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LEINSTER 33 - 22 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Millennium Stadium Cardiff - Saturday 21st May 2011
KO: 17.00 BST
Leinster were crowned 2011 Heineken Cup Champions with a emphatic 33-22 victory over Northampton Saints in an enthralling Millennium Stadium encounter.
In a battle between two former title-holders, Northampton Saints champions in 2000 and Leinster in 2009, a scintillating second-half comeback from the Irish province proved the difference as they clinched a second European crown.
The Saints hit the ground running in Cardiff and raced into a 22-6 half-time lead thanks to tries from Phil Dowson, Ben Foden and Dylan Hartley.
Leinster looked down and out as they were steamrolled by Northampton but they came out a different side following the interval and launched a unbelievable comeback.
Jonny Sexton was the star of the show adding 28-points including two tries, three conversions and four penalties while Nathan Hines capped a sensational comeback with Leinster's third try.
Northampton's Steve Myler got the game underway at a feverish Millennium Stadium and it was the Saints that took the lead on six minutes. Callum Clark made the initial inroads before off-loading to back-row partner Phil Dowson to score. Myler slotted the touchline conversion to hand the Aviva Premiership outfit a 7-0 lead after as many minutes.
Leinster hit-back through the boot of Jonny Sexton on 13 minutes to cut the deficit to 7-3. But Myler quickly restored the seven point advantage after the Saints' juggernaut pack flexed their muscle at scrum-time.
Leinster's Mr dependable, Brian O'Driscoll, came close to scoring a sensational try on 24 minutes. Shane Horgan burst through Northampton's midfield and linked with Sean O'Brien, who appeared to have put the Ireland legend through. But he was brought down short of the line and lost possession when tackled by Ben Foden.
The Saints were dealt a blow on the 25th minute when Brian Mujati was sent to the sin-bin but remarkably they still held the upper hand in the scrum despite their numerical disadvantage.
They demonstrated their forward prowess on the half-hour mark when deep inside Leinster territory their seven-man pack won a scrum against the head. And they made Leinster pay with their second try. Myler went close to scoring with a half break and the ball was recycled and spread to Foden, who beat O'Driscoll to score. Myler added the extras to hand his side a 17-3 lead
Again Sexton quickly responded through the boot but Northampton ended the half the way they started with their third try thanks to a close range effort from captain Hartley.
Myler struck the post with his conversion but the try handed the Saints an emphatic 22-6 lead at the interval.
Leinster came out firing in the second-half and dragged themselves back into the game with a try from Sexton following some powerful carries from O'Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip. Sexton landed the conversion with the help of the uprights to bring the Dublin province back to within nine-points at 22-13.
Leinster appeared to have grabbed a quick-fire second on the 50th minute but Gordon D'Arcy's effort was ruled out by television match official Giulio De Santis following some sterling defensive work from Diggin and Lee Dickson.
But the boys in blue got the crucial try on 52 minutes once again thanks to Sexton. The Ireland fly-half performed a trademark loop-around Jamie Heaslip and defied the defenders to score.
Sexton converted the try and slotted two penalties in quick succession to extend his personal tally to 26-points and hand Leinster the lead for the first time. While Phil Dowson was sent to the sin-bin for a technical infringement.
Moments later Nathan Hines powered over for a third try as rampant Leinster ran riot and Sexton maintained his 100 per cent record with the boot to bring the score to 33-22.
That came to an end on 67 minutes but Leinster continued to turn the screw despite brave Northampton launching a number of counter-attacks.
The 2009 Champions continued to press Northampton and hung on for a memorable cup triumph.
15 I Nacewa 14 S Horgan 13 B O'Driscoll 12 G D'Arcy 11 L Fitzgerald 10 J Sexton 9 E Reddan 1 C Healy 2 R Strauss 3 M Ross 4 L Cullen [C] 5 N Hines 6 K McLaughlin 7 S O'Brien 8 J Heaslip BENCH: 16 J Harris-Wright 17 H Van Der Merwe 18 S Wright 19 D Toner 20 S Jennings 21 I Boss 22 I Madigan 23 F McFadden
SCORERS T: Sexton (2), Hines C: Sexton (3) P: Sexton (4)
15 B Foden 14 C Ashton 13 J Clarke12 J Downey 11 P Diggin 10 S Myler 9 L Dickson 1 S Tonga'uiha 2 D Hartley [C] 3 B Mujati 4 C Lawes 5 C Day 6 C Clark 7 P Dowson 8 R Wilson BENCH: 16 B Sharman 17 A Waller 18 T Mercey 19 M Sorenson 20 M Easter 21 S Commins 22 S Geraghty 23 J Ansbro
SCORERS T: Dowson, Foden, Hartley C: Myler (2) P: Myler Brian Mujati, Phil Dowson
Man Of The Match: Jonathan Sexton
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
LEINSTER 32 - 23 TOULOUSE
Aviva Stadium, Dublin - Saturday 30th April 2011
HT: 16-13 Att: 50,073
A stunning performance from Leinster secured them a Heineken Cup Final spot in Cardiff at the expense of reigning champions Toulouse.
Over 50,000 people packed into the Aviva Stadium to witness a cracking semi-final between two of Europe's biggest sides.
In an adrenaline filled opening it took a while for both sides to find their feet, but Toulouse took an early lead through centre Florian Fritz.
David Skrela's opening kick hit the left hand post and as Leinster waited for the ball to drop into their hands, the French centre rose above the waiting players, collected the ball and touched down in silence the home crowd. Skrela had no problem with his second shot at goal and Toulouse had an early 7-0 lead.
It was Gordon D'Arcy's powering break which sparked life into the game, the Ireland International burst through two tackles and, as Leinster attacked with pace and after Toulouse were penalised for not rolling away, Jonathan Sexton opened Leinster's account with a simple penalty.
Skrela replied almost immediately with a drop-goal to restore his side's advantage before a second Sexton penalty.
It wasn't until the 30th minute that Leinster finally crossed for the try they deserved, Jamie Heaslip sneaking his way through a close-range ruck to place the ball on the line.
The visitors' best period came right at the end of the first half in an attack started by Jean-Marc Doussain. The reigning European Champions threw everything at Leinster but could not find a way through the tight defence. Brian O'Driscoll was then sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul at a ruck and Skrela kicked the resulting penalty to level the scores.
Sexton had the last word of the half however, kicking Leinster into the lead with another penalty just before the break.
It was all Toulouse in the opening second-half exchanges and a stunning eight man shove from the visitors resulted in the simplest of scores for Louis Picamoles and Skrela added the extras.
The early period of the second forty minutes had everything, quick ball, pace out wide, power up-front - a true advert for European rugby.
Two penalties in quick succession from the ever cool Sexton changed the completion of the change, a position from which Leinster built upon with growing confidence.
With the lead back they looked more and more assured and, after sustained pressure, O'Driscoll glided over for the crucial score. With two more points from Sexton, Leinster built themselves a nine-point lead.
In a frantic ending to the game, substitute Nicolas Bezy kicked a hugely important penalty, to bring the scores to within a converted try.
As expected the French side used all of their European experience and passion to try their best to break through at the death, but Leinster hung on and Sexton kicked a final penalty with the last play of the game as Leinster claimed a famous victory.
15 I Nacewa 14 S Horgan 13 B O'Driscoll 12 G D'Arcy 11 L Fitzgerald 10 J Sexton 9 E Reddan 1 C Healy 2 R Strauss 3 M Ross 4 L Cullen [C] 5 N Hines 6 K McLaughlin 7 S O'Brien 8 J Heaslip BENCH: 16 J Harris-Wright 17 H Van Der Merwe 18 S Wright 19 D Toner 20 S Jennings 21 I Boss 22 I Madigan 23 F McFadden
SCORERS T: Heaslip, O'Driscoll C: Sexton (2) P: Sexton (6)
15 C Heymans 14 V Clerc 13 F Fritz 12 C Poitrenaud 11 M Medard 10 D Skrela 9 J Doussain 1 J-B Poux 2 W Servat 3 C Johnston 4 Y Maestri 5 P Albacete 6 J Bouilhou [C] 7 Y Nyanga 8 L Picamoles BENCH: 16 V Lacombe 17 D Human 18 J Falefa 19 T Dusautoir 20 N Bezy 21 Y Jauzion 22 S Sowerby 23 G Lamboley
SCORERS T: Fritz, Picamoles C: Skrela (2) P: Skrela, Bezy DG: Skrela
Man of the Match: Jamie Heaslip
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
NORTHAMPTON 23 - 7 PERPIGNAN
stadium:mk, Milton Keynes - Sunday 1st May 2011
HT: 20-7 Att: 18,231
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS produced a truly outstanding first-half performance to deservingly clinch a place in the 16th Heineken Cup Final.
The tournament's number one seeds opened up a 20-point lead against French giants Perpignan before running out 23-7 winners at the Stadium: mk on Sunday afternoon.
Tries from the impressive Ben Foden and ultra-consistent Jon Clarke gave Saints a dream 17-point advantage within half an hour as they made it eight wins from eight attempts in this year's tournament.
Perpignan hit back with a try from hooker Guilhem Guirado just before the break but the 2003 runners up could have no complaints about missing out on a chance to claim a first-ever European crown in Cardiff on May 21.
Saints were simply sensational in the first 30 minutes as they laid the foundations for victory with their high-tempo approach.
Foden was the first to touch down for the hosts after Phil Dowson's powerful break. The Northampton openside was halted just short after taking a narrow line off James Downey 40 metres out but the platform had been set for the easiest of scores.
Scrum-half Karl Dickson initially looked left at the resulting ruck but then switched play to the right where Saints had a massive overlap. Stephen Myler found Foden - one of three men who could have scored - and the England full back simply waltzed over unopposed.
Myler made up for an early missed penalty with a well-struck conversion from in between the 10 and 15-metre lines and Northampton were 7-0 up with a quarter of an hour played.
The first European Champions of the 21st century continued to dominate territory and possession with Myler knocking over a 50-metre penalty to extend the lead on 24 minutes.
And when the former rugby league man made a mess of another long-range penalty attempt just moments later Saints got lucky. Perpignan failed to deal with Myler's scuffed effort knocking on as the ball dribbled well wide of the right-hand post.
Saints won a penalty at the scrum that followed chose to kick to touch claimed the lineout courtesy of Courtney Lawes and scored through Clarke a phase later. The outside centre took Myler's long pass dropped his left shoulder and stepped inside his man to sprint over just to the left of the sticks.
Myler slotted the simple extras before kicking a second successful penalty on 37 minutes and Saints were 20 points to the good and looking in total control.
Having been comprehensively outplayed in the opening 39 minutes Perpignan would have been delighted to enter the interval with at least a foothold in a game that looked as if it had already passed them by.
The travelling support had to wait until a minute before the half-time whistle for their side's first try-scoring opportunity but it was worth the wait.
After opting to turn down a straightforward attempt at goal from a penalty just outside the Saints 22 the Catalan side kicked to touch won the resulting lineout and drove Guirado over the line over from five metres out.
Full back Jerome Porcial added an assured conversion from 10 metres in from the right touchline and Perpignan suddenly had a lifeline.
The second-half was an equally lively but less high-scoring affair although both sides came close within the first 15 minutes.
First it was Saints who nearly added to their tally when only a last-gasp tackle forced skipper Dylan Hartley into touch on 45 minutes. Referee George Clancy asked for assistance from the television match official but Hartley's reaction and lack of celebration told the crowd what they needed to know.
Next it was Perpignan who came within a few metres of crossing the whitewash as another driving lineout almost brought the ultimate reward. This time Saints just about managed to stop the charge as they shepherded the rolling maul towards the left touchline and Soane Tongauiha - the man who made the initial burst for Hartley's chance - supplied the crucial intervention.
Myler's third penalty in between either side's chances extended Saints' lead to 23-7 and Perpignan never really came close to over-turning the 16-point deficit.
Saints now march on to the Welsh capital where they will face Brian O'Driscoll's Leinster in three weeks' time. And having beaten Munster at the last hurdle to win the Heineken Cup 11 seasons ago Jim Mallinder and co will hope facing Irish opposition brings a similar outcome at the Millennium Stadium.
15 B Foden 14 C Ashton 13 J Clarke (J Ansbro 77) 12 J Downey 11 P Diggin 10 S Myler 9 L Dickson (S Commins 79) 1 S Tonga'uiha (A Waller 79) 2 D Hartley [C] (B Sharman 79) 3 B Mujati (T Mercey 77) 4 C Lawes 5 C Day (M Sorenson 74) 6 P Dowson 7 C Clark (M Easter 79) 8 R Wilson
SCORERS T: J Clarke B Foden C: S Myler (2) P: S Myler (3)
15 J Porical 14 A Plante 13 D Marty 12 G Hume 11 J Candelon 10 N Laharrague (M Edmonds 73) 9 D Mele (K Boulogne 73) 1 P Freshwater (J Schuster 57) 2 G Guirado (C Geli 74) 3 N Mas [C] (K Pulu 74) 4 R Alvarez Kairelis (G Vilaceca 68) 5 R Tchale Watchou 6 G Le Corvec (H Tuilagi 50) 7 B Guiry 8 D Chouly
SCORERS T: G Guirado C: N Laharrague J Candelon (31)
Man of the Match: P Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
PERPIGNAN 29 - 25 TOULON
Olympic Stadium, Barcelona - Saturday 9th April 2011
HT: 6-11 Attendance: 55,000
PERPIGNAN became the first side through to the Heineken Cup semi-finals after beating arch rivals Toulon 29 v 25 in Barcelona.
Former England international prop Perry Freshwater was the hero of the game scoring Perpignan's winning try ten minutes from time.
Toulon out-scored their arch rivals three tries to two following scores from George Smith, Joe van Niekerk and a late consolation effort by Fabien Cibray.
But they failed to capitalise on their first-half domination during which Perpignan were twice reduced to 14 men following yellow cards.
The Catalans turned the tables after the break through Adrien Plante and the boot of Jerome Porical before Freshwater's score capped an impressive second-half display by the 2003 cup finalists.
A record crowd for a Heineken Cup quarter-final of 55,000 basked in the sunshine within Barcelona's Olympic Stadium to vindicate Perpignan's decision to take their home tie to the Catalan capital.
However they feared they had thrown away home advantage when they trailed 11-6 at the end of an indisciplined opening 40 minutes.
Jonny Wilkinson took less than four minutes to make his mark on this tie with a 50-metre penalty.
Lock Guillaume Vilaceca was shown a yellow card for reckless play at a ruck, Toulon centre Gabriele Lovobalavu threatened and Porical missed his first shot at goal amid signs the occasion may have got to Perpignan.
However they survived the ten-minute sin bin and Porical levelled on 31 minutes only for Vilaceca's second-row partner Robins Tchale-Watchou to be ordered to the sin bin for a high tackle.
Perpignan looked to have ridden the storm again following an exchange of further penalties between Wilkinson and Porical before Toulon seized advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Nicolas Laharrague took too long over his clearance that was blocked by former Wallaby flanker Smith, who had time to gather his thoughts and touch down for the game's first try on the 40th minute.
Wilkinson missed the conversion and Toulon knew they should have held more than just a five-point lead that was immediately whittled down by a Porical penalty early in the second half.
Perpignan were a team transformed after the break, wing Julien Candelon looked dangerous while flanker Bertrand Guiry blew a golden chance when he failed to collect Laharrague's cross-field kick.
It was from the fly-half's hefty kick into the Toulon corner that Perpignan finally broke Toulon's resistance. A typical driving lineout opened space for scrum-half Florian Cazenave who sent the ball spinning wide where Plante touched down.
Porical converted yet no sooner had Perpignan taken the lead for the first time than Toulon responded from the kick-off. Dean Schofield burst through before finding captain Van Niekerk on his shoulder to charge between the posts.
Perpignan re-gathered with two more Porical penalties before replacement Freshwater followed Guilhem Guirado's burst to score what proved to be the winning score.
Cibray's injury-time score merely softened the blow on the scoreboard for Toulon who suffered European heart-ache for a second season after losing the Amlin Challenge Cup final last year.
15 J Porical 14 A Plante 13 D Marty 12 J Grandclaude (G Hume 59) 11 J Candelon 10 N Laharrague (J Michel 69) 9 F Cazenave (D Mele 61) 1 J Schuster (P Freshwater 48) 2 G Guirado (C Geli 74) 3 N Mas [C] (K Pulu 64) 4 G Vilaceca (R Alvarez Kairelis 59) 5 R Tchale Watchou B 6 Guiry 7 D Chouly 8 H Tuilagi (O Tonita 69)
Scorers T: A Plante, P Freshwater C: J Porical (2) P: J Porical (5) G Vilaceca (9), R Tchale Watchou (34)
15 R Lamont 14 R Wulf 13 G Messina (F Contepomi 66) 12 G Lovobalavu 11 C Loamanu (P Sackey 55) 10 J Wilkinson 9 P Mignoni (F Cibray 59) 1 L Emmanuelli (S Taumoepeau 52) 2 S Bruno (J Genevois 48) 3 D Kubriashvili (D Tussac 74) 4 K Chesney (C Samson 59) 5 D Schofield 6 J Fernandez Lobbe 7 G Smith 8 J van Niekerk [C] (J El Abd 71)
Scorers T: G Smith, J van Niekerk, F Cibray C: J Wilkinson (2) P: J Wilkinson (2)
Heineken Man of the Match: Damien Chouly (Perpignan)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
LEINSTER 17 -10 LEICESTER TIGERS
Aviva Stadium, Dublin- Saturday 9th April 2011
HT: 9-3 Att: 49,762
LEINSTER will be back home again in Dublin when they contest the Heineken Cup semi-finals at the end of the month after they ended Leicester Tigers' dreams of a third title in a hard fought, no holds barred and totally absorbing quarter-final at a packed Aviva Stadium that ended 17-10.
With the crowd producing a magnificent atmosphere the players produced a mighty and bruising confrontation with Leinster now set to face either Biarritz Olympique or Toulouse in the semi-finals in three weeks time.
Leicester simply could not find any way through the home defence until it was virtually over with Isa Ncewa scoring Leinster's only try an outstanding solo effort in the second half and replacement hooker Rob Hawkins crossing for the Tigers at the death.
It started as it then went on to the final whistle, the first bit of action a flowing Leinster attack with Nacewa the initiator taking play deep into the Leicester 22 and, when the Tigers went over the top at the ruck, referee Nigel Owens had no hesitation in penalising them.
With less than four minutes on the clock Jonny Sexton had the simplest of chances to open the scoring but the Tigers leveled immediately from the restart with Toby Flood on target with a tougher penalty from 40 metres.
This 11th Heineken Cup meeting between two of the former champions had got off to a frantic start, Sexton nudging the 2009 winners back in front with a quite extraordinary penalty in the 15th minute.
His kick from wide on the left first hit the right upright, bounced straight across to the left upright and bounced off that and over the crossbar.
That lifted the massive home support but they were left shaking their heads when Luke Fitzgerald lost possession when all the wing had to do was take the pass and score.
That let the Tigers off the hook and when they stormed down into the Leinster 22 they were, not for the first time, penalised for not releasing and Leinster were able to clear the danger.
A forward pass in another prime position cost Leicester again but while their scrum was proving a potent force Leinster stole line-out ball for hooker Richardt Strauss - later named Heineken man of the match - to charge away and put them on the front foot.
Sexton promptly kicked his third penalty to send Leinster in to the break 9-3 ahead of a fascinating contest that, while short on tries, was long on absorbing and hugely physical stuff in a marvellous atmosphere.
TV referee Derek Bevan was called on when powerhouse wing Alesana Tuilagi used his enourmous strength to force his way over after just two minutes of the second period only for it to end in a Leinster 22 drop out as the drama and intensity showed no signs of letting up.
Another Leinster line-out steal ultimately led to some brilliant individual play from Nacewa ending with the Fijian ace ensuring it was no longer a tryless affair as he stretched over, Sexton sending his conversion attempt wide but Leinster still going11 points clear after 50 minutes.
That advantage should have been immediately reduced by three points but Flood pushed his penalty chance wide and Leinster escaped any punishment.
Leicester refused to buckle, Flood almost through only to cough up the ball, as the pace of the match started to take its toll on tiring legs.
With timing running out for Leicester Sexton was on target with his fourth successful penalty in the 74th minute but the Tigers bounced back with Hawkins going over and Flood converting.
But it was too little too late to deny Leinster facing the winners of tomorrow's all-French affair in San Sebastian between Biarritz and Toulouse in the last four.
15 I Nacewa 14 S Horgan (F McFadden 76) 13 B O'Driscoll 12 G D'Arcy 11 L Fitzgerald 10 J Sexton 9 E Reddan (I Boss 58) 1 C Healy (H Van Der Merwe 77) 2 R Strauss 3 M Ross 4 L Cullen [C] 5 N Hines 6 K McLaughlin (D Ryan 67) 7 S O'Brien 8 J Heaslip
Scorers T: I Nacewa P: J Sexton (4)
15 S Hamilton 14 H Agulla (M Smith 77) 13 M Tuilagi 12 A Allen 11 A Tuilagi 10 T Flood 9 B Youngs 1 B Stankovich (D Cole 75) 2 G Chuter (R Hawkins 74) 3 D Cole (M Castrogiovanni 51) 4 L Deacon (E Slater 29) 5 S Mafi 6 T Croft 7 C Newby [C] (J Crane 74) 8 J Crane (T Waldrom 61)
Scorers T: R Hawkins C: T Flood P: T Flood
Heineken Man of the Match: Richard Strauss (Leinster)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 23 - 13 ULSTER
stadium:mk, Milton Keynes - Sunday 10th April 2011
HT: 10-13 Attendance: 21,309
THE power of the Northampton Saints pack enabled them to stifle Ulster's fire and earn themselves another visit to Milton Keynes in the Heineken Cup semi-finals.
Their 23-13 triumph at stadium:mk means Dylan Hartley's men will host Perpignan in the semi-finals and ensured England have at least one representative in the final four this season.
Saints got off to a flying start and managed to score a try before an Ulsterman had had the ball safely in his hands. Ian Humphreys kicked-off, Courtney Lawes rose high and Lee Dickson's box kick was knocked-on by Andrew Trimble.
Ulster were penalised at the first scrum and their former player Roger Wilson tapped and charged forward. The next phase was in front of the visitors' posts and giant prop Soane Tonga'uiha simply popped out the front of it like a cork out of a champagne bottle to squirm his way over for a vital score.
Steve Myler had no problem with the conversion and the Saints had laid down a major marker within two minutes of the start.
But Ulster's spirit was far from broken and Humphreys was bang on target with two inch perfect penalties to ensure that by the end of the first quarter they were back to within a point of the side that came through the Pool stages unbeaten.
They also managed to provide the Saints with a major scare when they worked Scottish international Simon Danielli over in the left corner only to find French referee Romain Poite calling him back for a forward pass.
After that early flurry of points the next scoring opportunity didn't arrive until half-an-hour had expired and Myler was way off target. Then came the moment that brought the travelling army of 6,000 Ulstermen to their feet as their brave side edged ahead.
