonyeHARLEQUINS kept their impressive unbeaten record in this season's Heineken Cup and secured a quarter-final place with this bonus point victory over Irish province Connacht at The Stoop. The English champions only needed a point to secure their place in the lucrative knockout stages of the tournament but they managed to do a Pool double over the Irish side in some style.

Tom Williams crossed for two tries and fellow wing Ugo Monye, who made his 200th appearance for Quins, crossed for another of the home side's six scores.

Connacht, who announced the appointment of Pat Lam, the former Auckland Blues coach, as the successor to Eric Elwood before kick off, made a first of it in a compelling first half but Quins' ran riot in the second period.

The English aristocrats have been the dominant team in Pool 3 and already had a 10-point lead over their nearest rivals, Biarritz, after Round 4 and they have now secured qualification with a game left to play.

Fly-halves Nick Evans of Harlequins and Connacht's Matthew Jarvis swapped early penalties before the home side were awarded a penalty try after the visitors collapsed a series of scrums in the shadow of their own posts.

Evans slotted over his third penalty to make it 16-3 at half-time, but in the second half Quins proved their status as genuine contenders for the title with a powerful pack performance.

Williams scored Harlequins' second and third tries at start of the second half when Connacht were down to 13 men, with flanker Johnny O'Connor and wing Fetu'u Vainikolo in the sin-bin.

Referee Neil Paterson also yellow carded Harlequins prop Joe Marler and Connacht's replacement hooker Ethienne Reynecke before O'Connor crossed for a consolation try for Connacht.

Replacement centres George Lowe and Ben Botica both crossed for late tries as Harlequins rubbed salt in Connacht's wounds in securing yet another impressive Heineken Cup victory.

HarlequinsMike Brown, Tom Williams, Matt Hopper, Tom Casson, Ugo Monye, Nick Evans, Danny Care, Joe Marler, Joe Gray, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, George Robson, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Chris Robshaw (C), Nick Easter BENCH: Rob Buchanan, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, George Lowe

SCORERS T: PT, Williams (2), Monye, Lowe, Botica C: Evans (2), Botica (2) P: Evans (3) Yellow Card Marler

Connacht RugbyRobbie Henshaw, Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Matthew Jarvis, Kieran Marmion, Dennis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White (C), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Andrew Browne, Johnny O'Connor, Eoin McKeon BENCH: Ethienne Reynecke, Brett Wilkinson, Ronan Loughney, Michael Kearney, Eoghan Grace, Paul O'Donohoe, Miah Nikora, James Loxton

SCORERS T: O'Connor P: Jarvis Yellow Card O'Connor, Vainikolo, Reynecke

Referee: Neil Paterson (SCO) Asst Ref: Jean-Luc Rebollai (FRA) Asst Ref: Mourad Zitouni (FRA) TMO: Vincent Azoulay (FRA) Citing Commissioner: Jean-Etienne Bernard (FRA)




ZebreZEBRE 6 - 32 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUEBiarritz Olympique

Stadio XXV Aprile - 12 January 2013
KO: 14:35 HT: 6-20 Att: 1,200

BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE did the necessary required of them with a 32-6 bonus point victory over Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile. But they take on group leaders Harlequins at Parc des Sports Aguilera on Friday night with the defeat at Connacht likely to haunt them for some time, and their hopes of a quarter-final spot as one of the best runners-up resting in the hands of others.

However, against Italian newcomers Zebre they were never under any great threat - aided and abetted by home full back Paolo Buso being yellow carded in just the fifth minute.

Centre Benoit Baby promptly got their first try and the conversion and two penalty goals from Dimitri Yachvili meant they were scoring at better than a point a minute.

Zebre did respond with a couple of penalty goals from Luciano Orquera, but full back Marcelo Bosch crossed for Biarritz's second before the break.

The now customary flood of replacements produced a stop-start affair before Bosch got the scoreboard moving again with his second and Biarritz's third after 56 minutes.

Yachvili's conversion was his last contribution as he joined the substituted players with Seremaïa Burotu collecting the try bonus point for Biarritz with just 5 minutes to spare.

ZebrePaolo Buso, Matteo Pratichetti, Gonzalo Garcia (C), Daniel Halangahu, Sinoti Sinoti, Luciano Orquera, Alberto Chillon, Matias Aguero, Andrea Manici, Dave Ryan, Quintin Geldenhuys, Michael van Vuuren, Filippo Ferrarini, Mauro Bergamasco, Josh Sole BENCH: Carlo Festuccia, Luca Redolfini, Salvatore Perugini, Emiliano Caffini, Nicola Belardo, Tito Tebaldi, Alberto Benettin, Ruggero Trevisan

SCORERS P: Orquera (2) Yellow Card Buso

Biarritz OlympiqueMarcelo Bosch, Iain Balshaw, Benoit Baby, Damien Traille (C), Aled Brew, Jean Pascal Barraque, Dimitri Yachvili, Fabien Barcella, Jean-Philippe Genevois, Eugene van Staden, Jerome Thion, Pelu Taele, Magnus Lund, Wenceslas Lauret, Raphael Lakafia BENCH: Arnaud Heguy, Thomas Synaeghel, Ben Broster, Thibault Dubarry, Imanol Harinordoquy, Yann Lesgourgues, Julien Peyrelongue, Seremaia Burotu

SCORERS T: Baby, Bosch (2), Burotu C: Yachvili (3) P: Yachvili (2)

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRE) Asst Ref: Stuart Gaffikin (IRE) Asst Ref: David Keane (IRE) TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRE) Citing Commissioner: Tom McCormack (IRE)




POOL 4Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 4

Northampton SaintsNORTHAMPTON SAINTS 18 - 12 CASTRES Castres Olympique

Franklin's Gardens - 11 January 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 6-6 Att: 11,891

Northampton Saints Castres OlympiqueSOUTH AFRICAN scrum half Rory Kockott hauled Castres Olympique back into possible contention for quarter-final slot with a last gasp penalty to clinch a losing bonus-point at Franklin's Gardens.

Kockott's late strike made it 18-12 just moments after Ryan Lamb had struck his third kick of the night to seemingly take away the French side's chance of leaving Northampton with something.

It was 6-6 at the break and the Saints fans were hoping for a repeat performance in the second half to last year, when they stretched a narrow, three point lead to a bonus point 45-0 triumph.

But 12 months on there was no chance of Castres capitulating a second time and even though Northampton were able to overtake them to move into second place, Castres will end their pool 4 campaign with a home clash with table-topping Ulster.

Last season's beaten finalists, Ulster became the first team to qualify for the last eight with their home win over Glasgow Warriors. Round 6 will now determine whether or not Saints, who travel to Glasgow, or Castres can get enough points to challenge for one of the two best runners-up spots to reach the quarter-finals.

All the points on a misty night at Franklin's Gardens came from the boot. Kockott claimed all the points for Castres, while Steve Myler and his replacement, Lamb, landed three apiece for the home side.

Northampton SaintsBen Foden, James Wilson, George Pisi, Dominic Waldouck, Jamie Elliott, Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson, Soane Tonga'uiha, Dylan Hartley (C), Paul Doran-Jones, Samu Manoa, Courtney Lawes, Calum Clark, Tom Wood, Phil Dowson BENCH: Mike Haywood, Alex Waller, Tom Mercey, Mark Sorenson, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Martin Roberts, Ryan Lamb, Tom May

SCORERS P: Myler (3), Lamb (3)

Castres OlympiqueBrice Dulin, Max Evans, Romain Cabannes, Remy Lamerat, Marcel Garvey, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Rory Kockott, Yannick Forestier, Mathieu Bonello, Anton Peikrishvili, Christophe Samson, Joe Tekori (C), Jannie Bornman, Yannick Caballero, Antonie Claassen BENCH: Brice Mach, Saimone Taumoepeau, Michael Coetzee, Matthias Rolland, Paul Bonnefond, Pedrie Wannenburg, Pierre Bernard, Thomas Sanchou

SCORERS P: Kockott (4) Yellow Card Peikrishvili

Referee: George Clancy (IRE) Asst Ref: Paul Haycock (IRE) Asst Ref: Michael Black (IRE) TMO: Peter Ferguson (IRE) Citing Commissioner: Douglas Hunter (SCO)




Ulster RugbyULSTER RUGBY 23 - 6 GLASGOW WARRIORSGlasgow Warriors

Ravenhill - 11 January 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 10-0 Att: 6,088

ULSTER qualified for the quarter-finals of European Rugby's premier club competition with a hard-fought win over Glasgow Warriors in Round 5. The RaboDirect PRO12 leaders sealed a spot in the last eight of the Heineken Cup with a 23-6 success in testing conditions at Ravenhill.

Tries from Nick Williams, Jared Payne and Darren Cave, together with 8 points from the boot of Ruan Pienaar, saw last season's beaten finalists reach the knockout stages for the third season running.

Ulster were the dominant force in the early stages but it took 20 minutes to claim their first try when Williams powered over from close-range. The former Munster and Aironi No8 claimed his seventh score of the season by bludgeoning his way through Moray Low and Rob Harley from five metres out.

Pienaar defied the wet weather to add a well-taken conversion to his sixth-minute penalty as Ulster moved 10 points clear of their Scottish rivals with a quarter of the game gone.

Glasgow worked their way back into the encounter despite a dominant Ulster scrum and Duncan Weir missed a brace of penalty chances in the closing stages of the half after Pienaar had failed with one attempt himself after 27 minutes.

Weir got the Warriors on the board 8 minutes after the break but, despite a 52nd-minute yellow card for Ulster flanker Iain Henderson and a better showing in terms of territory and possession, Glasgow could only add a further 3 points from the fly-half to their tally in the remainder of the match.

Instead it was the hosts who pushed on, with Payne stepping inside DTH van der Merwe with a clever dummy from just a few metres out after 73 minutes.

Pienaar was off target with the extras but had added an earlier penalty and Ulster were 18-6 to the good and effectively home and dry.

Cave then supplied some gloss to the end result with a fine finish from 40 metres out with less than two minutes remaining but Ulster couldn't find the bonus-point try that would have enhanced their hopes of a home tie in April.

Ulster RugbyJared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Lewis Stevenson, Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry (C), Nick Williams BENCH: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Neil McComb, Roger Wilson, Paul Marshall, Mike Allen, Chris Cochrane

SCORERS T: Williams, Payne, Cave C: Pienaar P: Pienaar (2) Yellow Card Henderson

Glasgow WarriorsPeter Murchie, Sean Maitland, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, DTH Van Der Merwe, Duncan Weir, Henry Pyrgos, Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Tom Ryder, Alastair Kellock (C), James Eddie, Rob Harley, Josh Strauss BENCH: Pat MacArthur, Gordon Reid, Nick Campbell, Tim Swinson, Nikola Matawalu, Scott Wight, Stuart Hogg

SCORERS P: Weir (2)

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (FRA) Asst Ref: Laurent Cardona (FRA) Asst Ref: Stephan Pomerade (FRA) TMO: Herve Dubes (FRA) Citing Commissioner: Peter Larter (ENG)




POOL 5Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 5

Leinster RugbyLEINSTER RUGBY 33 - 14 SCARLETSScarlets

Aviva Stadium - 12 January 2013
KO: 18:00 HT: 19-11 Att: 18,200

REIGNING champions Leinster secured a 33-14 bonus point victory over the Scarlets in Dublin to keep their slim chances of a Heineken Cup quarter-final place alive ahead of their final pool game.

Prop Cian Healy, flanker Shane Jennings, wing Luke Fitzgerald, full-back Rob Kearney and replacement Ian Madigan crossed for Leinster's tries as they bounced back from successive defeats to Clermont Auvergne in December.

But, with pool leaders Clermont having secured a quarter-final place with their win over Exeter Chiefs in France, Leinster - who have won three out of the last four Heineken Cup finals - still face the prospect of being knocked out at the pool stages of the tournament for the first time since 2008.

The triple champions still have to come away with all the points on offer when they travel to face Exeter in their last Pool 5 game next weekend to give themselves a chance of a best runners-up place.

The Scarlets, who had nothing to play for but pride, have still to win in this season's Heineken cup and slumped to their seventh defeat in eight games in all competitions at the RDS.

Fly-half Aled Thomas slotted an early penalty for the Scarlets to give them a 3-point lead before Leinster's Irish international prop Healy burrowed over from short-range to secure a lead his side would never surrender.

Sexton added the conversion before the Scarlets full-back Liam Williams landed a speculative drop goal from long range to make it 7-6 to the home side midway through the first half.

But it was not long before Leinster crossed for their second try when openside Jennings barged his way over from the back of a driving maul after a well-worked lineout on the Scarlets line to make it 12-6.

Fitzgerald claimed Leinster's third try before Scarlets centre Scott Williams' cross-kick found his full-back and namesake, Liam, for a try that made it 19-11 at half-time.

Kearney's try just after half-time secured the vital bonus point before replacement fly-half Ian Madigan crossed for Leinster's fifth try to put a gloss on the win late on.

Leinster RugbyRob Kearney, Isa Nacewa, Fergus McFadden, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (C), Devin Toner, Sean O'Brien, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Aaron Dundon, Heinke Van der Merwe, Michael Bent, Tom Denton, Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Brian O'Driscoll

SCORERS T: Healy, Jennings, Fitzgerald, Kearney, Madigan C: Sexton (3), Madigan

ScarletsLiam Williams, Andrew Fenby, Gareth Maule, Scott Williams, Kristian Phillips, Aled Thomas, Tavis Knoyle, Phil John, Ken Owens, Jacobie Adriaanse, George Earle, Richard Kelly, Rob McCusker (C), Josh Turnbull, Kieran Murphy BENCH: Matthew Rees, Rhodri Jones, Samson Lee, Johan Snyman, Sione Timani, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Adam Warren

SCORERS T: Liam Williams P: Thomas (2) DG: Liam Williams

Referee: Jerome Garces (FRA) Asst Ref: Sebastian Clouté (FRA) Asst Ref: Alexandre Ruiz (FRA) TMO: Jean-Claude Levrier (FRA) Citing Commissioner: Francois Guers (FRA)




ASM Clermont AuvergneCLERMONT AUVERGNE 46 - 3 EXETER CHIEFSExeter Chiefs

Stade Marcel Michelin - 12 January 2013
KO: 19:00 HT: 20-3 Att: tbc

Clermont Auvergne Exeter Chiefs ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE are on the verge of claiming their first home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup after extending their unbeaten run to five games in Pool 5.

Exeter Chiefs became the latest victims at Stade Marcel Michelin as Clermont clinched top spot in the Pool with a third bonus point triumph that included six tries to take their tally to date to 19.

Even though reigning champions Leinster picked up a full-house of points in their 33-14 home win over the Scarlets, Aurelien Rougerie's team have already picked up 23 points and look set for a home tie in the last eight.

If they can achieve that - they travel to face the Scarlets, who have yet to win a game, in Round 6 - it will be the first time in five quarter-finals they will have the advantage of playing at home - and that is a huge advantage.

The big win over the Chiefs, who now cannot reach the last eight, extended their unbeaten run at Stade Marcel Michelin to 54 games. Exeter were eliminated from the Heineken Cup after being thrashed 46-3 by Clermont Auvergne, who booked their spot in the quarter-finals.

The French side completely overwhelmed their opponents, running in six tries as they cruised to victory at Stade Marcel Michelin, extending their unbeaten home run to 54 matches in the process.

The Chiefs made a positive start but failed to convert their early pressure into points as Gareth Steenson missed two goal attempts in the opening 6 minutes. Morgan Parra was not off target as he gave his side a 12th minute lead and then Regan King opened up the defence with a brilliant one-handed off-load to allow co-centre Wesley Fofana to score the first try.

Parra converted, added a penalty and then full back Jean-Marcel Buttin claimed the first of his two tries. Steenson kicked a penalty to make it 20-3 at the break.

No8 Damien Chouly grabbed the third try before David Skrela secured the bonus point when he crashed over from close range. Buttin then grabbed his second try before Napolioni Nalaga completed the rout with try number six.

Parra ended with 14 points and Skrela also added a conversion. Having suffered heartbreak at the semi-final stage last season, it looks as though Clermont are targeting a trip to Dublin for a first final at the end of May.

ASM Clermont AuvergneJean-Marcel Buttin, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Regan King, Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga, Brock James, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Julien Bonnaire (C), Julien Bardy, Damien Chouly BENCH: Ti’i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Loïc Jacquet, Alexandre Lapandry, Ludovic Radoslavjevic, David Skrela, Benson Stanley

SCORERS T: Fofana, Buttin (2), Chouly, Skrela, Nalaga C: Parra (4), Skrela P: Parra (2) Yellow Card Domingo

LExeter Chiefsuke Arscott, Gonzalo Camacho, Phil Dollman, Jason Shoemark, Matt Jess, Gareth Steenson, Kevin Barrett, Ben Moon, Neil Clark, Hoani Tui, Tom Hayes (C), James Hanks, Tom Johnson, James Scaysbrook, Richard Baxter BENCH: Jack Yeandle, Carl Rimmer, Craig Mitchell, Aly Muldowney, Dean Mumm, Will Chudley, Ignacio Mieres, Ian Whitten

SCORERS P: Steenson

Referee: Nigel Owens (WAL) Asst Ref: Neil Hennessy (WAL) Asst Ref: Jonathan Mason (WAL) TMO: Derek Bevan (WAL) Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (IRE)




POOL 6Heineken Cup Round 5 Pool 6

Sale SharksSALE SHARKS 6 - 27 MONTPELLIERMontpellier

Salford City Stadium - 11 January 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 6-12 Att: 10,940

MONTPELLIER'S hopes of a first Heineken Cup quarter-final appearance remain very much alive after a 27-6 win at Sale Sharks.

