Saints keep their hopes alive
Sat, 14 Dec 2013 21:28
Jonny Wilkinson guaranteed European Cup holders Toulon what could be a crucial bonus point
Northampton Saints kept their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out phase of the European Cup alive with a 18-9 victory over Leinster.
Jamie Elliott scored a length of the field breakaway try to deny Leinster a defensive bonus point as Northampton notched a dogged 18-9 win in Ireland.
With the score at 13-9 and time up, Leinster were banging on the door looking for a winning try but Elliott picked up a fumble and sprinted 90 yards to score.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the English side - for whom Wales wing George North also scored a try - as they were thumped 40-7 at home by the Irish province a week ago.
Leinster still lead Pool One but Northampton are second, four points back.
Former England great Jonny Wilkinson guaranteed European Cup holders Toulon what could be a crucial bonus point when he scored their fourth try in a 32-20 win over English side Exeter on Saturday in their Pool Two clash.
The 34-year-old former England flyhalf came on with just over 20 minutes remaining and the match evenly-balanced at 18-13 in Toulon's favour, but took the game away from his compatriots creating a try and then scoring one himself.
Toulon, who lead Cardiff Blues by two points ahead of the pair's decisive meeting in the south of France in early January, had got off to a good start.
A swift passing movement down the blindside set up David Smith for their first try in the 12th minute.
Exeter struck back after stealing a Toulon line-out with Don Armand touching down and Henry Slade converting for a 7-5 lead in the 19th minute.
Matt Giteau, who was selected ahead of Wilkinson, created Smith's second try and then landed his first kick of the day for 12-7.
He and Slade swapped a pair of penalties each before Wilkinson was sent on by coach Bernard Laporte just before the hour mark.
That paid off almost immediately as he produced a great offload to Drew Mitchell to set up their third try with 15 minutes remaining, replacement prop Xavier Chiocci eventually crashing over.
Toulon supporters showered the ground with paper in celebration when Wilkinson touched down under the posts to give the hosts a bonus point and Giteau added his third conversion.
Exeter got a consolation try two minutes from time as Ben White went over with Ceri Sweeney adding the extras.
"We took more than an hour to get the better of an Exeter side that was dangerous and came to play expansive rugby," said Laporte.
"I am proud of how my team reacted to the tough challenge and of its effectiveness. We were clinical when we got into their half in the second period."
Clermont, the side Toulon beat in last season's European Cup final, look set for the knockout stages after thumping Llanelli Scarlets 31-13 in Pool Four, taking a bonus point to boot with Fijian star Napolioni Nalagi scoring two of their four tries.
Record four-time champions Toulouse bounced back from their shock 16-14 home defeat to Connacht last week to remain top of Pool Three by winning the reverse fixture 37-9, scoring five tries - with two from Maxime Medard - to earn the bonus point.
It means they are level on points with Saracens, who ran in nine tries in a 64-3 crushing of hapless Zebre, with the two giants meeting in the south of France in the decisive match in four weeks' time.
Unbeaten Ulster, in control of Pool Five, overcame foggy conditions to thump Treviso 35-3, although they had to wait till the 77th minute for the bonus point as fullback Jared Payne scored their fourth try.
Munster won in far different circumstances, relying on a try by JJ Hanrahan after the buzzer to edge past Perpignan 18-17 in France, ensuring they will finish the weekend top of Pool Six.
The two-time European Cup winners had looked down and out when Perpignan scored a try three minutes from time through Tommaso Benvenuti but Munster captain Peter O'Mahony said his side never gives up.
"That's one of the special ones for a special team," said O'Mahony. "This was a special performance from a team that wasn't playing well."
All of Saturday's results and scorers:
Treviso 3-35 Ulster
Pen: di Bernardo
Tries: L.Marshall, Gilroy, Diack, Payne
Cons: Jackson 3
Pens: Jackson 3
Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Manoa Vosawai, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Cornelius van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Giovanni Maistri, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 James Ambrosini.
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Doyle, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annet, 17 Callum Black, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Michael Allen, 23 David McIlwaine.
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Steve Lee, Roy Maybank (both England)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (England)
Toulon 32-20 Exeter Chiefs
Tries: D Smith 2, Chiocci, Wilkinson
Cons: Giteau 3
Pens: Giteau 2
Tries: Armand, White
Cons: Slade, Sweeney
Pens: Slade 2
Toulon: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 David Smith, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Noirot, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 Delon Armitage, 21 Jonny Wilkinson, 22 Frédéric Michalak, 23 Konstantin Mikautadze.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Tom James, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Don Armand, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Ben White, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Sam Hill.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson, Michael Black (both Ireland)
TMO: Dermot Moloney (Ireland)
Saracens 64-3 Zebre
Tries: Strettle, Burger, George, Wigglesworth, Ransom, Taylor 2, B Vunipola, Ashton
Cons: Farrell 8
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 James Johnston, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Ben Ransom.
Zebre: 15 Gullo Palazzani, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Kameli Ratuvou, 11 Giambattista Venditti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Nicola Cattina, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 Marco Bortolami (captain), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Luciano Leibson, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Mike Van Vuren, 20 Emiliano Caffini, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Tommaso Iannone, 23 Giiulio Toniolatti.
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Kieran Barry (both Ireland)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ireland)
Northampton Saints 18-9 Leinster
Pens: Madigan 3
Tries: North, Elliott
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (captain), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Kevin McLaughlin, 21 John Cooney, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Zane Kirchner.
Northampton Saints: 15 Ken Pisi, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Dom Waldouck, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Diickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Tom Collins.
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Sebastien Cloute, Thomas Charabas (both France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)
Connacht 9-37 Toulouse
DG: Parks 2
Tries: Medard 2, Tolofua, Picamoles, Fickou
Cons: Beauxis 3
Pens: Beauxis 2
Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Craig Clarke (captain), 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Sean Henry, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Nathan White, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Frank Murphy, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Gavin Duffy.
Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Theirry Dusautoir, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Yoan Montes, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Gillian Galan, 21 Sebastien Bezy, 22 Gael Fickou, 23 Hosea Gear.
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris, Chris Williams (both Wales)
TMO: Paul Adams (Wales)
Scarlets 13-31 Clermont Auvergne
Pens: Priestland 2
Tries: Nalaga 2, Penalty try, Lee
Cons: Delany, James 2
Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Nick Reynolds, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 George Earle, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Jo Snyman, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Adam Warren.
Clermont: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (captain), 12 Regan King, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Julien Pierre, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Nathan Hines, 20 Fritz Lee, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 Brock James, 23 Noa Nakaitaci.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley, Nigel Carrick (both England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)
Perpignan 17-18 Munster
Pens: Allan 4
Tries: Penalty, Hanrahan
Pens: Keatley 2
Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Lifeimi Mafi, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Sofiane Guitoune, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Luke Narraway (captain), 7 Al Strokosch, 6 Daniel Leo, 5 Guillaume Vilaceca, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Sebastien Taofifénua.
Replacements: 16 Guihelm Guirado, 17 Pascal Cotet, 18 Jean-Baptiste Custoja, 19 Justin Purll, 20 Tom Ecochard, 21 David Marty, 22 Tommaso Benvenuti, 23 Jean-Pierre Perez.
Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Cathal Sheridan, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Peter O'Mahony (captain), 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Duncan Casey, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley.
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox, Paul Dix (both England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)
|South African news|
|» Smith's next step towards Boks|
|» Spies looks to the Far East|
|» Rugby or life: Choose one|
|» Du Preez out for rest of the year|
|» General Du Preez out of action|