Ruan Pienaar kicked them down into the home 22 with a lengthy penalty kick and then the line-out worked perfectly to allow Danielli to come charging through the midfield. He got to within five metres before the recycled ball was given to his fellow wing Trimble who brushed aside two men to score at the posts.
Humphreys added the extras and all of a sudden the momentum was with the Magners League side, who were bidding to join fellow Irish province Leinster in the semi-finals. Saints hit back with a penalty from Myler on the stroke of half-time, but it was still the visitors who had their noses in front at the break.
Ulster had the advantage of the sun in their favour in the second half and both Humphreys and Pienaar tested Saints' back three with some high balls, but they were up to the task and when Ulster failed to roll away in the tackle on 48 minutes Myler levelled the scores at 13-13 with his second penalty.
Saints were getting more of the possession and when Lawes stripped Ulster of a line-out it gave Myler the chance to test Adam D'Arcy's defence with a high ball. The Aussie full back was up to the task and his relieving kick ended up in touch in the Saints half.
That was the cue for some magic from Saints' English duo Ben Foden and Chris Ashton as they inter-passed up the left hand touchline before Jon Clarke joined in and sent scrum half Lee Dickson scampering over for a magnificent try. Myler converted and the English Premiership outfit were back in charge.
The Ulster reaction was fast and furious and two brilliant darts from Humphreys took them into the home 22 and when Saints conceded a penalty five metres out Pienaar took it quickly and helped to create an overlap on the left. But D'Arcy couldn't hold onto Paddy Wallace's pass and the ball never found the unmarked Danielli.
Having butchered that golden opportunity Ulster were made to pay when they conceded another penalty on their 10 metre line and Myler hit the target to stretch the lead to 10 points.
That's how it ended to steer Saints into their third Heineken Cup semi-final and keep them on course to repeat their triumph of 2000.
15 B Foden 14 C Ashton 13 J Clarke 12 J Downey 11 P Diggin 10 S Myler 9 L Dickson 1 S Tonga'uiha (A Waller 78) 2 D Hartley [C] (B Sharman 78) 3 B Mujati 4 C Lawes 5 C Day 6 P Dowson (C Clark 74) 7 T Wood 8 R Wilson
Scorers T: L Dickson, S Tonga'uiha C: S Myler (2) P: S Myler (3)
15 A D'Arcy 14 A Trimble 13 N Spence 12 P Wallace 11 S Danielli (C Gilroy 79) 10 I Humphreys 9 R Pienaar 1 T Court 2 R Best [C] 3 B Botha (P McAllister 71) 4 J Muller (I Whitten 78) 5 D Tuohy (T Barker 57) 6 R Diack (W Faloon 62) 7 C Henry 8 P Wannenburg
Scorers T: A Trimble C: I Humphreys P: I Humphreys (2)
Heineken Man of the Match: C Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 20 - 27 TOULOUSE
Estadio Anoeta, San Sebastian - Sunday 10th April 2011
HT: 0-17 Attendance: 32,052
HEINEKEN Cup holders Toulouse kept their dreams of back-to-back continental crowns alive as they won an epic extra time encounter with Biarritz Olympique in San Sebastian.
The four times Euro kings held their nerve to triumph 27-20 at the Estadio Anoeta, ensuring they remain on course to become the first team since 2001 and 2002 winners Leicester Tigers to secure successive titles.
Guy Noves' men will now take on Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on April 30 thanks to replacement Yannick Nyanga's last-gasp try with just a minute of extra-time left to play.
The replacement flanker charged down a Dimitri Yachvili clearance with the scores tied at 20 points apiece after another incredible all-French affair.
Toulouse had seemed to be cruising to a last-four place after first-half tries from Cedric Heymans and Maxime Medard had seen them race into a 17-0 half-time lead.
But Biarritz hit back to level affairs at 17-17 by the end of normal time thanks to the boot of Yachvili and a late, late try from Llikena Bolakoro.
The flying wing touched down with the last play of the game, leaving Yachvili with a touchline conversion to seal a heroic home comeback.
But the France scrum-half pulled his effort narrowly wide of the posts from the left-hand corner allowing the champions to breathe again.
David Skerla and Yachvilli traded penalties in the two extra 10-minute periods but Toulouse' better try count left Biarritz needed an extra score to progress.
With just moments remaining in the pouring rain, Yachvili saw his hack downfield charged down by Nyanga, who picked up unopposed to score the match-winning try.
15 I Balshaw 14 T Ngwenya 13 M Bosch 12 C Gimenez 11 I Bolakoro 10 J Peyrelongue 9 D Yachvili 1 E Coetzee (J Afoa 70) 2 R Terrain (E Guinazu 80) 3 S Marconnet (C Johnstone 57) 4 J Thion 5 E Lund (P Taele 76) 6 M Lund 7 I Harinordoquy [C] 8 R Lakafia (W Lauret 74)
Scorers T: I Bolakoro P: D Yachvili (5)
15 C Heymans 14 V Clerc 13 F Fritz 12 C Poitrenaud (Y Jauzion 80) 11 M Medard 10 D Skrela (J Doussain 20) 9 N Bezy (J Doussain 80) 1 D Human (J Poux 53) 2 W Servat (V Lacombe 76) 3 C Johnston 4 R Millo-Chluski (Y Maestri 53) 5 P Albacete 6 J Bouilhou [C] 7 S Nicolas (Y Nyanga 36) 8 L Picamoles (G Lamboley 76)
Scorers T: C Heymans, Y Nyanga, M Medard C: D Skrela (2) N Bezy P: D Skrela (2) F Fritz (67)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
EDINBURGH 14 - 21 CARDIFF BLUES
Murrayfield - Saturday 22nd January 2011
HT: 11-6 Attendance: 2,379
Cardiff Blues recorded 21 v 14 victory at Murrayfield against Edinburgh to finish as runners up in Pool 1.
All 21-points for the Welsh side came from the boot, the hosts scoring the only try of the game through Ben Cairns.
The Blues took the lead with a Dan Parks penalty before Chris Paterson levelled things up with a successful shot of his own.
Leigh Halfpenny kicked a second penalty for Cardiff before Cairns touched down after 28 minutes.
Paterson failed with the conversion but had no problems with a penalty on the stroke of half-time to take his side into the break 11 v 6 ahead.
Parks and Paterson exchanged penalties before Halfpenny struck with three more to take the lead and then secure away victory.
J Thompson, L Jones, B Cairns, N De Luca, S Webster, C Paterson, M Blair, A Jacobsen, R Ford, L Niven, S MacLeod, E Lozada, D Denton, A MacDonald, R Grant [capt] BENCH: K Traynor, G Cross, D Young, F McKenzie, S McInally, G Laidlaw, R Samson, J King
Scorers T: Cairns P: Paterson (3)
Yellow Card: Alan MacDonald
C Czekaj, L Halfpenny, C Laulala, J Roberts, R Mustoe, D Parks, T Slater, J Yapp, T Thomas, F Filise, D Jones, P Tito [capt], A Pretorius, M Williams, M Molitika BENCH: G Williams, S Andrews, S Hobbs, B Davies, B White, C Sweeney, D Hewitt, T James
Scorers P: Halfpenny (5), Parks (2)
Yellow Card: Dafydd Hewitt
Match Points: Edinburgh 1pt, Cardiff Blues: 4pts
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
CASTRES OLYMPIQUE 12 - 23 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Stade Pierre Antoine - Saturday 22nd January 2011
HT: 7-15 Attendance: 5,025
FORMER Heineken Cup Champions Northampton Saints signalled their intent for more European honours with a 23 v 12 victory over Castres to finish the Pool stage with six victories from six.
Joe Ansbro, Phil Dowson and Ben Foden all scored tries to cap a powerful performance at Stade Pierre Antoine.
Ansbro opened the scoring in the 11th minute after England full-back Foden sent him clear, Stephen Myler's conversion attempt drifted wide.
The hosts came close to hitting back but captain Chris Masoe's effort was ruled out by the television match official.
Myler extended Northampton's lead with a drop goal before Dowson crossed for their second try.
The Saints broke from deep inside their own half. First Ryan Powell and Roger Wilson combined before Wilson released a brilliant offload to Ansbro on the inside. The wing tore into the heart of Castres' defence and the ball was recycled wide and Dowson was released to score. This time Myler made no mistake and added the extras to give Northampton a 15-0 lead.
Castres hit straight back on this occasion fly-half Pierre Bernard dummying his way to the line and then converting his touchdown.
Northampton's defence held firm in the second period, keeping out the powerful Castres surges and turned defence into attack, Foden scoring a fine try.
Myler added a penalty on 70 minutes to extend the Saints' lead to 23-7 before the home side grabbed a late consolation with five minutes to go. Jannie Bornman broke off the back of a scrum and linked with Sebastien Tillous-Borde who squeezed over.
F Denos, M Nicolas, Y Audrin, P Garcia, V Inigo, P Bernard, S Tillous-Borde, M Coetzee, B Kayser, D Saayman, S Murray, R Capo Ortega, C Masoe [capt], S Malonga, J Bornman BENCH: A Giorgadze, A Peikrishvili, L Ducalcon, J Tekori, G Adamou, A Albouy, S Bai, R Martial
Scorers T: Bernard, Tillous-Borde C: Bernard
B Foden, J Ansbro, J Clarke, J Downey, P Diggin, S Myler, R Powell, S Tongauiha, D Hartley [capt], B Mujati, C Clark, M Sorenson, P Dowson, T Wood, R Wilson BENCH: B Sharman, A Waller, T Mercey, C Day, M Easter, S Commins, S Geraghty, B Reihana
Scorers T: Foden, Ansbro. Dowson C: Myler P: Myler DG: Myler
Match Points: Castres Olympique 0pts Northampton Saints 4pts
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
SARACENS 14 - 24 CLERMONT AUVERGNE
Vicarage Road - Friday 21st January 2011
HT: 11-12 Attendance: 5,812
Clermont Auvergne came away from a freezing Vicarage Road with a try bonus-point keeping alive their knock-out hopes.
They signalled their intent in North London early on, powering their way forward at every opportunity.
First they attacked down the blind then hit up through midfield, Wesley Fofana bursting through to score. Full-back Anthony Floch had no problems with the conversion from in front of the posts.
It took Saracens a while to warm up, but their pack edged them back into the game and Owen Farrell kept the scoreboard ticking with two penalties.
Clermont's early dominance faded as Saracens worked hard for territory and possession. They were rewarded for their efforts with a moment of magic from hooker Schalk Brits who drew the defence and then offloaded to England wing Strettle who glided into score.
Just three minutes later Clermont regained the lead. Wing Kini Murimurivalu and Floch combining in attack to take their side to within five metres of the line before support arrived in the form of Willie Wepener who crashed over to score.
All the possession in the opening ten minutes of the second period belonged to Saracens, but they couldn't make their advantage pay, Farrell missing two shots at goal before success in the second half, Saracens re-taking the lead after 53 minutes.
Lavea crossed for Clermont's third try after a powerful scrum and he converted his own score to give his side a 19-14 advantage. Ti'i Paulo got Clermont's fourth and the bonus-point late on.
C Wyles, D Strettle, B Barritt, N Mordt, N Cato, O Farrell, N de Kock, R Gill, S Brits, C Nieto, H Smith, M Botha, K Brown, J Melck, E Joubert [capt] BENCH: J George, J Saunders , P Du Plessis, J Burger, A Saull, R Wigglesworth, L Baldwin, J Short
Scorers: T: David Strettle P: Owen Farrell (3)
A Floch, B Russell, M Joubert, W Fofana, K Murimurivalu, T Lavea, K Senio, L Faure, W Wepener, V Debaty, L Jacquet, J White, J Bardy, A Audebert, E Vermeulen [capt] BENCH: T Paulo, T Domingo, C Ric, T Privat, A Lapandry, L Radoslavjevic , A Rougerie, J Buttin
Scorers: T: Willie Wepener, Wesley Fofana, Ti'i Paulo, Tasesa Lavea C: Anthony Floch, Tasesa Lavea
Match points: Saracens 0pts, ASM Clermont Auvergne 5pts
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
RACING MÉTRO 92 11 - 36 LEINSTER
Stade Yves du Manoir, Paris - Friday 21st January 2011
HT: 11-21 Attendance: 8,326
Former Heineken Cup Champions Leinster secured an all important home quarter-final with a comprehensive 36 v 11 victory over Racing Metro.
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll wrapped up the emphatic victory with the final try on his 32nd birthday and Jonathan Sexton also crossed twice in an impressive 21-point haul after Isa Nacewa and man of the match Sean O'Brien had also touched down to take maximum points.
Juan-Martin Hernandez kicked Racing ahead at Stade Yves du Manoir before Nacewa showed his attacking threat, squeezing in for the game's opening try after Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan combined to open the door.
Hernandez almost struck an immediate response with a drop goal, but Leinster were again caught napping from the re-start and centre Vakatawa sent a stream of blue jerseys sprawling to put Racing ahead 8-7 on 16 minutes.
Leinster were under the cosh but seized the tie with two tries in the space of four minutes.
Sexton then followed moments later from Nacewa's clever break and the fly-half added the conversion to lead 21-8 on 23 minutes.
Argentina star Hernandez offered the French a glimmer of hope with a penalty before half time, only to hobble half shortly after Sexton struck a penalty early in the second-half.
Racing through on their big guns and the game soon got physical, Leinster skipper Leo Cullen warned for scrapping on the ground.
But Nacewa and Fergus McFadden sparked a lightning counter-attack, finished with ease by Sexton to clinch the bonus.
O'Brien then used his power to drive at the heart of the French defence before finding O'Driscoll's perfectly angled run for Leinster's fifth.
D Scarbrough, B Fall, V Vakatawa, A Masi, J Saubade, J Hernandez, N Durand [capt], J Brugnaut, G Arganese, S Zimmermann, S Dellape, F van der Merwe, R Vaquiin, B Le Roux, A Galindo BENCH: B Noirot, A Lo Cicero, B Sa, L Nallet, M Loree, F Steyn, J Cronje, A Batut
Scorers: T: Virimi Vakatawa P: Juan Martin Hernandez (2)
I Nacewa, S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, L Fitzgerald, J Sexton, I Boss, C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross, L Cullen [capt], N Hines, R Ruddock, S Jennings, S O'Brien BENCH: J Harris-Wright, H Van Der Merwe, C Newland, D Toner, D Ryan, E Reddan, E O'Malley, F McFadden
Scorers: T: Johnny Sexton (2) , Isa Nacewa, Brian O'Driscoll, Sean O'Brien C: Johnny Sexton (4) P: Johnny Sexton
Match points: Racing Métro 92 0pts, Leinster 5pts
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
MUNSTER 28 - 14 LONDON IRISH
Thomond Park - Saturday 22nd January 2011
HT: 0-0 Attendance: 26,000
Munster flanker David Wallace put in a man-of-the-match performance to help the Irish province finish their disappointing Heineken Cup campaign on a high with a 28 v 14 victory over London Irish.
The sides entered the break all square at 0-0 after an edgy first period before Damian Varley broke the deadlock, crashing over after 46 minutes.
London Irish responded in the form of Seilala Mapusua and then took the lead with a stunning try finished by wing Sailosi Tagickibau.
At 14-7 to the visitors an upset looked on the cards, but Munster who have only ever lost one European game at Thomond Park fought back in style using all of their Heineken Cup experience to clinch the victory.
Niall Ronan, Keith Earls and then Darragh Hurley all crossed for tries, securing an all important bonus-point which could be vital as Munster seek Amlin Challenge Cup qualification.
J Murphy, D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, D Hurley, R O'Gara, T O'Leary, W du Preez, D Varley, J Hayes, M O'Driscoll, P O'Connell, D Wallace, N Ronan, D Leamy [capt] BENCH: M Sherry, D Hurley, T Buckley, D O'Callaghan, J Coughlan, P Stringer, S Deasy, T Gleeson
Scorers: T: Varley, Ronan, Earls, Hurley C: O’Gara
T Ojo, A Thompstone, E Seveali'i, S Mapusua [capt], S Tagicakibau, D Bowden, D Allinson, A Corbisiero, J Buckland, F Rautenbach, N Kennedy, M Garvey, G Stowers, J Gibson, C Hala'ufia BENCH: B Blaney, D Murphy, P Ion, R Thorpe, K Roche, M Watson, R Lamb, P Hodgson
Scorers: T: Mapasua, Tagicakibau C: Bowden, Lamb
Match points: Munster 5pts, London Irish 0pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)
OSPREYS 29 - 17 TOULON
Liberty Stadium - Saturday 22nd January 2011
HT: 9-14 Attendance: 10,192
The Ospreys ended their Pool 3 campaign on a high as they extended their unbeaten Heineken Cup home record to 16 matches with a 29-17 victory over quarter-final qualifiers Toulon.
The Frenchmen travelled safe in the knowledge that they had reached the knock-out stage, but still harbouring vague hopes of clinching a home draw. That proved to be an unrealistic dream, but whoever ends up hosting Jonny Wilkinson and co can expect a tough time.
Even though they made 14 changes in the match day squad from the win over Munster they came out all guns blazing against the Magners League champions and scored two tries in the opening quarter through Scottish full back Rory Lamont and Australian scrum half Matt Henjak.
Wilkinson easily converted both and kept his back line moving throughout a first half in which the Frenchmen were by far the more creative and positive side. Dan Biggar's boot at least kept the home team in touch, although when he hit the post with the last kick of the half it brought back the memories of his crucial misses at the Madejski Stadium a week earlier.
But despite falling behind to a Wilkinson penalty at the start of the second half, the final 40 minutes were all about the Ospreys clawing their way back into the game and extending their unbeaten Heineken Cup run at the Liberty Stadium.
The introduction of a fit again Shane Williams after 55 minutes pepped up the home back line and it took him only six minutes to create the opening for Nikki Walker to score. Skipper Alun Wyn Jones crossed later on to complete the win, but after three years in the last eight the Ospreys will be reduced to a watching brief this season.
L Byrne, N Walker, S Parker, J Hook, R Fussell, D Biggar, R Webb, D Jones, R Hibbard, C Mitchell, I Gough, A Jones, R Jones, J Tipuric, J Thomas BENCH: H Bennett, R Bevington, C Griffiths, J Collins, M Holah, M Phillips, A Beck, S Williams
Scorers: T: Walker, AW Jones C: Hook (2) P: Biggar (4), Hook
R Lamont, B Lapeyre, G Messina, M Kefu, T Brana, J Wilkinson, M Henjak [capt], S Taumoepeau, J Genevois, C Hayman, J Suta, D Senekal, O Missoup, T Sourice, F Auelua BENCH: M Ivaldi, B Basteres, M Merabet, J van Niekerk, J El Abd, T May, L Magnaval, K Chesney
Scorers: T: Lamont, Henjak C: Wilkinson (2) P: Wilkinson
Match points: Ospreys 4pts, Toulon 0pts
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
AIRONI RUGBY 6-43 ULSTER RUGBY
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella - Saturday 22nd January 2011
HT: 6-10 Attendance: 3,000
Two tries from South African number 8 Pedrie Wannenberg helped Ulster secure a quarter-final place for the first time in 11 years with a 43 v 6 victory over Aironi.
The Irish side scored six tries in total but go through as runners-up, Biarritz clinching top spot with victory against Bath.
Pedrie Wannenberg scored twice in a man of the match display while tries from Andrew Trimble, Chris Henry and a penalty wrapped up a bonus point before Simon Danielli capped the victory with a late try.
Ian Humphreys also added 13 points, including the opening points of the game with a third-minute penalty to help settle Ulster nerves.
However it was not until the 23rd minute that Ulster found their way over the Italian try line, having come under pressure themselves from the home team.
Wannenberg and compatriot scrum-half Ruan Pienaar combined before sending the ball wide to Trimble who touched down. Aironi responded with a James Marshall penalty before Humphreys kicked over a long range effort on 63 minutes to give his side a 10 v 6 lead at the break.
Wannenberg's brace just after the break highlighted Ulster's dominance upfront and the forwards won a penalty try just after when Aironi's scrum collapsed and French referee Christophe Berdos awarded the try.
With the bonus-point in the bag Ulster cruised, Henry and Danielli crossing for late tries.
J Laharrague, P Canavosio, R Penney, G Pavan, M Pratichetti, J Marshall, M Wilson, M Aguero, F Ongaro, F Staibano, M Bortolami, Q Geldenhuys [capt], V Liebenberg, J Erasmus, J Sole BENCH: R Santamaria, S Perugini, A de Marchi, C del Fava, A Birchall, T Tebaldi, R Bocchino, G Pizarro
Scorers P: Tebaldi DG: Marshall
A D'Arcy, A Trimble, N Spence, P Wallace, S Danielli, I Humphreys, R Pienaar, T Court, N Brady, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller, D Tuohy, S Ferris, W Faloon, P Wannenburg BENCH: A Kyriacou, B Young, J Cronin, T Barker, C Henry, P Marshall, I Whitten, D McIlwaine
Scorers T: Trimble, Wannenburg 3, PT, Danielli C: Humphreys 5 P: Humphreys 2
Match points: Aironi 0pts, Ulster 5pts
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 26 - 19 BATH RUGBY
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Saturday 22nd January 2011
HT: 14-0 Attendance: -
A brace for former Bath wing Iain Balshaw helped Biarritz Olympique finish top of Pool 4 with a bonus-point win over Bath in the South of France.
From the outset last season's Heineken Cup finalists forced Bath to defend for long periods of the game, using their attacking power upfront and out wide to cause the visitors problems all afternoon.
Influential scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili opened the scoring, charging down Olly Barkley's clearance and gliding into score under the posts, he then added the simple conversion.
England wing Balshaw then came back to haunt his former club, linking up with Dane Haylett-Petty to create room down the flank before out sprinting the defence to score. Yachvili slotted over the conversion which took his side into a well deserved 14 - 0 lead at the break.
The hosts started the second period in the same vain they left the first and Balshaw grabbed his second try just two minutes in. Bath captain Luke Watson looked to have intercepted a short pass but the ball rebounded in to the arms of Balshaw who had an easy run into score.
Bath finally found some composure and when they began to string the phases together caused problems for Biarritz. Stuart Hooper powered his way over for a well deserved score.
As Bath tried to build on the try and eat into the lead Biarritz struck back through American flyer Takudzwa Ngwenya who crossed for the bonus point try.
Tom Biggs touched down for a late double for the visitors but it wasn't enough and too late in the day and Biarritz progress through to the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup.
