Northampton clip Ospreys' wings
A review of the weekend's action in the Heineken Cup.
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Northampton kick-started their Heineken Cup campaign with a priceless 27-16 victory over Ospreys at Franklin's Gardens that put them firmly back in the Pool One mix.
The star-studded Welsh region, though, are facing an early exit after they were unable to recover from last weekend's home defeat against Leinster.
Number eight Samu Manoa, lock Christian Day and full-back Ben Foden scored tries for the Saints, with fly-half Stephen Myler converting all three touchdowns and booting two penalties.
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar posted all the Ospreys' points from a try, conversion and three penalties, yet they now have a mountain to climb in a group that also includes reigning French champions Castres, conquerors of Northampton eight days ago.
Perpignan scored four tries on their way to a 31-14 victory at home to Edinburgh in Pool Six.
The Scottish side had taken a 7-3 lead at the interval through Tim Visser's try, but it was the French team that dominated after the break.
Wandile Mjekevu touched down twice, while Joffrey Michel and Justin Puril also scored as the hosts sealed the win.
Cornell du Preez crossed the whitewash late on for Edinburgh, but all their good work in the first half was undone by a disappointing second 40.
Second half tries from Tim Swinson and Tyrone Holmes were enough to confirm Glasgow's first victory of the season.
The Warriors had to wait for their final group game last season before collecting a win but they have already got themselves off the mark just two games into this year's competition after beating Exeter 20-16.
An exchange of penalties saw the Chiefs lead 9-6 at half-time but lock Swinson's try following a moment of brilliance from Niko Matawalu nine minutes into the second half set the hosts on target for victory.
Flanker Holmes added a second seven minutes from time before visiting number eight Dave Ewers ensured Exeter left with a losing bonus point that sees them draw level with Toulon at the top of Pool 2.
Harlequins' hopes have been left hanging by a thread as Clermont condemned them to a second successive Pool Four defeat.
Conor O'Shea's men put up a brave fight against last season's finalists and were rewarded with Tom Williams' try on the stroke of half-time.
But the damage had already been done for the Aviva Premiership outfit in central France as first-half tries from Lee Byrne, Wesley Fofana and Thierry Lacrampe handed Clermont a much-needed 23-16 win - but no valuable bonus point.
And, although Nick Evans scored a drop goal with the final kick of the game to give his team-mates a deserved losing bonus point, the writing is on the wall for Quins because no team has qualified for the knockout stages of the competition following two opening losses.
On Saturday, Cardiff Blues produced a stunning upset after substitute Gareth Davies' late try floored European champions Toulon 19-15 at the Arms Park.
Just six days after the Blues leaked 44 points and were demolished by Exeter, they responded magnificently to revive their hopes of progressing from Pool Two.
Davies struck two minutes from time following a blistering Cory Allen break, while Wales star Leigh Halfpenny kicked 11 points and Rhys Patchell slotted an early long-range penalty for a gripping 19-15 result.
Jonny Wilkinson booted five penalties for Toulon, yet they were unable to thwart a resilient and committed Blues outfit.
Munster opened their win account in the competition as Johne Murphy's 67th-minute try put paid to Gloucester's chances at Thomond Park.
Rob Penney's men did enough to rebound from last week's disappointing defeat away to Edinburgh with a 26-10 triumph although, in a very tight Pool Six, they failed to engineer a bonus-point push in Limerick.
Charlie Sharples and Damien Varley swapped tries in a first half that cantered along at a brisk pace, with Ian Keatley's hat-trick of penalties separating the sides at 16-10.
The scoreline remained the same until Munster mustered 10 quickfire points entering the final quarter-hour, as Keatley added another penalty and then set up and converted a Murphy try.
Ulster secured one of the most memorable away Heineken Cup wins as they comprehensively beat last season's quarter-finalists Montpellier 25-8 in southern France.
Andrew Trimble crossed for Ulster's only try on 11 minutes before Ruan Pienaar paved the way for victory with 15 points from his boot. Paddy Jackson also added five points.
Not only did this win move Ulster two points clear of Leicester Tigers - who they beat last week - in Pool Five, but it also prevented Montpellier a point at their own Yves du Manoir stadium.
Fly-halves Rhys Priestland and Jonny Sexton kicked 16 points apiece as Scarlets and Racing Metro shared the spoils in a 26-26 draw in their Pool Four clash at Parc y Scarlets.
Both sides also scored two tries each with Scott Williams and Rhodri Williams going over in the first half as the home side led 20-10 at half time with two Racing players in the sin-bin.
Racing's tries came in each half from Wenceslas Lauret and Sakiusa Matadigo, while the French Top 14 side had a second try for Lauret ruled out in the 81st minute after the Television Match Official confirmed a knock-on in the build up.
Jack McGrath's first Heineken Cup try lifted Leinster to their second pool win as they beat a bruising Castres Olympique side 19-7 at the RDS.
Traditionally poor travellers in this tournament, the reigning French Top 14 champions leaked three penalties to Jimmy Gopperth before a converted try from Rory Kockott gave them a shot in the arm before the interval.
But Castres crucially failed to turn pressure into points in the third quarter and with centre Remi Lamerat in the sin-bin, McGrath wrestled free to grab the game's decisive score in the 62nd minute.
Gopperth converted and tagged on a fourth penalty and frustrated Castres suffered a second sin-binning in the closing stages - replacement scrum half Julien Tomas saw yellow for a succession of crooked feeds.
Connacht's slim hopes of qualifying from Pool Three were resurrected in Parma where they saw off European whipping boys Zebre 33-6.
There was no bonus point to take home to Galway, but there was plenty for Pat Lam to savour as his troops climbed level on points with Saracens, who were beaten at home by Toulouse the night before.
George Naoupu and Mata Fifita scored a try in each half for Connacht, while Dan Parks did the rest, registering 23 points with his trusty right boot.
For Zebre, Luciano Orquera kicked all their points, but they failed to register so much as a losing bonus point on yet another failed adventure for the Italians.
On Friday night, Saracens endured their first defeat of the season after Toulouse fought back to win 17-16 in a heavyweight Pool Three showdown at Wembley.
The Aviva Premiership pacesetters led 16-7 heading into the final quarter through Chris Wyles' ninth-minute try and the accurate kicking of Owen Farrell.
But they buckled as four-time European champions Toulouse launched a fightback founded on brute strength rather than guile with France number Louis Picamoles driving over.
With three minutes remaining Farrell attempted to snatch victory through an enormous penalty from inside his own half, only for the kick to fall just short.
Deep into injury time and following a rousing spell from his team-mates, the England fly-half lined-up a drop goal, but it failed to reach the posts.
Leicester bounced back from their opening defeat at Ulster with a convincing 34-3 victory over Benetton Treviso at Welford Road.
The Pool Five success maintained Leicester's 100 per cent record against Italian sides - played 19 won 19 - and also meant they had earned a bonus point in each of Treviso's four visits to Leicester.
Leicester's tries came from Thomas Waldrom, Tom Youngs, Blaine Scully and Adam Thompstone - with the last move of the game.
Toby Flood kicked 14 points.