Domestic dramas set up European thrillers

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:46
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CHAMPIONS CUP: A dramatic weekend of domestic competition has set up the European Rugby Champions Cup doubleheaders in Rounds 3 and 4 perfectly, with thrills aplenty possible from first to last.

The next programme opens with runaway Pro14 Conference A leaders Glasgow Warriors entertaining second-placed TOP 14 side Montpellier on Friday and closes with Premiership front-runners Exeter Chiefs hosting PRO14 Conference B challengers Leinster Rugby on Sunday, both in Pool 3.

The Warriors still await their first point in Pool 3, but they approach their game against Montpellier in deadly domestic form, after a six-try, 40-16 victory over Cardiff Blues gave them a 10th win from 10 Pro14 games.

Reigning English champions Exeter also warmed up for their potential Pool decider against Leinster with a six-try show, stretching eight points clear at the top of the Premiership thanks to a 42-29 success against West Country rivals and Pool 5 leaders Bath Rugby at Sandy Park.

Leinster are in equally lethal form, having triumphed 36-10 at Pool 5 side Benetton Rugby, where new signing James Lowe marked his debut for the Irish province with two of their five tries as they closed to within three points of Conference B table-toppers Scarlets.

As well as Pool 3, Pool 1 boasts three in-form teams, with Harlequins and Wasps snatching nail-biting victories at the weekend, and leaders La Rochelle leapfrogging Montpellier to move to the head of the TOP 14 table after beating them 26-14.

Former England flyhalf Danny Cipriani celebrated his return from a knee injury a month early by inspiring Wasps to 32-25 victory over Pool 4 front runners Leicester Tigers with the pass that set up Kearnan Myall's last-minute try.

And it was an England international who was at the centre of Quins' last-gasp 20-19 home win over European champions Saracens, scrumhalf Danny Care displaying his kicking skills from hand as he created two tries for Charlie Walker and the 79th-minute match-winner for fellow wing Tim Visser.

Elsewhere, Pool 4 province Munster Rugby consolidated second place in PRO14 Conference A with a 36-10 home triumph against Pool 2 region Ospreys, which sets the Irish province up nicely for their doubleheader with Leicester, Johann van Graan's first European games in charge of Munster.

In the TOP 14, ASM Clermont Auvergne warmed up for their two 2017 Champions Cup final rematches against Saracens with a 35-26 home win over Agen and RC Toulon were even more convincing prior to their doubleheader against Bath, beating Lyon 39-11 at home.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 3 3 0 0 15
Ulster 3 1 0 2 8
Wasps 3 1 0 2 6
Harlequins 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 3 3 0 0 14
Saracens 3 2 0 1 10
Ospreys 3 1 0 2 8
Northampton Saints 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 3 3 0 0 14
Exeter Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Montpellier 3 1 0 2 8
Glasgow Warriors 3 0 0 3 1
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 3 2 1 0 11
Castres 3 1 1 1 7
Leicester Tigers 3 1 0 2 6
Racing Metro 3 1 0 2 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 3 3 0 0 12
Bath 3 2 0 1 9
Scarlets 3 1 0 2 7
Treviso 3 0 0 3 3