D Haylett-Petty, T Ngwenya, M Bosch, D Traille, I Balshaw, J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili, E Coetzee, B August, S Marconnet, P Taele, E Lund, S Vahafolau, I Harinordoquy [capt], R Lakafia BENCH: R Terrain, Y Watremez, E Guinazu, J Thion, B Guyot, Y Lesgourgues, A Mignardi, I Bolakoro
Scorers T: Yachvili, Balshaw (2), Ngwenya C: Yachvili (3)
N Abendanon, M Banahan, O Barkley, S Hape, T Biggs, B James, M Claassens, D Bell, L Mears, D Wilson, S Hooper, D Grewcock, S Taylor, L Watson [capt], B Skirving BENCH: P Dixon, D Flatman, A Jarvis, I Fernadez Lobbe, J Ovens, M McMillan, S Vesty, J Cuthbert
Scorers T: Hooper, Biggs C: Vesty (2)
Match Points: Biarritz 4pts, Bath 1pt
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
LEICESTER TIGERS 62 - 12 BENETTON TREVISO
Welford Road - Sunday 23rd January 2011
HT: 29-3 Attendance: 17,601
Leicester Tigers crushed Benetton Treviso on Sunday afternoon to secure a quarter-final place in the Heineken Cup as one of the two best-placed runners up.
The Tigers scored nine tries in a 62-15 thrashing, with No8 Jordan Crane helping himself to a hat-trick at Welford Road.
Alesana Tuilagi, Thomas Waldrom, Manu Tuilagi and Steve Mafi also crossed for the hosts, while full back Scott Hamilton grabbed a brace.
England fly-half Toby Flood finished with a personal tally of 17 points thanks to seven conversions and a penalty as Leicester did all they could to finish top of Pool 5.
The 2001 and 2002 European Champions knew a bonus-point victory would see them a win the group and claim a home quarter-final as long as Perpignan didn't take maximum points from their clash with the Scarlets at the Stade Aime Giral.
Leicester kept their part of the bargain but the Scarlets failed to do Richard Cockerill's men a favour as Perpignan scored five tries in a 37-5 romp.
Treviso actually opened the scoring inside the very first minute in the East Midlands as Chris Burton slotted a drop goal and the game remained tight for the opening quarter. But once Crane had crossed for his first score shortly after the 20-minute mark, it was all Leicester.
The reigning English Champions had the bonus point sewn up by half-time thanks to Hamilton's first try, Crane's second and then an Alesana Tuilagi effort right on the whistle.
Crane completed his hat-trick shortly after the break, with Waldrom adding a sixth score moments later.
Treviso hit back with tries from Brendan Williams and Alberto Sgarbi but Leicester finished on top as a second score from Hamilton was followed by two tries in the final five minutes through Manu Tuilagi and Mafi.
S Hamilton, M Smith, M Tuilagi, A Allen, A Tuilagi, T Flood, B Youngs, M Ayerza, G Chuter, D Cole, L Deacon [capt], G Skivington, T Waldrom, C Newby, J Crane BENCH: R Hawkins, B Stankovich, M Castrogiovanni, E Slater, S Mafi, J Grindal, J Staunton, H Agulla
Scorers T: Crane (2), Hamilton (3), AT Tuilagi, Waldron, EMS Tuilagi, Mafi C: Flood (7) P: Flood
B Williams, L Nitoglia, E Galon, G Garcia, J Maddock, K Burton, F Semenzato, M Rizzo, L Ghiraldini [capt], L Cittadini, E Pavanello, C van Zyl, B Vermaak , V Bernabò, P Derbyshire BENCH: F Sbaraglini, I Fernandez Rouyet, P di Santo, A Pavanello, A Zanni, A Sgarbi, T Botes, T Benvenuti
Scorers T: Williams, Sgarbi C: Burton P:Burton
Match Points: Leicester Tigers 5pts, Benetton Treviso 0pts
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
PERPIGNAN 37 - 5 SCARLETS
Stade Aimé Giral - Sunday 23rd January 2011
HT: 22-0 Attendance: 13,719
Perpignan finish top of Pool 5 and earn themselves a home quarter-final spot with a 37 v 5 bonus-point victory over the Scarlets.
Three teams were still in contention to qualify from the pool ahead of today's final games, but from the outset at the Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan took control of proceedings and put on a fine display of running rugby which would have sent warning shots across the continent.
In the glorious French sunshine Jerome Porical gave his side the perfect start, collecting his own kick through to touch down after three minutes.
The combination of raw power up front and creativity in backs proved too much for the Scarlets on occasion, Henry Tuilagi benefiting from a sweeping attack to touch down for his side's second try.
Another huge scrum from Perpignan gave Tuilagi the platform to link up with his backline and he fed scrum-half Florian Cazenave who created space out wide for Farid Sid who ran in to score.
Porical added the conversion and on the stroke of half-time Nicolas Laharrague added a penalty for a 22-0 score at the break.
Following the style of their hosts, the Welsh side hit hard through the midfield and then used the sleight of hand out wide to create space and Jonathan Davies crashed over after 45 minutes to give his side hope.
Just as the visitors started to play with belief the killer blow came from Cazenave. The snipping scrum-half who was at the heart of all the first half action touched down for the bonus-point score.
From a simple catch and drive 10 metres out the home pack rumbled their way forward and always looked in control, South African Gerrie Britz touching down for Perpignan's fifth try.
J Porical, F Sid, D Marty, M Mermoz, J Candelon, N Laharrague, F Cazenave, P Freshwater, G Guirado, N Mas [capt], O Olibeau, G Vilaceca, D Chouly, B Guiry, H Tuilagi BENCH: M Tincu, K Pulu, B Bourrust, R Tchale Watchou, D Mele, G Britz, O Tonita, J Michel
Scorers T: Porical, Tuilagi, Sid, Cazenave, Britz C: Porical (2), Laharrague P: Laharrague (2)
R Priestland, M Stoddart, G Maule, J Davies, S Lamont, S Jones, T Knoyle, I Thomas, M Rees [capt], A Fenby, L Reed, J Fa'amatuainu, R McCusker, J Turnbull, D Lyons BENCH: E Phillips, R Jones, P John, D Welch, B Morgan, M Roberts, L Williams, R Pugh
Scorers T: Davies
Match Points: Perpignan 5pts, Scarlets 0pts
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
LONDON WASPS 21-16 TOULOUSE
Adams Park - Sunday 23rd January 2011
HT: 13-7 Attendance: 10,014
A try by London Wasps wing David Lemi 46 seconds from the end of the 2010/11 Pool stages added one final twist in the tail of the quarter-final qualification process as reigning champions Toulouse were denied a home tie in the last eight.
Samoan flyer Lemi latched on to Joe Simpson's neat grub kick into the French 22 and outpaced replacement scrum half Nicolas Vergallo to the touchdown. Up until then the game looked to be heading for a draw, but that try allowed Wasps to extend their unbeaten home run in the Heineken Cup to 15 games and ended Toulouse' 11 game winning streak in the tournament.
Defeat also meant the difference between a home draw against Toulon and an away quarter-final against Biarritz Olympique for Toulouse in what will be a re-run of the 2010 Heineken Cup final in Paris.
As for Wasps, their gallant effort came shortly after they had seen Perpignan and Leicester Tigers bag the final two quarter-final spots in the Heineken Cup, but they still maintained their unbeaten record against Toulouse on English soil to become the top ranked team from the Heineken Cup to move into the Amlin Challenge Cup.
That meant a short trip across London to face Harlequins, with the winners going on to face either Brive of Munster away from home in the semi-finals.
Things didn't start well when weak tackling let Yannick Jauzion canter over for a try in the 10th minute, but that bright opening flattered to deceive. The French temperament came into play and the yellow card to No 8 Louis Picamoles cost his side 10 points just before the break and then centre Florian Fritz picked up a red card for a spear tackle seven minutes after the break.
Dave Walder kicked Wasps first points and then provided the inside pass to super-sub Richard Haughton for a try at the posts less than a minute after Picamoles' departure. Walder added the conversion and then added a penalty to make it 13-7 at half-time.
The home outside half then punished Fritz for his dangerous tackle on Tom Varndell by adding a second penalty to stretch the lead to nine points. But having built up a handy lead, Wasps then allowed Toulouse to creep back into the game with a series of silly penalties.
David Skrela took his three opportunities to level the scores on 64 minutes and it was 14 v 14 for 10 minutes in the final quarter when Serge Betsen picked up a yellow card for diving into a ruck.
M van Gisbergen, T Varndell, B Jacobs [capt], D Waldouck, D Lemi, D Walder, J Simpson, T Payne, T Lindsay, Z Taulafo, S Shaw, R Birkett, J Worsley, S Betsen, A Powell BENCH: J Ward, C Beech, B Broster, M Veale, J Cannon, N Berry, R Flutey, R Haughton
Scorers T: Haughton, Lemi C: Walder P: Walder (3)
Yellow Card: Serge Betsen Tchoua
C Poitrenaud, V Clerc, F Fritz, Y Jauzion, M Medard, D Skrela, J Doussain, D Human, W Servat, C Johnston, Y Maestri, P Albacete, Y Nyanga, T Dusautoir [capt], L Picamoles BENCH: V Lacombe, J Poux, Y Montes, G Lamboley, N Vergallo, C Heymans, F Michalak, S Sowerby
Scorers T: Jauzion C: Skrela P: Skrela (3)
Yellow Card: Louis Picamoles
Red Card: Florian Fritz
Match Points: London Wasps 4pts, Toulouse 1pt
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
DRAGONS 16 - 23 GLASGOW WARRIORS
Rodney Parade - Sunday 23rd January 2011
HT: 6-6 Attendance: -
A brace from powerful Glasgow wing DTH Van Der Merwe clinched victory for his side at Rodney Parade as they finished the Pool stage with a 23 v 16 win against Newport Gwent Dragons.
The first half was dominated by the kickers Ruaridh Jackson kicking the visitors ahead with a penalty after four minutes before Jason Tovey responded for the Welsh side with a drop goal ten minutes later.
Jackson and Tovey slotted a penalty apiece as half-time approached and the sides went into the break 6-6.
The Dragons lifted in the intensity after the interval, Tovey kicking his second penalty before Wales win Aled Brew crossed for the opening try. Tovey had no problems with the conversion and home side extended their lead to 16-6.
Colin Gregor and Van Der Merwe levelled the game up with a try apiece for the Scottish side, Jackson failed with both conversion keeping the scores all square.
Van Der Merwe crossed for his second late on to seal the victory and leave the Dragons without a win to their name in this year's competition.
Newport Gwent Dragons: W Harries, A Hughes, T Riley, A Smith, A Brew, J Tovey, W Evans, P Price, T Willis [capt], B Castle, L Charteris, R Sidoli, D Lydiate, G Thomas, T Faletau BENCH: S Jones, G Robinson, P Palmer, S Morgan, L Evans, J Leadbeater, P Leach, M Jones
Scorers T: Brew C: Tovey P: Tovey (2) DG: Tovey
B Stortoni, C Shaw, F Aramburu, P Murchie, D van der Merwe, R Jackson, C Gregor, J Welsh, D Hall, M Low, A Muldowney, A Kellock [capt], R Harley, R Vernon, R Wilson BENCH: F Thomson, R Grant, K Tkachuk, P Burke, C Fusaro, H Pyrgos, P Horne, H O'Hare
Scorers T: Gregor, van der Merwe (2) C: Jackson P: Jackson (2)
Match Points: Newport Gwent Dragons 1pt, Glasgow Warriors 4pts
Referee: John Paul 'JP' Doyle (England)
CARDIFF BLUES 14 - 9 CASTRES OLYMPIQUE
Cardiff City Stadium - Friday 14th January 2011
HT: 11-3 Attendance: 7,024
Cardiff Blues restored some Heineken Cup pride with a 14-9 victory over Castres Olympique on Friday night. Last season's Amlin Challenge Cup winners bounced back from three successive defeats in Pool 1 to record their second win of the group stages.
Leigh Halfpenny scored the solitary try against a side who had won the reverse fixture 27-20 back in October.
The Welsh wing crossed 15 minutes before the interval, while Dan Parks kicked nine points for the Blues, although he mirrored Castres kicker Seremaia Bai in suffering a mixed night from the tee.
Bai opened the scoring for the visitors with five minutes on the clock but not before he had missed a straightforward effort two minutes earlier.
Following Parks' first successful strike, he handed the Blues the lead four minutes later with one of the simplest penalties he willl attempt all year.
Bai should have brought the sides all square once more on 22 minutes but the Fijian was again wayward from close-range.
With both sides struggling to truly impose themselves, Heineken Man of the Match Halfpenny's second try in as many games since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off lit up the half.
The Blues were 11-3 to the good with 25 minutes gone. It remained that way until the half-time break, although both sides unsuccessfully attempted long-range penalties.
The second period was a similarly tight affair, with neither side able to cross the tryline. A penalty apiece was all the sides had to show for their second-half efforts until replacement fly-half Pierre Bernard stepped up to secure what could yet be an important losing bonus-point for Castres with just four minutes remaining.
Castres trailed 14-6 at that point and looked set to leave for home with nothing but Bernard's 40-metre penalty ensures they remain in second place in the Pool with one game remaining.
The result itself has come too late to gain the Blues passage into the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup but it could be significant in terms of their overall ERC ranking.
T: Leigh Halfpenny P: Dan Parks (4)
P: Seremaia Baikeinuku (2), Pierre Bernard
Yellow Card: Yoan Audrin
Match points: Cardiff Blues 4pts, Castres Olympique 1pts
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 37 - 0 EDINBURGH
Franklins Gardens - Friday 14th January 2011
HT: 15-0 Attendance: 13,165
Paul Diggin grabbed a club European record four tries as Northampton Saints became the first team to book their ticket for the 2011 Heineken Cup quarter-finals as they swept aside Edinburgh 37-0 to bag top spot in Pool 1 with one round to play.
With Cardiff Blues beating Castres Olympique 14-9 in the Welsh capital the Saints' comfortable victory, their 11th in a row in the tournament at Franklin's Gardens, over their Scottish visitors gave them an unassailable 10 point cushion at the top.
They now travel to Castres next weekend looking for the victory that should be enough to guarantee them their first home quarter-final since they won the title way back in 2000.
But even though Diggin bagged four tries to eclipse former hat-trick heroes Matt Dawson and Ben Cohen in the club's Heineken Cup record books it wasn't enough to earn him the Heineken man of the match award ahead of Tongan prop Soane Tonga'uiha.
A fifth minute try from a close range line-out by Springbok prop Brain Mujati set the tone for another 80 minutes of forward domination by the English Premiership outfit. Steve Myler added the conversion and hoisted the lead to 10 points with a 16th minute penalty.
The Edinburgh defence stood firm for much of the first-half and it wasn't until home wing Diggin squeezed out of two tackles to reach the left corner that the game's first try came just after half-an-hour.
Edinburgh lost prop Kyle Traynor to the sin-bin on the stroke of half-time and Myler increased the lead immediately after the re-start with a penalty. At 18-0 the Saints were cruising, but they picked up the pace in the final 10 minutes when Diggin went on his one man try crusade.
His first was a length of the 22 run in to the left corner and then Joe Ansbro handed him his hat-trick by giving him the ball behind the posts five minutes later. Then Bruce Reihana made the running to give Diggin another simple run in to make it three tries in eight minutes to round off an exceptional night's work.
T: Paul Diggin (4), Brian Mujati C: Steve Myler (2), Joe Ford P: Steve Myler (2)
Yellow Card: Kyle Traynor
Match points: Northampton Saints 5pts, Edinburgh Rugby 0pts
Man of the Match: S Tongauiha (Northampton Saints)
CLERMONT AUVERGNE 28 - 17 RACING MÉTRO 92
Stade Marcel Michelin - Friday 14th January 2011
HT: 7-10 Attendance: tbc
Top 14 Champions ASM Clermont Auvergne claimed what could be a crucial bonus point in a 28-17 victory over compatriots Racing Métro in the Heineken Cup this evening.
The hosts crossed for four tries and moved level on points with Pool 2 leaders Leinster, though the Irish province do have a game in hand, which is against Saracens tomorrow.
It was the visitors, who still had all to play for in terms of quarter-final qualification before the match, who raced into an early lead.
Argentina international Juan Martin Hernandez kicked them ahead early on before converting Bernard Le Roux's try after 15 minutes.
Clermont hit back before the break with a try from Gonzalo Canale which Brock James converted.
The second half way all about Clermont as they showed their European pedigree, touching down for two tries in the space of four minutes. Prop Thomas Domingo grabbed the first before Jason White crossed just four minutes later and again James was on target to add the extras.
With the scores at 21-10 Racing went on the hunt for a score and Julien Jane obliged. Jane pulled a try back for the visitors and Hernandez' conversion brought the scores to within four points with just 16 minutes remaining.
Influential captain Aurélien Rougerie grabbed the all-important fourth try for Clermont towards the end of the game to seal the victory and the bonus point.
Scorers: T: Canale, Domingo, Rougerie, White C: James (3), Parra
Scorers: T: Jane, le Roux C: Hernandez (2) P: Hernand
Yellow Card: Alvaro Galindo
Match Points: Clermont Auverne 5pts, Racing Métro 92 0pts
Man of the Match:
LEINSTER 43-20 SARACENS
Royal Dublin Society - Saturday 15th January 2011
HT: 22-12 Attendance: 18,500
Former European Champions Leinster booked their place in the quarter-finals with an impressive 43-20 victory over Saracens in Dublin.
It was a clinical performance from the hosts who knew a bonus-point victory would take them into the knock-out phases thanks to a superior match-point record over closest rivals ASM Clermont Auvergne.
In a fast flowing first half the hosts crossed for three tries with Saracens adding two of their own but Fergus McFadden's try early in the second clinched the victory and bonus point for the Irish side.
It took Leinster just five minutes to grab their first try courtsey of Sean O'Brien who was on top form at the RDS all afternoon. Sexton missed the conversion but he was lining up his second a few minutes later after Dominic Ryan stretched his way over to score.
Sexton made no mistake with the conversion to give the hosts an early 12-0 lead.
With their tails up Leinster were hunting a third try but a loose pass from Luke Fitzgerald threw Saracens a life-line as James Short pounced on the ball and raced clear to score, with Owen Farrell adding the simple conversion.
The visitors then grabbed then second try soon after Sexton had responded to the first with a penalty for Leinster.
England wing David Strettle launched the attack and linked up with Andy Saull to put Kelly Brown away to score.
Every time Leinster attacked they looked threatening and Ryan touched down for his second on the stroke of half-time, with Sexton adding the two points.
McFadden's try ten minutes into the second period clinched the bonus point and set the scene for the remaining 30 minutes of the game.
Farrell grabbed three points back for Saracens before Isa Nacewa got the try he so deserved for his afternoon's work. Sexton converted and did the same after Eoin O'Malley's score.
As the game approached the end Saracens would not lie down and built themselves into a promising position and Nils Mordt slid over in injury-time for a late consolation.
T: Eoin O'Malley, Sean O'Brien, Dominic Ryan (2) , Isa Nacewa, Fergus McFadden C: Johnny Sexton (5) P: Johnny Sexton
Yellow Card:Devin Toner
T: Nils Mordt, Kelly Brown, James Short C: Owen Farrell P: Owen Farrell
Match points: Leinster 5pts, Saracens 0pts
Man of the Match: Sean O'Brien (Leinster)
LONDON IRISH 24 - 12 OSPREYS
Madejski Stadium - Sunday 16th January 2011
HT: 14-6 Attendance: 12,116
London Irish ended their run of 10 successive defeats in all competitions to gain revenge over the Ospreys for their 27-16 defeat in Round 2.
The Irish were far too physical at the breakdown and far more efficient around the field as they forced the Welsh region into mistake after mistake as they saw their chances of reaching a fourth successive quarter-final go up in smoke.
The Ospreys almost scored in the first minute when Mike Phillips drove for the line only to be held up. With skipper Seilala Mapusua leading by example, the ferocity of the home defence shook the Ospreys and made them play largely on the back foot throughout the game.
Dan Bowden and Dan Biggar swapped early penalties before a superb midfield break by England fullback Delon Armitage paved the way for the first Irish try by left wing Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Bowden couldn't convert, but he kicked two more penalties to Biggar's one to give the home side a well deserved 14-6 interval lead. The Ospreys may have thought they were still in touch, but it only took a minute of the second half for their task to get even greater.
Irish worked a midfield move off a line-out win on the Ospreys 22 and Topsy Ojo was brought bursting through the middle to score a wonderful training ground move try. This time Bowden added the conversion and the gap was suddenly 15 points.
Biggar then hit the mark from 51 metres to get the visitors moving again, but then the outside half missed with two much easier shots at goal and finally gave way to Sonny Parker after 55 minutes.
James Hook took over the kicking duties and landed a penalty to cut the gap to nine points with 14 minutes left to play, but that was it for the Welsh side.
Even though they played the final nine minutes with hooker James Buckland in the sin-bin, Irish held on for a famous victory that had a sting in the tail through a Ryan Lamb penalty to drive the final nail into the Ospreys' Heineken Cup coffin this season.
T: Topsy Ojo, Sailosi Tagicakibau C: Dan Bowden P: Ryan Lamb, Dan Bowden (3)
Yellow Card: James Buckland
P: Dan Biggar (3), James Hook
Match points: London Irish 4pts, Ospreys 0pts
Man of the Match: C Hala'ufia (London Irish)
TOULON 32 - 16 MUNSTER
Stade Félix Mayol - Sunday 16th January 2011
HT: 26-9 Attendance: 13,900
Toulon secured top-spot in Pool 3 with a magnificent performance to beat double Heineken Cup Champions Munster 32 - 16 in the South of France, reaching the knock-out stages for the first time.
Munster got the first score of the afternoon with a Ronan O'Gara penalty.
The French side got their opening points through a Jonny Wilkinson penalty on eight minutes which he then followed up with two more in quick succession.
It was a moment of magic from dynamic scrum-half Pierre Mignoni inspired the first try of the afternoon for Christian Loamanu to chase, collect and score and Wilkinson added the conversion.
Munster responded immediately with a second penalty from O'Gara to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Donncha O'Callaghan was sent to the sin-bin and Wilkinson had no problem kicking over the resulting penalty.
Mignoni was again at the heart of Toulon's second try, and Paul Sackey was the final receiver who scored right in the corner.
O'Gara added his third penalty on the stroke of half-time.
The second period continued in much of the same vain as the first and Wilkinson kicked a further six points to stretch his side's lead.
Munster threw everything at the hosts in the final 20 minutes, with wave after wave of attacks. David Wallace touched down for a well deserved late try which O'Gara converted.
T: Paul Sackey, Christian Loamanu C: Jonny Wilkinson (2) P: Jonny Wilkinson (6)
Yellow Card: Davit Kubriashvili
T: David Wallace C: Ronan O'Gara P: Ronan O'Gara (3)
Yellow Card: Donncha O'Callaghan, Ronan O'Gara
Match points: Toulon 4pts, Munster 0pts
Man of the Match: J van Niekerk (Toulon)
BATH RUGBY 55 - 16 AIRONI RUGBY
The Rec - Saturday 15th January 2011
HT: 36-13 Attendance: 10,000
Four tries from Matt Banahan and a brace for Tom Briggs and Luke Watson helped Bath to a bonus point victory against Aironi at the Rec.
Olly Barkley and James Marshall exchanged early penalties before Biggs crossed for the first of eight Bath tries during the afternoon.
Barkley missed with the conversion and Aironi fly-half Marshall then narrowed the gap to two points with his second penalty as the fifteen minute mark approached.