Tries from Yohann Artu, Johnnie Beattie, Pierre Berard and a penalty try sealed a fine success at the Salford City Stadium as they made it four wins from five tournament fixtures this term. The fact that the win was coupled with a try-scoring bonus point means Pool 6 will go down to the wire regardless of the result of tomorrow's clash between leaders Toulon and Cardiff Blues.

Prior to referee Leighton Hodges' decision to award a penalty try with 77 minutes played, Toulon knew that a maximum-point win over the Blues at the Stade Felix Mayol would see them secure top spot, but that honour could now go to Montpellier if they can claim a handsome victory over their French rivals next weekend.

Left wing Artu gave Montpellier just the kind of start they were looking for in the north of England when he crossed after just nine minutes and the visitors were good value for this convincing win from there on in. Scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue added the extras to Artu's effort having missed a fifth-minute penalty attempt before Danny Cipriani got the Sharks off the mark with 16 minutes gone.

Scotland back rower Beattie gave Montpellier some breathing space when he touched down for an unconverted score two minutes past the half hour but Cipriani had the last say of the half with his second penalty after 36 minutes.

Montpellier began the second period in a similar manner to the first, though, as they added 8 points to their tally in as many minutes after the restart.

Paillaugue's first penalty success on 46 minutes was followed by a try for full back Berard just 2 minutes later as Montpellier surged 14 points clear, although it looked like they would have to settle for just a 4-point win as they failed to trouble the scoreboard again until the dying stages.

Victory was as good as assured a long while from full time but Hodges' gave them even more reason to celebrate when he pointed to the posts with just two-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Sale SharksCameron Shepherd, Tom Brady, Mark Cueto, Mark Jennings, Charlie Amesbury, Danny Cipriani, Will Cliff, Aston Croall, Marc Jones, Vadim Cobilas, Richie Gray, Tom Holmes, James Doyle, David Seymour (C), Josh Beaumont BENCH: Tom Cruse, Ross Harrison, Tony Buckley, Kearnan Myall, Tommy Taylor, Nathan Fowles, Rob Miller, Jordan Davies

SCORERS P: Cipriani (2)

MontpellierPierre Berard, Timoci Nagusa, Thomas Combezou, Santiago Fernandez, Yohann Artru, Francois Trinh-Duc, Benoit Paillaugue, Mikheil Nariashvili, Agustin Creevy, Maximiliano Bustos, Mickael De Marco, Aliki Fakate, Fulgence Ouedraogo (C), Mamuka Gorgodze, John Beattie BENCH: Erasmus Van Vuuren, Yvan Watremez, Barry Fa'amausili, Remy Martin, Alexandre Bias, Eric Escande, Paul Bosch, Lucas Amorosino

SCORERS T: Artru, Beattie, Berard, PT C: Paillaugue, Escande P: Paillaugue

Referee: Leighton Hodges (WAL) Asst Ref: Rhys Thomas (WAL) Asst Ref: Wayne Davies (WAL) Citing Commissioner: Gwyn Bowden (WAL)




ToulonTOULON 45 - 13 CARDIFF BLUESCardiff Blues

Stade Félix Mayol - 12 January 2013
KO: 14:35 HT: 19-8 Att: 13,509

Toulon Cardiff Blues Freddie MichalakTOULON became the second team to guarantee themselves a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals as they followed Ulster Rugby's lead with a bonus point triumph over Cardiff Blues.

The French superstars ran in seven tries in all to extend their winning run to five games in Pool 6 and ensure they will reach the last eight even if they lose to closest rivals Montpellier next weekend. There is a mathematical chance of Montpellier overtaking the Pool leaders if they can score an avalanche of tries and points to avenge their 37-16 defeat in round one, but that is a big 'if' against the current top team in France.

The Blues were seeking their first win in the Pool and got off to a flying start. Leigh Halfpenny proved he is back to full fitness in time for Wales' Six Nations title defence by kicking a second minute penalty and then crossing for a try that gave the visitors a first quarter lead of 8 points.

That was it for the Welsh region, however, as Jonny Wilkinson orchestrated a massive response from his Toulon team that saw them score 45 unanswered points to clinch the vital bonus point and hammer out a reminder to the rest of Europe that they mean business in the Heineken Cup this season.

Tries from Rudi Wulf, Xavier Chiocci and Jean-Charels Orioli, two of which Wilkinson converted, made it 19-8 at the break and it took less than 3 minutes after the re-start for French international centre Maxime Mermoz to grab the bonus point try.

The Blues defended bravely, but they were never able to build on their fast and impressive start. The points piled up for Toulon as Alexis Palisson, man of the match Mathieu Bastareaud and replacement prop Florian Fresia crossed for further tries.

With the game over, Toulon got sloppy at the death and the Blues showed their character by scoring 17 unanswered points in the closing 14 minutes. Wales wing Alex Cuthbert dived over in the right corner after a great pass by Jamie Roberts created space for him and then Roberts replacement, Dafydd Hewitt rolled over.

The game then ended as it had begun with Halfpenny scoring a wonder try from long range and adding the conversion from in front of the posts.

ToulonDelon Armitage, Rudi Wulf, Mathieu Bastareaud, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Jonny Wilkinson (C), Frederic Michalak, Xavier Chiocci, Jean Charles Orioli, Carl Hayman, Jocelino Suta, Nick Kennedy, Pierrick Gunther, Steffon Armitage, Chris Masoe BENCH: Sebastien Bruno, Florian Fresia, Simon Shaw, Davit Kubriashvili, Joe Van Niekerk, Matt Giteau, David Smith, Nicolas Durand

SCORERS T: Wulf, Chiocci, Orioli, Mermoz, Palisson, Bastareaud, Fresia C: Wilkinson (4), Giteau

Cardiff BluesLeigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Gavin Evans, Jamie Roberts, Harry Robinson, Rhys Patchell, Lewis Jones, Sam Hobbs, Rhys Williams, Benoit Bourrust, James Down, Lou Reed, Josh Navidi (C), Sam Warburton, Robin Copeland BENCH: Kristian Dacey, Nathan Trevett, Scott Andrews, Macauley Cook, Luke Hamilton, Gareth Davies, Ceri Sweeney, Owen Williams

SCORERS T: Halfpenny (2), Cuthbert, Hewitt C: Halfpenny P: Halfpenny

Referee: JP Doyle (ENG) Asst Ref: Tim Wigglesworth (ENG) Asst Ref: Andrew Pearce (ENG) TMO: David Grashoff (ENG) Citing Commissioner: Buster White (ENG)




Round 4

POOL 1Heineken Cup Round 4 Pool 1

EdinburghEDINBURGH RUGBY 3 - 15 RACING MÉTRO 92Racing Metro

MURRAYFIELD - 14 December 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 3-6
Edinburgh P: Francis Yellow Card Talei
Racing Métro P: Barkley, Germain (4) Yellow Card Ben Arous

Edinburgh Racing MetroRACING MÉTRO 92 remain in the hunt for a quarter-final spot after they secured successive wins over Edinburgh. The star-studded French side backed up last week's 19-9 victory at the Stade Yves du Manoir with a 15-3 triumph at Murrayfield this time around. A single strike from Olly Barkley and four penalties from Gaetan Germain gave Racing back-to-back Heineken Cup victories for just the second time in their history.

Racing enjoyed a strong start at the headquarters of Scottish Rugby as Barkley and Germain slotted a penalty apiece inside the first seven minutes. But Edinburgh could have been level by 22 minutes had fly-half Piers Francis not missed two kickable penalties on his first start for the club since signing from Waikato Chiefs in New Zealand.

Francis did get his team on the board 6 minutes later but he was off target again 2 minutes past the half hour. Barkley followed suit in failing to hit the target 3 minutes before half time as Racing took a slender 3-6 lead into the break.

Germain and Francis both missed the sticks in the early stages of the second period before the Racing full back made amends with his second success after Edinburgh's Fijian No8 Netani Talei saw yellow on 53 minutes.

Racing loosehead Eddy Ben Arous followed Talei to the sin bin 5 minutes later but Edinburgh full back Greig Tonks could not punish the Parisians as he missed with the resulting penalty attempt.

And instead of closing the gap when Talei returned and they enjoyed a numerical advantage, Edinburgh found themselves further behind as Germain slotted a third penalty as the game passed the hour mark.

Neither side were able to do what they had failed to do in the first 60 minutes by crossing the tryline in the final quarter, but it was Racing who added to their tally thanks to a fourth successful strike from Germain.

His last effort after 68 minutes made it 15-3 to Racing, securing the visitors a third win in four pool matches and ensuring Edinburgh remain without a single point with two thirds of the group stages behind them.

In making amends for last year's two defeats to Edinburgh in this competition, Racing kept themselves in the running for a first Heineken Cup quarter final as they moved above both Saracens and Munster at the top of Pool 1 for 24 hours at least.




SaracensSARACENS 19 - 13 MUNSTER RUGBYMunster Rugby

VICARAGE ROAD - 16 December 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 10-10
Saracens T: Strettle C: Farrell P: Farrell (4) Yellow Card Fraser
Munster T: Howlett C: O'Gara P: O'Gara (2)

Saracens MunsterSARACENS clinched a vital 19-13 victory in their return game in Pool 1 over Munster to put the English Premiership outfit at the top of the table and in the driving seat for a quarter-final place.

The Londoners suffered a 15-9 defeat in the first game between the two sides but managed a losing bonus point at Thomond Park. Munster did the same, and came away with a losing bonus point from Watford.

Saracens win means that they, Munster and French side Racing Metro 92 are all still fighting for a lucrative quarter-final place with two rounds in the Pool stages to play in the New Year.

Saracens Owen Farrell and Ronan O'Gara of Munster enjoyed a rare old kicking duel with the Englishman putting his nightmare performance in the first leg to bed to clinch a vital win.

Farrell and O'Gara swapped early penalties before Saracens crossed for the game's first try after a clever kick by scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth led to wing David Strettle crossing in the corner.

Farrell added the conversion to give the home side a 10-3 lead midway through the first half before the England fly-half through an interception pass which saw wing Doug Howlett finish with a try for Munster.

The former All Blacks wing ran in for his 10th try in the Heineken Cup and fly-half O'Gara added the extras to claw Munster back level at 10-10 at half-time at Vicarage Road.

The veteran Irish international O'Gara and England rookie Farrell then swapped penalties at the start of the second-half before Saracens found themselves down to 14-men.

Flanker Will Fraser was shown a yellow card by French referee Jerome Garces for a high tackle on Munster's Howlett, but the visitors failed to score a single point during the 10 minutes with an extra man.

O'Gara missed a penalty but Saracens stretchered their lead with a fourth Farrell penalty to secure a vital victory for the English side to keep their qualification hopes alive.




POOL 2Heineken Cup Round 4 Pool 2

Ospreys OSPREYS 17 - 6 TOULOUSE Toulouse

LIBERTY STADIUM - 15 December 2012
KO: 13:35 HT: 9-6
Ospreys T: Walker P: Biggar (3) DG: Biggar Yellow Card Adam Jones
Toulouse P: Doussain DG: Doussain Yellow Card Albacete, Bouhilou

THE Ospreys kept their hopes of a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals alive with a shock win over four-times champions Toulouse at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

The former Heineken Cup winners were never troubled in their comfortable 30-14 bonus-point victory over the Welsh region in the first leg of this double-header in Toulouse last weekend. But the Ospreys still had a mathematical chance of qualification for the knockout stages prior to kick off and they produced a tremendous display to pull off one of the most notable wins in the tournament this term and deny Toulouse even a losing bonus point.

The French giants suffered their first defeat in this season's pool stages to a young and new-look Ospreys side, with a superb try by wing Eli Walker and the boot of Dan Biggar proving the difference between the two teams.

The Ospreys made a decent fist of things in the first-half, with fly-half Biggar slotting over a penalty and a drop goal, before Toulouse found themselves down to 14 men after lock Patricio Albacete was sin-binned for stamping on Ian Gough.

The home side failed to take any real advantage of the extra man but Biggar did land his second penalty before his opposite number for Toulouse, Jean-Marc Doussain, slotted over a penalty and drop goal to make it 9-6 at half-time.

Wales and Lions prop Adam Jones made his return from injury off the bench to stabilise the retreating Ospreys scrum, before Doussain missed a simple penalty in front of the posts to level the scores.

Toulouse soon found themselves down to 14 for a second time when flanker Jean Bouilhou was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on impressive Ospreys wing Walker.

This time the Ospreys took full advantage of their extra man and a simple passing movement led to Walker crossing for a well-taken try that made it 17-6 midway through the second half.

Centre Ashley Beck could have scored a second try for the home side but he lost the ball over the Toulouse line, and the Ospreys lost prop Jones to a yellow card in the dying moments but they still managed to hold out for a famous victory.




Benetton TrevisoBENETTON TREVISO 13 - 14 LEICESTER TIGERS Leicester Tigers

KO: 14:35 HT: 10-7
Treviso T: PT C: di Bernardo P: di Bernardo (2) Yellow Card Rizzo, Loamanu
Leicester T: Thomstone, PT C: Ford (2)

Benetton Treviso Leicester TigersLEICESTER TIGERS escaped from an Italian ambush by the skin of their teeth with George Ford saving their blushes 125 seconds from time in Treviso. Ford's simple conversion secured a 14-13 win just when Benetton Treviso were on the brink of claiming their most famous tournament victory.

With the Ospreys beating Toulouse in Wales the win took the Tigers one point clear of the French club in what is a fascinating three-horse race for the quarter finals.

The Tigers, who had to survive a spirited Treviso comeback at Welford Road a week ago before banking the five points with a 33-25 win, struck after just 12 minutes with left wing Adam Thompstone breaching the home defence at the end of a glorious sweeping move.

Ford, who had been off target with an earlier penalty goal chance, slotted the conversion and Treviso's problems looked to have been compounded with prop Michele Rizzo sent to the sin bin for a 10-minute cooling off period.

But the home side not only survived his absence but levelled matters in the 27th minute when Rolland adjudged that the Tigers had pulled down a rolling maul and awarded the first of his two penalty tries that Alberto Di Bernardo had no trouble converting.

Although the Italian outside-half missed a penalty chance, he made no mistake with the next to give Treviso a 10-7 lead and let the Tigers know they had a real game on their hands and plenty to think about during the break.

And there was more cheer for the home fans when Di Bernardo struck again with the boot only for centre Christian Loamanu to be their second player yellow carded in a feisty encounter.

And then came that nail-biting finish with the Tigers' scrum power ultimately coming to their rescue. The Stadio Comunale di Monigo crowd were ready to celebrate only for Irish referee Alain Rolland to finally lose his patience with persistent Treviso collapsing at close range scrums and award a penalty try that Ford had no problem converting to close out the game.




POOL 3Heineken Cup Round 4 Pool 3

Biarritz Olympique BIARRITZ 17 - 0 CONNACHT RUGBYConnacht Rugby

KO: 21:00 HT: 10-0
Biarritz T: Balshaw, Burotu C: Yachvili (2) P: Yachvili Yellow Card August, Dubarry

BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE kept their hopes of knockout rugby alive with a hard-fought 17-0 win over Connacht on Friday night.Biarritz bounced back from their 22-14 reverse to the same opposition at The Sportsground last time out to make it two wins from four games so far in Pool 3.

Defeat would have all but ended the Amlin Challenge Cup holders' dream of going one better than their two previous Heineken Cup Finals appearances in 2006 and 2010, but victory at the Parc des Sports Aguilera does at least leave them in with a chance of progression to the quarter finals in 2013.

Conditions in the Basque Country were far from perfect, with heavy rain and a sodden playing surface making life difficult for both teams. But it was Biarritz who dealt with the weather the better as they crossed for a try in either half and came close to a third only to see Taku Ngwenya fail to ground the ball when sliding for the line in the first half.

The hosts led 3-0 through a Dimitri Yachvili penalty after just two minutes but it took them until the half hour mark to cross the Connacht line when a well-worked backline move off scrum ball saw former England full back Iain Balshaw dive over out wide.

Yachvili defied the conditions to add a superb conversion from close to the left touchline and Biarritz were 10 points to the good at half time.

The remainder of the game was an attritional affair due to the weather, both sides showing no shortage of commitment, but with Biarritz struggling to capitalise on their territorial dominance and Connacht unable to get off the mark.

Biarritz went close both through tight forward play and more adventurous options out wide, but the score seemed destined to remain 10-0 until Seremai'a Burotu touched down with just 38 seconds remaining.

The Fijian replacement supplied a strong finish after Damien Traille's initial kick through had been accompanied by a lucky deflection to put the gloss on a gutsy performance by a Biarritz side who were undoubtedly second best just a week earlier in Galway.

Yachvili's second stunning conversion completed the scoring right on the final whistle to make it 17-0 and ensure there were a few more smiles on Basque faces after a turbulent few days in which coaches Jack Isaac and Serge Mihas both lost their jobs.




HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 53 - 5 ZEBREZebre

THE TWICKENHAM STOOP - 15 December 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 20-5
Harlequins T: Casson, PT, Botica, Care, Easter, Smith, Dickson C: Evans (6) P: Evans (2)
Zebre T: Trevisan Yellow Card Halangahu, Ferrarini

HARLEQUINS made it four wins from four as they thrashed Italian newcomers Zebre for the second week running.

Harlequins Zebre

The English league leaders built on last Saturday's 57-point success on foreign soil by securing another bonus-point win at the Twickenham Stoop. Quins scored seven tries in total in their 53-5 victory, with centre Tom Casson handing them the perfect start after just 3 minutes.

A conversion and penalty from Nick Evans had the home side 10-0 to the good, but Zebre hit back in style with a try of their own from Ruggero Trevisan to cut the gap to 5 points after 26 minutes.

A second Evans penalty made it 13-5 just past the half hour before a penalty try 3 minutes before the break gave Quins some breathing space at half time, 20-5.

And it was all Quins in the second period as they raced away to a straightforward win thanks to a 42nd minute try from Ben Botica and a 50th minute effort from No8 Nick Easter.

Sam Smith added a fifth 7 minutes later before Danny Care and Karl Dickson took them past a half century yet again.

Quins have now picked up just one point short of the maximum 20 with two thirds of the pool stages behind them having also secured five point tallies last week and against Biarritz Olympique in Round 1.

Qualification is now a near certainty for Quins, with this latest success moving them 10 points clear of second-placed Biarritz.

Conor O'Shea's men face the reigning Amlin Challenge Cup winners in France in the final pool game in January, a week after they host Connacht in London in Round 5.




POOL 4Heineken Cup Round 4 Pool 4

Ulster RugbyULSTER RUGBY 9 - 10 NORTHAMPTON SAINTSNorthampton Saints

RAVENHILL - 15 December 2012
KO: 18:00 HT: 6-10
Ulster P: Jackson (3)
Northampton T: van Velze C: Myler P: Myler

Ulster Northampton SaintsNORTHAMPTON SAINTS kept their Heineken Cup quarter-final ambitions alive when they ended Ulster's four-year unbeaten record in the tournament - and their 13-match winning run in all tournaments this season - with a tense 10-9 win.

Ulster surrendered their winning streak this season to the Saints and the English side became the first team to beat the Irish province in the Heineken Cup at Ravenhill since Stade Français managed that four years ago.

The Belfast side had enjoyed a perfect start to this Pool - recording three bonus point wins over their rivals - but had to watch Ruan Pienaar miss a late penalty and wing Tommy Bowe stretchered off the field with a knee-injury requiring surgery.

Phil Dowson, the Saints captain while Dylan Hartley erved his two-week match ban, delivered an impassioned call to arms to his team in the centre of the pitch of Ravenhill before kick-off to underline how important this game was to the 2011 finalists. Ulster had rampaged to 25-6 one-sided demolition the previous week over a Saints side that was second best on every facet of play in front of their home faithful at Franklin's Gardens.

Fly-half Stephen Myler took full-advantage of the Saints early dominance to give his side an early lead before South African No 8 GJ Van Velze swatted Ulster's Andrew Trimble aside to cross for a try in the corner.

Myler added the conversion to make it 10-0 to the Saints midway through the first-half before his opposite, Paddy Jackson, replied with a penalty of his own to cut the margin to seven points.

Ulster's New Zealander Nick Williams did use his huge frame to break the visitors line twice but lacked the pace and Ulster the patience or accuracy to really take full advantage. Jackson landed his second penalty for Ulster but the Saints would have been happy with a performance unrecognisable from the one in the first meeting between the sides and a 10-6 lead at half-time.

The Ulster fly-half's third penalty drew the home side to within a point but the Saints USA Eagles lock, Samu Manoa, and centre Tom May both blew try-scoring chances with Ulster's line at their mercy, but it did not matter as they came away with the win.




Castres OlympiqueCASTRES 10 - 8 GLASGOW WARRIORSGlasgow Warriors

STADE PIERRE ANTOINE - 16 December 2012
KO: 13:45 HT: 3-8
Castres T: Caballero C: Kirkpatrick P: Teulet
Glasgow T: Barclay P: Horne Yellow Card Ryder, McGuigan

GREGOR TOWNSEND's call to his Glasgow Warriors to play with pride was answered in style as they gave Castres Olympique a real fright before going down 10-8 when they were reduced to 13 men.

Castres had won their last 13 matches at Stade Pierre Antoine and it seemed that stretching that to 14 was not going to happen as the Warriors held the lead until the dying seconds.

In the wake of their 9-6 home defeat by the French club in Round 3 head coach Townsend had demanded an improved performance, and his team obliged following a 39 minutes wait for a try worth every second.

The first 5 minutes produced successful penalty goals for Peter Horne and Romain Teulet but much of the half was an arm wrestle in the French sunshine.

Fijian scrum half Niko Matawaku produced a glorious solo effort from a quickly taken penalty, only to be hauled down inches short of the Castres line, and then pulled off a potential try saving tackle from a rare threat by the home side.

The Warriors' line-out functioned superbly with prop Gordon Reid a key player, and it provided the half chance for No 8 Ryan Wilson to slice through the home defence. His gallop towards the line was always going to be contained but he found his back row colleague John Barclay up on his shoulder in support.

The flanker went over with two Castres players clinging on but it came at the cost of Barclay suffering a hamstring injury and departing in some agony, but the visitors went into the break 8-3 up.

But Glasgow did not help themselves in the second half when lock Tom Ryder was yellow carded in the 65th minute following a line-out - and that concern was doubled when replacement wing Byron McGuigan joined him in the sin bin minutes later. And while down to 13 men, Castres cashed in with a powerful driving maul in which flanker Yannick Caballero was driven over by his fellow forwards.

Daniel Kirkpatrick converted to put Castres ahead for the first time with just five minutes remaining - Ruaridh Jackson then seeing his potential match winning penalty bounce back off the right post and let the home side off the hook.

But indiscipline ultimately cost the Warriors as they had to settle for just a losing bonus point while Castres moved up to second place in the group just 3 points adrift of Ulster Rugby.




POOL 5Heineken Cup Round 4 Pool 5

Exeter Chiefs EXETER CHIEFS 30 - 20 SCARLETS Scarlets

SANDY PARK STADIUM - 15 December 2012
KO: 15:40 HT: 20-13
Exeter T: Whitten, Alcott, Scaysbrook C: Steenson (3) P: Steenson (3) Yellow Card Hanks
Scarlets T: Owens, Scott Williams C: Thomas (2) P: Thomas (2) Yellow Card Liam Williams

Exeter Chiefs ScarletsEXETER CHIEFS made it two from four in their debut season in the tournament with the home leg 30-20 win completing the group double over the Scarlets.

The Welsh club hardly had time to work up a sweat at Sandy Park before they found themselves 7 points adrift, centre Ian Whitten crossing for the first try after just 3 minutes and Gareth Steenson adding the conversion.

The outside half added a penalty and although that score was promptly cancelled out by opposite number Aled Thomas, the Chiefs struck again with the ball in hand with hooker Simon Alcott going over as the home side scored at a point a minute in an all-action opening.

Not that all the action was of the scoring nature as Wales wing Liam Williams was yellow carded after a mere 6 minutes, and Exeter's James Hanks followed him into the sin bin 15 minutes later, Thomas on target with his second penalty while they had the man advantage.

And anything one hooker can do, so can his opposite number was the scenario as Ken Owens crashed over for the Scarlets and suddenly the Chiefs' advantage had been cut to 4 points.

Steenson - who scored 17 points a week earlier at Parc y Scarlets - made it another 10 before the break with his second penalty, leading 20-13.

But it was the Welsh club who came out of the second half starting blocks the better. Centre Scott Williams raced over for their second try and Thomas' conversion levelled matters only for Steenson to nudge the Chiefs ahead again with his third penalty.

And they even denied the Scarlets the reward of a losing bonus point, flanker James Scaysbrook's pick and go in the dying moments producing their final try with Steenson's conversion leaving the Scarlets empty handed.




Leinster RugbyLEINSTER RUGBY 21 - 28 CLERMONTASM Clermont Auvergne

AVIVA STADIUM - 15 December 2012
KO: 15:40 HT: 6-16
Leinster T: Jennings, McFadden C: Sexton P: Sexton (3) Yellow Card O'Brien
Clermont T: Fofana C: Parra P: Parra (7) Yellow Card Bardy

LEINSTER suffered a major setback to the defence of their Heineken Cup crown when they suffered a second defeat in a week to ASM Clermont Auvergne, going down 28-21 and having to settle for a losing bonus point yet again. The three-times Heineken Cup champions lost the second leg of their double-header against the crack French side in front of a bumper 48,964 crowd at the Aviva Stadium.

Morgan Parra, Clermont's French international scrum-half, enjoyed an imperious afternoon with the boot, missing only one shot at goal and finishing with a personal points tally of 23 points.

But the Dubliners managed a losing bonus point with a late try by replacement wing Fergus McFadden in the last minute to keep their slim hopes of a quarter-final place alive.

The Irish province suffered a 15-12 defeat to the French side and saw their 17-match unbeaten run in Europe end in the first game between the two sides in France last Sunday.

But this was another titanic tussle of Test match standard between two of the best sides in Europe and Clermont are now in pole position for a quarter-final place and are still unbeaten in this Pool.

Scrum-half Parra gave the French side an early lead with a penalty before Leinster lost hooker Richard Strauss with a nasty looking knee injury early in the opening exchanges.

Fly-half Jonathan Sexton replied with a penalty of his own to level the scores midway through the first half before Parra pushed the visitors back ahead with his second penalty.

Parra reclaimed the lead with his third penalty and French centre Wesley Fofana barged over from short-range to score his seventh try in the Heineken Cup when the visitors broke the home side's defence for the first time.

Parra added the conversion to make it 16-6 to Clermont at half-time before he and Sexton swapped penalties just after the break before Sean O'Brien was shown the yellow card for a late tackle on wing Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Clermont took full advantage of their extra man with Parra adding two more penalties, before Shane Jennings and McFadden's vital try kept Leinster's slim hopes of a quarter-final place alive.




POOL 6Heineken Cup Round 4 Pool 6

Montpellier MONTPELLIER 34 - 21 CARDIFF BLUESCardiff Blues

STADE YVES DU MANOIR - 15 December 2012
KO: 19:00 HT: 17-8
Montpellier T: Nagusa, van Vuuren, Audrin, Beattie C: Bustos Moyano (4) P: Bustos Moyano (2)
Cardiff T: Warburton, Cuthbert C: Patchell P: Patchell (3)

MONTPELLIER kept the group nicely on the boil with a 34-21 bonus point victory over struggling Cardiff Blues at Stade Yves du Manoir that drew them level with Toulon - who have a game in hand - on 13 points apiece.

The double over the Welsh club was their third win of the tournament, but if Toulon get anything from their clash with Sale Sharks, they will go back out on their own.

Wales captain Sam Warburton, who missed the Round 3 encounter with a chest infection, gave the Blues a flying start with a fourth minute try from an overthrown line-out before Martin Bustos Moyana and Rhys Patchell - who kicked all the Blues' points in their 35-24 defeat at the Arms Park in Round 3 - exchanged penalties.

And another player getting into the scoring action again was Montpellier's right wing Timoci Nagusa, breaching the Blues defence on home soil this time as he scrambled over despite the close attentions of a number of Blues players.

Hooker Rassie van Vuuren got their second after 26 minutes and Bustos Moyana's conversion allowed them to go into the break with a 9-point advantage.

Yoan Audrin, another to score in the back-to-back contests, eased Montpellier further ahead before Wales wing Alex Cuthbert went over for his fourth Blues try of the campaign to give them a glimmer of hope.

But Scotland international back rower Johnnie Beattie wrapped up the try bonus point with 24 minutes still on the clock which prompted the home club to make a raft of replacements and Bustos Moyano added his final insult with a penalty in the 73rd minute.




ToulonTOULON 62 - 0 SALE SHARKS Sale Sharks

STADE FÉLIX MAYOL - 16 December 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 17-0
Toulon T: Orioli, Michalak, van Niekerk (2), Kubriashvili, Steffon Armitage, Delon Armitage, Wulf, Smith C: Michalak (6), Wilkinson P: Michalak Yellow Card Shaw
Sale Yellow Card McKenzie

Toulon Sale SharksTOULON joined Harlequins and ASM Clermont Auvergne as the only clubs to make it four from four before the tournament resumes in 2013 with a 62-0 annihilation of Sale Sharks at their Stade Félix Mayol fortress.

The nine-try romp took Toulon to 18 points, five clear of French rivals Montpellier, with quarter-final qualification firmly in their own hands with ties against Cardiff Blues and Montpellier to come next month.

Frederic Michalak - who ended up with a 20 points contribution - struck the first blow with a fifth minute penalty goal, but Sale's resistance held out for the opening half an hour before hooker Jean-Charles Orioli crossed for the first try.

Michalak, a player in prime form and given an outing at No 10 to give Jonny Wilkinson a break until the England World Cup winner came off the bench in the 67th minute, converted and then did the damage with the ball in hand, crossing for Toulon's second try after 36 minutes. It came from a scrum and although he produced some neat footwork he also cashed in on some dubious defence to scramble over. He landed the conversion for good measure to give the French club a comfortable 17 points advantage to take into the break.

That became 24 when captain and back row forward Joe van Niekerk crossed for their third try and the bonus point followed with half an hour to spare with prop Davit Kubriashvili getting on the scoresheet.

And there was still more pain for Sale to suffer, brothers Steffon and Delon Armitage each scoring tries in the space of 6 minutes with van Niekerk getting his second as Sale saw the home side top a half century of points.

Wing Rudi Wulf got their eighth and David Smith their ninth with Wilkinson getting in on the act with a conversion.




ERC Round 3

POOL 1Heineken Cup Round 3 Pool 1

Munster Rugby MUNSTER RUGBY 15 - 9 SARACENSSaracens

THOMOND PARK - 08 December 2012
KO: 18:00 HT: 9-3
Munster P: O'Gara (5) Yellow Card O'Callaghan
Saracens P: Farrell (3) Yellow Card Gill

MUNSTER demonstrated their love affair with the Heineken Cup with a hard-fought victory over Saracens to keep their quarter-final hopes very much alive.

Saracens, who have made no secret of their ambitions in Europe this season, came into the game unbeaten but could only manage a losing bonus point against a typically aggressive Munster side on their home patch.

Fly-half Ronan O'Gara, once again, was the difference between the two sides and he finished with a personal tally of 15 points with the boot to put Munster joint top of Pool 1.

Owen Farrell, a hero for England in their victory over the All Blacks last weekend, left his kicking boots in London and missed four vital penalties which would have made a real difference for the visitors in Limerick.

Veteran Ireland playmaker O'Gara gave Munster an early 3-0 lead as the home side threw themselves at their English visitors in trademark fashion in front of a partisan Thomond Park crowd.

Munster brought their own unique brand of intense mayhem to bear on their visitors and it did spill over at times, with Saracens prop Rhys Gill and Munster's Irish international lock Donncha O'Callaghan both sin-binned during the first-half.

While both sides were down to 14-men, O'Gara slotted over a second penalty to stretch Munster's lead before centre Farrell made amends for an earlier penalty miss to claw his side back to within three points.

But Munster were 6 points to the good again by the break as O'Gara's ever reliable boot saw him make it 9-3 at half-time with his third penalty.

Farrell replied with his second just three minutes after the restart - 60 seconds after missing another - but O'Gara pushed the home side further ahead when he landed two more penalties to make it 15-6 after 53 minutes.

Sarries flanker Will Fraser thought he had crossed for the game's first try midway through the second half but a superb tackle by Munster wing Simon Zebo pushed him into touch at the corner flag.

Farrell was off target with two attempts after O'Gara's last effort but he did at least manage to slot over a third penalty with 2 minutes remaining to ensure Saracens went home with a losing bonus point ahead of the return fixture at Vicarage Road next Sunday.




Racing Metro RACING MÉTRO 92 19 - 9 EDINBURGH RUGBYEdinburgh

STADE YVES DU MANOIR - 08 December 2012
KO: 19:00 HT: 11-6
Racing Métro T: Imhoff, Arous P: Barkley (2), Machenaud
Edinburgh P: Laidlaw (3)

RACING MÉTRO ensured Pool 1 remains a three-horse race as they secured a 19-9 victory over Edinburgh at Stade Yves du Manoir.

A first-half try from Argentina wing Juan Imoff and a second-half score from replacement prop Ben Arous proved the ultimate difference as Racing moved to within two points of Saracens and Munster at the top of the group.

Edinburgh stay bottom of Pool 1, with no points to their name, but they restored some pride with a committed performance and were unfortunate not to pick up a losing bonus in France.

Having reached the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition eight months ago, Edinburgh had failed to score a single point in 160 minutes of Heineken Cup rugby this season but it took them just two minutes to opened their account in Paris as Greig Laidlaw slotted an early penalty.

Edinburgh dominated the early exchanges but Olly Barkley levelled affairs with his first strike on 10 minutes.

The visitors wasted two quick-fire scoring chances that would have handed them a 9-3 lead as the usually reliable Laidlaw sent successive penalties wide of the sticks in the space of 60 seconds as the game hit 13 minutes.

And Racing punished their Scottish rivals for their lack of killer instinct with the game's opening try after 20 minutes. A fine pick up from second row Fabrice Metz set Racing on their way, with Barkley, Guillaume Bousses and Juan Martin Hernandez allowing Imhoff the space to step inside Tom Brown wide on the left.

