Farrell earns win for Sarries

  • Last Updated: December 16 2012, 17:54 GMT

A review of the weekend's action in the Heineken Cup, including a famous win for Ospreys over Toulouse.

Owen Farrell: Kicked 14 points for Saracens
Owen Farrell: Kicked 14 points for Saracens

Owen Farrell edged the battle of the erratic goal-kickers as Saracens won a compelling contest 19-13 against Munster at Vicarage Road to top Pool One of the Heineken Cup.

With two games remaining in the pool stage, Saracens hold a two-point advantage over Racing Metro and a three-point cushion over Munster who now have it all to do to remain in the competition.

Saracens were deserved winners, overcoming the loss of Will Fraser to the sin bin, but had to rely on 14 points from the boot of Farrell for their success.

Munster grabbed an interception try from Doug Howlett but failed to take advantage of Fraser's absence and two late misses from Ronan O'Gara cost them dearly.

Sale suffered their heaviest Heineken Cup defeat as Toulon showed their title credentials with a crushing 62-0 victory at Stade Felix Mayol.

The Top 14 leaders were sensational against the Aviva Premiership's bottom-placed side as they made it four wins from four in Pool Six.

The Armitage brothers, Steffon and Delon, were at the fore for the big-spending French outfit as the Sharks shipped nine tries in suffering a crushing loss.

Sale held firm for the first 30 minutes on the Cote D'Azur but they were cannon fodder after that as Jean-Charles Orioli, Freddie Michalak - who started ahead of Jonny Wilkinson - Joe van Niekerk (two), Davit Kubriashvili, Rudi Wolf and David Smith joined the Armitage boys on the scoreboard.

Glasgow will return from the south of France with their heads held high after an agonising 10-8 defeat at Castres saw them slump to a fourth straight defeat in Pool Four of the Heineken Cup.

The visitors forged an 8-3 lead at the break thanks to a John Barclay try but the hosts fought back, and a Ruaridh Jackson penalty to win the match bounced back off the post as the French side held on.

On Saturday the Ospreys gave themselves hope of securing a quarter-final berth with a stunning 17-6 Pool Two victory over four-time champions Toulouse at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Dan Biggar kicked two penalties and a drop goal to give the hosts a 9-6 half-time lead, with a further penalty from the fly-half and an excellent finish from man of the match Eli Walker sealing a famous win.

Toulouse's only response came in the form of a penalty and drop goal from Jean-Marc Doussain and their failure to at least pick up a losing bonus point throws Pool Two wide open ahead of next month's deciding fixtures.

Clermont Auvergne landed a crushing blow to Leinster's hopes of defending the Heineken Cup by coming away from the Aviva Stadium with a fine 28-21 victory.

Morgan Parra masterminded back-to-back wins for Clermont over the champions, slotting eight of his nine kicks at goal for a 23-point haul.

A crowd of 48,964 - an Irish record for a European pool match - watched Wesley Fofana tear over for a try five minutes before the break to help Clermont push 16-6 clear.

Man of the match Parra managed to convert Fofana's try, adding to three earlier penalties, with Jonathan Sexton booting a brace of penalties for the Irish province.

The margin was widened to 25-9 before Leinster recovered to score two tries in the closing quarter-hour through Shane Jennings and Fergus McFadden, the latter's effort coming in a daring last-minute raid.

McFadden's try garnered a losing bonus point for a well-beaten Leinster side, who are now eight points adrift of Pool Five leaders Clermont.

In Pool Two, Leicester kept their hopes of qualification alive with a vital 14-13 win over Treviso at the Stadio di Monigo - with the winning try coming two minutes from time.

Six days after beating securing a bonus-point win against the same opposition at Welford Road, the Tigers looked to be on their way out of Europe against a brave Benetton side.

However, a penalty try in the dying embers of the second half means Richard Cockerill's men will live to fight another day.

Alberto Di Bernardo kicked everything that came his way for Franco Smith's hosts who also managed a penalty try of their own.

Adam Thompstone scored a try for the visitors and George Ford chipped in with two conversions.

Harlequins remain unbeaten in Pool Three after demolishing Italian strugglers Zebre 53-5 at The Stoop.

The bonus-point win ensured that Quins only have to secure one point from their remaining two games to top the section and secure a home draw in the quarter-finals.

Quins took some time to subdue the visitors but once Zebre picked up two yellow cards in quick succession, it was a case of damage limitation as the home side scored seven tries and collected 18 points from the boot of Nick Evans.

Tom Casson, Danny Care, Ben Botica, Nick Easter, Sam Smith and Karl Dickson all crossed for the hosts, who were also awarded a penalty try.

Ulster fell to their first defeat of the season as Northampton made up for their heavy defeat at Franklin's Gardens by turning over the Pool Four leaders 10-9.

The result keeps Saints above them in the mix with two more pool games remaining while Ulster, whose 13-game winning run came to an end in front of their home fans, are no longer in control of the group - even though they still managed a losing bonus point.

The visitors scored all their points in the opening 40 minutes with a try from number eight Gerrit-Jan van Velze along with a conversion and penalty from Stephen Myler.

Northampton deserved their win despite Ulster's frantic efforts to snatch the game, with Ruan Pienaar's last-gasp penalty to win it sailing wide.

Ulster's points all came from the boot of Paddy Jackson.

Exeter completed back to back victories over Scarlets in Pool Five to keep their hopes alive of at least progressing to the latter stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

The Scarlets recovered from 17-3 down to get back on level terms early in the second half, but a late try from James Scaysbrook sealed a 30-20 victory for the Chiefs.

Ian Whitten and Simon Alcott had crossed early for the hosts, while Scarlets replied through Ken Owens and Scott Williams.

Montpellier kept their hopes alive with a convincing 34-21 Pool Six win over Cardiff Blues at Stade Yves du Manoir.

The French club battled to a hard-fought win over the 14-man Blues last week, but their victory was far more emphatic on home soil.

Sam Warburton gave the Blues the perfect start but Montpellier responded with tries from Timoci Nagusa, Rassie Van Vuuren and Yoan Audrin.

Alex Cuthbert hit back but Johnnie Beattie sealed the victory and bonus point with his touchdown on 58 minutes.

Racing Metro kept alive their bid for a spot in the knockout stages with a hard-fought 15-3 win over Edinburgh in a dire affair at rain-swept Murrayfield.

Edinburgh's solitary penalty leaves them with a dismal tally of only 12 points in matches after four Pool One games.

The Parisians earned their win by virtue of their better haul from kicks at goal, with Gaetan Germain booting four penalties and Olly Barkley one, while Edinburgh's counter came from Piers Francis.

In Friday night's other game, Connacht were unable to repeat their heroics of a week ago as Biarritz won 17-0 in horrendously wet conditions at the Parc des Sports Aguilera.

Man of the match Dimitri Yachvili kicked an early penalty and converted Iain Balshaw's 31st-minute try to give Biarritz the upper hand and a 10-0 interval lead in the Heineken Cup clash.

There then followed a stop-start second half during which Tiernan O'Halloran and Eoin McKeon caught the eye for the hard-working visitors.

Biarritz were meandering to victory and put the finishing touches to a good night when Damien Traille latched onto his own kick, taking advantage of a fortuitous bounce to put replacement centre Seremaia Burotu over in the final minute.

Yachvili converted superbly with the last kick of the match, the result of which sees Biarritz leapfrog over Connacht into second place with Harlequins looking like runaway winners of Pool Three.


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