Leading from the front captain Watson grabbed Bath's second with Barkley converting.
Two more tries followed in quick succession for the hosts, Biggs grabbing his second before England wing Banahan's first score. Barkley converted both taking the score to 29-6.
Josh Sole crossed for a converted try for the visitors before Banahan collected his second on the stroke of half-time.
Marshall opened the second half scoring with penalty but it was over to Banahan once again who scored his third and fourth try of the afternoon.
Watson finished the rout with his second three minutes from time and Barkley was on form with the conversion to complete his 15-point haul.
T: Matt Banahan (4) , Tom Biggs (2) , Luke Watson (2) C: Olly Barkley (6) P: Olly Barkley
Yellow Card:Shontayne Hape
T: Josh Sole C: James Marshall P: James Marshall (3)
Yellow Card:Marco Bortolami
Match points: Bath Rugby 5pts, Aironi Rugby 0pts
Man of the Match: Luke Watson (Bath Rugby)
ULSTER RUGBY 6 - 9 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE
Ravenhill - Saturday 15th January 2011
HT: 0- 6 Attendance: 10,566
Ian Humphreys was the last-gasp hero in Belfast as Ulster kept their Heineken Cup hopes alive with a 9-6 win over Biarritz Olympique.
With the scores tied at 6-apiece and time running out at Ravenhill, last season's beaten finalists looked set to take control of Pool 4 before Humphreys altered the outlook of the group with one swing of his left boot.
The former Leicester fly-half somehow kept his composure under intense pressure to slot a 51-metre penalty with less than two minutes remaining.
The result sees Ulster join Biarritz on 17 points at the top of the pool.
Ulster began brightly but it was Biarritz who carried a 6-0 advantage into the second half courtesy of two well-taken penalties from the ever-reliable Dimitri Yachvili.
The veteran scrum-half cleared the cross bar by fully 20 metres with his first attempt from just inside the Ulster 10-metre line, while his second effort on the stroke of half time was equally assured.
That first-half scoreline failed to tell the real story, however, with the visitors unable to create a single try-scoring opportunity despite playing with a substantial wind at their backs.
Instead it was Ulster who dominated territory and possession, with Adam D'Arcy coming close to a try after a flowing backline move, but the driving rain and that horrific west to east wind held them back.
Humphreys only attempted one shot at goal throughout the first half despite being awarded a flurry of penalties.
That attitude understandably changed after the break, with Humphreys lining up a penalty attempt from fully 55 metres out eight minutes into the second period. The 28-year-old succeeded with room to spare before adding a second penalty nine minutes later to level the scores.
It was a deserved win for Brian McLaughlin's men and a great reward for a 10,500-strong crowd who were nothing short of outstanding throughout.
P: Ian Humphreys (3)
P: Dimitri Yachvili (2)
Yellow Card:Erik Lund
Match points: Ulster Rugby 4pts, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque 1pts
Man of the Match: Ian Humphreys (Ulster Rugby)
BENETTON TREVISO 9- 44 PERPIGNAN
Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 15th January 2011
HT: 9-9 Attendance: 4,000
Perpignan's bonus point win in northern Italy moves them to the top of their Pool ahead of the Scarlets v Tigers clash this evening.
It is all still to play for in Pool 5 with the Scarlets still to travel to France next weekend but Perpignan completed the job they set out to do against Treviso.
In a tight opening first forty minutes Treviso's Willem de Waal and Perpignan full-back Jerome Porical traded three penalties apiece.
The French side put the memory of last season's 9-8 defeat to Treviso well and truly behind them with a clinical second half display.
Flanker Gregory Le Corvec crossed for the opening try with the second period just six minutes old and Porical added the two points with the conversion.
It was one way traffic from then on Farid Sid, Nicolas Laharrague and Julien Candelon all touching down for converted tries for the visitors.
Candelon then claimed his second on the stroke of full-time to wrap up the victory.
P: Willem de Waal (3)
T: Nicolas Laharrague, Farid Sid, Grégory Le Corvec, Julien Candelon (2) C: Jérôme Porical (4) , Jean-Philippe Grandclaude P: Jérôme Porical (3)
Match points: Benetton Treviso 0pts, Perpignan 5pts
Man of the Match: David Marty (Perpignan)
SCARLETS 18 - 32 LEICESTER TIGERS
Parc y Scarlet - Saturday 15th January 2011
HT: 10-6 Attendance: 12,392
Leicester Tigers keep alive their hopes of a quarter-final place thanks to a second-half fightback at the Parc Y Scarlets.
The Scarlets dominated the first period in South Wales but a moment of magic from England scrum-half Ben Youngs spurred on the former Champions who went on to score three tries in the second period.
Toby Flood hit the target with his first two kicks of the evening to give the visitors a six point lead but the Scarlets then stepped up to the plate, conjuring some fantastic running rugby.
Full back Rhys Priestland started it all as he recovered a grub kick on his 22. But quick passing gave Welsh Six Nations inside centre hopeful Jonathan Davies the chance to show off his running and passing skills in front of Warren Gatland.
He beat four players as he headed over half-way and then fixed Tigers full back Scott Hamilton on his 22 before giving Morgan Stoddart the chance to race past Ben Youngs and Alesana Tuilagi to score in the left corner.
The crowd were on their feet and stayed there as Stephen Jones added the conversion to nose the Scarlets into the lead and he then extended it with a penalty.
Flood and Jones swapped penalties at the start of the second half before the Tigers showed off their attacking skills to grab the lead for the second time in the 50th minute.
Anthony Allen split open the defence and quick ball and fantastic hands from George Chuter made room from Tuilagi to power his way to the line.
Then came Youngs' instinctive score before Steve Mafi grabbed a third near the end.
T: Morgan Stoddart, Sean Lamont C: Stephen Jones P: Stephen Jones (2)
T: Ben Youngs, Alesana Tuilagi, Steve Mafi C: Toby Flood P: Toby Flood (5)
Match points: Scarlets 0pts, Leicester Tigers 4pts
Man of the Match: Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
TOULOUSE 17 - 3 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS
Stade Ernest Wallon - Saturday 15th January 2011
HT: 10-3 Attendance: 17,766
Heineken Cup Champions Toulouse made in 11 wins in a row but were made to work hard by the Newport Gwent Dragons for their 17-3 victory in southern France.
They continue to top their European Pool but if London Wasps can overturn Glasgow tomorrow, the scene will be set for a winners takes all final match at Adams Park next weekend.
Jason Tovey missed the opportunity to put the Dragons ahead with an early penalty attempt just before Toulouse captain Thierry Dusautoir crossed for the afternoon's opening try. Fly-half David Skrela missed the chance on offer for the extra two points.
France wing Vincent Clerc touched down as half time approached and again Skrela couldn't add to the score, missing the conversion.
On the stroke of half-time Tovey opened the Dragons account with a penalty to take the scores to 10 - 3 at the break.
On top at the set-piece the French forwards finally got the try they deserved with just ten minutes remaining, Dusautoir grabbing his second from his position at the back of a fierce rolling maul.
T: Thierry Dusautoir (2) , Vincent Clerc C: David Skrela
Yellow Card:Frédéric Michalak
P: Jason Tovey
Match points: Toulouse 4pts, Newport Gwent Dragons 0pts
Man of the Match: Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse)
GLASGOW WARRIORS 20 - 10 LONDON WASPS
Firhill Arena - Sunday 16th January 2011
HT: 6-10 Attendance: 2,564
Glasgow Warriors produced an impressive second-half comeback to beat London Wasps in Sunday's early kick off.
The Scottish side scored 17 unanswered points after trailing 10-3 with just 11 minutes played at Firhill.
Tom Varndell was Wasps' solitary try scorer, with Dave Walder kicking five points from the tee as the visitors suffered their second defeat of the group stages.
It was Joe Simpson's break that set up Varndell for the game's opening try. Walder added the extras after he and opposite number Jackson had shared earlier penalties.
Jackson slotted a second successful strike with just a quarter of an hour played but Wasps held their 10-6 advantage until the half-time break.
Glasgow narrowed the gap to just a single point courtesy of Jackson's third penalty four minutes into the second period and the hosts found themselves ahead for the first time when Gregor crossed for a superb score five minutes later.
Jackson failed with the relatively straightforward conversion and again with a 64th-minute penalty but he made amends 30 seconds later with his third successful three pointer.
The young playmaker then added a drop goal with five minutes remaining to deny Wasps a losing bonus point and hand Pool 6 to reigning champions Toulouse.
T: Colin Gregor P: Ruaridh Jackson (4) DG: Ruaridh Jackson
T: Tom Varndell C: Dave Walder P: Dave Walder
Match points: Glasgow Warriors 4pts, London Wasps 0pts
Man of the Match: R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors)
CARDIFF BLUES 19 – 23 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Cardiff City Stadium - Sunday 19th December 2010
HT: 9-9 Attendance: 7,124
Northampton Saints completed the double over Pool 1 rivals Cardiff Blues and maintained their 100 per cent record in the competition thanks to a 72nd minute try from replacement Calum Clark.
Stephen Myler opened the scoring in the third minute after Northampton smashed their opponents at the first scrum.
Cardiff hit back through the reliable Parks on 14 minutes before Myler restored the Saints' advantage at the end of the opening quarter.
The home side were boosted when Saints centre James Downey was yellow carded on the half hour mark for a blatant trip on Blues scrum-half Richie Rees.
Parks added his second penalty from close range before putting the Blues into the lead for the first time on 36 minutes with his third successful kick.
But Myler drew Northampton level on the stroke of half time with a routine penalty as the teams left for the dressing rooms at 9-9. .
At the start of the second half, Richard Mustoe touched down and Parks converted for a 16-9 lead before the Blues pressed the self-destruct button.
Firstly, Bradley Davies was sin-binned in the 49th minute for illegally kicking the ball away from replacement scrum-half Lee Dickson.
Myler reduced the deficit with his fourth penalty before the turning point of the match.
Northampton were attacking in the Blues 22 when Rush was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Lawes.
Myler booted his fifth penalty to trim the lead to 16-15 but the 13-man Blues were on the ropes.
Davies returned from the cooler but Myler nudged the Saints ahead on 61 minutes with his sixth penalty.
But, three minutes later, Parks hauled the home side in front once again with a neat drop goal from in front of the posts.
The Blues displayed a strong defence but they were finally breached with eight minutes remaining when Clark burrowed over.
Myler missed the conversion and Clark almost went from hero to zero as he was sin-binned but Northampton clung on.
T: Richard Mustoe C: Dan Parks P: Dan Parks (3) DG: Dan Parks
Yellow Card: Bradley Davies Red Card - Xavier Rush
T: Calum Clark P: Steve Myler (6)
Yellow Card: Calum Clark, James Downey
Match points: Cardiff Blues 1pts, Northampton Saints 4pts
Man of the Match: S Tongauiha (Northampton Saints)
EDINBURGH 24 - 22 CASTRES OLYMPIQUE
Murrayfield - Monday 20th December 2010
HT: 14-10 Attendance: 0
Edinburgh made Heineken Cup history by staging the first game in the tournament's history behind closed doors at Murrayfield.
Castres got off to a flying start with a fourth minutes penalty from outside half Pierre Bernard, but it wasn't long before Edinburgh edged in front. Chris Paterson missed with his first kick of the day, but then added the extras to the first of three home tries from wing Tim Visser.
The Frenchmen hit back almost immediately with lock Rodrigo Capo Ortega charging over from a close-range forward drive to score a try which centre Seremaia Baikeinuku converted to put Castres back into the lead.
Lee Jones raced in for his first competitive try that ensured Edinburgh headed into the break 14-10 to the good, thanks to Paterson's conversion, and Blair extended the advantage with a penalty seven minutes into the second half following his full back's substitution through injury.
Plunging temperatures and a raft of replacements disrupted the flow of the game. Castres turned the screw and after earning a number of penalties at a series of power scrums were awarded a penalty try by English referee Wayne Barnes.
Baikeinuku added the simple conversion to level the scores and then replacement scrum half Sebastien Tillous-Borde somehow managed to squeeze his way over the line from close range to grab the lead for the visitors with eight minutes left to play.
The only consolation for Edinburgh was that the conversion was missed, leaving them with one last shot at glory. It fell to Webster to make the difference, the wing scoring a trademark kick and chase try that allowed Blair to kick for victory.
T: Simon Webster, Tim Visser, Lee Jones C: Chris Paterson (2), David Blair P: David Blair
Yellow Card: Greig Laidlaw
T: Sébastien Tillous-Borde, Rodrigo Capo Ortega C: Seremaia Bai (2) P: Pierre Bernard Penalty Try
Match points: Edinburgh 4pts, Castres Olympique 1pts
RACING MÉTRO 92 14 – 19 SARACENS
Stade Olympique Yves du Manoir - Friday 17th December 2010
HT: 0-16 Attendance: 8,405
Owen Farrell kicked his side six points ahead with a penalty after two minutes and then a simple drop goal. The Racing pack repeatedly tried to create and continued to make the hard yards but in arctic conditions nothing clicked for the home side.
It was Farrell's run on the angle through the Racing defence which created the opening try. Farrell shoved two defenders aside and was bought down just short before the ball was recycled wide to Brad Barritt who glided over to score.
Farrell added the two points and kicked a penalty on the stroke of half time to take the North Londoner's into the break 16-points ahead.
Racing Métro needed to come out a changed team and that is certainly what they did.
The difference was dramatic as they began to have the upper hand and grew in confidence.
Saracens found it hard to deal with the home side's energy and passion in attack and Racing struck twice in quick succession through Mirco Bergamasco and then Nicolas Durand.
Bergamasco charged down Saracens' Neil de Kock clearance and calmly collected the ball and touched down to start the comeback. Jonathan Wisniewski who missed an earlier penalty added the two points.
The powerful Racing pack were awarded a penalty at a 5-metre scrum and just as everyone expected them to request another scrum, half-back Durand took a quick tap and dived over for a converted try.
The last twenty minutes were a hard fought battle but Man of the Match Farrell kicked a late penalty to cement the victory.
LEINSTER 24 – 8 ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE
Aviva Stadium - Saturday 18th December 2010
HT: 10-3 Attendance: 44,873
The 'Fever in the Aviva' re-match certainly appealed to the fans, who turned out in record numbers. The official attendance of 44,873 was the highest for a Heineken Cup Pool match in Ireland and just short of the UK best of 45,892 that saw Leinster beat Saracens at Wembley Stadium two rounds earlier.
With Jamie Heaslip and Healy restored to their starting pack Leinster got off to an explosive start and it took only seven minutes before Healy bustled his way over from close range after successive waves of Leinster players had been held up.
Johnny Sexton added the simple conversion and Schmidt was smiling. But Clermont aren't French champions for nothing and they came thundering back into the equation and forced the home side to desperately defend their line after a flash of genius by Benoit Baby had opened up the defence.
Leinster rode that storm and went on to dominate the final 15 minutes of the half, deserving much more than the single Sexton penalty they got for their efforts. However, they didn't have to wait long to improve their hold on proceedings.
Nathan Hines was unlucky to have been adjudged to have been held up by opposite number Thibault Privat as he surged across the line, but then Healy bagged his second try moments later to put in complete command.
Sexton kicked the conversion and then added the extras to a Sean O'Brien try as Clermont threatened to implode with some lose passing and limp defending in their 22. A Brock James pass missed three team mates and gave Leinster a five metre line-out which Heaslip took quickly to pave the way for the try.
The only other points in the game came from a driving line-out from the Frenchmen which was converted into a score by wing Napolioni Nalaga.
T: Sean O'Brien, Cian Healy (2) C: Johnny Sexton (3) P: Johnny Sexton
T: Napolioni Nalaga P: Morgan Parra
Match Points: Leinster 4pts, ASM Clermont Auvergne 0pts
Man of the Match: C Healy (Leinster)
OSPREYS 19 – 15 MUNSTER
Liberty Stadium - Saturday 18th December 2010
HT: 13-10 Attendance: 12,189
The Welsh region gained revenge for last weekend's 22-16 defeat in Limerick as they ran out 19-15 winners in freezing conditions at the Liberty Stadium.
Ronan O'Gara and Dan Biggar shared penalties after four and 16 minutes respectively before the game really came to life just past the halfway mark in the first period when both sides crossed for converted scores.
Munster struck first through Tony Buckley, with the giant prop barging over from close-range with 22 minutes played. O'Gara's simple conversion from directly underneath the posts gave Munster a 10-3 lead but the Ospreys hit back almost immediately through Mike Phillips.
The Ospreys scrum had become a dominant force as the half progressed and it was from that platform that Biggar gave the hosts the lead for the first time in the match. The fly-half made no mistake from 35 metres out and 15 metres to the right of the posts to ensure the Ospreys took a slender 13-10 advantage into the half-time interval.
The Ospreys found themselves holding a six-point lead thanks to a massive penalty from Biggar as he showed great confidence and even better execution to clear the crossbar from a metre inside the Munster half with 54 minutes on the clock.
But just as the Ospreys appeared to have opened up some breathing space, Munster narrowed the gap in the blink of an eye. Keith Earls pounced on a fortunate bounce from a speculative up and under and suddenly the sides were just a point apart.
Only the width of an upright prevented Munster from moving back in front as O'Gara struck the far post with his conversion attempt from wide on the right.
Biggar’s boot gave his side a 19-15 lead with 13 minutes remaining and won the day as the Ospreys claimed a vital second win of their Pool 3 campaign.
T: Mike Phillips C: Dan Biggar P: Dan Biggar (4)
T: Tony Buckley, Keith Earls C: Ronan O'Gara P: Ronan O'Gara
Yellow Card: Lifeimi Mafi
Match Points: Ospreys 4pts, Munster 1pts
Man of the Match: A Jones (Ospreys)
TOULON 38 – 17 LONDON IRISH
Stade Félix Mayol - Saturday 18th December 2010
HT: 17-0 Attendance: 11,525
Toulon moved to the top of Pool 3 with a convincing bonus-point victory over London Irish.
Philippe Saint-Andre's side followed up last weekend's triumph in Reading with a clinical five-try display.
Toulon raced into a 17-0 half time lead in a comfortable first half.
Olivier Missoup and Mickael Ivaldi both touched down with Felipe Contepomi adding a further seven points with the boot during the first forty minutes.
The Exiles were reduced to fourteen-men just four minutes into the second half with Sailosi Tagicakibau shown his second yellow card.
The winger's dismissal galvanised London Irish who upped the intensity in the South of France.
Fly-half Chris Malone and Alex Corbisiero crossed as they dramatically levelled the scores.
Toulon responded immediately and showed their European pedigree as first Contepomi side stepped his way to line to regain the lead.
Former Newcastle Falcon and England centre Tom May then scored a brilliant solo effort before Christian Loamanu touched down with his first touch of the ball.
T: Mickael Ivaldi, Tom May, Olivier Missoup, Felipe Contepomi, Christian Loamanu C: Felipe Contepomi (5) P: Felipe Contepomi
T: Chris Malone, Alex Corbisiero C: Chris Malone (2) P: Chris Malone Yellow Card: Sailosi Tagicakibau (2)
Match Points: Toulon 5pts, London Irish 0pts
Man of the Match: F Contepomi (Toulon)
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 34 – 3 AIRONI RUGBY
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Friday 17th December 2010
HT: 20-0 Attendance: 6,816
Biarritz Olympique bounced back from defeat against Aironi last weekend to record a bonus point victory against their Italian opponents.
Last season's Heineken Cup finalists raced into a 20-0 half time lead and never looked back putting their first defeat of this campaign truly behind them.
The visitors made a number of changes from the squad their got their first ever competitive victory six days ago and found it tough going against an experienced French outfit.
Dimitri Yachvili once again starred and he opened the scoring with a penalty after two minutes before converting Marcelo Bosch's try.
The home side dominated the opening forty minutes and were awarded a penalty try midway through the half which Yachvili also converted, adding to penalty moments before.
Aironi's Riccardo Bocchino had a chance to get his side on the score sheet just before the break but the Italian fly-half was off target with his first kick of the evening.
Takudzwa Ngwenga carried on from where Biarritz had left off in the first half touching down six minutes into the second period. Once again pinpoint accuracy from French International half-back Yachvili brought another two points.
Biarritz wrapped up the bonus point as the 60-minute mark approached as Benoit August crossed for his first try in Europe this season.
Aironi finally got points on the board with a Bocchino penalty but it was all about Biarritz this evening at the Parc des Sports Aguiléra.
D Haylett-Petty, T Ngwenya, M Bosch (A Mignardi 70), D Traille, I Balshaw (I Bolakoro 67), J Peyrelongue (L Tranier 61), D Yachvili, Y Watremez (E Guinazu 51), B August (R Terrain 61), C Johnstone, J Thion (P Taele 51), E Lund, M Lund, S Vahafolau, I Harinordoquy [capt] (W Lauret 67)
Scorers: T: B August, I Balshaw, T Ngwenya, Penalty Try (1) C: D Yachvili (4) P: D Yachvili (2)
J Laharrague (J Marshall 72), G Toniolatti (G Venditti 64), M Pratichetti, G Pizarro, G Rubini, R Bocchino, P Canavosio (M Wilson 64), S Perugini (M Aguero 51), L Ferraro (R Santamaria 53), F Staibano (L Gamboa 53), M Bortolami, Q Geldenhuys [capt], V Liebenberg (G Krause 53), S Favaro (J Sole 61), J Erasmus
Scorers: P: R Bocchino
Match points: Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque 5pts, Aironi Rugby 0pts
Man of the Match: D Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique)
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
BATH RUGBY 22 – 26 ULSTER RUGBY
The Recreation Ground - Saturday 18th December 2010
HT: 14-13 Attendance: 11,900
The arctic conditions caused Ulster all sorts of travel chaos in the build up but they will make the return journey over the Irish Sea in high spirits after completing the double over the former European Champions.
It was the hosts who started the brighter though with Matt Carraro crashing over after just 35 seconds. Ulster made a hash of the kick off and Bath went straight on the offensive. Olly Barkley missed the conversion but slotted a penalty moments later to increase the home side's advantage.
Bath played all the rugby during the opening exchanges but Ulster struck right back on their first trip into opposition territory. It was simple quick ball and heads up rugby from the visitors that created the room for Adam D'Arcy to touch down. Humphreys added the additional two points before exchanging penalties with his opposite number Barkley.
The Bath defence stepped up while they were down to 14-men and it looked like they would escape without conceding during the sin-bin period until Nevin Spence went over. Humphreys added to conversion from out wide. He then extended the visitors lead with another penalty as the match entered the final quarter.
Bath attacked with pace and after repeated infringement at the breakdown from Ulster try-scorer Spence was sent to the sin-bin. Barkley from in front of the posts kicked the three points.
With their tails up from the re-start Bath spun the ball wide, replacement Nick Abendanon powered his way over half-way. As soon as the ball reached Matt Banahan he powered over in the corner.
Barkley missed the conversion which would have given his side the lead and in reply Humphreys kicked a huge penalty to put Ulster further ahead.