Former Bath and England playmaker Barkley was off target with the difficult extras but Racing were 8-3 to the good to take the shine off Edinburgh's positive opening.

Racing came close to a second try through a driving maul on 26 minutes but the Scottish defence held firm, although another Barkley penalty pushed the hosts two scores clear at 11-3 on the half hour.

Laidlaw followed up another miss with a successful strike in the last play of the half and his side were well in the game in the opening 20 minutes of the second period as they again began brightly.

But a pushover try from Arous as the match hit the hour mark made life a little more comfortable for Racing, although Barkley's failed conversion attempt and a 65th minute penalty from Laidlaw did bring Edinburgh back to within bonus-point range at 16-9.

Racing had the last laugh, though, as Maxime Machenaud put the result beyond doubt and ensured Edinburgh headed home empty handed as he sent over a penalty with just 2 minutes left on the clock.




POOL 2Heineken Cup Round 3 Pool 2

Toulouse TOULOUSE 30 - 14 OSPREYS Ospreys

STADE ERNEST WALLON - 08 December 2012
KO: 14:35 HT: 12-7
Toulouse T: Fritz, Nyanga, Clerc, Johnston, Huget C: McAlister P: Doussain
Ospreys T: Fotuali'i, Bevington C: Biggar, Morgan

TOULOUSE cruised to a comfortable bonus-point victory over Pro12 champions the Ospreys to keep their unbeaten record and their position as pool leaders after three games. The four-times champions and most successful side in the tournament proved their undeniable credentials at this level to keep themselves in the hunt for a quarter-final place.

An Ospreys side who were without the injured Wales and Lions stars Adam Jones and Alun Wyn Jones and Welsh internationals Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis and Ian Evans were always going to find it tough in France.

But they did not help themselves when some sloppy defence allowed the hosts to cross for two early tries in the first 20 minutes of the contest as centre Florian Fritz and skipper Yannick Nyanga made it 12-0.

The Welsh side did manage to score a try of their own after some quick-thinking saw their Samoan scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i take a tap penalty to himself before dancing around two defenders to cross for a try under the posts to make it 12-7 at half-time.

The French giants resumed normal service after the break, despite some stubborn defence by the visitors, and managed their third try with wing Vincent Clerc diving in at the corner.

Toulouse's power came to the fore in the second half against a young Ospreys outfit and the home side's pack really turned the screw as they dominated up front and prop Census Johnston crashed over from short-range.

Full back Yoann Huget added to the Ospreys' woes when he ran in Toulouse's fifth try but the Welsh side did manage their second score by prop Ryan Bevington in the closing moments.

Defeat means the Ospreys face an uphill task to progress in the tournament ahead of next weekend's reverse fixture at the Liberty Stadium, although their two tournament defeats so far have come away from home against former competition winners Toulouse and Leicester.




Leicester Tigers LEICESTER TIGERS 33 - 25 BENETTON TREVISOBenetton Treviso

WELFORD ROAD - 09 December 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 26-7
Leicester T: PT, Tuilagi, Salvi (2), Smith C: Ford (4)
Treviso T: Budd, Cittadini, Loamanu C: di Bernardo (2) P: di Bernardo (2) Yellow Card Favaro

MANU TUILAGI took his international form onto the club stage as Leicester Tigers extended their unbeaten home tournament run to 21 games with a 33-25 victory over Benetton Treviso that keeps Pool 2 nicely on the boil.

The Tigers last lost a home Heineken Cup match when Munster won at Welford Road over 6 years ago and the 5 points they took from this success closed the gap on unbeaten group leaders Toulouse to just 3 points.It all adds up to the group honours now looking set to be a straight fight between these two former European champions

Tuilagi - in outstanding try-scoring and try-providing form in England's victory over New Zealand eight days earlier - got into the try scoring act for his club with a 24th minute effort after the Tigers had opened their account with a penalty try awarded by Irish referee George Clancy.

The No 7s then took centre stage, Julian Salvi crossing for the Tigers only for opposite number Dean Budd to immediately open Treviso's account in the 31st minute with a try converted by Alberto De Bernardo.

Salvi's response was to go over for his second try and enable the Tigers to bank the bonus point before the break, outside half George Ford weighing in with three conversions.

Treviso reminded the Tigers they still had some work to do with Lorenzo Cittadini crossing for their second try but when Simone Favaro was yellow carded - Treviso's fifth sin binning of this season's tournament - the home side made their extra man count with Matt Smith getting their fifth try.

Treviso could sniff the chance of a try bonus point when Christian Loamanu got their third but that came to nothing as the Tigers rode it out.




POOL 3Heineken Cup Round 3 Pool 3

Connacht Rugby CONNACHT RUGBY 22 - 14 BIARRITZ Biarritz Olympique

THE SPORTSGROUND - 07 December 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 10-9
Connacht T: Vainikolo C: Parks P: Parks (3) DG: Parks (2) Yellow Card McKeon, O'Halloran
Biarritz T: Harinordoquy P: Yachvili (3)

CONNACHT claimed their first victory over French opposition in the Heineken Cup by defeating tournament big guns Biarritz Olympique 22-14 at The Sportsground.Galway has seen plenty of big wins in the Amlin Challenge Cup over the years but this particular triumph over the former Heineken Cup finalists matched last season's success against Harlequins at the same venue.

Dan Parks was the key man for Connacht as he slotted three penalties, two drop goals and a conversion for a personal haul of 17 points.

Eric Elwood's men led for all but 5 minutes of this Round 3 encounter after Fetu'u Vainikolo's well-taken try surpassed Dimitri Yachvili's second-minute penalty.

Yachvili closed the gap to a single point just before the halfway point of the half after he had missed two previous attempts in comparison to one failure from Parks.

A first Parks drop goal was followed by a third Yachvili penalty to leave the hosts 10-9 ahead at half time, but the second period well and truly belonged to Connacht.

Former Cardiff Blues and Scotland pivot Parks increased the lead on 46 and 51 minutes before pushing his side two scores clear with a second drop goal with eight minutes left to play.

A third successful penalty from Parks sealed a famous win 5 minutes later, with an injury-time try from replacement Imanol Harinordoquy when Tiernan O'Halloran was in the sin bin nothing more than mere consolation for the reigning Amlin Challenge Cup Champions.

Victory sees Connacht jump above Biarritz into second place in Pool 3, with English league leaders Harlequins now firm favourites to finish top of the group having beaten Connacht away and Biarritz at home.




Zebre ZEBRE 14 - 57 HARLEQUINSHarlequins

STADIO XXV APRILE - 08 December 2012
KO: 14:35 HT: 7-17
Zebre T: Sarto, Chillon C: Orquera (2) Yellow Card Bergamasco, Redolfini
Harlequins T: Smith (2), Easter, PT (2), Hopper, Buchanan, Botica C: Evans (6), Botica P: Evans

HARLEQUINS made it three from three and remain on course to clinch top spot in Pool 3 after a comprehensive 57-14 victory over Zebre in Parma. The English Premiership pace-setters romped home against the Italian newcomers with an eight-try haul that clinched the try bonus point and gives them 14 points at the halfway stage of group matches - six points more than second placed Connacht Rugby.

Sam Smith scored a brace of tries with Nick Easter, Matt Hopper, Rob Buchanan and Ben Botica also among the scorers for Conor O'Shea's high fliers, who even managed two penalty tries at scrum time.

The most Zebre could manage on a bitterly cold day was a first-half breakaway try from Leonardo Sarto and a late consolation for Alberto Chillon.

With Biarritz Olympique losing to Connacht the night before, Quins' destiny now lies very much in their own hands, and victory in next week's return fixture against the same opposition at the Twickenham Stoop will effectively seal their passage through to the quarter-finals - with a home tie in the last eight their target.

Harlequins barely had to break sweat for some of their tries, the first of which came for livewire Smith on 26 minutes, a routine dash for the corner after the Zebre defence had been stretched on the back of a Maurie Fa'asavalu turnover.

Things went from bad to worse for the Italians when Mauro Bergamasco was sent to the bin shortly after for a ruck offence.

And on the pitch it was pretty much one-way traffic as Quins put themselves in total command of the group with three down and three to go.




POOL 4Heineken Cup Round 3 Pool 4

Glasgow WarriorsGLASGOW WARRIORS 6 - 9 CASTRESCastres Olympique

SCOTSTOUN STADIUM - 07 December 2012
KO: 19:35 HT: 6-6
Glasgow P: Wight (2)
Castres P: Kockott (3)

CASTRES OLYMPIQUE surged into second place in Pool 4 with a narrow 9-6 win over Glasgow Warriors on Scottish soil.

The French outfit built on their Round 2 win over Northampton Saints in Toulouse to ensure their hopes of quarter-final qualification remain very much alive.Castres jumped ahead of the Saints thanks to a hat-trick of penalties from South African scrum-half Rory Kockott at Scotstoun.

Kockott missed four more penalties at Glasgow's new home but his two first-half strikes and a match-winning effort after 57 minutes mean Castres could now harbour realistic hopes of pushing Ulster for top spot when the pool leaders head to France in Round 6.

Glasgow twice led through the boot of fly-half Scott Wright on 13 and 23 minutes but Kockott pegged the Warriors back as the game hit the 20-minute mark and then again 4 minutes before the interval.

Wright missed a straightforward chance to make it 9-6 to the hosts on 48 minutes and Kockott made him pay 9 minutes later.

Neither side could summon up what would have been a game-changing try, although it was Castres who came closest as they twice enjoyed spells of possession just metres from the Glasgow line only to concede penalties at the pivotal moments.

Their failure to kill the game off with a seven-pointer made no difference on a freezing Scottish evening, though, as Glasgow were unable to find the score that would have stopped them from slipping to a third successive European defeat this term and a fifth Heineken Cup reverse in a row since their draw with Montpellier 12 months ago.




Northampton SaintsNORTHAMPTON SAINTS 6 - 25 ULSTER RUGBYUlster Rugby

FRANKLIN'S GARDENS - 07 December 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 6-13
Northampton P: Lamb (2)
Ulster T: Trimble, Bowe, Payne, Tuohy C: Jackson P: Jackson Yellow Card Henderson

ULSTER RUGBY took a huge step towards the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup by beating Northampton Saints and bagging a bonus point at Franklin's Gardens. The Belfast-based side kept control of Pool 4 as they made it three wins from three in Europe and 13 from 13 in all competitions this season with a 25-6 success in the East Midlands.

An early Andrew Trimble try set last season's losing finalists on the way against the team that suffered the same fate 12 months earlier, with further scores from Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne and Dan Tuohy sealing what could be a crucial away triumph.

Trimble, who was picked ahead of Craig Gilroy after the youngster took his place in the Ireland starting side against Argentina, touched down after only nine minutes to give Ulster just the start they were after.

Paddy Jackson was off target with the extras in what proved to be a miserable half for both goal kickers but it made little difference to in-form Ulster. The young fly-half would also miss a 17th-minute penalty attempt but his woes were minor compared to opposite number Ryan Lamb who failed with three penalties and a drop goal in the opening 40 minutes.

Lamb did close the gap to 5-3 with a successful strike as the game hit the 20-minute mark but Jackson matched his feat three minutes later to re-establish the five-point lead.

Ulster then took the initiative in an 11-minute spell either side of the break as Bowe and Payne both crossed to leave Northampton facing a substantial deficit. Bowe's 23rd try in his 50th Heineken Cup appearance made it 13-3 on 33 minutes and, even though Lamb struck a second penalty in first-half injury time, Ulster were well in control when New Zealander Payne claimed their third try four minutes after the restart.

The former Auckland Blues full back saw injury rob him of the chance to play his part in Ulster's surge to the Twickenham final in his first season with the province, but his maiden Heineken Cup try significantly boosted their hopes of a repeat showing this time around.

Northampton made a whole host of changes in the latter stages after Jackson had missed another penalty, but Ulster were good value for the win that pushes them 6 points clear at the top of the group.

An already impressive showing was given even greater gloss late on as Tuohy powered over for the bonus-point score with just two minutes remaining despite the fact that Ulster were down to 14 men following Iain Henderson's yellow card.

The Saints now slip to third ahead of the demanding return trip to Ravenhill next week as Castres Olympique picked up a second straight European win with a 9-6 victory in Glasgow.




POOL 5Heineken Cup Round 3 Pool 5

Scarlets SCARLETS 16 - 22 EXETER CHIEFS Exeter Chiefs

PARC Y SCARLETS - 08 December 2012
KO: 13:35 HT: 6-16
Scarlets T: PT C: Thomas P: Priestland (2), Thomas
Exeter T: Thomas C: Steenson P: Steenson (5) Yellow Card Moon

EXETER CHIEFS picked up their first Heineken Cup win in their short European history with victory over the Scarlets in Llanelli. The tournament debutants bounced back from their heavy home defeat to ASM Clermont Auvergne to run out 22-13 victors at Parc-y-Scarlets.

A Haydn Thomas try and 17 points from the boot of fly-half Gareth Steenson sealed an historic success after the Chiefs came so close to shocking Heineken Cup holders Leinster in Round 1.

Exeter started brightly in West Wales as a typically powerful burst from Fijian centre Sireli Naqelevuki paved the way for the opening try with just 5 minutes on the clock.

Fine support work from Thomas saw the former Gloucester, Bath and Bristol scrum-half touch down for a score which Steenson converted to put Exeter in early control.

Steenson slotted three first-half penalties compared to two from opposite number Rhys Priestland to give Rob Baxter's men a 16-6 lead at the break and the Scarlets were unable to overturn the 10-point deficit despite winning the second period.

Two further strikes from Steenson either side of one from Aled Davies - a replacement for Priestland after the Wales star left the field of play on a stretcher - had the Chiefs 22-9 up before the hour and the hosts couldn't find the comeback they required in the last quarter.

A converted penalty try when Chiefs prop Ben Moon was in the sin bin on 66 minutes gave the Scarlets hope but Exeter held firm to jump three points above their opponents in the tournament's 'Pool of Death'.




ASM Clermont AuvergneCLERMONT AUVERGNE 15 - 12 LEINSTER Leinster Rugby

STADE MARCEL MICHELIN - 09 December 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 15-9
Clermont P: Parra (4) DG: James
Leinster P: Sexton (4)

LEINSTER, the reigning champions, suffered their first defeat in the Heineken Cup in 17 games when they were beaten 15-12 by ASM Clermont Auvergne in the clash of Round 3 of the Heineken Cup pools.

The French also side made it 51 games unbeaten at home with this narrow victory over the defending champions, but the Irish side came away with a bonus point and kept their own hopes of a quarter-final place alive.

Both sides, viewed by many as genuine candidates to win this season's tournament, came into this heavyweight clash unbeaten, having won their opening two games in the Pool.

Neither side really showed their hand in a first-half which resembled a game of chess with both sides probing and prodding for defensive weaknesses and looking to take any points on offer.

The first half was a typically tight affair with Clermont's scrum-half Morgan Parra and Leinster's fly-half Jonathan Sexton exchanged penalties to make it 12-9 to the home side just before the break.

Clermont's Australian fly-half Butch James landed a well taken drop goal with the last kick of the half to stretch the French side's lead to six points to make it 15-9 lead at half-time.

The Irish province clawed themselves back to within three points when he landed his fourth penalty to keep the pressure on Clermont in front of their partisan home crowd at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Defence proved to be the common denominator between the two sides during an incredibly tight second half and neither side looked like scoring the elusive try in a compelling contest in France.




POOL 6Heineken Cup Round 3 Pool 6

Sale SharksSALE SHARKS 6 - 17 TOULONToulon

SALFORD CITY STADIUM - 08 December 2012
KO: 15:40 HT: 6-11
Sale P: Cipriani (2)
Toulon T: Smith P: Wilkinson (4)

JONNY WILKINSON did not have one of his better days with the boot, but Toulon still made it three from three with a 17-6 win against Sale Sharks at the Salford City Stadium. It swept them a massive nine points clear at the top of Pool 6 ahead of the Cardiff Blues and Montpellier tie at the Arms Park, with Toulon's quarter-final destiny firmly in their own hands at the halfway stage of group matches.

And the damage on the scoreboard could have been even worse if the normally dead-eyed World Cup winning Wilkinson had packed his kicking boots.

He did kick four penalty goals in the 16th, 36th, 51st and 75th minutes but he had a similar number of misses with two penalty goals, a conversion and a drop goal attempt.

Danny Cipriani had a similar strike rate for the Sharks with two out of four penalty goals finding the mark, Sale not having a single second half scoring chance with the boot.

Left wing David Smith crossed for the only try of a tight contest after half an hour but only magnificent defensive work by Rob Miller denied replacement Sebastien Tillous-Borde a second try for the visitors with the last action of the match.




Cardiff BluesCARDIFF BLUES 24 - 35 MONTPELLIER Montpellier

CARDIFF ARMS PARK - 09 December 2012
KO: 12:45 HT: 15-9
Cardiff P: Patchell (7) DG: Patchell Red Card Lloyd Williams
Montpellier T: Audrin, Gorgodze, Nagusa C: Paillaugue P: Paillaugue (6)

MONTPELLIER kept their Heineken Cup quarter-final hopes alive with a hard-fought 35-24 victory over Cardiff Blues as Lloyd Williams saw red at the Arms Park.

