Heineken Cup wrap

 Dec 09,2013
Written by: Ross Hastie

Defending Heineken Cup champions Toulon claimed a precious win on the road as they beat Exeter Chiefs 14-9 at Sandy Park on Saturday to move to the top of Pool 2.

Jonny Wilkinson, who had already missed 11 points from the kicking tee, landed a 30-metre drop goal five minutes from time to secure the win. However, the result came at a high costly for the French side, who lost Bakkies Botha (cut head), fellow Springbok Bryan Habana (hamstring) and Craig Burden (arm) to injury in the first half.

Making his first appearance in the Heineken Cup since joining the European champions, Habana pulled up whilst on the attack in the 37th minute with a seemingly serious injury. The club later confirmed that he is expected to be sidelined for three weeks.

The Round 3 action kicked off on Friday in Castres where Rory Kockott slotted four penalties as the French champions outmuscled Ospreys 15-9.

In Italy, South African number eight Ernst Joubert was named Man of the Match and scored one of Saracen's five tries as they thrashed Zebre 39-10 with England winger Chris Ashoton touching down twice.

Clermont extended their undefeated home run to 68 games with 32-11 victory over the Scarlets with Fijian wing Napolioni Nalaga scoring a brace.

The biggest result came in Northampton where the hosts were thrashed 40-7 by Leinster while Johan Muller captained Ulster to a 48-0 victory over Treviso. Juandre Kruger's Racing Metro were hammered 32-8 at home to Harlequins.

The upset of the weekend came un Sunday, when four-time European champions Toulouse were shocked at home by Irish minnows Connacht, who claimed a well-earned 16-14 win at Stade Ernst Wallon.

With a team packed with international stars - including Springboks Jano Vermaak, Chiliboy Ralepelle and Gurthro Steenkamp - Toulouse turned down numerous penalty opportunities in favour of seeking tries but only led 7-6 at the break. Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion crossed the whitewash to give the visitors the lead before Toulouse captain Thierry Dusautoir reduced the deficit, but it wasn't enough as the 100-1 outsiders held on for a remarkable win.

Wynand Olivier was left on the bench as Montpellier went down 41-32 in a thrilling clash with Leicester at Welford Road. Gloucester scored three tries to run out 23-12 victors over a lacklustre Edinburgh outfit featuring Cornell du Preez,  Izak van der Westhuizen and WP Nel at Murrayfield.

Munster completed an excellent weekend for Irish sides with a 36-8 win over Dewaldt Duvenage's Perpignan.



Tags: European |  Leicester Tigers |  Saracens |  Toulouse |  Munster | 

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