T: Matt Banahan, Matt Carraro P: Olly Barkley (4)
Yellow Card: Butch James
T: Nevin Spence, Adam D'Arcy C: Ian Humphreys (2) P: Ian Humphreys (4)
Yellow Card: Nevin Spence
Match Points: Bath Rugby 1pts, Ulster Rugby 4pts
Man of the Match: I Humphreys (Ulster Rugby)
BENETTON TREVISO 15 – 38 SCARLETS
Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 18th December 2010
HT: 10-18 Attendance: 3,800
The Scarlets kept their hopes of a Heineken Cup quarter-final place alive with a bonus-point victory over Benetton Treviso.
The Welsh side always looked in the driving seat in Northern Italy, outscoring their hosts four tries to two.
Treviso fly-half Willem De Waal opened the scoring for the hosts after just two minutes but Priestland soon nudged the visitors in front with two well-struck penalties.
Just before the half hour mark Dominic Day crashed over for the opening try. Josh Turnbull powered his way close before Day scooped up the ball and dived over, Priestland had no problems with the conversion.
The Scarlets half-back was soon lining up his second conversion attempt of the day after Dan Newton crossed for the visitors. A strong run from Morgan Stoddard created the space for the supporting Newton to score his first Heineken Cup try.
Treviso's powerful pack hauled them back into the game, Robert Barbieri touching down following a 20 metre rolling drive. De Waal added the conversion for an 18-10 score line at the break.
Priestland drew first blood in the second half with his third penalty before Marco Filippucci scored the hosts second try.
The Flanker's try gave the Italian's hope but it was the Scarlets who stepped up with further tries from Gareth Maule and then Jonny Fa'amatuainu.
T: Marco Filippucci, Robert Barbieri C: Willem de Waal P: Willem de Waal
T: Dominic Day, Gareth Maule, Jonny Fa'amatuainu, Daniel Newton C: Rhys Priestland (3) P: Daniel Newton, Rhys Priestland (3) Yellow Card: Vernon Cooper
Match Points: Benetton Treviso 0pts, Scarlets 5pts
Man of the Match: B Morgan (Scarlets)
LEICESTER TIGERS 22 – 22 PERPIGNAN
Welford Road - Sunday 19th December 2010
HT: 13-9 Attendance: 19,519
Billy Twelvetrees matched Laharrague in kicking 17 points, but the Leicester pivot - a pre-match replacement for Toby Flood - missed twice late on to prevent the Tigers from gaining revenge for last week's 24-19 defeat in France.
Laharrague opened the scoring for the visitors on seven minutes by converting his second drop goal attempt but Twelvetrees kicked Leicester level four minutes later with a 45-metre penalty attempt.
The two kickers traded misses before both slotting successful penalties to see the sides tied at 6-apiece by the half-hour mark.
Alesana Tuilagi Tuilagi caught everyone off guard, taking advantage of a lapse in concentration from the retreating French defence to power home just to the right of the posts. Twelvetrees duly added the straightforward extras to give the Tigers a 13-6 lead that they held until the final play of the half when Laharrague's third penalty narrowed the gap to just four points.
That four-point deficit became a three-point lead for Perpignan just two minutes into the second period as scrum-half David Mele shocked the East Midlands faithful by crossing in the far right-hand corner.
Laharrague's superb conversion from the most difficult angle a right-footed kicker could face saw his side move 16-13 in front, only for Twelvetrees to level the scores with the simplest of penalties three minutes later.
Referee Peter Fitzgibbon penalised Leicester for holding on before marching them back 10 metres to halfway due to unnecessary backchat. Laharrague kept his composure to slot the 50-metre kick but Leicester again moved ahead 10 minutes later thanks to another Twelvetrees penalty, this time after Perpignan infringed at a scrum inside their own 22.
Twelvetrees missed a difficult attempt when Perpignan lock Rimas Alvarez Kairelis saw yellow with seven minutes left and it proved costly as Laharrague struck the crucial blow at the death.
T: Alesana Tuilagi C: Billy Twelvetrees P: Billy Twelvetrees (5)
T: David Mele C: Nicolas Laharrague P: Nicolas Laharrague (4) DG: Nicolas Laharrague
Yellow Card: Rimas Alvarez Kairelis
Match Points: Leicester Tigers 2pts, Perpignan 2pts
LONDON WASPS 37 – 10 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS
Adams Park - Sunday 19th December 2010
HT: 3-3 Attendance: 1,236
In an uneventful first forty minutes it was the visitors who would have taken more heart at the break.
On the back of three consecutive European defeats the Dragons played most of the rugby in High Wycombe and deserved a better half time score line than 3-3.
Wasps failed to find their feet early on and had to settle for a Dave Walder penalty in reply to Matthew Jones' three points.
The second half start much brighter and Wasps took an immediate lead after the Dragon wing Adam Hughes took Joe Simpson out in the air and Walder kicked the three points on offer.
Walder made his way through a crowded midfield and took his troops up to the Dragons twenty-two. The ball was spread wide one way and then brought back across field before Joe Ward powered his way over.
Walder was on target with the conversion and then kicked along range penalty to give his side a 13-point lead.
With their tails up Wasps looked like a changed side and Mark van Gisbergen and then Tom Varndell both crossed for well worked converted tries.
With a 27-point lead the hosts went hunting for a try-bonus point and it wasn't long until they wrapped it up. A powerful scrum gave Number 8 Will Matthews time at the base and he simply offloaded to replacement scrum-half Nic Berry who crashed over. The additional two points were routine for Walder.
Welsh winger Aled Brew scored a late consolation for the Dragons.
T: Joe Ward, Mark van Gisbergen, Tom Varndell, Nic Berry C: Dave Walder (4) P: Dave Walder (3)
T: Aled Brew C: Matthew Jones P: Matthew Jones
Match Points: London Wasps 5pts, Newport Gwent Dragons 0pts
Man of the Match: D Walder (London Wasps)
TOULOUSE VS GLASGOW WARRIORS
Stade Ernest Wallon - Tuesday 21th December 2010
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 23 – 15 CARDIFF BLUES
Franklin's Gardens - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 10-12 Attendance: 13,499
Saints' 23-15 home win over the reigning Amlin Challenge Cup champions helped them to move three points clear of Castres Olympique at the top of Pool 1 and 10 home wins in a row in the Heineken Cup.
Despite dominating possession in the opening 10 minutes, and taking the lead with a Dan Parks penalty, the Blues soon felt the full force of Dylan Hartley's home eight. Five scrums, and three penalties, in the visitors' 22 ended with scrum half Ryan Powell sending left wing Paul Diggin over in the corner for the game's first try.
Steve Myler added the touchline conversion, but the Blues got their act together as Parks landed three successive penalties to put his side into a 12-7 lead.
The last kick came after Saints centre Downey was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle, but it was 14-a-side a minute later when Blues prop Filise used his hands at the ruck.
That gave Myler the chance to cut the gap to 2 points at the break and two minutes after the re-start the home outside half was adding the extra points to a second Saints try from England wing Chris Ashton.
That made it 10 points in three minutes around the half-time interval and Myler dished out further punishment 10 minutes later when the Blues conceded another penalty at a ruck on their 10 metre line and added another after 66 minutes to extend the gap to 11 points.
Parks added a fifth penalty after England lock Lawes had been sent to the bin for failing to roll away at a ruck in front of his posts and then the game ended in controversy with opposing hookers Hartley and Gareth Williams being yellow carded for fighting.
B Foden, C Ashton, J Clarke, J Downey, P Diggin, S Myler, R Powell (L Dickson 64), S Tongauiha (R Dreyer 78), D Hartley [capt], B Mujati (T Mercey 75), C Lawes, C Day, P Dowson (C Clark 66), T Wood (B Sharman 77), R Wilson
Scorers: T: P Diggin, C Ashton C: S Myler (2) P: S Myler (3)
Yellow Cards: J Downey (37), C Lawes (70), D Hartley (76)
C Czekaj, R Mustoe (R Williams 77), C Laulala, T Shanklin, T James, D Parks, R Rees, G Jenkins, G Williams, F Filise, B Davies, P Tito [capt] (M Paterson 54), M Molitika, M Williams (S Warburton 54), X Rush
Scorers: P: D Parks (5)
Yellow Cards: F Filise (38), G Williams (76)
Match Points: Northampton Saints 4pts, Cardiff Blues 0pts
Man of the Match: S Myler (Northampton Saints)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
CASTRES OLYMPIQUE 21 – 16 EDINBURGH
Stade Pierre Antoine - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 9-9 Attendance: 7,570
The first half was dominated by the boot, both sides slotting three penalties for a 9-9 half time score line.
Romain Teulet opened the scoring for the hosts after two minutes. Edinburgh's Ross Rennie was penalised at the break down following a strong run from outside-centre Romain Cabannes.
The Castres pack had the upper hand and but the hosts failed to capitalise on their dominance.
Teulet doubled his side's score with a second penalty after Chris Masoe had made strong inroads into the Scottish defence.
Chris Paterson and Teulet exchanged a penalty apiece but with plenty of unforced errors on display neither side could capitalise.
As half-time approached it was all Edinburgh, Paterson kicked his second penalty before Greg Laidlaw booted a 52 metre kick to level the scores at the break.
Castres lost Teulet on the stroke of half-time and then influential Scottish lock Scott Murray just as the second half got going.
Vincent Inigo and Steve Malonga scored tries in quick succession for the hosts to give them breathing space for the first time.
Edinburgh though wouldn't lie down and fought their way back and Simon Webster scored a vital try with 7 minutes remaining.
R Teulet (P Bernard 39), V Inigo, R Cabannes, P Garcia, J Tatupu, C McIntyre (F Denos 64), A Albouy (T Sanchou 56), C Hoeft (M Coetzee 56), B Kayser (M Bonello 56), L Ducalcon (D Saayman 64), S Murray (R Capo Ortega 50), K Kulemin, S Malonga (I Diarra 78), C Masoe [capt], J Tekori
Scorers: T: S Malonga, V Inigo C: P Bernard P: R Teulet (3)
C Paterson, J Thompson, B Cairns, J Houston, L Jones, D Blair (S Webster 56), G Laidlaw, A Jacobsen, R Ford (A Kelly 69), G Cross (D Young 65), F McKenzie, S Turnbull (E Lozada 65), S Newlands (C Hamilton 72), R Rennie, R Grant [capt]
Scorers: T: S Webster C: C Paterson P: C Paterson (2), G Laidlaw
Yellow Card: F McKenzie (58)
Match Points: Castres Olympique 4pts, Edinburgh 1pts
Man of the Match: G Laidlaw (Edinburgh)
Referee: John Paul 'JP' Doyle (England)
SARACENS 21 – 24 RACING MÉTRO 92
Vicarage Road - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 8-13 Attendance: 6,064
Racing Métro came out on top at Vicarage Road and condemned their hosts to their third successive Heineken Cup defeat.
The French side had the upper hand after Saracens initial onslaught and Sireli Bobo scored a stunning solo try in an entertaining game in North London.
Saracens started well and Schalk Brits instigated the opening score with a strong run. The ball was recycled through the backs and David Strettle fed Noah Cato who powered his way through the covering defence to score.
Farrell was off target with the conversion but added a penalty a few minutes later.
Jonathan Wisniewski and then Francois Steyn kicked a penalty a piece before the visitors scored their opening try.
The Saracens defence made a mess of a chip to the corner and Juan Martin Hernandez had the simplest of scores handed to him as he dropped on the ball to score. Wisniewski's conversion took Racing Métro in the break 13-8 ahead.
Steyn kicked a long range penalty before Farrell added two of his own.
The highlight of the game came from Fijian flyer Bobo who attacked down the flank beating Jacques Burger and Chris Wyles on his way to the line.
Wisniewski converted before a late consolation try for the hosts from Brad Barritt.
C Wyles, N Cato (N Mordt 70), D Strettle, B Barritt, J Short, O Farrell, N de Kock (R Wigglesworth 51), R Gill (D Carstens 51), S Brits (J George 51), P Du Plessis (C Nieto 51), S Borthwick [capt], M Botha (G Kruis 51), J Burger, A Saull, E Joubert (K Brown 70)
Scorers: T: N Cato, B Barritt C: O Farrell P: O Farrell (3)
J Hernandez (D Scarbrough 65), S Bobo, H Chavancy, F Steyn, M Bergamasco, J Wisniewski, M Loree, A Lo Cicero, C Festuccia (B Noirot 65), J Orlandi, S Dellape (K Ghezal 70), J Nailiko, J Leo'o (R Vaquiin 52), J Cronje (B Le Roux 67), S Chabal [capt]
Scorers: T: J Hernandez, S Bobo C: J Wisniewski P: J Wisniewski (2), F Steyn DG: J Wisniewski
Match Points: Saracens 1pts, Racing Métro 92 4pts
Man of the Match: J Wisniewski (Racing Métro 92)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE 20 – 13 LEINSTER
Stade Marcel Michelin - Sunday 12th December 2010
HT: 10-10 Attendance: 16,106
ASM Clermont Auvergne closed the gap on Leinster to one-point at the top of Pool Two thanks to a 20-13 victory over the Dublin side.
The Top 14 Champions and two-time winners of the European Challenge Cup drew first blood in the crucial back-to-back encounters thanks to the victory. But Leinster hung on to claim a vital losing bonus-point ahead of the return match at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.
Julien Malzieu and Anthony Floch scored the crucial tries for the hosts in response to Shane Horgan's try while Morgan Parra and Jonathan Sexton traded the remaining points.
Leinster had entered the game firing on all cylinders and got off to a perfect start when Horgan touched down after just three minutes, with Sexton converting from the touchline.
But the hosts hit-back five minutes later with a converted try of their own to level the scores when Aurelien Rougerie drew his man and put Malzieu over.
Sexton and Parra exchanged penalties with both sides threatening to end the deadlock but defences held strong and the scores remained 10-10 at the interval.
But Clermont broke the stalemate on 53 minutes with Floch's try. Napolioni Nalaga stepped inside Isa Nacewa and through the covering Gordon D'Arcy and Dom Ryan to score. Parra converted to put the hosts into a 17-10 lead.
Sexton and Parra traded a penalty apiece before Leinster looked to have clawed their way back into the game.
Clermont put the squeeze on Leinster in the final quarter and Parra had the opportunity to starve Leinster of a losing bonus-point but he uncharacteristically hooked a shot at goal on 74 minutes as Leinster hung on for the vital point.
A Floch, N Nalaga, A Rougerie [capt], G Canale, J Malzieu, B James, M Parra, T Domingo (L Faure 70), T Paulo (M Ledesma 69), M Scelzo (D Zirakashvili 41), L Jacquet (J Pierre 50), T Privat (E Vermeulen 69), J Bonnaire, A Lapandry, S Lauaki
Scorers: T: A Floch, J Malzieu C: M Parra (2) P: M Parra (2)
I Nacewa, S Horgan, E O'Malley, G D'Arcy, F McFadden, J Sexton, I Boss (E Reddan 61), H Van Der Merwe (C Healy 55), R Strauss, M Ross (C Newland 70), L Cullen [capt], N Hines, S O'Brien, S Jennings, J Heaslip (D Ryan 41)
Scorers: T: S Horgan C: J Sexton P: J Sexton (2)
Match Points: ASM Clermont Auvergne 4pts, Leinster 1pts
Man of the Match: J Malzieu (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
MUNSTER 22 – 16 OSPREYS
Thomond Park - Sunday 12th December 2010
HT: 8-6 Attendance: 26,000
Double European Champions Munster took the victory in a fierce battle at Thomond Park but the Ospreys return to Wales with a vital bonus point.
Munster ground out the win but saw Paul O'Connell sent from the field just 11 minutes into his comeback in the Heineken Cup.
After an intense opening with both sides flexing their muscles, Dan Biggar opened the scoring with penalty before Doug Howlett got the Thomond Park crowd on their feet for the first time.
Ronan O'Gara was off the mark with the conversion and also failed with two further penalties as the first half continued.
Biggar responded for the visitors almost immediately, kicking his second penalty from in front of the posts to re-take the lead.
On the stroke of half-time the Ospreys were penalised at the ruck and O'Gara finally found his kicking boots and calmly stroke the ball between the posts to take his side into the break ahead.
The visitors struck straight after the re-start against the run of play. As Munster attacked and looked certain to score, Tommy Bowe picked off a wide pass and sprinted 70 yards to score under the posts and silence the home support. Biggar added the two points with the simplest of conversions.
Ospreys prop Paul James was shown the yellow card for collapsing the scrum on his own line and David Wallace took full advantage, barging his way over after repeated attacks, O'Gara added the conversion.
The Irish fly-half was lining up his next conversion just four minutes later as Johne Murphy touched down after a poor kick from Biggar.
Biggar responded with three points before O'Connell's red card. The British & Irish lock swung his arm which connected with Jonathan Thomas and was given his marching orders.
O'Connell's dismissal spurred the hosts on and they deserved this Round 3 victory.
P Warwick (D Hurley 70), D Howlett, K Earls (L Mafi 74), S Tuitupou, J Murphy, R O'Gara, T O'Leary, W du Preez, D Varley, T Buckley (J Hayes 67), D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll (P O'Connell 58), J Coughlan (A Quinlan 60), D Wallace, D Leamy [capt]
Scorers: T: D Wallace, D Howlett, J Murphy C: R O'Gara (2) P: R O'Gara
Red Card: P O'Connell (69)
B Davies, T Bowe, A Bishop (S Parker 71), J Hook, R Fussell, D Biggar, M Phillips, P James (D Jones 73), R Hibbard (M Davies 50), A Jones, R Jones, A Jones [capt], J Collins (D Jones 55), M Holah, J Thomas (I Gough 71)
Scorers: T: T Bowe C: D Biggar P: D Biggar (3)
Yellow Card: P James (54)
Match Points: Munster 4pts, Ospreys 1pts
Man of the Match: D Leamy (Munster)
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
LONDON IRISH 13 – 19 TOULON
Madejski Stadium - Sunday 12th December 2010
HT: 7-13 Attendance: 12,240
A powerful platform from the Toulon pack and a flawless display from Jonny Wilkinson gave Toulon the first away win in Pool 3 of the Heineken Cup.
The visitors fronted up in Reading and will be disappointed they did not convert their possession into more points.
Aggressive and dedicated defence brought two penalties Toulon's way and England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson was on song with both efforts giving his side a 6-0 advantage.
The French side looked dangerous with the ball in hand and once they turned Irish over on their own ten metre line a try looked on the cards.
The ball was sent wide a neat interchange between Gabi Lovobalavu and skipper Joe Van Niekerk sent Rudi Wulf clear for the first try and Wilkinson added the conversion from in front of the posts.
Delon Armitage collected a chip through to score and Lamb added the conversion for a 7 - 13 half time score.
The second half continued in much of the same vain as the first with Toulon creating chances but not finishing.
Against the run of play Lamb kicked three points for Irish but then failed with a second attempt a few minutes later.
His opposite number Wilkinson had no such problem slotting two penalties to take Toulon out of sight.
D Armitage, J Joseph, E Seveali'i, S Mapusua, S Tagicakibau (T Ojo 70), R Lamb (D Bowden 70), P Hodgson (D Allinson 73), C Dermody [capt] (A Corbisiero 73), J Buckland, F Rautenbach (P Ion 66), N Kennedy, B Casey (K Roche 71), R Thorpe, S Armitage, C Hala'Ufia (G Stowers 53)
Scorers: T: D Armitage C: R Lamb P: R Lamb, D Bowden
B Lapeyre, P Sackey, G Messina (C Loamanu 78), G Lovobalavu, R Wulf, J Wilkinson (T May 78), P Mignoni (L Magnaval 67), S Taumoepeau (B Basteres 56), S Bruno (M Ivaldi 56), C Hayman (M Merabet 73), D Schofield, K Chesney (J Suta 62), O Missoup, J El Abd (T Sourice 74), J van Niekerk [capt]
Scorers: T: R Wulf C: J Wilkinson P: J Wilkinson (4)
Match Points: London Irish 1pts, Toulon 4pts
Man of the Match: J van Niekerk (Toulon)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
ULSTER RUGBY 22 – 18 BATH RUGBY
Ravenhill - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 13-15 Attendance: 8,247
Ulster produced a cracking comeback to beat Bath at Ravenhill on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors raced into a 15-3 lead with just over a quarter of the match but the 1999 Heineken Cup winners fought back and made it two wins from three in Pool 4.
A brace a mistakes from the hosts handed Bath two early tries, with Ian Humphreys' interception and Adam D'Arcy's misjudged catch giving Bath a dream start in Belfast.
Jack Cuthbert raced fully 80 minutes for the first on seven minutes, before England skipper Lewis Moody picked up superbly and then handed off Nigel Brady for the second 15 minutes later.
Those early setbacks may have unsettled the famous Ravenhill faithful but they didn't have the same effect on their heroes in white.
Having dominated possession without reward, Ulster stuck to their task, scoring a try of their own when Predie Wannenburg intercepted on halfway with 34 minutes gone.
Fly-half Humphreys then narrowed the gap to just two points at half-time with a conversion and a second penalty and it was his boot that did the damage in the second period.
Again Ulster dominated proceedings after the break, this time without the mistakes that saw them concede points in the first period.
Although a 53rd minute penalty from Barkley made it 18-13 in Bath's favour, three unanswered strikes from Humphreys saw Ulster record their third Heineken Cup win over today's opponents in 14 months.
A D'Arcy, A Trimble, N Spence, P Wallace, S Danielli, I Humphreys, R Pienaar, T Court, N Brady, B Botha, J Muller [capt], D Tuohy, S Ferris, C Henry (W Faloon 57), P Wannenburg
Scorers: T: P Wannenburg C: I Humphreys P: I Humphreys (5)
J Cuthbert, M Carraro (D Barnes 30), M Banahan, O Barkley, T Biggs (N Abendanon 16), S Vesty, M Claassens [capt] (M McMillan 75), D Flatman (D Barnes 70), L Mears (P Dixon 65), D Wilson (D Bell 61), S Hooper, D Grewcock (I Fernadez Lobbe 63), A Beattie (B Skirving 61), L Moody, S Taylor
Scorers: T: L Moody, J Cuthbert C: O Barkley P: O Barkley (2)
Yellow Card: D Flatman (27)
Match Points: Ulster Rugby 4pts, Bath Rugby 1pts
Man of the Match: S Ferris (Ulster Rugby)
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
AIRONI RUGBY 28 – 27 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 11-12 Attendance: 3,000
Aironi claimed their first ever competitive victory, beating last season's beaten finalists Biarritz Olympique in Viadana.
A Julien Laharrague drop goal two minutes from time clinched the famous victory for the Heineken Cup new boys after a late penalty from Dimitri Yachvili looked to have been enough for the visitors.
The Italian franchise was only formed in the summer and were without a win to their name in the Magners League and the Heineken Cup until this afternoon.
Matteo Pratichetti, Giiulio Toniolatti and James Marshall all scored tries for the hosts while Takudzwa Ngwenya, Charles Gimenez, Iain Balshsaw and Romain Terrain all touched down for Biarritz.