Outside half Rhys Patchell had booted the blues into a 9-6 lead but they were reduced to 14 men on 25 minutes when Wales scrum half Williams was sent off for a dangerous tackle.And Montpellier took full advantage of their extra man with tries from Yoan Audrin, Mamuka Gorgodze and Timoci Nagusa.

The victory sees the French club climb to second in the group while the Blues' European hopes are in tatters.

Having thrown victory away against Sale in Round One and succumbed to a narrow defeat at the hands of Toulon the following week, the Blues needed a victory to keep their slim hopes of advancement alive.

But they went into the must win clash without a host of stars, including Wales trio Bradley Davies, Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton.

And it did not take long for the French club to make their numerical advantage count, with quick hands releasing Audrin in the left hand corner.Paillaugue converted and continued to exchange penalties with Patchell as the Blues entered the break trailing by four points.

They quickly reduced the deficit to a single-point but Montpellier hit-back with a second try.Paillaugue and Santiago Fernandez combined to make the initial inroads and Audrin almost crossed the whitewash for a second time but the ball was recycled and Gorgodze drove over from close-range.

Montpellier failed to add the extras and Patchell responded with his seventh penalty but the diminutive French scrum-half put the result beyond doubt.




ERC Round 2

POOL 1Heineken Cup Round 2 Pool 1

SaracensSARACENS 30 - 13 RACING MÉTRO 92Racing Metro

KING BAUDOUIN STADIUM - Saturday 20 October 2012
KO: 16:40 HT: 20-13 Att: 18,212

Saracens Racing MetroSTEVE BORTHWICK proved that Saracens had the greater muscles in Brussels as he bulldozed his way over for a crucial try close to the posts at the King Baudouin Stadium to mark Belgium becoming the 10th country to stage Heineken Cup action in style.

His 28th-minute score was a major factor in putting the Pool 1 skids under Racing Métro 92 with a 30-13 victory.

The Paris club had also started with a win, beating former double champions Munster at Stade de France, but a week after keeping a clean sheet against Edinburgh with a 45-0 opening win, Saracens made it two from two to take early control of the group.

Former Bath star Olly Barkley had kicked Racing into a first minute lead but a 21st-minute try from left wing Chris Wyles and the accurate goal kicking of outside-half Charlie Hodgson had Racing on the back foot.

7 minutes later, Borthwick, typically leading from the front, stormed over and, at 17 points clear at the break, Sarries appeared pretty much in charge.

But some marvellous handling and interchange passing produced a stunning try for Pumas wing Juan Imhoff and in the process reminded Saracens they still had plenty of work to do.

Their advantage was further reduced by a Gaetan Germain penalty but, with just 3 minutes remaining, excellent work by Hodgson put flanker Will Fraser into a hole in the Racing defence and their third try, converted by Hodgson for a match haul of 15 points, was the final nail in the Racing coffin.

SaracensAlex Goode, Chris Ashton, Owen Farrell, Bradley Barritt, Chris Wyles, Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock, Rhys Gill, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens, Steve Borthwick (c), Mouritz Botha, Kelly Brown, Will Fraser, Jackson Wray BENCH: John Smit, Mako Vunipola, Carlos Nieto, Alistair Hargreaves, Andy Saull, Richard Wigglesworth, Joel Tomkins, David Strettle

SCORERS T: Wyles, Borthwick, Fraser C: Hodgson (3) P: Hodgson (3)

Racing MetroJuan Martin Hernandez, Benjamin Fall, Mirco Bergamasco, Fabrice Estebanez, Juan Imhoff, Olly Barkley, Maxime Machenaud, Andrea Lo Cicero, Dimitri Szarzewski, Luc Ducalcon, Karim Ghezal, Francois Carl Van der Merwe, Antoine Battut, Bernard Le Roux, Jacques Cronje (c) BENCH: Benjamin Noirot, Eddy Ben Arous, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Fabrice Metz, Julien Jane, Sakiusa Matadigo, Sebastien Descons, Gaetan Germain

SCORERS T: Imhoff C: Estabanez P: Barkley, Germain Yellow Card La Roux

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wal) Asst Ref: Gwynn Morris, Wayne Davies TMO: Derek Bevan Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan



THOMOND PARK - Sunday 21 October 2012
KO: 12:45 HT: 6-0 Att: 22,146

Munster Edinburgh Peter O'MahonyMUNSTER cruised past Edinburgh in Limerick to kick-start their Heineken Cup campaign with a bonus-point win.

The two-time champions led 6-0 following an error-strewn first half but they put themselves in a commanding position thanks to a Conor Murray try.

They still had plenty to do but sealed an emphatic bonus-point with three tries in the final 10 minutes through Peter O'Mahony, Sean Dougall and Damien Varley at the death.

The victory sees Rob Penney's men climb to second in Pool One, ahead of a make-or-break December double-header with leaders Saracens. Meanwhile, Edinburgh stay bottom of the group and face an uphill task to qualify.

Both sides were aiming to bounce-back from opening round defeats and Munster were well aware that a loss at Thomond Park would all but end their hopes of advancing.

Keatley got the scoreboard ticking after just 3 minutes and Munster continued to dominate with the lion share of both territory and possession.

But they struggled to turn pressure into points and could only count another Keatley penalty on 23 minutes as they led 6-0 at the interval.

But they began the second-half strongly and laid siege to Edinburgh's half. The pressure eventually told and Ireland scrum-half Murray bulldozed over from close-range, with Keatley converting. 6 minutes later the fly-half added his third penalty to stretch the hosts' lead to 16-0.

The encounter burst into life in the final quarter and a powerful rolling maul made the inroads for O'Mahony to burrow over. Keatley converted and Munster grabbed another quick-fire try within two minutes.

JJ Hanrahan burst from deep inside his own half, he linked with Keatley, who ignored his support and was hauled down short but the ball was recycled and Dougall dived over.

The bonus-point still looked likely to evade the hosts but with 30 seconds left on the clock they kicked to the corner from a penalty. Donnacha Ryan took the lineout and Varley burrowed over for the crucial fourth try.

Munster RugbyDenis Hurley, Doug Howlett (c), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan, Sean Dougall, Peter O'Mahony BENCH: Damien Varley, Marcus Horan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Patrick Butler, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Felix Jones

SCORERS T: Murray, O'Mahony, Dougall, Varley C: Keatley (2) P: Keatley (2)

EdinburghGreig Tonks, Lee Jones, Nick De Luca, Ben Atiga, Tim Visser, Gregor Hunter, Richie Rees, John Yapp, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox (c), Dave Denton, Stuart McInally, Netani Talei BENCH: Andy Titterrell, Robin Hislop, WP Nel, Robert McAlpine, Dimitri Basilaia, Chris Leck, Matthew Scott, Tom Brown


Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng) Asst Ref: Tim Wigglesworth, Paul Dix TMO: Geoff Warren Citing Commissioner: John Byett



POOL 2Heineken Cup Round 2 Pool 2

Benetton TrevisoBENETTON TREVISO 21 - 33 TOULOUSEToulouse

STADIO COMUNALE DI MONIGO - Saturday 20 October 2012
KO: 14:35 HT: 18-9 Att: 5,000

Benetton Treviso ToulouseVINCENT CLERC was both villain and hero as Toulouse made it two from two in Pool 2 with a 33-21 victory over battling Benetton Treviso at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

The international wing was sin binned in the 45th minute but returned to improve his tournament try-scoring record with his 33rd Heineken Cup try after the hour.

However, it had been a battle of the boots in the first period with Kristopher Burton outgunning Luke McAlister 6-3 in successful penalty goals, All Black ace McAlister missing a chance in injury time to cut Treviso's nine-point advantage before the break.

On top of that, Toulouse's frustrations led to hooker Christopher Tolofua being yellow carded and the four-times champions had to sacrifice No8 powerhouse Louis Picamoles during the sin binning to bring on Gary Botha at scrum time.

It took 53 minutes for the first try and, although it came in the shape of a penalty try awarded by Welsh referee Leighton Hodges, it was the first of a rush of three Toulouse scores in the space of just 10 minutes as they took the game out of Treviso's reach.

The impressive Picamoles crossed the home line before Clerc got that record stretching 33rd try to add Treviso's scalp to that of Leicester Tigers and put Toulouse in pole position in the group, even though they finished a man short when Tolofua was red carded in the 76th minute.

Benetton TrevisoLuke McLean, Giulio Toniolatti, Tommaso Benvenuti, Alberto Sgarbi, Tommaso Iannone, Kristopher Burton, Tobie Botes, Michele Rizzo, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Lorenzo Cittadini, Antonio Pavanello (c), Francesco Minto, Manoa Vosawai, Alessandro Zanni, Robert Barbieri BENCH: Enrico Ceccato, Alberto De Marchi, Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, Valerio Bernabo, Simone Favaro, Marco Filippucci, Fabio Semenzato, Andrea Pratichetti

SCORERS P: Burton (7) Yellow Card Barbieri

ToulouseYoann Huget, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Gael Fickou, Timoci Matanavou, Luke McAlister, Jean Marc Doussain, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Christopher Tolofua, Yohann Montes, Romain Millo-Chluski, Patricio Albacete, Jean Bouilhou, Thierry Dusautoir (c), Louis Picamoles BENCH: Gary Botha, Gurthro Steenkamp, Census Johnston, Gregory Lamboley, Yannick Nyanga, Yannick Jauzion, Luke Burgess, Clement Poitrenaud

SCORERS T: Penalty Try, Picamoles, Clerc C: McAlister (3) P: McAlister (4) Yellow Card Tolofua, Clerc Red Card Tolofua

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wal) Asst Ref: Sean Bricknell, Jonathan Mason TMO: Nigel Whitehouse Citing Commissioner: Buster White


Leicester Tigers LEICESTER TIGERS 39 - 22 OSPREYS Ospreys

WELFORD ROAD - Sunday 21 October 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 10-10 Att: 20,224

Leicester Tigers Ospreys ManuTuilagi tryTOBY FLOOD produced a No 10 master class to revive Leicester Tigers' Pool 2 challenge with a maximum points 39-22 victory and leave the Ospreys still searching for their first Welford Road success.

They did manage a draw three years ago but this time the Tigers finished with a real flourish for what was ultimately an emphatic win that keeps the group boiling over.

Flood pulled the strings from start to finish and scored a long range interception try and kicked magnificently for a 24-points haul with Manu Tuilagi snatching the bonus point with just seconds remaining.

Flanker Ryan Jones - rejuvenated for both club and country - pounced for an opportunist second minute try, forcing his way over from close range, to stun the Tigers faithful. Outside half Dan Biggar converted and when he added a 12th minute penalty goal the home side were 10 points adrift thanks to a whirlwind Ospreys start.

But the Tigers, who have now won 18 and drawn two of their last 20 tournament matches at "Fortress Welford," are always inspired by playing in front of their home crowd and that happened again.

Great work by half backs Ben Youngs and Flood created the space for Tuilagi to stroll over for his first with Flood levelling matters at 10-all before half time with a penalty and the conversion.

And the Ospreys were not helped with prop Ryan Bevington dispatched to the sin bin by French referee Romain Poite for persistent scrum infringements.

Biggar and Flood exchanged further penalties before Youngs had the Ospreys' alarm bells working overtime as he raced away from an unprotected line-out on a glorious sole run.

A try looked on but the Ospreys regrouped and wing Eli Walker cleared although Flood was on target with a third penalty to kick the Tigers ahead for the first time after 50 minutes. He landed another as the Ospreys came under pressure, particularly at the line-out, only for Biggar to first cut the deficit with a well struck angled penalty and then level matters yet again with his fourth success.

But then Flood enjoyed a magnificent purple period that took the game - and hopes of at least a bonus point - away from the Ospreys.

Part 1 was a 58 metre penalty smack on target. Part 2 was the interception of Biggar's intended pass and a long run for the line for a try he converted himself.

Biggar did respond with another penalty but Youngs cashed in following a lucky bounce for a third Tigers try and Tuilagi got his second and the Tigers' fourth with less than a minute on the clock to take all 5 points.

Leicester TigersScott Hamilton, Niall Morris, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Vereniki Goneva, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Logovi'i Mulipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Graham Kitchener, Geoff Parling, Steve Mafi, Thomas Waldrom, Jordan Crane (c) BENCH: George Chuter, Marcos Ivan Ayerza, Martin Castrogiovanni, Louis Deacon, Richard Thorpe, Sam Harrison, George Ford, Matt Smith

SCORERS T: Tuilagi (2), Flood, Ben Youngs C: Flood (2) P: Flood (5)

OspreysRichard Fussell, Hanno Dirksen, Andrew Bishop, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Kahn Fotuali'I, Ryan Bevington, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (c), Ian Evans, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Jonathan Thomas BENCH: Matthew Dwyer, Duncan Jones, Aaron Jarvis, George Stowers, Joe Bearman, Rhys Webb, Matthew Morgan, Thomas Isaacs

SCORERS T: Ryan Jones C: Biggar P: Biggar (5) Yellow Card Bevington

Referee: Romain Poite (Fra) Asst Ref: Cedric Marchat, Eric Soulan TMO: Bernard Dal Maso Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte



POOL 3Heineken Cup Round 2 Pool 3

Connacht Rugby CONNACHT RUGBY 22 - 30 HARLEQUINSHarlequins

THE SPORTSGROUND - Saturday 20 October 2012
KO: 18:00 HT: 19-24 Att: 8,199

HARLEQUINS maintained their position at the top of Pool 3 with a closely-contested 30-22 win over Connacht in Galway.

The reigning English Champions had to dig deep to make it back-to-back success stories following their bonus-point triumph against Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque.

Connacht Harlequins Danny CareA brace of tries from England scrum-half Danny Care turned the game in Quins' favour just before the break as the visitors scored 15 unanswered points in the final 10 minutes of the half.

Care crossed on the half-hour mark and then again 7 minutes later, with Ben Botica converting once and adding another penalty in injury time at the end of the first period.

Connacht ran out narrow winners in this fixture last season and the Irish province looked to be heading towards another famous upset when a sixth-minute Dave McSharry try was complimented by a fine kicking display from Dan Parks that saw the hosts lead 10-6 and then 19-9 after 27 minutes.

But Care's quick-fire brace handed Harlequins a 24-19 advantage at the break, with neither side able to add to their try-scoring tally in a nerve-wracking second half.

Parks closed the gap to just 2 points with a fifth penalty 4 minutes after the restart but it was as close as Connacht came to repeating their Round 1 win at Zebre.

Botica continued his assured form at fly-half to kick two more penalties after being asked to stand in for the injured Nick Evans as he finished with a personal tally of 20 points seven days after bagging 18 when replacing his fellow Kiwi against Biarritz.

Connacht RugbyRobbie Henshaw, Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion, Dennis Buckley, Adrian Flavin, Nathan White (c), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Willie Faloon, George Naoupu BENCH: Jason Harris-Wright, Brett Wilkinson, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Jonny O'Connor, Dave Moore, Miah Nikora, Mata Fifita

SCORERS T: McSharry C: Parks P: Parks (5)

HarlequinsMike Brown, Tom Williams, Matt Hopper, Jordan Turner-Hall, Sam Smith, Ben Botica, Daniel Care, Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, George Robson, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Chris Robshaw (c), Nick Easter BENCH: David Ward, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Rory Clegg, Seb Stegmann

SCORERS T: Care (2) C: Botica P: Botica (6)

Referee: Jerome Garces (Fra) Asst Ref: Sebastian Cloute, Salam Attalah TMO: Eric Gauzins Citing Commissioner: Iain Goodall


Biarritz Olympique BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 38 - 17 ZEBREZebre

PARC DES SPORTS AGUILERA - Saturday 20 October 2012
KO: 19:00 HT: 19-9 Att: 7,182

Biarritz Olympique ZebreBIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE bounced back from their mauling at Harlequins to beat Italian club Zebre 38-17 at Parc des Sports Aguilera and open their Pool 3 account.

The French club started as if they would have matters done and dusted in double quick time but Zebre dug in deep to really give the home side plenty to think about.
Loose-head prop Fabien Barcella, scrum-half Yann Lesgourges and wing Taku Ngwenya swooped for early tries that saw Biarritz going along at better than a point a minute with Jean-Pascal Barraque adding two conversions.

But Zebre stayed in touch with three penalties from Daniel Halangha (2) and Gonzalo Garcia but when lock Pelu Taele crossed in the 45th minute Biarritz had the bonus point they were after.

Lesgourges got his second and Biarritz's fifth to effectively end Zebre's resistance, with replacement Arnaud Heguy taking just 10 minutes to announce his arrival with their next.

Zebre did have the last word with Dries van Schalkwyk's late try but it was little consolation for the tournament newcomers.

