LEINSTER'S NEXT EURO OPPONENTS
A draw with ten converted tries sounds like a classic though I doubt defensive coaches would agree. Bath took an early 14pt lead but a senseless Louw yellow let the hosts pull back. Pick of the bunch were team tries finished by Wasps' Johnson and Young, but the lead changed so often it was like neither wanted to win. Davies on his Bath debut missed a late penalty; not sure if 3 match points was much good to either side.
OTHER IRISH PROVINCES
Another big BP win for Munster over Gloucester, but unlike their famous 2003 meeting, it was the English who nearly provided the "miracle". Cipriani's red card for a dangerous tackle meant his side played an hour with 14 men yet after Haley, Marshall, MotM Carbery, Arnold & Conway tries sealed the win, Munster's own discipline crumbled in the closing stages and one more Glaws score could've pinched not one but two BPs. Still, 7 points from 2 matches a satisfying start.
Ulster played better than the final score suggests and they actually led 12-3 after 27m thanks to well-worked tries by Shanahan and Stockdale. But defensive cracks started showing and they were 12-17 down by 33m and couldn't score again as their hosts pushed on in the second half to wrap up the BP. Zebo got the 5th and had to apologize to Lowry for over-celebrating. Overall Racing look set to go deep in the competition again.
OTHER CHAMPIONS CUP
Absorbing contest from start to finish unless defensive concentration is your thing. Both teams seemed keen to tee up their opposition to play to their attacking strengths; Leicester with their strong carries from MotM Manu & his mates, the Scarlets with quick passing through the hands. Three times and with four tries the home side built double digit leads…the Welsh managed two comebacks but didn't have the time nor the disciplíne for a third and couldn't even salvage a BP.
The Falcons built a 10 point lead with Hodgson pulling the strings as well as their defence withstanding a 28-phase onslaught before halftime. Montpellier then forged ahead by 4 with Pienaar placekicks and a mauled try but as they tried to close out against 14 men, a couple of penalties the other way got Newcastle to 5m out where they bravely trundled 39 phases back and forth in the 22 until Callum Chick got it over in minute 89.