Tito Tebaldi kicked an early penalty before Biarritz struck with two quick tries from Terrain and Ngwenya. Yachvili missed with his first conversion but slotted home his second to give his side a 12-3 lead.
As the first half continued Aironi fought their way back into the game and Heineken Cup debutant Marshall crossed for a try on the stroke of half time. Tebaldi missed with his conversion attempt but did kick an earlier penalty which took the Italian into the break just a point behind the French giants.
Former England winger Balshaw crossed just after the break before Toniolatti's score. Tebaldi converted the winger's try as Aironi regained the lead.
A converted try a-piece from Gimenez and Praticihetti meant it was just a one-point ball game as the Pool 4 fixture entered the last twenty minutes.
Yachvili kicked a penalty with six minutes remaining but French International full-back Laharrague had the last say with his drop-kick to the delight of the home supporters.
J Laharrague, G Toniolatti , R Penney, G Pavan (G Rubini 79), M Pratichetti, J Marshall, T Tebaldi, M Aguero, F Ongaro (L Ferraro 56), F Staibano (L Redolfini 59), M Bortolami, Q Geldenhuys [capt], J Sole, G Krause (S Favaro 55), N Williams
Scorers: T: M Pratichetti, G Toniolatti , J Marshall C: T Tebaldi (2) P: T Tebaldi (2) DG: J Laharrague
D Haylett-Petty (I Bolakoro 55), T Ngwenya, C Gimenez (A Mignardi 59), D Traille, I Balshaw, J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili, S Marconnet, R Terrain (B August 53), A Barozzi (C Johnstone 53), J Thion, E Lund, M Lund, I Harinordoquy [capt], R Lakafia (W Lauret 53)
Scorers: T: I Balshaw, R Terrain, T Ngwenya, C Gimenez C: D Yachvili (2) P: D Yachvili
Match Points: Aironi Rugby 4pts, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque 2pts
Man of the Match: N Williams (Aironi Rugby)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
PERPIGNAN 24 – 19 LEICESTER TIGERS
Stade Aimé Giral - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 13-9 Attendance: 13,705
A powerful display from the Perpignan pack was enough to edge out Leicester Tigers in Pool Five of the Heineken Cup.
England fly-half Toby Flood opening the afternoon's scoring with a third minute penalty after Bertrand Guiry was penalised for an infringement at a line-out.
Porical may have missed an earlier attempt but made no mistake to draw the hosts level on 17 minutes after Perpignan held the edge at the scrum.
Leicester regained the lead five minutes later courtesy of Flood's second penalty after opposite number Nicolas Laharrague failed to roll away.
Flood fired home his third penalty to extend Leicester 's lead to 9-3 but Porical cut the deficit almost instantly with his second successful three-point strike.
Then, as the opening period came to a finale, both sides lost a man to the sin-bin with Irish official Alan Lewis losing his patience after a passage of eight scrums.
Plante collected a neat cross-kick and then side-stepped Geordan Murphy to score. Porical added the conversion to give his side a 12-9 interval lead.
Porical crossed for a try of his own, rounding of a swift attacking move as the home side began to show their dominance.
The Tigers struck straight back though, Toby Flood fed Scott Hamilton who burst through Perpignan centre pair Marty and J Michel to supply Murphy with a routine finish.
Flood converted to bring the scores to 18-16.
Porical struck two late penalties either side of Flood's fourth penalty as Leicester clung on for a losing bonus point.
J Porical, A Plante, D Marty, J Michel, J Candelon (F Sid 70), N Laharrague (F Cazenave 66), D Mele, P Freshwater (J Schuster 52), M Tincu (G Guirado 60), N Mas [capt] (K Pulu 70), O Olibeau (G Britz 60), R Tchale Watchou, B Guiry (G Guirado 40), O Tonita (J Perez 60), D Chouly (H Tuilagi 60)
Scorers: T: J Porical, A Plante C: J Porical P: J Porical (4)
Yellow Cards: D Marty (35), M Tincu (40)
G Murphy [capt], S Hamilton, M Smith, A Allen, A Tuilagi, T Flood, B Youngs, M Ayerza, G Chuter, D Cole (M Castrogiovanni 41), L Deacon, G Skivington, T Waldrom (R Hawkins 40), C Newby, J Crane
Scorers: T: G Murphy C: T Flood P: T Flood (4)
Yellow Card: G Chuter (40)
Match Points: Perpignan 4pts, Leicester Tigers 1pts
Man of the Match: R Tchale Watchou (Perpignan)
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
SCARLETS 35 – 27 BENETTON TREVISO
Parc y Scarlets - Saturday 11th December 2010
HT: 23-13 Attendance: 6,421
Scotland wing Sean Lamont grabbed a brace as the Scarlets got their European campaign back-on-track with a bonus-point win against Benetton Treviso.
The hosts got the ideal start with Lamont scoring his first after just 60 seconds. The powerful winger broke through the defence to touchdown and Jones added the extra's and then helped himself to another three points with a penalty five minutes later.
Jones' opposite number Kris Burton struck back for the Italians, kicking a penalty four minutes later and then a drop goal.
The Scarlets were then dealt a major blow when Jones hobbled off the field in the 17th minute.
Treviso, who took the Welsh side's scalp in the Magners League earlier in the season then took the lead for the first time with Gonzalo Garcia powering over for a converted try.
Rhys Priestland who has been in fine form in recent weeks, combined with King on the switch to send the former All Black under the posts.
Priestland kicked the conversion before adding two penalties to give the Scarlets a 23-13 lead at the interval.
Josh Turnball got an early second half score for the West Wales side touching down after Gareth Maule had charged down a Treviso clearance.
Just as the Scarlets built up some breathing space, Treviso hit back. Burton teased the Scarlets defence as he made his way to the line before off loading to Tomas Benvenuti to score.
Five minutes later they were at it again when Semenzato sniped over on the blind-side, Burton brilliantly converted from the touchline to bring the plucky visitors to within three points of the lead.
But the Italian minnows' hopes were dashed when Lamont smashed his way over for his second try shortly before the hour mark to seal the win.
R Priestland, M Stoddart, G Maule, R King, S Lamont, S Jones (D Newton 17), T Knoyle (M Roberts 65), I Thomas (R Jones 77), M Rees [capt] (K Owens 61), S Gardner (P John 50), V Cooper, D Day (J Fa'amatuainu 65), R McCusker (J Edwards 58), J Turnbull, B Morgan
Scorers: T: S Lamont (2) , R King, J Turnbull C: S Jones, R Priestland (2) P: S Jones, R Priestland (2)
L McLean, T Benvenuti, A Pratichetti (J Maddock 47), G Garcia, A Vilk, K Burton, F Semenzato, M Muccignat (I Fernandez Rouyet 47), E Ceccato (D Vidal 47), P di Santo (L Cittadini 47), A Pavanello [capt], V Bernabò (C van Zyl 47), M Filippucci, B Vermaak , P Derbyshire (M Vosawai 56)
Scorers: T: G Garcia, T Benvenuti, F Semenzato C: K Burton (3) P: K Burton DG: K Burton
Match Points: Scarlets 5pts, Benetton Treviso 0pts
Man of the Match: B Morgan (Scarlets)
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
GLASGOW WARRIORS 16 – 28 TOULOUSE
Firhill Arena - Friday 10th December 2010
HT: 16-25 Attendance: 2,946
The French giants secured an away win courtesy of three first-half tries in a 28-16 triumph at Firhill as Europe's premier club competition took centre stage once more.
The hosts began brightly and opened the scoring with a second-minute penalty from Jackson.
But Toulouse soon dismissed any Scottish hopes that they would start slowly as Fritz picked a sublime angle for the game's opening try with just seven minutes on the clock. David Skrela converted with consummate ease before trading penalties with Jackson inside the opening quarter and the visitors then surged further ahead with a second try on 22 minutes.
Having created Fritz' earlier effort with a surging break of his own, Jauzion supplied the finish this time around following a patient move that had begun with a typically clever snipe from ex-All Black scrum-half Byron Kelleher.
Again Skrela added the extras and suddenly Toulouse were cruising at 17-6. But Glasgow refused to let their heads drop and they hit back almost immediately thanks to a well-worked score of their own.
Max Evans ended his rapid break with an astute kick ahead and from there on in fortune took over. Toulouse full back Maxime Medard was beaten by a cruel bounce allowing Aramburu to pounce in the right-hand corner.
Jackson expertly converted and the Warriors were back within a single score at 17-13 with 24 minutes played.
Kelleher somehow stole possession at the base of a scrum on the edge of his own 22 and the end result was a try for right wing Heymans who popped up on the opposite flank for one of the tries of the season so far.
Jackson narrowed the gap with a third penalty before the break but there was just one more score after the interval and it went to Toulouse. It came in the form of a 58th-minute penalty from Skrela, ensuring an ultimately comfortable victory for Guy Noves' men.
B Stortoni (P Murchie 73), F Aramburu (H O'Hare 58), M Evans, G Morrison, D van der Merwe, R Jackson, H Pyrgos (C Gregor 60), J Welsh, D Hall (F Thomson 58), M Low (E Kalman 43), R Gray, A Kellock [capt] (A Muldowney 52), R Harley, J Barclay, R Vernon (C Fusaro 74)
Scorers: T: F Aramburu C: R Jackson P: R Jackson (3)
M Medard, V Clerc, F Fritz, Y Jauzion, C Heymans (C Poitrenaud 57), D Skrela, B Kelleher, J Poux (D Human 52), W Servat (V Lacombe 47), C Johnston, Y Maestri (G Lamboley 57), P Albacete, Y Nyanga (J Bouilhou 47), T Dusautoir [capt], S Sowerby (G Lamboley 78)
Scorers: T: F Fritz, C Heymans, Y Jauzion C: D Skrela (2) P: D Skrela (3)
Match Points: Glasgow Warriors 0pts, Toulouse 4pts
Man of the Match: F Fritz (Toulouse)
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 16 – 23 LONDON WASPS
Cardiff City Stadium - Sunday 12th December 2010
HT: 16-13 Attendance: 3,432
Having lost their opening two games it was vital the home side broke their duck to try to get into the mix for a quarter-final place and they got off to a flying start with 10 points in as many minutes. Outside half Jason Tovey was their chief architect as he landed a first minute penalty and then showed off his exquisite handling skills to send centre Ashley Smith racing in unopposed for a try at the posts.
The conversion was a formality for Tovey and the visitors were under the cosh. Dave Walder then hit the upright with his first penalty attempt before getting Wasps off the mark at the end of the first quarter with a 30 metre strike.
Then came a brilliant counter attack from the visitors which began with Simon Shaw retrieving in his own 22 and launching a move that ended with a try for acting captain Ben Jacobs at the other end. Walder added the wide angled conversion and the scores were tied after 23 minutes.
Tovey, who went off with a knee problem early in the second half to become the second Dragons casualty after tight head prop Nigel Hall was carried off on a stretcher with a ruptured achilles, then kicked a penalty and dropped a goal to move the home team six points clear.
Walder's second penalty success cut the gap to 16-13, but he was then guilty of missing another on the stroke of half-time.
In the opening 15 minutes of the second half, Wasps poured on the power up front to pave the way for tries from wings David Lemi and Tom Varndell.
The Dragons hit back strongly and twice reached the Wasps line to forced referee Peter Allan to call on the TMO. On both occasions, the latter in the last move of the match, the verdict went against them.
P Leach, A Hughes, T Riley, A Smith [capt], A Brew, J Tovey (M Jones 45), W Evans, P Price (H Gustafson 38), L Burns, N Hall (B Castle 38), A Jones (S Morgan 49), R Sidoli, L Evans, G Thomas, T Faletau
Scorers: T: A Smith C: J Tovey P: J Tovey (2) DG: J Tovey
M van Gisbergen (R Haughton 56), T Varndell, B Jacobs [capt], S Kefu, D Lemi, D Walder, J Simpson, Z Taulafo (S Ruwers 64), J Ward, B Broster, S Shaw, J Cannon (M Veale 77), J Worsley, S Betsen (D Ward-Smith 52), A Powell
Scorers: T: T Varndell, D Lemi, B Jacobs C: D Walder P: D Walder (2)
Match Points: Newport Gwent Dragons 1pts, London Wasps 4pts
Man of the Match: B Jacobs (London Wasps)
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)
CASTRES OLYMPIQUE 27 – 20 CARDIFF BLUES
Stade Pierre Antoine – Friday 15th October 2010
HT: 27-6 Attendance: 8,000
A last-minute try by Scott Andrews salvaged a losing bonus-point for Cardiff Blues after Castres Olympique had dominated the opening half at the Stade Pierre Antoine.
Castres were on the front-foot from the start and continually overpowered their visitors at the set piece. They opened the scoring thanks to the boot of Romain Teulet who kicked an early penalty.
Teulet landed another two penalties either side of a Seremaia Bai drop-goal before Ben Blair struck with Cardiff's first points. Further penalties brought the the score to 15-6.
The French side crossed for the first of their two tries after 36 minutes. Yoan Audrin speculative kick was grabbed by Vincent Inigo who danced around the visitors' defence to score.
Things got worse for the Blues just a few minutes later when Marc Andreu gathered a Teulet cross-field kick to score, giving Castres a 27-6 half-time lead.
The Blues came to life in the second half and up the physically and intensity. They got their reward six minutes into the second period when Maama Molitika crashed over.
Tongan international Molitika then drove through two defenders to score, and Ceri Sweeny converted to pull the Blues back to 27-13.
Castres’ Thomas Sanchou was given his marching orders for a professional foul at the ruck and Andrews drove his way through the Castres defence to score the crucial try which Sweeny duly converted.
R Teulet, V Inigo, Y Audrin, S Bai (P Garcia 70), M Andreu (P Bernard 72), C McIntyre, S Tillous-Borde (T Sanchou 70), Y Forestier, B Kayser (M Bonello 56), L Ducalcon (D Saayman 69), M Rolland (J Bornman 75), J Tekori, I Diarra, Y Caballero (S Murray 65), C Masoe [C] (J Bornman 59)
Scorers: T: V Inigo, M Andreu C: R Teulet P: R Teulet (4) DG: S Bai
Yellow Card: T Sanchou (78)
B Blair (T James 40), L Halfpenny, C Laulala, T Shanklin, C Czekaj, C Sweeney, R Rees (L WIlliams 69), G Jenkins, T Thomas (R Williams 27), F Filise (S Andrews 71), B Davies, D Jones (P Tito 60), M Molitika (A Pretorius 60), S Warburton, X Rush [C]
Scorers: T: M Molitika, S Andrews C: C Sweeney (2) P: B Blair (2)
Match points: Castres Olympique 4pts, Cardiff Blues 1pts
Man of the Match: X Rush (Cardiff Blues)
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
EDINBURGH 27 – 31 NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Murrayfield - Saturday 16th October 2010
HT: 24-21 Attendance: 4,905
Northampton Saints clinched a vital away win at Murrayfield after a James Downey try sparked a comeback for the English side.
In a free flowing first-half both side were committed in attack and Edinburgh led the way scoring three fantastic tries.
Dylan Hartley grabbed the first for the visitors after Chris Patterson had given Edinburgh the lead with an early penalty. The re-called Stephen Myler, back in the side following the Saints kicking woes last weekend, converted his captain's try.
It was then one-way traffic from Edinburgh as they took charge through tries from Allan Jacobsen, Netani Talei and Ben Cairns who all rounded off stunning attacking moves. Northampton could only respond with three Myler penalties.
Downey's try on the stroke of half-time brought Northampton back into the game and a Paul Diggin try after 52 minutes gave the visitors the lead for the first time from which point they tightened their grip on the fixture and never looked back.
Patterson kicked an early second half penalty for the Scottish side but that was there last points of the day as the Northampton pack took control of the game.
C Paterson, J Thompson, B Cairns, J King, T Visser, D Blair, M Blair (G Laidlaw 71), A Jacobsen (K Traynor 64), R Ford (A Kelly 64), G Cross (D Young 62), S MacLeod (C Hamilton 62), F McKenzie, A MacDonald, R Grant [C] , N Talei
Scorers: T: A Jacobsen, B Cairns, N Talei C: C Paterson (3) P: C Paterson (2)
G Tonks, C Ashton, J Clarke (J Ansbro 73), J Downey, P Diggin, S Myler, L Dickson (R Powell 63), S Tongauiha, D Hartley [C] , B Mujati (E Murray 55), C Lawes, C Day (M Sorenson 73), P Dowson, T Wood (C Clark 70), R Wilson
Scorers: T: J Downey, D Hartley, P Diggin C: S Myler (2) P: S Myler (4)
Match points: Edinburgh 1pts, Northampton Saints 4pts
Man of the Match: N Talei (Edinburgh)
Referee: Jeromé Garces (France)
RACING MÉTRO 92 16 – 9 ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE
Stade Olympique Yves du Manoir - Saturday 16th October 2010
HT: 13-6 Attendance: 10,512
Racing Metro won the bragging rights, coming out on top in the all French affair in Pool 2.
Clermont Auvergne made 11 changes from the side which defeated Saracens in style last weekend and could only register three penalties throughout the afternoon.
Racing struggled on their Heineken Cup debut a week ago in Dublin, but claimed their first victory with a good victory over the French Champions.
The opening exchanges saw simply a kick dual between Racing's Jonathan Wisniewski and Clermont's Gavin Williams.
Wisniewski kicked the home side ahead twice only for Samoan centre Williams to level the scores in reply on each occasion.
The teams were locked on six apiece until a minute before half-time when Fijian winger Sereli Bobo struck for the games only try with Wisniewski converting to give the hosts a 13 - 6 lead at the break.
It was nearly twenty minutes into the second half before the next points were scored and again it was the boot of Wisniewski, who pushed his side further ahead with a penalty.
Replacement Morgan Parra got a late penalty for the visitors to claim a vital losing bonus point.
D Scarbrough, S Bobo, H Chavancy, A VuliVuli, J Saubade, J Wisniewski, N Durand (J Fillol 67), A Lo Cicero (J Brugnaut 62), B Noirot (J Brugnaut 53), M Tuugahala, L Nallet [C] (S Dellape 72), J Nailiko, J Leo'o, B Le Roux (A Batut 45), S Chabal
Scorers: T: S Bobo C: J Wisniewski P: J Wisniewski (3)
B Baby (B Russell 64), N Nalaga, W Fofana (G Canale 59), G Williams, J Malzieu, T Lavea, K Senio (M Parra 53), V Debaty (T Domingo 53), T Paulo, M Scelzo (D Zirakashvili 41), J Pierre [C] , L Jacquet (T Privat 53), J White (E Vermeulen 61), A Audebert, S Lauaki
Scorers: P: G Williams (3)
Match points: Racing Metro 92 4pts, ASM Clermont Auvergne 1pts
Man of the Match: S Chabal (Racing Metro 92)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
SARACENS 23 – 25 LEINSTER
Wembley Stadium - Saturday 16th October 2010
HT: 11-12 Attendance: 45,892
The iconic English stadium became the 91st venue to stage a Heineken Cup game and a crowd of 45,892 a record for a Pool match in the UK and Ireland - turned up to see if the Sarries to could back on track after their opening round defeat against French champions ASM Clermont Auvergne.
2009 champions Leinster took control of Pool 2 as they made it back-to-back wins and robbed Saracens of their proud unbeaten record at Wembley Stadium.
After a bright opening, in which they took the lead with a seventh minute penalty from Jonathan Sexton, who scored all his side's points, Leinster were rocked by a try from Alex Goode for the home side in the first of four changes of lead before the break.
Although the full back's try wide out on the right wasn't converted, outside half Derick Hougaard made amends a few minutes later by landing a penalty that extended the English side's lead.
Two more Sexton penalties put Leinster back in front before Hougaard regained the lead on 34 minutes, a minute before Sexton's fourth penalty of the half sent his side into the break with a slender 1 point advantage.
Saracens gifted Sexton three more points at the start of the second half. Sexton then sparked the one moment of magic in the game after 51 minutes to take his match tally to 22 points as he started and finished a sweeping 60 metre move racing to the left corner for a great try, giving Leinster an 11 point cushion and a commanding position.
But Saracens clawed their way back into the game thanks to the boot of Goode, who took over the goalkicking duties from the injured Hougaard in the second half, and by the end it was much closer than many thought.
Four Goode penalties to one more from Sexton, giving him all 25 of Leinster's points, set up a thrilling finish with the home side back to within winning distance at 25-23.
A Goode, D Strettle, A Powell (K Ratuvou 58), B Barritt, C Wyles, D Hougaard (N Cato 47), R Wigglesworth (N de Kock 47), D Carstens, S Brits, C Nieto, S Borthwick [C] , M Botha (H Smith 61), J Burger, A Saull, E Joubert (K Brown 47)
Scorers: T: A Goode P: D Hougaard (2) , A Goode (4)
R Kearney, S Horgan, L Fitzgerald (F McFadden 47), G D'Arcy, I Nacewa, J Sexton, E Reddan (I Boss 56), C Healy (H Van Der Merwe 60), R Strauss, M Ross (S Shawe 76), N Hines, D Toner (L Cullen 69), S O'Brien, S Jennings (J Harris-Wright 66), J Heaslip [C]
Scorers: T: J Sexton C: J Sexton P: J Sexton (6)
Yellow Card: R Strauss (61)
Match points: Saracens 1pts, Leinster 4pts
Man of the Match: J Sexton (Leinster)
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
OSPREYS 27 – 16 LONDON IRISH
Liberty Stadium - Friday 15th October 2010
HT: 17-6 Attendance: 12,437
Shane Williams marked his 50th Heineken Cup appearance with a score that will be a candidate for the try of the season.
The Ospreys started well and were quick to spreads the ball wide it only took them three minutes to grab the lead when James Hook ghosted his way between the two centres before sending Tommy Bowe winging his way to the try line for the perfect start.
The English Premiership leaders calmed their early nerves with two penalties from the reliable boot of Ryan Lamb.
Biggar then proceeded to kick four consecutive goals, one of which came from 52 metres taking his side into half time with an 11 point cushion Lamb lost his aim and was guilty of two poor misses that cost his side dearly.
The Irish came up with a near carbon copy performance to their opening of the second half against Munster by snapping up an interception try. Last week it was Topsy Ojo and this time it was Sailosi Tagicakibau who latched onto Lee Byrne's pass just outside the Irish 22 and raced the length of the field to score with James Hook desperately hanging onto his shirt for the final five metres.
Lamb made up for his earlier misses by banging over the wide angled conversion and all of a sudden there were only four points between the sides.
The most spectacular try came from the greatest try scorer in Welsh rugby history, Shane Williams. There was no stopping him after he chipped over the top after breaking out of his 22, re-gathered on the 10 metre line and then sprinted the remaining 60 metres to the line.
Hook converted and then added a 48 metre penalty to stretch the lead to 11 points again. Lamb responded with another Irish penalty, but the Ospreys were home and hosed.