Biarritz OlympiqueIain Balshaw, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Seremaia Burotu, Damien Traille (c), Aled Brew, Jean Pascal Barraque, Yann Lesgourgues, Fabien Barcella, Benoit August, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Erik Lund, Pelu Taele, Magnus Lund, Wenceslas Lauret, Raphael Lakafia BENCH: Arnaud Heguy, Thomas Synaeghel, Eugene van Staden, Thibault Dubarry, Benoit Guyot, Julien Peyrelongue, Marcelo Bosch, Benoit Baby

SCORERS T: Barcella, Lesgourges (2), Ngwenya, Taele-Pavihi, Heguy C: Barraque (3), Peyrelongue

ZebreRuggero Trevisan, Giovanbattista Venditti, Gonzalo Garcia (c), Daniel Halangahu, Matteo Pratichetti, Luciano Orquera, Luca Martinelli, Salvatore Perugini, Carlo Festuccia, Luca Redolfini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Micheal van Vuuren, Filippo Ferrarini, Mauro Bergamasco, Dries van Schalkwyk BENCH: Andrea Manici, Dave Ryan, Carlo Fazzari, Emiliano Caffini, Filippo Cristiano, Tito Tebaldi, Alberto Benettin, David Odiete

SCORERS T: van Schalkwyk P: Halagahu (3), Garcia Yellow Card Caffini

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ire) Asst Ref: Mark Patton, Simon McDowell TMO: Peter Ferguson,  Citing Commissioner: Shaun Gallagher



POOL 4Heineken Cup Round 2 Pool 4

Glasgow WarriorsGLASGOW WARRIORS 8 - 13 ULSTER RUGBYUlster Rugby

SCOTSTOUN STADIUM - Friday 19 October 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 3-6 Att: 6,194

Glasgow Warriors Ulster Rugby Nikola Matawalu tryULSTER RUGBY maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a crucial 19-8 away victory over Glasgow Warriors.

Last seasons' beaten finalists built on their Round 1 bonus-point win against Castres Olympique to cement top spot in Pool 4 thanks to a Chris Henry try and 14 points from the boot of Paddy Jackson.

Henry's try on the hour mark finally put some breathing space between Ulster and the Warriors after the sides had been just three points apart for the first 59 minutes.

Ulster led 6-3 at the break as a brace of Jackson penalties replied to Peter Horne's 20th-minute opener.

Scoring chances were hard to come by at Scotstoun but both teams missed two kicks at goal in the opening period, before Horne was off target with a third just two minutes after the interval.

Ruan Pienaar's second attempt at the posts experienced the same fate as his first on 58 minutes but Henry's touchdown finally had the scoreboard moving again just moments later.

Having been awarded another penalty directly after the restart following Pienaar's long-range miss, Ulster opted to kick to touch, duly won the lineout and powered towards the line. Openside flanker Henry was the man to emerge with the ball in his grasp but the whole pack deserve credit for the critical score.

Jackson's conversion made it 13-3 and, when the young fly-half added a penalty two minutes further down the line, Ulster were suddenly in complete control.

A fourth three-pointer from Jackson had Ulster 16 points to the good with five minutes remaining and a 77th-minute unconverted try from Niko Matawalu was only minor consolation for Glasgow.

Glasgow WarriorsStuart Hogg, Byron McGuigan, Peter Murchie, Peter Horne, Alex Dunbar, Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos, Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Michael Cusack, Tom Ryder, Alastair Kellock(c), Josh Strauss, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson BENCH: Finlay Gillies, Ofa Fainga'anuku, Gordon Reid, Tim Swinson, Rob Harley, John Barclay, Scott Wight, Nikola Matawalu

SCORERS T: Matawalu P: Horne

Castres OlympiqueJared Payne, Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble, Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar, Tom Court, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller(c), Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Nick Williams Nanai BENCH: Rob Herring, Callum Black, Adam Macklin, Lewis Stevenson, Mike McComish, Paul Marshall, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy

SCORERS T: Henry C: Jackson P: Jackson (4)

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire) Asst Ref: Olly Hodges, David Connolly TMO: Jude Quinn,  Citing Commissioner: Paul Minto


Castres OlympiqueCASTRES 21 - 16 NORTHAMPTON SAINTSNorthampton Saints

STADE PIERRE ANTOINE - Friday 19 October 2012
KO: 21:00 HT: 13-6 Att: 11,425

Castres Olympique Northampton SaintsCASTRES OLYMPIQUE did their chances of a first Heineken Cup quarter-final since 2002 no harm at all as they saw off Northampton Saints 21-16 at the Stade Ernest Wallon.

Castres opted to move the fixture to nearby Toulouse and that decision paid off as they bounced back from last week's heavy defeat at Ulster.

Paul Bonnefond and Antonie Claassen scored tries for the hosts, with George Pisi's late effort not enough to secure a second straight win for Northampton following success against Glasgow last time out.

The French side enjoyed a dream start as Bonnefond touched down with just 7 ½ minutes on the clock. Remi Tales' cross-field kick was not the most accurate but right wing Romain Martial leapt brilliantly to claim the high ball, before surging forward and offloading to the onrushing 22-year-old French international.

Castres' prolific goal kicker Romain Teulet added the extras from the 15-metre line on the right and the full back stretched the lead to 10 points before the quarter-of-an-hour mark after Saints second row Courtney Lawes was penalised for playing the ball off his feet.

Northampton hit back straight from the restart, though, as Stephen Myler made Castres pay for sealing off their own ball on the edge of the 22. And the Saints were back to within a single score before the game was 25 minutes old as Myler slotted a second penalty to make it 13-6.

Castres came close to adding a second try to their tally just before the half-time whistle but Iosefa Tekori's score was ruled out thanks to a flying tackle from Ken Pisi that dragged Marcel Garvey's foot into touch.

The home side began the second period in impressive fashion as Bonnefond almost struck again only for an unfortunate bounce to prevent him from collecting his own chip ahead after Seremaia Bai's beautiful pass out of the tackle.

Saints prop Brian Mujati then saw yellow for pulling down a maul on 44 minutes when his side lost their own lineout ball just 10 metres from their tryline and, even though Rory Kockott missed the resulting penalty, Castres did reap the rewards soon after. Huge pressure on the visiting scrum eventually told when No8 Claassen dotted down just as referee Alain Rolland called for Castres to 'use it'.

Kockott failed with the conversion attempt but Castres were still 18-6 up and supposedly cruising before George Pisi scored Saints' first and only try of the game on 59 minutes to give the 2000 Heineken Cup winners hope.

Pisi pounced after Kockott fumbled Ryan Lamb's clever kick ahead as Saints made the most of stolen lineout ball on the opposition 10-metre line.

Myler's conversion from directly beneath the sticks brought his side to within five points but a Tales drop goal made it 21-13 just moments later. Myler's 73rd-minute penalty led to a nervy ending for Castres but they deservedly hung on to record a first Heineken Cup victory since last December's win over the same opposition.

Ulster RugbyRomain Teulet, Romain Martial, Paul Bonnefond, Seremaia Bai, Marcel Garvey, Remi Tales, Rory Kockott, Hai Lazar, Brice Mach, Anton Peikrishvili, Joe Tekori(c), Christophe Samson, Jannie Bornman, Piula Faasalele, Antonie Claassen BENCH: Marc-Antoine Rallier, Yannick Forestier, Michael Coetzee, Matthias Rolland, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Pedrie Wannenburg, Romain Cabannes, Marc Andreu

SCORERS T: Bonnefond, Claassens C: Teulet P: Teulet, Kockott DG: Tales

Northampton SaintsStephen Myler, Ken Pisi, George Pisi, Dominic Waldouck, Vasily Artemyev, Ryan Lamb, Lee Dickson, Soane Tonga'uiha, Dylan Hartley(c), Brian Mujati, Samu Manoa, Courtney Lawes, Phil Dowson, Tom Wood, Rhys Oakley BENCH: Mike Haywood, Alex Waller, Paul Doran-Jones, Mark Sorenson, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Martin Roberts, Tom May, Scott Armstrong

SCORERS T: T Pisi C: Myler P: Myler (3) Yellow Card Mujati

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (Fra) Asst Ref: Christophe Berdos, Jean-Luc Rebollai TMO: Vincent Azoulay Citing Commissioner: Yann Le Dore



POOL 5Heineken Cup Round 2 Pool 5

Scarlets SCARLETS 13 - 20 LEINSTER RUGBY Leinster Rugby

PARC Y SCARLETS - Saturday 20 October 2012
KO: 13:35 HT: 0-11 Att: 9,555

Scarlets Leinster Sean CroninHEINEKEN CUP holders Leinster continued their quest for a fourth continental crown with a hard-fought win at the Scarlets.

The 2009, 2011 and 2012 European kings were 20-13 victors in West Wales as they made it two wins from two in this year's competition.

Having scraped past tournament debutants Exeter Chiefs at the RDS in Round 1, Leinster needed a strong start at the Parc y Scarlets and they got exactly that as they raced into an 11-0 lead after 19 minutes.

Jonny Sexton's second-minute penalty was followed by an Isa Nacewa try just 6 minutes later as the Fijian wing caught his fly-half's accurate cross kick before holding off George North's challenge to touch down in the left-hand corner.

Sexton was off target with the difficult extras but Leinster remained in control and deservedly stretched their advantage when the Ireland playmaker struck another three pointer just before the game hit the 20-minute mark.

Leinster still led by 11 at the break and that lead became even more substantial 3 minutes after the interval as Sexton punished Rhys Priestland for a second penalty miss with a superb long-range drop goal.

The Scarlets faced a uphill struggle to force their way back into the contest against a side chasing a third successive Heineken Cup title but they did give themselves real hope thanks to a 10-point tally in just 7 minutes.

First, Priestland finally got the hosts on the board with a penalty on 47 minutes, and Gareth Maule scored a fine try, which Priestland converted, to cut the gap to four points with 26 minutes still to play.

Maule stood up Leinster legend Brian O'Driscoll on his way to a fine individual score but the Scarlets failed to create another try-scoring chance of note in the closing stages.

Instead it was Leinster who edged further clear with two more Sexton penalties, although a solitary reply from Priestland while Ian Madigan was in the sin bin late on did at least salvage a losing bonus point for the Scarlets.

ScarletsLiam Williams, George North, Gareth Maule, Scott Williams, Andrew Fenby, Rhys Priestland, Tavis Knoyle, Phil John, Matthew Rees, Samson Lee, George Earle, Johan Snyman, Aaron Shingler, Josh Turnbull, Rob McCusker(c) BENCH: Ken Owens, Shaun Hopkins, Deacon Manu, Tomas Vallejos-Cinalli, Jonathan Edwards, Gareth Davies, Aled Thomas, Morgan Stoddart

SCORERS T: Maule C: Priestland P: Priestland (2)

Leinster RugbyIan Madigan, Fergus McFadden, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Isa Nacewa, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (c), Damien Browne, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip BENCH: Richardt Strauss, Heinke Van der Merwe, Jamie Hagan, Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Isaac Boss, Andrew Conway, Fionn Carr

SCORERS T: Nacewa P: Sexton (4) DG: Sexton Yellow Card Madigan

Referee: Greg Garner (Eng) Asst Ref: Geraint Roberts, Robin Goodliffe TMO: Trevor Fisher Citing Commissioner: Mike Rafter


Exeter Chiefs EXETER CHIEFS 12 - 46 CLERMONTASM Clermont Auvergne

SANDY PARK STADIUM - Saturday 20 October 2012
KO: 18:00 HT: 12-10 Att: 9,819

Clermont Exeter ChiefsASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE turned on the style in the second half to secure a bonus-point victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

Last seasons' beaten semi-finalists prepared for December's mouth watering back-to-back clashes with Heineken Cup holders Leinster with a 46-12 success against the tournament newcomers.

Clermont clocked six tries for the second week running as they opened up a 2-point lead at the top of Pool 5 thanks to Heineken Man of the Match Julien Bonnaire, Sitiveni Sivivatu, plus a brace apiece from Wesley Fofana and Napolioni Nalaga.

Only one of those scores arrived in the first half, however, as Exeter opened up a 12-10 lead at the break.

The Chiefs were unlucky to lose 9-6 to Leinster at the RDS in Round 1 and they set about showing that performance was far from a fluke with a fine first-half display.

Four Gareth Steenson penalties cancelled out Nalaga's 17th-minute score to see Exeter 12-7 in front after 25 minutes but only Clermont troubled the scoreboard from there on in.

Morgan Parra's first successful penalty 4 minutes before the end of the half cut the gap to 2 points with Exeter's Richard Baxter in the bin and the visitors' extensive European experience and their power up front and class out wide saw them stun the home support in the final 40.

Parra had Clermont in front shortly after the interval before tries from Fofana and Bonnaire in the space of 3 minutes established a 13-point gap at 25-12 with just shy of half an hour remaining.

Exeter's defensive line stayed solid for the next 20 minutes but Sivivatu crossed for the bonus-point score with nine minutes left, before Fofana touched down 2 minutes later and Nalaga completed the rout with the final play.

Exeter ChiefsLuke Arscott, Ian Whitten, Phil Dollman, Jason Shoemark, Matt Jess, Gareth Steenson, Haydn Thomas, Brett Sturgess, Simon Alcott, Carl Rimmer, Tom Hayes (c), Dean Mumm, Tom Johnson, James Scaysbrook, Richard Baxter BENCH: Chris Whitehead, Chris Budgen, Ben Moon, James Hanks, Aly Muldowney, Will Chudley, Ignacio Mieres, Sireli Naqelevuki

SCORERS P: Steenson (4) Yellow Card Baxter

ASM Clermont AuvergneLee Byrne, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Aurelien Rougerie (c), Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga, Brock James, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Julien Pierre, Gerhard Vosloo, Julien Bonnaire, Damien Chouly BENCH: Ti'i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Loïc Jacquet, Elvis Vermeulen, Ludovic Radoslavjevic, David Skrela, Benson Stanley

SCORERS T: Nalaga (2), Fofana (2), Bonnaire, Sivivatu C: Parra (3), Skrela (2) P: Parra (2)

Referee: John Lacey (Ire) Asst Ref: Paul Haycock, Brian MacNeice TMO: Kevin Beggs Citing Commissioner: Gordon Black



POOL 6Heineken Cup Round 2 Pool 6

Cardiff BluesCARDIFF BLUES 14 - 22 TOULON Toulon

CARDIFF ARMS PARK - Sunday 21 October 2012
KO: 12:45 HT: 8-6 Att: 9,624

Cardiff Blues ToulonTOULON secured a second win of the Heineken Cup and inflicted a damaging 22-14 defeat on Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.

Steffon Armitage scored Toulon's only try while Jonny Wilkinson kicked one of the favourites to lift this season's Heineken Cup to victory.

Leigh Halfpenny scored all the Blues points, including a second-minute try, but also missed 9 points at goal in a mixed kicking display that cost his team.

Toulon backed up their win over Montpellier last week while Cardiff Blues' failure to secure any points from this tie leaves them fighting an uphill battle to qualify.

It had all started so well for the hosts who stunned the leaders of the French championship with a try inside 2 minutes.

Toulon, who included former Cardiff prop Gethin Jenkins, were tipped to give the Blues a tough time at the scrum, but the home pack held firm to give their backs a perfect platform.

Tom James burst past Vincent Martin before beating Delon Armitage with a scoring pass to Halfpenny, who grazed the outside of the post with his conversion.

Toulon responded by flexing their muscles up front and gained a penalty from a powerful scrum that Wilkinson swept over in the tenth minute. He added a second moments later to hand Toulon the lead but missed the chance to extend it on 23 minutes.

Cardiff then lost centre Gavin Evans following a heavy blow to the head suffered in a collision with Delon Armitage that the Arms park faithful took objection to.

Halfpenny missed on 32 minutes but Alex Cuthbert threatened and the full-back landed a penalty on just before the break to hand Cardiff a surprise 8-6 lead at half-time.

That advantage last only 2 minutes of the second half after Scott Andrews was penalised for a high tackle on David Smith and Wilkinson put Toulon a point ahead. Halfpenny again let Toulon off the hook, missing a third shot at goal on 50 minutes after he slipped as he kicked.

In a game of few scoring opportunities, Wilkinson and Halfpenny traded further kicks before Toulon finally breached Cardiff's line on 64 minutes.

Replacement Pierrick Gunther broke through the heart of what had been a stubborn home defence. Matt Giteau stepped past one defender before Steffon Armitage stretched out to score.

Wilkinson converted and though Halfpenny's third penalty set up a grandstand finish at 19-13 in the final 7 minutes, Wilkinson secured Toulon's win and denied Cardiff a losing bonus they felt they deserved.

Cardiff BluesLeigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Gavin Evans, Jamie Roberts, Tom James, Ceri Sweeney, Lloyd Williams, Taufa'ao Filise, Marc Breeze, Benoit Bourrust, Bradley Davies, Lou Reed, Josh Navidi, Sam Warburton, Andries Pretorius (c) BENCH: Andy Kyriacou, Nathan Trevett, Scott Andrews, James Down, Robin Copeland, Lewis Jones, Jason Tovey, Dafydd Hewitt

SCORERS T: Halfpenny P: Halfpenny (3)

ToulonDelon Armitage, Vincent Martin, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, David Smith, Jonny Wilkinson (c), Frederic Michalak, Gethin Jenkins, Mickael Ivaldi, Davit Kubriashvili, Bakkies Botha, Jocelino Suta, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Steffon Armitage, Chris Masoe BENCH: Jean Charles Orioli, Andrew Sheridan, Carl Hayman, Pierrick Gunther, Maxime Mermoz, Benjamin Lapeyre, Nicolas Durand, Simon Shaw
SCORERS T: Steffon Armitage C: Wilkinson P: Wilkinson (5)

Referee: George Clancy (Ire) Asst Ref: Michael Black, Jonathan Peake TMO: Marshall Kilgore Citing Commissioner: Mike Rafter


Montpellier MONTPELLIER 33 - 18 SALE SHARKS Sale Sharks

STADE YVES DU MANOIR - Sunday 21 October 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 12-8 Att: 10,414

Montpellier Sale SharksFRENCH outside half Francois Trinh-Duc turned on the style in the pouring rain at Stade Yves du Manoir to guide Montpellier to a comfortable win over Sale Sharks.