L Byrne, T Bowe, A Bishop, J Hook, S Williams, D Biggar (N Walker 43), M Phillips, P James (R Bevington 66), R Hibbard (H Bennett 58), A Jones (C Mitchell 78), R Jones (I Gough 76), A Jones [C] , J Collins, M Holah (J Tipuric 58), J Thomas
Scorers: T: S Williams, T Bowe C: J Hook P: J Hook, D Biggar (4)
Yellow Card: J Collins (72)
T Ojo, J Joseph (E Seveali'i 70), S Mapusua, D Bowden, S Tagicakibau, R Lamb (C Malone 68), P Hodgson (D Allinson 76), C Dermody [C] , J Buckland (D Paice 60), F Rautenbach (A Corbisiero 52), N Kennedy, B Casey (M Garvey 60), K Roche, C Hala'Ufia (G Johnson 68), G Stowers
Scorers: T: S Tagicakibau C: R Lamb P: R Lamb (3)
Match points: Ospreys 4pts, London Irish 0pts
Man of the Match: R Jones (Ospreys)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
MUNSTER 45 – 18 TOULON
Thomond Park - Saturday 16th October 2010
HT: 21-10 Attendance: 26,000
Munster cruised to a bonus-point win against highly-fancied RC Toulon as they demonstrated their European class on Saturday afternoon.
The 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup winners scored six tries in total in a comprehensive 45-18 win at fortress Thomond Park.
Toulon struck first with their very first attack of the match thanks to a fine try from Jean Phillippe Genevois. The hooker raced home from 25 metres after a typically powerful midfield break from skipper van Niekerk, although the Munster crowd were convinced the score came after a forward pass. Felipe Contepomi added the extras.
But that dream was short lived as Munster hit back just six minutes later thanks to Leamy's well-worked score, aided by George Smith’s yellow card. Ronan O'Gara duly added the extras to ensure Munster were back on level terms nine minutes in.
Following two TMO disallowed tries, it was a case of third time lucky as Munster were finally rewarded for their forward dominance with a try from Buckley. O'Gara had no difficulty for the second conversion running and Munster were seven points clear at 14-7.
The home side's third try came from Doug Howlett five minutes before the interval, and again required confirmation from the television match official, O'Gara making it 21-10 at half time with a third successful conversion.
Following an O’Gara penalty and Wilkinson 40m drop goal at the start of the second half, Heineken Man of the Match O'Driscoll secured the bonus-point with a short burst before Howlett claimed his side's fifth try by somehow gathering O'Gara's clever chip through just moments later.
Coughlan rounded things off for the hosts with time running out and, although van Niekerk raced clear with the final play of the game, Toulon left for home having experienced a brutal welcome to the world of Heineken Cup rugby on the road.
P Warwick (S Deasy 63), D Howlett, K Earls, J Murphy, D Hurley, R O'Gara, P Stringer (D Williams 68), W du Preez (M Horan 59), D Varley (J Flannery 54), T Buckley (J Hayes 65), D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll (D Ryan 66), A Quinlan (N Ronan 54), D Wallace, D Leamy [C]
Scorers: T: M O'Driscoll, D Leamy, T Buckley, D Howlett (2) , J Coughlan C: R O'Gara (6) P: R O'Gara
C Marienval, P Sackey (G Lovobalavu 37), M Kefu (J Wilkinson 44), F Auelua, R Wulf, F Contepomi, P Mignoni (L Magnaval 41), L Emmanuelli (M Ivaldi 51), J Genevois (S Taumoepeau 51), C Hayman (D Kubriashvili 44), J Suta, K Chesney (D Schofield 60), G Smith (O Missoup 55), J El Abd, J van Niekerk [C]
Scorers: T: J van Niekerk, J Genevois C: F Contepomi P: F Contepomi DG: J Wilkinson
Yellow Card: G Smith (6), F Contepomi (56)
Match points: Munster 5pts, Toulon 0pts
Man of the Match: M O'Driscoll (Munster)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
AIRONI RUGBY 6 – 22 BATH RUGBY
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella - Saturday 16th October 2010
HT: 3-17 Attendance: 4,000
Bath got their Heineken Cup campaign back on track with a bonus point victory at Aironi.
The West-Country giants scored three first half tries to seal the win at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella.
The visitors raced into a comfortable 17-3 half-time lead thanks to tries from Tom Biggs, Matt Carraro and Nick Abendanon.
Aironi stuck to their task with spirit in the second-half however, frustrating Bath.
The hosts could only manage a Ludovic Mercier penalty in the first forty minutes, the veteran French fly-half getting his side on the score-sheet after Biggs had crossed the first try.
Carraro and then Abendanon scored before the break for Steve Meehan's men.
Mercier added his second-penalty after 54 minutes before Bath claimed the vital bonus-point when captain Luke Watson was driven over from close-range.
Try-scorer Abendanon starred and the England full-back was happy to register maximum points.
D Demas, G Toniolatti , R Penney, G Pavan (M Pratichetti 56), G Rubini, L Mercier (R Bocchino 56), P Canavosio (T Tebaldi 58), S Perugini (A de Marchi 65), F Ongaro (R Santamaria 69), L Redolfini (L Gamboa 56), M Bortolami, Q Geldenhuys [C] (C del Fava 58), J Erasmus (S Favaro 69), A Benatti, N Williams (S Favaro 30)
Scorer: P: L Mercier (2)
N Abendanon (N Scott 74), T Biggs, M Banahan, O Barkley, M Carraro (J Cuthbert 64), S Vesty, M Claassens (M McMillan 67), N Catt (D Flatman 50), P Dixon (R Batty 67), D Wilson (D Bell 41), S Hooper, D Grewcock (I Fernadez Lobbe 30), A Beattie, L Watson [C] (B Skirving 67), S Taylor
Scorers: T: T Biggs, N Abendanon, L Watson, M Carraro C: O Barkley
Match points: Aironi Rugby 0pts, Bath Rugby 5pts
Man of the Match: N Abendanon (Bath Rugby)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 35 – 15 ULSTER RUGBY
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Sunday 17th October 2010
HT: 3-3 Attendance: 10,000
Dimitri Yachvili was the architect for Biarritz Olympique as they continued their unbeaten start in this season's Heineken Cup.
The French scrum-half scored 15 points for last season's Heineken Cup finalists as they collected a bonus-point victory over Ulster.
Wing Takudzwa Ngwenya grabbed a brace of second half tries while Manuel Carissa and Sylvain Marconnet also crossed to seal maximum points for the French giants.
Ulster had the chance to take an early lead but Ruan Pienaar missed with his opening penalty attempt before making amends in the 13th minute with his second attempt.
Biarritz held possession but Ulster's strength in defence kept the hosts at bay.
On the stroke of half-time Yachvili levelled the scores.
All of Ulster's good work in the opening period was undone as they fell behind in the 44 minute.
Yachvili was at the heart again when he combined with Magnus Lund to send Ngwenya over for his opening try in the left corner.
Yachvili converted and added two penalties as Biarritz surged 16-3 ahead.
The hosts increased the tempo as front five forwards Carissa and Marconnet powered over either side of a neat score from Trimble for Ulster.
Wing sensation Ngwenya completed the perfect afternoon for the home side with the fourth try with three minutes remaining and Ferris' try from a quick-tap proved to only be a consolation.
D Haylett-Petty (I Bolakoro 67), T Ngwenya, C Gimenez (A Mignardi 75), M Bond (D Traille 51), I Balshaw, J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili, E Coetzee (C Johnstone 68), B August (R Terrain 64), C Johnstone (S Marconnet 51), J Thion, M Carizza (F Faure 64), M Lund, S Vahafolau (B Guyot 41), I Harinordoquy [C] (A Barozzi 67)
Scorers: T: S Marconnet, M Carizza, T Ngwenya (2) C: D Yachvili (3) P: D Yachvili (3)
D McIlwaine, A Trimble, I Whitten, P Wallace, S Danielli (A D'Arcy 25), I Humphreys (N Spence 72), R Pienaar, T Court, R Best [C] , B Botha (P McAllister 67), J Muller, T Barker (D Tuohy 51), P Wannenburg, S Ferris, R Diack (C Henry 61)
Scorers: T: R Best, A Trimble C: R Pienaar P: R Pienaar
Match points: Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque 5pts, Ulster Rugby 0pts
Man of the Match: M Lund (Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque)
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
PERPIGNAN 35 – 14 BENETTON TREVISO
Stade Aimé Giral - Sunday 17th October 2010
HT: 7-7 Attendance: 11,368
Four second-half tries gave Perpignan a bonus-point victory at home to Benetton Treviso.
Both sides came into Round 2 on the back of opening round defeats. The hosts were involved in a nine-try thriller against the Scarlets and a last-minute try denied Treviso victory against Leicester.
Jerome Porical put the home side ahead after 12 minutes and the full-back converted his own try for a 7-0 lead.
19-year-old centre Tommaso Benvenuti hit back for the visitors, adding to his brace against the Tigers last weekend. Tobias Botes added the conversion after missing an earlier penalty.
The two-sides, who have met for each other in the Heineken Cup group stages for the last five seasons went into the break all level.
Benvenuti struck for his second just two minutes into the second-half giving his side the lead for the first time.
From that point on though it was one-way traffic with the home side dominating. Procial converted a Gavin Hume and then a penalty try as they banished the memories of last season's home defeat at the hands of the Italians.
South African lock Gerrie Britz and Damien Chouly scored late on with David Mele and Kevin Boulogne converting respectively.
J Porical, A Plante, D Marty [C] , G Hume, J Candelon, M Edmonds (J Grandclaude 68), D Mele (K Boulogne 68), J Schuster (P Freshwater 55), M Tincu (G Guirado 55), K Pulu (N Mas 47), G Vilaceca, R Tchale Watchou (Y Vivalda 66), B Guiry (G Britz 66), O Tonita, D Chouly
Scorers: T: G Hume, D Chouly, J Porical, G Britz, Penalty Try (1) C: K Boulogne, J Porical (3) , D Mele
B Williams, L Nitoglia, T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi (K Burton 47), A Vilk (E Galon 68), L McLean, T Botes, I Fernandez Rouyet (F Sbaraglini 47), D Vidal (L Ghiraldini 60), P di Santo (L Cittadini 47), A Pavanello [C] , C van Zyl, E Pavanello (R Barbieri 47), A Zanni, P Derbyshire (V Bernabò 68)
Scorers: T: T Benvenuti (2) C: T Botes (2)
Match points: Perpignan 5pts, Benetton Treviso 0pts
Man of the Match: G Hume (Perpignan)
Referee: John Paul 'JP' Doyle (England)
LEICESTER TIGERS 46 – 10 SCARLETS
Welford Road - Sunday 17th October 2010
HT: 13-10 Attendance: 19,160
Hot on the heels of their five point triumph in Italy against Benetton Treviso the Tigers were in irrepressible mood as they ran in six tries.
From the outset, the visitors took full advantage of turn over possession, as well as the fact Tigers were down to 14 men through the sib-binning of wing Alesana Tuilagi, quickly moving the ball from the ball into the space out wide. Regan King found supporting wing Morgan Stoddart and he raced to score a try that Stephen Jones converted.
That score rocked the Tigers into action and four minutes later they had levelled matters through a close range trundle from Italian international prop Martin Casgtrogiovanni and a conversion from Toby Flood.
Flood then pulled a penalty attempt wide of the posts before giving his side the lead. He then increased the advantage three minutes later when Scarlets centre Regan King was yellow carded for another ruck infringement in front of his posts.
Welsh prop Rhys Thomas was carried off on a stretcher with what looked like a serious injury to his left leg. But the Scarlets' cause was given a boost on the stroke of half-time when Jones kicked a simple penalty and were happy to be back within three points as they headed for the break.
But a burst of three tries in 11 minutes after the re-start not only earned the Tigers a precious bonus point, but also took them racing clear on the scoreboard. The catalyst for the points avalanche was scrum half Ben Youngs, who broke clear to run in unopposed from 25 metres for the first try a minute after the second half had started.
The England scrum half then made the half-break that sent No 8 Tom Waldrom running in for the next try and finally Tom Croft went over after a King pass had gone to ground and been snapped up by home skipper Geordan Murphy.
Flood converted all three to increase the gap to 24 points and he also improved Croft's second try on 63 minutes.
Tigers kept pressing forward and grabbed a sixth try through centre Matt Smit.
G Murphy [C] , S Hamilton, M Smith, A Allen (M Tuilagi 58), A Tuilagi, T Flood (B Twelvetrees 71), B Youngs (J Grindal 55), M Ayerza (B Stankovich 62), G Chuter (J Duffey 74), M Castrogiovanni (D Cole 55), E Slater, G Skivington, T Croft (S Mafi 68), C Newby (B Woods 62), T Waldrom
Scorers: T: M Castrogiovanni, T Croft (2), M Smith, B Youngs, T Waldrom C: T Flood (5) P: T Flood (2)
Yellow Card: A Tuilagi (7)
R Priestland, M Stoddart, G Maule (D Evans 70), R King, S Lamont, S Jones, M Roberts (T Knoyle 51), I Thomas (R Jones 70), M Rees [C] (K Owens 63), R Thomas (D Manu 34), L Reed, V Cooper (J Edwards 58), R McCusker, J Turnbull, D Lyons (D Welch 68)
Scorers: T: M Stoddart C: S Jones P: S Jones
Yellow Card: R King (33)
Match points: Leicester Tigers 5pts, Scarlets 0pts
Man of the Match: T Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 19 – 40 TOULOUSE
Rodney Parade - Saturday 16th October 2010
HT: 12-18 Attendance: 6,401
A powerful second-half display by Toulouse saw the reining Heineken Cup champions overcome the Newport Gwent Dragons in a hard-fought encounter at Rodney Parade.
In a tense first half the Men of Gwent matched Toulouse in almost every department.
David Skrela and Matthew Jones, a late replacement to the starting line-up, exchanged a number of kicks.
Skrela was winning the kicking dual and edged the visitors into a 15-9 lead. But after 32 minutes he was sent to the sin-bin for interfering at the break down.
Jones punished his opposite number's indiscipline and pull the Dragons back to within three points at the interval.
Things got worse for the Welsh region as they struggled to cope with Toulouse' intensity.
Thierry Dusautoir soon opened the scoring to give his side a commanding 28-12 lead.
Mid-way through the half, Toulouse grabbed a second try thanks to a sensational effort from Maxi Medard.
But the Dragons continued to fight and hit back with a try from the electric Will Harries after a quick-tap from Steve Jones.
But that was as good as it got for the hosts as Louis Picamoles crashed through the defence to score Toulouse's third try, secure the win and maintain their unbeaten record against the Newport-based region.
W Harries, A Hughes, T Cheeseman, T Riley, A Brew, M Jones, W Evans [C] , P Price (H Gustafson 74), S Jones, B Castle (P Palmer 58), S Morgan, R Sidoli (L Charteris 41), D Lydiate, G Thomas, A Coombs (T Faletau 55)
Scorers: T: W Harries C: M Jones P: M Jones (4)
Yellow Card: B Castle (36)
M Medard, V Delasau (V Clerc 60), F Fritz, Y Jauzion (C Poitrenaud 58), C Heymans, D Skrela, N Vergallo (B Kelleher 40), D Human (J Poux 74), W Servat (V Lacombe 58), Y Montes (C Johnston 58), Y Maestri, R Millo-Chluski (S Sowerby 65), J Bouilhou [C] (Y Nyanga 55), T Dusautoir, L Picamoles
Scorers: T: T Dusautoir, M Medard, L Picamoles C: D Skrela (2) P: F Fritz (2) , D Skrela (4) DG: D Skrela
Yellow Card: D Skrela (33)
Match points: Newport Gwent Dragons 0pts, Toulouse 4pts
Man of the Match: V Delasau (Toulouse)
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
LONDON WASPS 38 – 26 GLASGOW WARRIORS
Adams Park - Sunday 17th October 2010
HT: 28-13 Attendance: 6,759
London Wasps picked up their first Heineken Cup win of the new campaign thanks to a convincing 38-26 triumph over Glasgow Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
First half tries from Joe Simpson, Tom Varndell and Ben Jacobs gave Wasps a 28-13 lead at the break, with Dom Waldouck claiming a crucial fourth with 15 minutes left.
Simpson's score was a fine individual effort with the game just seven minutes old.
The young scrum-half sprinted clear of opposite number Colin Gregor from a scrum on the edge of the Glasgow 22 to give Wasps just the start they wanted.
Walder missed the conversion and a long-range penalty before Rory Jackson got the Scots on the board with a penalty of his own.
Two Walder penalties increased the gap to 10-3 by the 20-minute mark and the fly-half was heavily involved in Wasps' second try six minutes later.
Varndell picked up Walder's kick through to touch down in the right-hand corner as Wasps surged further ahead.
Walder's conversion took the score to 18-3 but Glasgow dismissed any thoughts of a capitulation as Jackson scored a try, conversion and a penalty in the space of four minutes.
The man tasked with replacing Dan Parks as the Warriors' playmaker was impressive throughout, claiming a 21-point tally in defeat at Adams Park.
Centre Jacobs eased Wasps' nerves on the stroke of half-time, before his replacement Waldouck secured maximum points with a powerful burst after a disjointed start to the second period.
Dougie Hall grabbed a well-taken try for Glasgow immediately after Waldouck had touched down as Sean Lineen's men refused to give up hope.
The Warriors were the dominant team in the closing stages and almost left with a losing-bonus-point.
Wasps barely broke out of their own 22 in the final 10 minutes, with only the television match official preventing Glasgow from claiming a third try that would have brought a valuable losing bonus-point with five minutes remaining.
R Haughton (M van Gisbergen 41), T Varndell, B Jacobs (D Waldouck 49), R Flutey, D Lemi, D Walder, J Simpson, C Beech, R Webber (J Ward 61), Z Taulafo (B Broster 63), S Shaw (J Worsley 63), R Birkett (M Veale 76), D Ward-Smith, S Betsen [C] , A Powell
Scorers: T: T Varndell, D Waldouck, J Simpson, B Jacobs C: D Walder (3) P: D Walder (4)
B Stortoni (H Pyrgos 60), D van der Merwe, M Evans, G Morrison, F Aramburu (R Dewey 41), R Jackson, C Gregor, J Welsh (R Grant 63), F Thomson (D Hall 41), M Low (E Kalman 55), T Ryder (C Forrester 55), R Gray, R Harley, J Barclay [C] , R Vernon (R Wilson 69)
Scorers: T: D Hall, R Jackson C: R Jackson (2) P: R Jackson (4)
Yellow Card: M Low (24)
Match points: London Wasps 5pts, Glasgow Warriors 0pts
Man of the Match: J Simpson (London Wasps)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 18 - 14 CASTRES OLYMPIQUE
HT: 5-8 Attendance: 12,835
Castres Olympique certainly came to play and took some stern home defence to keep them at bay.
The first half became a series of missed opportunities for the Northampton Saints as they fluffed five kicks at goal and surrendered a couple of gilt edged try scoring chances.
21 minutes in, Castres conjured up a brilliant blindside attack from a scrum on half-way that ended with a try for lock Iosefa Tekori.
On a night when the kickers from both sides struggled to hit the target, Pierre Bernard's conversion was one of nine of the 14 attempts at goal that went astray. The biggest culprit was Bruce Reihana, who missed with four kicks at goal before handing over to Shane Geraghty - who also fluffed his first kick on the stroke of half-time.
Reihana redeemed himself a little with a 33rd minute try.
But the French hit back instantly with a drop goal from outside half Cameron McIntyre that allowed them to go into the interval 8-5 ahead.
It took less than a minute for the Saints to take the lead for the first time. Geraghty cut back, a long pass to Phil Dowson turned back inside to the fast arriving Ben Foden from full back.
The England star hit the gap on the 22 and ran clean through to score a try which Geraghty converted. Following an exchange of penalties, Bernard cut the gap to a single point with nine minutes left on the clock.
The game could have gone either way, but Steve Myler stepped up to create breathing space for the home side with three minutes to go and used the upright to add three more vital points and finally end Castres' brave effort.
B Foden (J Ansbro 69), C Ashton, J Clarke, J Downey, B Reihana, S Geraghty (S Myler 68), L Dickson, S Tongauiha, D Hartley [C], B Mujati (E Murray 68), C Lawes, C Clark (M Sorenson 71), P Dowson, T Wood, R Wilson
Scorers: T: B Reihana, B Foden C: S Geraghty P: S Geraghty, S Myler
P Bernard, R Martial (M Andreu 63), P Garcia (T Sanchou 78), R Cabannes (S Bai 49), V Inigo, C McIntyre, S Tillous-Borde, Y Forestier (M Coetzee 63), M Bonello (B Kayser 63), D Saayman (A Peikrishvili 56), S Murray, J Tekori, I Diarra (J Bornman 71), Y Caballero (B Kayser 39), C Masoe [C]
Scorers: T: J Tekori P: P Bernard (2) DG: C McIntyre
Yellow Card: M Bonello (35)
Match points: Northampton Saints 4pts, Castres Olympique 1pts
Man of the Match: I Diarra (Castres Olympique)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
CARDIFF BLUES 18 - 17 EDINBURGH
HT: 13-10 Attendance: 10,521
Casey Laulala was the inspiration for Cardiff Blues as they beat Edinburgh by a single point at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The former New Zealand centre created one try and scored another to help his side to Heineken Cup success.
Scotland fly-half Dan Parks had an off day with the boot, missing six kicks at goal in a tense Pool 1 fixture.
Edinburgh took an early deserved lead, Chris Patterson scoring a penalty before Allan Jacobsen barged his way over. Patterson added the conversion to give the Scots a 10-0 advantage.
Cardiff threatened but could not convert pressure into points, Leigh Halfpenny coming close but was denied by a try saving tackle.
Parks was successive with his fourth attempt at goal to get the home side off the mark. Laulala then stepped past David Blair with ease to release his captain Paul Tito, who shipped on to Czekaj as Edinburgh ran simply out of defenders. Czekaj scored, Parks converted and added a further penalty to leave Edinburgh trailing 13-10 at half-time.
The second-half withered to a stand-still before the final 11 minutes when Laulala went over for his try and then Ben Cairns secured a losing bonus point for the visitors.
B Blair, L Halfpenny, C Laulala, T Shanklin (D Hewitt 58), C Czekaj, D Parks, R Rees, G Jenkins (J Yapp 52), T Thomas, F Filise, B Davies, P Tito [capt] (D Jones 62), M Molitika, M Williams, X Rush
Scorers: T: C Czekaj, C Laulala C: D Parks P: D Parks (2)
C Paterson, J Thompson, B Cairns, A Grove (J King 55), T Visser, D Blair, M Blair (G Laidlaw 71), A Jacobsen (K Traynor 71), R Ford (A Kelly 71), G Cross (D Young 62), S MacLeod (C Hamilton 62), F McKenzie, A MacDonald (N Talei 62), R Rennie (N Talei 42), R Grant [capt] (M Robertson 78)
Scorers: T: A Jacobsen, B Cairns C: C Paterson (2) P: C Paterson
Yellow Card: C Paterson (28)
Match Points: Cardiff Blues 4pts, Edinburgh 1pts
Man of the Match: C Laulala (Cardiff Blues)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE 25 - 10 SARACENS
HT: 12-3 Attendance: 16,007
French champions Clermont Auvergne opened their Heineken Cup account with an impressive win over Saracens.
Clermont outscored their English opponents by three tries to one, with Jamie Cudmore, Julien Malzieu and Napolioni Nalaga all touching down for the hosts.
Canadian Lock Cudmore got the opening score after ten minutes with Morgan Parra adding the extras.
Derek Hougaard kicked Saracens' first points with a simple penalty.
The home side extended their advantage with French winger Malzieu touching down for an unconverted try which gave Clermont a 12-3 lead at the break.
Saracens struck back early in the second half through David Strettle. The England winger touched down and Hougaard converted to bring the scores to within one point.
From that point onward it was one way traffic, Parra extended Clermont's lead with two penalties before Nalaga scored the third try as the full time whistle approached.
Parra was again on form with the boot, adding the conversion.
A Floch, N Nalaga, A Rougerie [capt], M Joubert (G Williams 65), J Malzieu, B James, M Parra, T Domingo, T Paulo (M Ledesma 51), D Zirakashvili (M Scelzo 73), J Cudmore, T Privat (J White 58), J Bonnaire, A Lapandry (M Scelzo 49), S Lauaki (E Vermeulen 63)
Scorers: T: J Cudmore, J Malzieu, N Nalaga C: M Parra (2) P: M Parra (2)
Yellow Card: J Cudmore (20), D Zirakashvili (39)
A Goode, D Strettle, A Powell (K Ratuvou 61), B Barritt, C Wyles, D Hougaard, R Wigglesworth (N de Kock 49), D Carstens, S Brits, C Nieto, S Borthwick [capt], H Vyvyan (M Botha 51), J Burger, A Saull (E Joubert 51), K Brown
Scorers: T: D Strettle C: D Hougaard P: D Hougaard
Match points: ASM Clermont Auvergne 4pts, Saracens 0pts
Man of the Match: J Bonnaire (ASM Clermont Auvergne)
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)
LEINSTER 38 – 22 RACING MÉTRO 92
HT: 21-6 Attendance: 17,936
Leinster signalled their Heineken Cup intentions with a fine bonus-point win over Racing Metro 92 at the RDS on Saturday afternoon.
The 2009 European Champions began last season's campaign with a home defeat to London Irish but they started this year's continental quest in perfect fashion.
Joe Schmidt’s men scored five tries in total as they finished comfortable 38-22 winners in the Irish capital.
Leinster led 21-6 at the break thanks to tries from Heineken Man of the Match Sean O'Brien and full back Rob Kearney.
Scores from Richard Strauss and Jamie Heaslip secured the bonus point with 17 minutes remaining, before Fergus McFadden added even further gloss with a fine last-minute effort.
Racing's first experience of Heineken Cup rugby started brightly as they matched Leinster in every department early on but they couldn't compete with their host's clinical finishing and never looked like clawing back the half-time deficit.
Impressive centre Albert Vuli-Vuli claimed Racing's first ever Heineken Cup try, while Jerome Fillol and Francois Steyn shared 17 points with the boot.
Next up for Leinster is a trip to Wembley to face Saracens, while Racing entertain Clermont Auvergne in a mouth-watering all-French affair.
R Kearney, I Nacewa, B O'Driscoll (F McFadden 58), G D'Arcy, L Fitzgerald, J Sexton (S Horgan 75), E Reddan (I Boss 60), H Van Der Merwe, R Strauss (J Harris-Wright 75), M Ross (S Shawe 73), N Hines, D Toner, S O'Brien, S Jennings (D Ryan 67), J Heaslip [capt]
Scorers: T: J Heaslip, R Kearney, S O'Brien, F McFadden, R Strauss C: I Nacewa (2) P: I Nacewa (3)
F Steyn, S Bobo, A VuliVuli, A Masi (M Bergamasco 51), J Saubade, J Fillol, N Durand (M Loree 65), A Lo Cicero (S Zimmermann 71), B Noirot (C Festuccia 58), J Orlandi (J Brugnaut 75), L Nallet [capt], J Nailiko (S Dellape 58), J Leo'o (R Vaquiin 75), J Cronje, S Chabal (A Batut 51)
Scorers: T: A VuliVuli C: J Fillol P: J Fillol (3), F Steyn (2)
Yellow Card: N Durand (44)
Match points: Leinster 5pts, Racing - Metro 92 0pts
Man of the Match: S O'Brien (Leinster)
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
LONDON IRISH 23 - 17 MUNSTER
HT: 15-6 Attendance: 20,188
The top ranked team in England at the end of the first month of the season, London Irish were full value for their 15-6 interval lead and had dictated the course of events with their hard-core defence and clever game management from outside half Ryan Lamb.
Lamb really put the boot into Munster in that opening period, kicking four penalties and a drop goal to claim all 15 points.
34 seconds after the start of the second half came the coup de gras for the home side when Topsy Ojo stepped in off his wing to intercept a pass from Munster full back Johne Murphy and sped 55 metres to score.
As the home lead stretched to 14 points, the battle between the top two sides in the English Premiership and Magners League looked to be over.
But it took another 32 minutes before Irish scored again and all the pressure from there on in belonged to Munster.
They rectified their line-out problems, beefed up their scrum and kept the ball closer to their fired-up forwards. They scrapped for every inch and cut the gap to eight points after 68 minutes following a fourth O'Gara penalty.
London Irish looked set not only to take all four points but also deny Munster anything after England full back Delon Armitage had landed a 52 metre penalty to stretch his side's lead to 11 points with eight minutes left to play.
Sam Tuitupou's last minute try threw Munster a much needed lifeline to take into next weekend's home clash with Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon. Tuitupou's score earned his battling side a vital bonus point to keep them firmly in the hunt for a way out of this season's Pool of Death.
D Armitage, T Ojo, E Seveali'i (D Bowden 68), S Mapusua, S Tagicakibau (J Joseph 68), R Lamb, P Hodgson, C Dermody [capt], J Buckland (D Paice 55), F Rautenbach (A Corbisiero 55), N Kennedy, B Casey (M Garvey 68), K Roche, D Danaher (C Hala'ufia 51), G Stowers
Scorers: T: T Ojo P: D Armitage, R Lamb (4) DG: R Lamb
J Murphy, D Howlett, K Earls (P Warwick 68), S Tuitupou, D Hurley, R O'Gara, P Stringer (D Williams 73), W du Preez (M Horan 64), D Varley, T Buckley (J Hayes 64), D O'Callaghan, D Ryan (M O'Driscoll 56), D Leamy [capt], N Ronan (D Wallace 41), J Coughlan
Scorers: T: S Tuitupou P: R O'Gara (4)
Yellow Card: S Tuitupou (22)
Match points: London Irish 4pts, Munster 1pts
Man of the Match: S Mapusua (London Irish)
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
TOULON 19 - 14 OSPREYS
HT: 6-6 Attendance: 13,000
Toulon marked their Heineken Cup debut with a narrow victory over the Ospreys in Pool 3.
Dan Biggar put the Ospreys ahead after just 90 seconds with a penalty after the hosts were penalised for handling the ball on the floor at a ruck.
The Ospreys who have reached the quarter-finals in the last three seasons of Europe's premier competition dominated possession in the early exchanges but Biggar failed to increase their advantage, missing a drop goal and then a sixth minute penalty.
Jonny Wilkinson levelled the scores with a penalty of his own after 14 minutes, but missed three further chances for the home side.
The English play-maker made amends on the half hour mark, kicking close-range penalty to put Toulon ahead for the first time.
Biggar had the final say of a disappointing opening period with a brilliant 60-metre penalty to tie the scores at 6-6.
Jerry Collins was penalised directly from the re-start and Wilkinson restored his side's advantage from in front of the posts.
The Ospreys defended well as Toulon repeatedly threatened and scored the opening try as Shane Williams raced clear to score. Biggar missed the conversion and then Wilkinson reduced the lead to two points with a touchline penalty in the 74th minute.
Jonny Wilkinson inspired the French side to victory, setting up fellow England team-mate Paul Sackey to score the winning try with just four minutes remaining at the Stade Mayol, much to the delight of the home crowd.
R Lamont, P Sackey, M Kefu, G Messina, B Lapeyre (C Marienval 65), J Wilkinson, M Henjak (L Magnaval 60), S Taumoepeau (B Basteres 61), J Orioli (M Ivaldi 60), D Kubriashvili, D Schofield (J Suta 60), C Samson, O Missoup, G Smith, J Fernandez Lobbe [capt]
Scorers: T: P Sackey C: J Wilkinson P: J Wilkinson (4)
L Byrne, T Bowe, A Bishop, J Hook, S Williams (N Walker 67), D Biggar, M Phillips, P James, R Hibbard (H Bennett 57), A Jones, I Gough (R Jones 52), A Jones [capt], J Collins (J Tipuric 77), M Holah, J Thomas
Scorers: T: S Williams P: D Biggar (3)
Match points: RC Toulon 4pts, Ospreys 1pts
Man of the Match: J Wilkinson (RC Toulon)
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
ULSTER RUGBY 30 - 6 AIRONI RUGBY
HT: 11-6 Attendance: 7,777
Ulster started life in this year's Heineken Cup with a bonus-point win over Aironi at Ravenhill. The 1999 European Champions ran out 30-6 victors in Pool 4, although the performance was less convincing than the scoreline suggests.
Ulster began brightly, attacking from deep direct from the kick off. Ruan Pienaar's mini break from a poorly defended ruck brought a penalty for the hosts and the Springbok star made it 3-0 from straight in front of the uprights.
Aironi hit back four minutes later through a well-taken penalty from veteran fly-half Ludovic Mercier.
Pienaar then struck the post with a penalty attempt of his own before Mercier edged Aironi in front with a second successful penalty after 17 minutes.
The lead lasted just four minutes, however, as a superb combination of strength and guile saw Trimble race over for the first try of the match.
Aironi lock Marco Bortolami saw yellow a minute before the half-hour for obstruction but Ulster failed to add to their tally in his absence, wasting three good chances while the Italians were down to 14 men.
Ulster led just 11-6 at the break but three second-half scores effectively secured maximum points with 12 minutes remaining.
Brian McLaughlin's men never looked seriously troubled by the Heineken Cup debutants but they butchered a number of opportunities to put the game to bed far earlier than they actually did.
The home side crossed for their second try just five minutes after the break from Humphreys, but Pienaar was again off target with the conversion.
Fine work from the forwards allowed the Scotland international, Simon Danielli to power over, and finally Pienaar showed his class to snipe over from close range.
The performance might not have been what Ulster desired, but the outcome certainly was. Five points and top spot in the pool ahead of tomorrow's clash between Bath and Biarritz Olympique is exactly what Ulster were looking for.
J Smith (D McIlwaine 64), A Trimble, D Cave (I Whitten 47), P Wallace (N Brady 75), S Danielli, I Humphreys, R Pienaar (P Marshall 73), B Young (P McAllister 62), R Best [capt], T Court (A Whitten 70), J Muller, T Barker (D Tuohy 52), P Wannenburg (W Faloon 66), C Henry, R Diack
Scorers: T: S Danielli, A Trimble, I Humphreys, R Pienaar C: I Humphreys (2) P: R Pienaar (2)
D Demas, G Toniolatti , R Penney, G Pavan (G Pizarro 62), G Venditti, L Mercier (R Bocchino 52), T Tebaldi (P Canavosio 41), A de Marchi (A de Marchi 66), R Santamaria (L Ferraro 62), L Redolfini (S Perugini 58), C del Fava [capt], M Bortolami, A Benatti, A Birchall (N Cattina 55), N Williams
Scorers: P: L Mercier (2)
Yellow Card: M Bortolami (29)
Match points: Ulster Rugby 5pts, Aironi Rugby 0pts
Man of the Match: R Diack (Ulster Rugby)
Referee: Chris White (England)
BATH RUGBY 11 - 12 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE
HT: 8-0 Attendance: 11,631
Dimitri Yachvili celebrated his 50th Heineken Cup appearance with a man of the match performance to give last season's beaten finalists a magnificent start to their Pool 4 campaign.
Bath got off to a blistering start and took the lead through the boot of Olly Barkley before stretching their advantage with a great try from scrum half Michael Claassens.
That meant eight points in as many minutes and everything seemed to be going the home side's way.
Biarritz managed to bomb one easy chance of a try when centre Michael Bond failed to release flying wing Takudzwa Ngwenya on a free run to the line.
It was still 8-0 to Bath at the break, but then Yachvili's unerring boot began chipping away at the lead throughout an improved second half performance from his pack.
The French international scrum half kicked four second-half penalties to enable his side to overhaul Bath's early eight point advantage.
The final nail in the home coffin came on 71 minutes landing the match-winning goal from the home 10 metre line into a tricky wind.
It was a defeat that puts Bath onto the back foot in the Pool and left head coach Steve Meehan telling his players to 'grow up' after they ignored a golden chance to drop for goal, and victory, in front of the French posts with five minutes left to play.
N Abendanon, M Carraro (D Bell 72), S Hape, O Barkley, M Banahan, S Vesty, M Claassens, N Catt (D Flatman 53), P Dixon (R Batty 75), D Wilson, S Hooper, D Grewcock (I Fernadez Lobbe 63), A Beattie, L Watson [capt], S Taylor
Scorers: T: M Claassens P: O Barkley (2)
Yellow Card: D Wilson (70)
D Haylett-Petty, T Ngwenya, C Gimenez, M Bond (A Mignardi 67), I Balshaw, J Peyrelongue (D Traille 62), D Yachvili, E Coetzee, R Terrain (B August 51), C Johnstone (S Marconnet 51), M Carizza (P Taele 67), E Lund, M Lund, I Harinordoquy [capt], R Lakafia (B Guyot 72)
Scorers: P: D Yachvili (4)
Match points: Bath Rugby 1pts, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque 4pts
Man of the Match: D Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque)
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
BENETTON TREVISO 29 - 34 LEICESTER TIGERS
HT: 23-20 Attendance: 5,800
The Tigers were forced to make late changes when Toby Flood and Dan Hipkiss were both ruled out so Billy Twelvetrees was promoted from the bench to outside-half and Horacio Agulla started at centre.
And the visitors got the best possible start when Smith broke through and outpaced the defence to touch down inside two minutes.
Twelvetrees missed the conversion and Treviso wasted no time in hitting back with Benvenuti's first try after ten minutes.
Alberto Sgarbi made the first break, Paul Derbyshire followed before the young centre raced through to score close to the posts. Burton's conversion put Treviso ahead 7-5 only to be cancelled out by Twelvetrees' penalty moments later.
Newby crashed over to extend the Tigers lead after 20 minutes, Twelvetrees missed the conversion and a penalty a few minutes later.
A drop goal from Burton saw the teams finish the first-half at 13-13.
Just after the break Italian prop Castrogiovanni crashed over to hand Leicester the lead.
Treviso put their noses back in front when Benvenuti again darted through some soft Leicester defending. Burton's conversion put Treviso ahead 23-20 but in a game of fluctuating fortunes, that lead only lasted seven minutes before Youngs peeled off the back of a scrum to score his first try in the Heineken Cup. Twelvetrees converted.
Benetton led 29-27 thanks to two tries by centre Tommaso Benvenuti and 19 points from the boot of Kristopher Burton and looked on course for a famous home win and their first victory over English opponents in 11 meetings.
Samoan Alesana Tuilagi's 77th minute score clinched victory and the try bonus point for the Tigers.
L McLean (J Maddock 48), L Nitoglia (S Picone 79), T Benvenuti, A Sgarbi, A Vilk, K Burton, F Semenzato (T Botes 48), I Fernandez Rouyet (F Sbaraglini 35), L Ghiraldini (D Vidal 48), L Cittadini (P di Santo 48), A Pavanello [capt] (E Pavanello 62), C van Zyl, R Barbieri, A Zanni, P Derbyshire
Scorers: T: T Benvenuti (2) C: K Burton (2) P: K Burton (3) DG: T Benvenuti, K Burton
Yellow Card: R Barbieri (39)
G Murphy [capt], S Hamilton, H Agulla, M Smith, A Tuilagi, B Twelvetrees, B Youngs, B Stankovich, G Chuter (R Hawkins 59), M Castrogiovanni (D Cole 59), E Slater, G Skivington, T Croft, C Newby, T Waldrom
Scorers: T: M Castrogiovanni, A Tuilagi, M Smith, B Youngs, C Newby C: B Twelvetrees (3) P: B Twelvetrees
Match points: Benetton Treviso 1pts, Leicester Tigers 5pts
Man of the Match: M Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
SCARLETS 43 - 34 PERPIGNAN
HT: 26-15 Attendance: 8,911
The Scarlets beat French giants Perpignan in a nine try spectacular at Parc y Scarlets.
Welsh fly-half Stephen Jones scored 28 points for the home side, including one of his side's four tries and 23 points with the boot.
Perpignan clawed their way back from 40-15 down after 50 minutes to claim a try bonus point for themselves.
The visitors scored the opening two tries through Jean-Philippe Grandclaude and Julien Candelon to give them a 12-6 lead.
Rhys Priestland crossed twice in quick succession as the Scarlets seized this Heineken Cup tie by the scruff of the neck with a four-try blitz in the space of 15 minutes either side of half-time. Jones and Regan King grabbing the other tries.
That should have paved the way for an easy win for the Welsh region who have enjoyed a love affair with Europe's premier club competition.
Yet Perpignan began their comeback with Adrien Plante, Ovidiu Tonita and Damien Chouly all crossing to bring their side right back into game.
Perpignan were twice denied what looked certain tries before Jerome Porical missed with a last-minute penalty that would have earned a second bonus point.
R Priestland, M Stoddart, G Maule (S Williams 48), R King (D Evans 76), S Lamont, S Jones, M Roberts (T Knoyle 62), I Thomas (P John 74), M Rees [capt] (K Owens 72), R Thomas (D Manu 63), L Reed, V Cooper (J Fa'amatuainu 54), R McCusker, J Turnbull (J Edwards 62), D Lyons
Scorers: T: S Jones, R King, R Priestland (2) C: S Jones (4) P: S Jones (5)
Yellow Card: J Fa'amatuainu (67)
J Porical, A Plante, D Marty (J Michel 71), J Grandclaude (M Edmonds 41), J Candelon, G Hume, F Cazenave (D Mele 41), P Freshwater (J Schuster 57), C Geli (M Tincu 62), N Mas [capt] (K Pulu 71), Y Vivalda (G Vilaceca 48), R Tchale Watchou, B Guiry, G Britz (O Tonita 57), D Chouly
Scorers: T: O Tonita, J Grandclaude, J Candelon, D Chouly, A Plante C: J Porical (3) P: J Porical
Yellow Card: J Porical (27)
Match points: Scarlets 5pts, Perpignan 1pts
Man of the Match: D Lyons (Scarlets)
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
GLASGOW WARRIORS 21 - 13 DRAGONS
HT: 16-10 Attendance: 2,597
Glasgow kicked off their Heineken Cup campaign with a 21-13 victory over the Dragons at Firhill.
The Welsh side got the first try in the 2010/11 Heineken Cup when winger Adam Hughes crossed after 18 in his first European game, Matthew Jones added the conversion for the visitors.
Ruaridh Jackson kicked two penalties to open Glasgow's account after 20 minutes and brought the scores to within a point.
The 22-year-old fly-half kicked Glasgow into the lead for the first time with another penalty just before Scotland centre Graeme Morrison crossed for a try for the home side, Jackson adding the conversion.
Jones kicked a penalty for the Dragons on the stroke of half time to reduce the deficit to 16-10.
The Welsh fly-half was on the score sheet three minutes after the break with another penalty, but that was the last score of the evening for the Dragons.
Hooker Fergus Thomson scored Glasgow's second try to give the home side victory for the first time in the opening weekend since 1997.
B Stortoni (H Pyrgos 72), D van der Merwe (R Dewey 78), M Evans, G Morrison, F Aramburu, R Jackson (D Weir 62), C Gregor, J Welsh (R Grant 69), F Thomson (D Hall 63), M Low (E Kalman 59), T Ryder (C Forrester 16), R Gray, R Harley, J Barclay [capt], R Vernon
Scorers: T: G Morrison, F Thomson C: R Jackson P: R Jackson (3)
W Harries, A Hughes, T Cheeseman, A Smith (T Riley 65), A Brew, M Jones, W Evans [capt], P Price (H Gustafson 77), S Jones (L Burns 62), B Castle (N Hall 41-65), S Morgan, R Sidoli, D Lydiate (L Evans 16-25), R Sowden-Taylor, A Coombs (L Evans 59)
Scorers: T: A Hughes C: M Jones P: M Jones (2)
Match points: Glasgow Warriors 4pts, Newport Gwent Dragons 0pts
Man of the Match: C Gregor (Glasgow Warriors)
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
TOULOUSE 18 - 16 LONDON WASPS
HT: 9-9 Attendance: 26,928
Heineken Cup champions Toulouse kicked off their European campaign by defeating London Wasps in a tense Pool 6 battle.
French fly-half David Skrela scored all the points for the home side, the only try of the game coming from Wasps replacement David Lemi in the last quarter.
Wasps suffered a blow when England centre Riki Flutey pulled out due to the impending birth of his third child, but they took the lead courtesy of a Walder penalty from close-range.
Both sides were unable to find any cohesion in the wet but Toulouse levelled on 11 minutes when fly-half Skrela kicked a penalty of his own.
Walder and Skrela exchanged penalties before Skrela put the French giants ahead for the first time on 31 minutes.
Wasps refused to buckle and after a quick-tap by skipper Tom Rees, Walder calmed slotted home a fine drop goal to head into the interval all square at 9-9.
Toulouse dominated possession for large periods in the second half but Guy Noves' men were forced to wait until the hour mark to regain the lead when Skrela added his fourth, then fifth penalty.
The Toulouse scrum dominated and the visitors were penalised at the set piece not long after and Skrela took advantage.
Walder had the chance to seal a famous win for the Aviva Premiership outfit in the dying seconds but his attempt was off target.
C Poitrenaud, V Clerc, F Fritz, Y Jauzion, C Heymans (M Medard 61), D Skrela, B Kelleher, J Poux (D Human 65), W Servat (V Lacombe 62), C Johnston, G Lamboley (Y Maestri 52), R Millo-Chluski, Y Nyanga (L Picamoles 65), T Dusautoir [capt], S Sowerby
Scorers: P: D Skrela (6)
M van Gisbergen, R Haughton (D Lemi 57), B Jacobs, D Waldouck, T Varndell, D Walder, J Simpson (N Berry 68), Z Taulafo, J Ward (R Webber 46), B Broster (J Hobson 46), S Shaw, R Birkett (J Cannon 57), J Worsley (D Ward-Smith 79), T Rees [capt], A Powell
Scorers: T: D Lemi C: D Walder P: D Walder (2) DG: D Walder
Match points: Toulouse 4pts, London Wasps 1pts
Man of the Match: C Johnston (Toulouse)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)