Two beautiful chip kicks over the Sharks' defensive line conjured up tries for Timoci Nagusa and Julien Tomas and he led the home charge by bagging their first try. But while the No 10 took the plaudits, it was the Montpellier front five that turned the game in their side's favour.

They blitzed the Sharks pack and it was their effort in pushing the visiting pack off their own ball 10 minutes after the break that paved the way for the first try. John Beattie simply picked the ball up at his feet at No 8, break to the openside and gave Trinh Duc a clear run to the line 10 metres away.

The Sharks opened the scoring with the first try of the game after only 4 minutes. Tom Brady sped out of his 22 up to half-way and then Danny Cipriani kicked cross-field for England wing Mark Cueto to score his first try of the season.

By half-time the boot of Argentinean wing Martin Bustos Moyano had pushed Montpellier into a 12-8 lead, but that Trinh-Duc try sparked the home charge. His first chip kick allowed Nagusa to show off his power and pace to reach the left corner and then Tomas was given a brilliant inside pass to run the length of the 22 to score at the posts.

The only thing that did not go right for the home side was they failed to bag a bonus point after scoring three tries in an hour. Instead, the Sharks had the final word with a 74th minute try from replacement back row man Richie Vernon which Rob Miller converted off the right touchline.

MontpellierLucas Amorosino, Pierre Berard, Timoci Nagusa, Shontayne Hape, Martin Bustos Moyano, Francois Trinh-Duc, Julien Tomas, Juan Figallo, Agustin Creevy, Maximiliano Bustos, Aliki Fakate, Thibault Privat, Fulgence Ouedraogo (c), Mamuka Gorgodze, John Beattie BENCH: Erasmus Van Vuuren, Yvan Watremez, Vincent Pelo, Mickael De Marco, Alexandre Bias, Benoit Paillaugue, Santiago Fernandez, Thomas Combezou

SCORERS T: Trinh-Duc, Nagusa, Tomas C: Bustos Moyano (3) P: Bustos Moyano (4)

Sale SharksRob Miller, Tom Brady, Will Addison, Mark Jennings, Mark Cueto, Daniel Cipriani, Cillian Willis, Eifion Roberts, Joe Ward, Tony Buckley, Fraser McKenzie, Kearnan Myall, James Gaskell, David Seymour (c), Mark Easter BENCH: Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison, Vadim Cobilas, Richie Vernon, Andrew Powell, Nathan Fowles, Nick MacLeod, Johnny Leota

SCORERS T: Cueto, Vernon C: Miller P: Miller (2)

Referee: Neil Paterson (Sco) Asst Ref: David Changleng, Adrian Graves TMO: Iain Ramage Citing Commissioner: Roberto Carra




ERC Round 1

POOL 1Heineken Cup Round 1 Pool 1

Edinburgh EDINBURGH RUGBY 0 - 45 SARACENSSaracens

MURRAYFIELD - 13 October 2012
KO: 13:35 HT: 0-16 Att: 6,543

Edinburgh Saracens Heineken CupEDINBURGH were left battered and bruised by their biggest home Heineken Cup defeat as Saracens laid down a marker in Pool 1.

The visitors plundered five tries and had clinched the bonus point with 10 minutes left to play. There were also 25 points from outside-half Charlie Hodgson.

Saracens move on to face Racing Métro, who beat Munster at Stade de France, in Brussels next weekend and whichever team wins there will have their noses in front in the battle for supremacy on the road to a quarter-final slot.

Hodgson only missed one shot at goal from his nine attempts as he fell just one short of Glen Jackson's European club record of 26 against hapless Italian side Viadana in 2007/08. He also picked up a trademark charge down kick try.

Saracens were the dominant force at the set-pieces and in defence. By contrast, Edinburgh's line-out fell to pieces and they made a huge number of handling errors.

It certainly did not help the home cause that neither outside-half Greig Laidlaw (shoulder) nor try machine Tim Visser (knee) emerged from the dressing room for the second half. But by then Saracens were 16-0 ahead and had crossed for one of their five tries.

England duo Chris Ashton and Owen Farrell, as well as full back candidate Alex Goode, were among the second-half try scorers and then Hodgson picked up his charge-down try.

EdinburghTom Brown, Lee Jones, Nick De Luca, Matthew Scott, Tim Visser, Greig Laidlaw (c), Richie Rees, John Yapp, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox, Dave Denton, Ross Rennie, Stuart McInally BENCH: Andy Titterrell, Allan Jacobsen, Geoff Cross, Robert McAlpine, Netani Talei, Chris Leck, Harry Leonard, Dougie Fife


SaracensAlex Goode, Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Bradley Barritt, David Strettle, Charlie Hodgson, Richard Wigglesworth, Mako Vunipola, Schalk Brits, Matt Stevens, Steve Borthwick (c), Mouritz Botha, Kelly Brown, Will Fraser, Jackson Wray BENCH: John Smit, Rhys Gill, Petrus Du Plessis, George Kruis, Andy Saull, Neil de Kock, Owen Farrell, Chris Wyles

SCORERS T: Tomkins, Farrell, Ashton, Goode, Hodgson C: Hodgson (4) P: Hodgson (4) Yellow Card Brits

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)


Racing MetroRACING MÉTRO 92 22 - 17 MUNSTER RUGBYMunster Rugby

STADE DE FRANCE - 13 October 2012
KO: 14:35 HT: 13-10 Att: 21,102

OLLY BARKLEY kicked Racing Métro to a closely contested victory on his full debut as Munster missed an opportunity at rain-soaked Stade de France.

Flying wing Simon Zebo sped through to score an impressive try that Ian Keatley, kicking in place of the injured Ronan O'Gara, converted to steal a one-point advantage with nine minutes remaining.

But Munster lost their composure in the final moments and Racing's midfield pair Barkley and Mirco Bergamasco made them pay a heavy price with two late penalties.

Munster hung on for a losing bonus point but will be frustrated not to have built on their early 10-0 lead.

The conditions in Paris looked to have played into Munster's hands as torrential rain fell throughout the day.

Paul O'Connell was passed fit to play his first game of the season and the old warrior galvanised the Irish pack that dominated the early exchanges.

It was from a series of scrums within sniffing distance of the Racing try line that O'Gara opened the scoring with a penalty that saw him surpass 1,300 points and cap his position as the greatest kicker in this tournament's history.

Moments later and O'Gara added a conversion when flanker Sean Dougall shrugged off two tackles to score under the posts.

Peter Mahony was then held up over the line as Munster went for the jugular only to suffer a double blow before half-time when man of the match Maxime Machenaud pounced on a reckless pass by O'Gara, who subsequently limped off injured.

Barkley added penalties either side of the break before he and his midfield colleague slotted their late winners.

Racing MetroBenjamin Fall, Julien Jane, Mirco Bergamasco, Fabrice Estebanez, Julien Saubade, Olly Barkley, Maxime Machenaud, Andrea Lo Cicero, Dimitri Szarzewski, Luc Ducalcon, Karim Ghezal, Francois Carl Van der Merwe, Antoine Battut, Jacques Cronje (c), Sakiusa Matadigo BENCH: Thomas Bianchin, Eddy Ben Arous, Fabrice Metz, Bernard Le Roux, Camille Gerondeau, Sebastien Descons, Virimi Vakatawa, Benjamin Salemane Sa

SCORERS T: Machenaud C: Barkley P: Barkley (4), Bergamasco

Munster RugbyIan Keatley, Doug Howlett (c), Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo, Ronan O'Gara, Conor Murray, Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley, Brendan Botha, Billy Holland, Paul O'Connell, Donnacha Ryan, Sean Dougall, Peter O'Mahony BENCH: Mike Sherry, Marcus Horan, Stephen Archer, David O'Callaghan, Patrick Butler, Peter Stringer, Danny Barnes, Denis Hurley

SCORERS T: Dougall, Zebo C: O'Gara, Keatley P: O'Gara

Referee: Greg Garner (England)




POOL 2Heineken Cup Round 1 Pool 2

OspreysOSPREYS 38 - 17 BENETTON TREVISOBenetton Treviso

LIBERTY STADIUM - 12 October 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 16-13 Att: 8,746

ASHLEY BECK crossed for the bonus point try for the Ospreys with five seconds left on the clock to give his side sweet revenge over their Italian rivals after losing to them on the opening night of the season.

Beck's try came on a night when the Ospreys had raced into a 16-3 interval lead and then stretched their advantage to 23-3 four minutes after the break. At that stage the bonus point seemed a formality, but it didn't turn out that way.

Treviso had beaten the Ospreys 12-6 in their domestic league six weeks ago and they fought back to cut the gap to six points with a brace of tries from Fijian No 8 Manoa Vosawi and full back Luke McLean.

Kris Burton added the extras and at 23-17 midway through the second half all the momentum was with the visitors. But the Ospreys steadied the ship with a fourth Biggar penalty and then conjured up a grandstand finish.

Biggar's deadly accurate boot allowed him to break through the 250 points barrier in the tournament with a match tally of 18 and his only miss on the night was a touchline conversion.

The four tries came from the enterprising home backs with young wing Eli Walker leading the way with a magnificent strike from 30 metres. On his Heineken Cup debut he showed no nerves as he beat four defenders with two lightening fast side steps on his way to the posts.

Opposite wing Hanno Dirksen grabbed two second half tries before Beck rounded off proceedings with his last gasp effort. Treviso hit back gamely, but their scrum was destroyed and they suffered from having three yellow cards to one by the Ospreys.

Steve Tandy, the Ospreys coach, reckons it will take five wins to win the Pool and guarantee a quarter-final slot. Next weekend's game at Welford Road against Leicester Tigers will be crucial, while Treviso will have to pick themselves up for hosting French champions Toulouse.

Ospreys15 Richard Fussell 14 Hanno Dirksen 13 Andrew Bishop 12 Ashley Beck 11 Eli Walker 10 Dan Biggar 9 Kahn Fotuali'I 1 Ryan Bevington 2 Richard Hibbard 3 Adam Jones 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c) 5 Ian Evans 6 Ryan Jones 7 Justin Tipuric 8 Jonathan Thomas 16 Matthew Dwyer 17 Duncan Jones 18 Aaron Jarvis 19 George Stowers 20 Sam Lewis 21 Rhys Webb 22 Matthew Morgan 23 Thomas Isaacs

SCORERS T: Walker, Dirksen (2), Beck C: Biggar (3) P: Biggar (4) Yellow Card Adam Jones

Benetton Treviso15 Luke McLean 14 Ludovico Nitoglia 13 Tommaso Benvenuti 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Tommaso Iannone 10 Kristopher Burton 9 Tobie Botes 1 Alberto De Marchi 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini 3 Bees Roux 4 Antonio Pavanello (c) 5 Valerio Bernabo 6 Simone Favaro 7 Alessandro Zanni 8 Manoa Vosawai 16 Enrico Ceccato 17 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet 18 Pedro Di Santo 19 Francesco Minto 20 Paul Derbyshire 21 Robert Barbieri 22 Fabio Semenzato 23 Andrea Pratichetti

SCORERS T: Vosawai, McLean C: Burton (2) P: Burton Yellow Card Pavanello, Vosawai, Favaro

Referee: Neil Paterson


ToulouseTOULOUSE 23 - 9 LEICESTER TIGERS Leicester Tigers

LE STADIUM - 14 October 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 11-9 Att: 28,000

Toulouse Leicester Tigers Heineken CupTOULOUSE are the only club to win four Heineken Cup titles and they won the battle of the boots at Le Stadium for a 23-9 victory over Leicester Tigers that gives them an early advantage in a highly competitive Pool 2.

The kicking stalemate was broken in scintillating style in the 37th minute with a classy kick and chase effort from teenage centre Gael Fickou from a Tigers turnover, the unconverted try lighting up not only the half but a game that was an unrelenting war of attrition.

This was the seventh tournament meeting between these giants of the European game with previous meetings between the former champions standing at 3-3 and that mutual respect was evident in a cat-and-mouse opening, Toby Flood and Luke McAlister exchanging a brace of penalties.

There was plenty of thunder and bone-shuddering collisions but South African prop Gurthro Steenkamp was sent to the sin bin after deliberately tripping Scott Hamilton and the Tigers went ahead through Flood's third strike on target while Toulouse were a man down.

McAlister nudged Toulouse further ahead with his third, fourth, fifth and sixth penalties in just 14 minutes as the Tigers started to crack under relentless pressure from a Toulouse pack in which Louis Picamoles was immense.

And the home side showed all their European experience in closing the game down for the four points and leaving the Tigers with nothing for their efforts.

Leicester TigersClement Poitrenaud, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Gael Fickou, Yoann Huget, Luke McAlister, Jean Marc Doussain, Gurthro Steenkamp, Gary Botha, Census Johnston, Romain Millo-Chluski, Yoann Maestri, Yannick Nyanga, Thierry Dusautoir (c), Louis Picamoles BENCH: Christopher Tolofua, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Antoine Guillamon, Patricio Albacete, Jean Bouilhou, Yannick Jauzion, Luke Burgess, Timoci Matanavou

SCORERS T: Fikou P: McAlister (6) Yellow Card Steenkamp

ToulouseScott Hamilton, Niall Morris, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Vereniki Goneva, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Logovi'i Mulipola, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Graham Kitchener, Geoff Parling, Steve Mafi, Thomas Waldrom, Jordan Crane (c) BENCH: George Chuter, Marcos Ivan Ayerza, Martin Castrogiovanni, Ed Slater, Richard Thorpe, Sam Harrison, George Ford, Matt Smith

SCORERS P: Flood (3)

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)




POOL 3Heineken Cup Round 1 Pool 3

Zebre ZEBRE 10 - 19 CONNACHT RUGBYConnacht Rugby

STADIO XXV APRILE - 13 October 2012
KO: 14:35 HT: 3-9 Att: 2,000

CONNACHT RUGBY got their second season of Heineken Cup rugby off to the perfect start with a gritty away win in Italy - their first tournament triumph on the road.

Zebre, making their European debut, competed all the way but in outside-half Dan Parks Connacht had the star of the show with a precise kicking display, contributing 14 points on his tournament debut for the Irish province.

The Irishmen responded impressively to a stinging 25-0 RaboDirect PRO12 reverse to Ulster last week to defeat the Italian franchise. A converted John Muldoon try in the second half, accompanied by four penalties from Parks, proved to be enough for the victory.

Zebre battled throughout the game but were hampered by the sin-binning of Mauro Bergamasco on the verge of half-time, with Park's subsequent penalty leaving them 9-3 down.

Despite a strong scrummaging display from Connacht, Zebre did not buckle and scored a try late on through replacement Filippo Ferrarini. It was successfully converted by former Waratahs player Daniel Halangahu, who added to his earlier penalty.

The victory will be hugely encouraging for Eric Elwood's men who lost their first five Pool matches last season and all three away fixtures. Zebre remain without a win in all competitions this season.

ZebreDaniel Halangahu, Giovanbattista Venditti, Matteo Pratichetti, Gonzalo Garcia (c), Sinoti Sinoti, Luciano Orquera, Tito Tebaldi, Salvatore Perugini, Davide Giazzon, Luca Redolfini, Quintin Geldenhuys, Josh Sole, Nicola Belardo, Mauro Bergamasco, Dries van Schalkwyk BENCH: Carlo Festuccia, Matias Aguero, Carlo Fazzari, Micheal van Vuuren, Filippo Ferrarini, Luca Martinelli, Ruggero Trevisan, Leonardo Sarto

SCORERS T: Ferrarini C: Halangahu P: Halangahu Yellow Card Bergamasco

Connacht RugbyRobbie Henshaw, Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion, Dennis Buckley, Ethienne Reynecke, Nathan White (c), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Willie Faloon, George Naoupu BENCH: Adrian Flavin, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Jonny O'Connor, Dave Moore, Miah Nikora, Mata Fifita

SCORERS T: Muldoon C: Parks P: Parks (4)

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)


HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 40 - 13 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE Biarritz Olympique

THE TWICKENHAM STOOP - 13 October 2012
KO: 18:00 HT: 13-13 Att: 13,815

HARLEQUINS seized the initiative in Pool 3 with a rousing victory over Biarritz Olympique at The Twickenham Stoop.

Harlequins Biarritz Seb Stegmann try Heineken Cup

English champions Quins produced a devastating second-half display to claim what could prove to be a crucial bonus-point over their French rivals.

Danny Care crossed in the first half only for Arnaud Heguy and the boot of Julien Peyrelongue to level the scores at 13-13 at half-time.

But Quins stepped on the gas after the break as Rob Buchanan, Jordan Turner-Hall and Seb Stegmann ensured maximum points.

England scrum-half Care handed the hosts a perfect start when he raced on to Chris Robshaw's off-load from a lineout and stepped through to score in the seventh minute.

But Quins suffered a blow when fly-half Nick Evans limped off with an ankle injury.

That opened the door for summer signing Ben Botica, son of All Black legend Frano, to get his first taste of Heineken Cup rugby.

And the New Zealander wasted no time in making his mark, kicking his first effort just minutes after taking the field.

Biarritz hit back with a well-worked driving maul that saw hooker Heguy touch down and Peyrelongue levelled the scores.

Hugey's opposite number Buchanan responded with a score of his own just four minutes into the second half, Robshaw again providing the scoring pass.

Turner-Hall then finished a sweeping attack sparked by Care's audacious break through the middle of the field and replacement Stegmann capped an impressive display with the bonus-point score two minutes from time.

HarlequinsMike Brown, Tom Williams, Matt Hopper, Jordan Turner-Hall, Ugo Monye, Nick Evans, Daniel Care, Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, George Robson, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Chris Robshaw (c), Nick Easter BENCH: David Ward, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Seb Stegmann

SCORERS T: Care, Buchanan, Turner-Hall, Stegmann C: Evans, Botica (3) P: Botica (4)

Biarritz OlympiqueIain Balshaw, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Dane Haylett-Petty, Seremaia Burotu, Aled Brew, Mathew Berquist, Yann Lesgourgues, Fabien Barcella, Arnaud Heguy, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Erik Lund, Thibault Dubarry, Magnus Lund (c), Wenceslas Lauret, Talalelei Gray BENCH: Benoit August, Wicus Blaauw, Thomas Synaeghel, Pelu Taele, Benoit Guyot, Julien Peyrelongue, Damien Traille, Benoit Baby

SCORERS T: Heguy C: Peyrelongue P: Peyrelongue (2) Yellow Card Haylett-Petty

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)




POOL 4Heineken Cup Round 1 Pool 4

Ulster RugbyULSTER RUGBY 41 - 17 CASTRES OLYMPIQUECastres Olympique

RAVENHILL - 12 October 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 16-3 Att: 11,451

ULSTER RUGBY began their Heineken Cup campaign with yet another Ravenhill win on Friday night.

Last season's beaten finalists signalled their intentions to go one better this time around as they saw off Castres Olympique 41-17.

Paul Marshall crossed for two of the four tries in Belfast, with Ireland wing Andrew Trimble touching down for the opener as early as the ninth minute and Ruan Pienaar sealing maximum points deep into added time.

Trimble flew in on the left wing after a decisive broken-field break from full back Jared Payne to hand the hosts a confidence-boosting start after Paddy Jackson had levelled Romain Teulet's early penalty with his first contribution in a 21-point tally.

Ulster were two tries to the good by the 22nd minute as Marshall collected his own chip and chase for a fine individual score and Jackson's boot saw them 17 points up at 20-3.

Castres refused to lie down, though, and they hit back with a converted try of their own as wing Marc Andreu gathered a clever cross-field kick eight minutes before the break.

Ulster proceeded to quash any thoughts of a French revival just two minutes after the interval as Marshall snuck over from close-range to cap a fine personal display.

It was heavy going for the rest of the encounter, however, with Ulster struggling to push on for the bonus-point try and Castres adding a second score through former Gloucester and Worcester wing Marcel Garvey on 51 minutes.

Ulster had Tom Court sin-binned six minutes later and they looked like missing out on the full five points as Castres dug deep despite the game being out of reach.

But just as the crowd prepared to up sticks and wonder if three tries rather than four would be crucial at the end of the pool stages, Springbok scrum-half Pienaar marked his return from the Rugby Championship with an assured finish after Ulster attacked from deep with the final play.

Ulster Rugby15 Jared Payne 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Darren Cave 12 Paddy Wallace 11 Andrew Trimble 10 Patrick Jackson 9 Paul Marshall 1 Tom Court 2 Rory Best 3 John Afoa 4 Johann Muller (c) 5 Dan Tuohy 6 Iain Henderson 7 Chris Henry 8 Stephen Ferris 16 Rob Herring 17 Callum Black 18 Adam Macklin 19 Lewis Stevenson 20 Mike McComish 21 Ruan Pienaar 22 Luke Marshall 23 Craig Gilroy

SCORERS T: Trimble, Marshall (2), Pienaar C: Jackson (3) P: Jackson (5) Yellow Card Court

Castres Olympique15 Romain Teulet 14 Marcel Garvey 13 Seremaia Bai 12 Daniel Kirkpatrick 11 Marc Andreu 10 Pierre Bernard 9 Thierry Lacrampe 1 Yannick Forestier 2 Mathieu Bonello 3 Michael Coetzee 4 Matthias Rolland (c) 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega 6 Piula Faasalele 7 Yannick Caballero 8 Pedrie Wannenburg 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier 17 Gregory Marmoiton 18 Hai Lazar 19 Joe Tekori 20 Antonie Claassen 21 Rory Kockott 22 Paul Bonnefond 23 Thomas Sanchou

SCORERS T: Andreu, Garvey C: Teulet (2) P: Teulet Yellow Card Forestier

Referee: Andrew Small


Northampton SaintsNORTHAMPTON SAINTS 24 - 15 GLASGOWGlasgow Warriors

FRANKLIN'S GARDENS - 14 October 2012
KO: 12:45 HT: 12-15 Att: 12,115

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS made it four wins in five Heineken Cup meetings with Glasgow Warriors with a 24-15 victory after the Scottish club had made a sensational start to their Pool 4 contest at Franklin's Gardens.

Northampton Saints  Glasgow Warriors George Pisi try Heineken Cup

The Saints had barely worked up a sweat before they were looking at a 15-points deficit as flanker Josh Strauss and wing Sean Lamont silenced the home fans with tries and centre Peter Horne added both conversions and a penalty goal.

But the 2000 Heineken Cup champions bounced back with Heineken man-of-the-match and centre George Pisi crossing the Glasgow line twice in almost as few minutes just before the break to bring the momentum back to the Saints.

An early second half try by Steve Myler took the Saints ahead for the first time and with the line-out proving a profitable area for them they banked the bonus point with 10 minutes in hand.

Left wing Vasily Artemyev was the one to profit as he sprinted away for their fourth try and with Ryan Lamb taking on the kicking duties his conversion took them nine points clear and Glasgow out of bonus point territory.

Northampton SaintsJames Wilson, Ken Pisi, George Pisi, Dominic Waldouck, Vasily Artemyev, Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson, Soane Tonga'uiha, Dylan Hartley (c), Brian Mujati, Samu Manoa, Courtney Lawes, Phil Dowson, Tom Wood, Rhys Oakley BENCH: Mike Haywood, Alex Waller, Paul Doran-Jones, Mark Sorenson, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Martin Roberts, Ryan Lamb, Tom May

SCORERS T: George Pisi (2), Myler, Artemyev C: Myler, Lamb

Glasgow WarriorsStuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Sean Lamont, Ruaridh Jackson, Henry Pyrgos, Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Michael Cusack, Tim Swinson, Alastair Kellock (c), Josh Strauss, John Barclay, Ryan Wilson BENCH: Finlay Gillies, Ofa Fainga'anuku, Gordon Reid, Tom Ryder, Chris Fusaro, James Eddie, Nikola Matawalu, Peter Murchie

SCORERS T: Strauss, Lamont C: Horne P: Horne

Referee: Romain Poite (France)



POOL 5Heineken Cup Round 1 Pool 5

Leinster Rugby LEINSTER RUGBY 9 - 6 EXETER CHIEFS Exeter Chiefs

RDS - 13 October 2012
KO: 15:40 HT: 3-3 Att: 18,500

DEFENDING Heineken Cup champions Leinster got out of jail with a nervy home win over tournament debutants Exeter Chiefs in Pool Five.

Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton booted three penalties for the Irish province to maintain the remarkable record of head coach Joe Schmidt in this competition with a 17th win from 19 games.

But Ignacio Mieres missed an injury-time penalty as Exeter came close to grabbing a deserved draw at the RDS.

Argentina fly-half Mieres had the chance to hand Rob Baxter's Aviva Premiership outfit a share of the spoils with the final kick of a hard-fought and well-matched contest. But Mieres missed to the right of the posts as Leinster breathed a sigh of relief.

Sexton fired the home side, aiming to win their third successive crown in Europe's premier competition, ahead with a close-range penalty on 11 minutes.

But Exeter showed little fear and, although No10 Gareth Steenson missed two kickable penalties to tie things up, the fly-half did level the scores on the stroke of half-time.

Sexton put Leinster back in front with a second penalty in the 54th minute, but Steenson responded with 15 minutes remaining.

However, Sexton added a third successful effort with seven minutes left on the clock as Exeter replacement Ben Moon was penalized for an infringement before Mieres' miss from 49 metres.

Leinster RugbyIan Madigan, Andrew Conway, Brian O'Driscoll, Fergus McFadden, Isakeli Nacewa, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (c), Damien Browne, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, James Heaslip BENCH: Sean Cronin, Heinke Van der Merwe, Jamie Hagan, Devin Toner, Leo Auva'a, Jordi Murphy, Isaac Boss, Fionn Carr

SCORERS P: Sexton (3)

Exeter ChiefsLuke Arscott, Ian Whitten, Phil Dollman, Jason Shoemark, Matt Jess, Gareth Steenson, Haydn Thomas, Brett Sturgess, Simon Alcott, Carl Rimmer, Tom Hayes (c), James Hanks, Tom Johnson, James Scaysbrook, Richard Baxter BENCH: Chris Whitehead, Chris Budgen, Ben Moon, Aly Muldowney, Dean Mumm, Will Chudley, Ignacio Mieres, Sireli Naqelevuki

SCORERS P: Steenson (2)

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)


ASM Clermont AuvergneCLERMONT AUVERGNE 49 - 16 SCARLETSScarlets

KO: 16:40 HT: 16-19 Att: 17,520

Clermont Scarlets Heineken CupASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE signalled their Heineken Cup intentions with a stylish performance against the Scarlets on Saturday afternoon.

Last season's beaten semi-finalists ran out 49-16 winners against their Welsh opponents in an action-packed encounter at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Clermont scored six tries to the Scarlets' one but the scoreline could have been much closer had Morgan Stoddart not been sent off three minutes before half time.

The Scarlets wing, who was playing just his second game since returning from a 14-month injury lay off, saw red for a second yellow card after he failed to roll away having made a tackle a metre short of his own line.

The scores were level at 13 points apiece when Stoddart departed but Clermont were comfortable winners from that point onward.

The Scarlets had gone ahead through Jon Davies as early as the fifth minute but a converted effort from the in-form Sitiveni Sivivatu tied things up shortly after the half hour.

Rhys Priestland and Morgan Parra had kicked eight points each before Parra punished Stoddart's second indiscretion to hand the hosts a 16-13 lead at the interval.

Clermont then increased that advantage just after the sides returned courtesy of a penalty try. Nathan Hines' charge down of Priestland's clearance provide the initial platform and the pack did the rest by forcing the Scarlets front row to buckle under pressure.

The French giants effectively put the game to bed after Priestland had kicked another penalty as Lee Byrne touched down against his old club on 48 minutes. Again, Sivivatu provided the telling contribution as his wrap-around pass saw the Wales and Lions full back race down the right touchline.

Parra's fine form with the boot continued as he added the extras and Clermont were celebrating the bonus point with 25 minutes still left to play when No8 Damien Chouly powered over from close-range.

The Scarlets refused to lie down but further scores from Julien Bonnaire and Napolioni Nalaga added an even greater gloss to Clermont's winning margin.

ASM Clermont AuvergneLee Byrne, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Aurelien Rougerie (c), Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga, Brock James, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Gerhard Vosloo, Julien Bonnaire, Damien Chouly BENCH: Ti'I Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Daniel Kotze, Julien Pierre, Elvis Vermeulen, Ludovic Radosavljevic, David Skrela, Benson Stanley

SCORERS T: Sivivatu, PT, Byrne, Chouly, Bonnaire, Nalaga C: Parra (4), James P: Parra (3)

ScarletsLiam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Morgan Stoddart, Rhys Priestland, Tavis Knoyle, Phil John, Matthew Rees, Samson Lee, George Earle, Johan Snyman, Aaron Shingler, Josh Turnbull, Rob McCusker (c) BENCH: Ken Owens, Shaun Hopkins, Deacon Manu, Sione Timani, Kieran Murphy, Gareth Davies, Aled Thomas, Gareth Maule

SCORERS T: Jonathan Davies C: Priestland P: Priestland (2) DG: Priestland Yellow Card Stoddart Red Card Stoddart

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)




POOL 6Heineken Cup Round 1 Pool 6

Sale Sharks SALE SHARKS 34 - 33 CARDIFF BLUESCardiff Blues

SALFORD CITY STADIUM - 14 October 2012
KO: 12:45 HT: 12-24 Att: 5,853

SALE SHARKS ended their search for their first win of the season while Wales captain Sam Warburton, who has recently been plagued by injuries, again failed to go the distance after going off after just six minutes of this 34-33 defeat at Salford City Stadium.

It was the Sharks' first win in any tournament this campaign and they did it the hard way by overturning a 24-12 half-time deficit when it looked like Warburton's pain from a dislocated finger was going to be eased as the Welsh international double act of Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny got into full swing.

Wing Cuthbert did the damage with the ball in hand with a hat-trick of tries before the break with full back Halfpenny putting the boot into Sale with all three conversions and a nerve-settling early penalty goal.

For their part the Sharks relied on former Blues player Nick Macleod to keep their score ticking over with four penalty goals but then struck with the ball in hand after the break in sensational style to go on and claim the four points.

Danny Cipriani, out to make a fresh start with the Sharks was central to the comeback, scoring one and making one, with Mark Jennings also cracking the Blues defence.

And then with just minutes on the clock Sale stunned the Blues thanks to veteran prop Tony Buckley's close range try and the boot of Rob Miller.

Sale SharksRob Miller, Mark Jennings, Will Addison, Sam Tuitupou, Mark Cueto, Nick MacLeod, Nathan Fowles, Eifion Roberts, Tommy Taylor, Tony Buckley, Richie Gray, Fraser McKenzie, Richie Vernon, David Seymour (c), Andrew Powell BENCH: Joe Ward, Ross Harrison, Vadim Cobilas, Kearnan Myall, James Gaskell, Cillian Willis, Daniel Cipriani, Johnny Leota

SCORERS T: Cipriani, Jennings, Buckley C: Miller (2) P: Macleod (4), Miller

Cardiff BluesLeigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, Gavin Evans, Jamie Roberts, Tom James, Ceri Sweeney, Lloyd Williams, Taufa'ao Filise, Marc Breeze, Benoit Bourrust, Bradley Davies, Lou Reed, Josh Navidi, Sam Warburton, Andries Pretorius (c) BENCH: Andy Kyriacou, Nathan Trevett, Scott Andrews, James Down, Robin Copeland, Lewis Jones, Gareth Davies, Dan Fish

SCORERS T: Cuthbert (3) C: Halfpenny (3) P: Halfpenny (4) Yellow Card Jones

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)


Toulon TOULON 37 - 16 MONTPELLIER Montpellier

STADE FÉLIX MAYOL - 14 October 2012
KO: 21:00 HT: 18-3 Att: 12,547

Toulon Montpellier Heineken CupDELON ARMITAGE grabbed a double as Toulon cruised to a comfortable victory over Montpellier in Pool Six of the Heineken Cup.

First half tries from Pierrick Gunther and Bakkies Botha put the hosts of course for the triumph and they wrapped up the bonus-point thanks to the England full-back's brace, before Mathieu Bastareaud completed the rout.

The maximum points haul leaves Toulon at the top of the group with an away clash against Cardiff Blues next Sunday.

Llian Perraux opened the scoring at Stade Felix Mayol after Jonny Wilkinson failed to roll away from a ruck but the England fly-half quickly made amends with a penalty of his own.

And the hosts surged into the lead on 15 minutes when Pierrick Gunther pounced on a perfectly weighted Wilkinson grubber.

They stretched their advantage on the half-hour mark. Delon Armitage launched a scintillating counter-attack and linked with Martin.

The wing then released Botha, who dummied past Pierre Berard for a try on his Heineken Cup debut, which Wilkinson converted.

Wilkinson kept the scoreboard ticking but Montpellier began the second-half in similar fashion to the first, with a Perraux penalty.

But Toulon resumed usual order minutes later when Armitage cruised over and he completed his brace on 64 minutes with Wilkinson converting.

Mamuka Gorgodze hit-back in the final ten minutes and Benoit Paillaugue added the extras but it was too little too late for the visitors and Toulon had the final word with a try from Bastareaud, converted by Matt Giteau.

ToulonDelon Armitage, Vincent Martin, Maxime Mermoz, Matt Giteau, David Smith, Jonny Wilkinson (c), Frederic Michalak, Andrew Sheridan, Sebastien Bruno, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Jocelino Suta, Pierrick Gunther, Steffon Armitage, Chris Masoe BENCH: Mickael Ivaldi, Gethin Jenkins, Virgile Bruni, Mathieu Bastareaud, Benjamin Lapeyre, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Simon Shaw, Davit Kubriashvili

SCORERS T: Gunther, Botha, Delon Armitage (2), Basteraud C: Wilkinson (2), Giteau P: Wilkinson (2)

MontpellierLucas Amorosino, Yoan Audrin, Matthew Carraro, Paul Bosch, Yohann Artru, Ilian Perraux, Julien Tomas (c), Yvan Watremez, Mickael Ladhuie, Maximiliano Bustos, Drikus Hancke, Mickael De Marco, Alexandre Bias, Remy Martin, John Beattie BENCH: Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Lobo, Giorgi Jgenti, Aliki Fakate, Mamuka Gorgodze, Benoit Paillaugue, Pierre Berard, Timoci Nagusa

SCORERS T: Gorgodze C: Paillaugue P: Perraux (2), Paillaugue

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)




ERC PoolsHeineken Cup 2012-13 Pools


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*Selected match reports © 2012 ERC