Job done for Tigers
A review of the weekend's action in the Heineken Cup.
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Leicester collected the bonus-point, 33-25 victory over Treviso they required at Welford Road to stay in contention for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.
Tigers closed the gap on unbeaten Pool Two leaders Toulouse after Julian Salvi's try double underpinned an emphatic first-half display.
Centre Manu Tuilagi and substitute wing Matt Smith also touched down, with fly-half George Ford kicking four conversions, including the extras to a 17th-minute penalty try.
But it proved far from plain sailing as Treviso scored three tries of their own through flanker Dean Budd, prop Lorenzo Cittadini and wing Christian Loamanu, while Alberto Di Bernardo landed two conversions and two penalties.
Leinster picked up a losing bonus point in a titanic 15-12 clash with Pool Five leaders Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel Michelin.
Despite a first defeat in this season's Heineken Cup, the defending champions emerged with a clutch of positives ahead of next Saturday's return date in Dublin.
Sean O'Brien had an impressive return to European action in a barnstorming back row unit, with Fergus McFadden and cup debutant Andrew Goodman the pick of the visitors' backs.
Jonathan Sexton kicked four penalties for the province, a tally matched by Clermont's Morgan Parra, with Brock James landing a crucial drop goal just before half-time.
Fourteen-man Cardiff had their aspirations ended as they fell to a third straight Pool Six defeat at the hands of Montpellier who won 35-24 on Sunday.
Teenage fly-half Rhys Patchell slotted seven penalties and a drop goal for the home side, who had scrum-half Lloyd Williams sent off after 25 minutes for a tip tackle on opposite number Benoit Paillaugue.
Pierre Berard, Mamuka Gorgodze and Timoci Nagusa all crossed for Montpellier, with the classy Paillaugue kicking 20 points.
The Blues' defeat adds to the gloom that has enveloped Welsh rugby, with the regions managing a collective one win from nine Heineken Cup matches to go with the national side's run of seven straight defeats.
Toulouse put the Ospreys to the sword 30-14 with a rampant second-half performance to take control of Pool Two on Saturday.
The four-time winners led just 12-7 at the interval thanks to quick-fire tries from Florian Fritz and Yannick Nyanga.
The Ospreys hit back with a try from Kahn Fotuali'i but the second half was a one-team affair as Vincent Clerc, Census Johnson, Yoann Huget all crossed over.
The visitors again responded with a try, this time from Ryan Bevington, but it was too little too late.
Ronan O'Gara's right boot helped Munster to a narrow 15-9 win in this cagey clash with Saracens at Thomond Park.
O'Gara had a five-from-five kicking return, whereas his young counterpart Owen Farrell missed four of his seven shots at the posts.
Farrell redeemed himself by converting a 79th minute penalty for a losing bonus point which keeps Saracens at the top of Pool 1, albeit with Munster now level on 10 points ahead of next week's return fixture in Watford.
Outside-half Gareth Steenson kicked 17 points as Exeter secured their first-ever win in the competition with a Pool 5 22-16 success over Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets.
Scrum-half Haydn Thomas gave the visitors the perfect start with a try on five minutes and the Chiefs led throughout from there on.
The Scarlets, who saw Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland carried from the field with an ankle injury in the second half, did grab back a late penalty try from a scrum but it was not enough as they crashed to a third straight European defeat.
Harlequins remain on course for top spot in Pool Three after a comprehensive 57-14 victory over Zebre in Parma.
The Aviva Premiership pacesetters ran in eight tries to secure a winning bonus point.
Sam Smith scored a brace with Nick Easter, Matt Hopper, Rob Buchanan and Ben Botica also among the scorers for Connor O'Shea's high fliers, who also managed two scrum penalty tries.
The most Zebre could manage on a bitterly cold day was a first-half breakaway try by Leonardo Sarto and a late consolation for Alberto Chillon.
Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon made it three wins out of three in Pool Six but did little to justify their tag of favourites with an unconvincing 17-6 success against struggling Sale.
Filthy conditions at the Salford City Stadium did much to bridge the gulf in class between a star-studded side leading the French Top 14 and one propping up the Aviva Premiership, but the visitors did just enough to secure the crucial points, with winger David Smith scoring the only try and Wilkinson kicking four penalties from seven attempts.
Racing Metro kept their hopes alive with a hard fought 19-9 victory over Edinburgh at Stade Yves du Manoir.
Tries from Juan Jose Imhoff and Eddy Ben Arous either side of the interval proved the difference as the Scottish outfit remained winless in the competition.
Edinburgh stay bottom of Pool One, with no points to their name, but they restored some pride with the committed performance.
Tries from the outstanding Andrew Trimble and fellow wing Tommy Bowe had put Ulster, runners-up in this competition last year, in command at the interval.
Ulster pushed on to seal their 13th consecutive victory of the campaign with a slick try from full-back Jared Payne and Dan Tuohy's last-minute try, which sealed the Pool Four bonus point.
The match was a poor advert for European rugby - one of brutal frontal assaults relieved by long kicks and penalty awards and was little reward for the 3,348 spectators who turned up on a freezing night.
Ultimately it was decided by the boot with three successful penalties from Castres' Rory Kockott outdoing the pair from Glasgow's Scott Wight.
The Tongan winger's first-half try was supplemented by 17 points from Dan Parks' boot to keep the Irish province in contention for a maiden appearance in the last eight of Europe's premier club competition.
Biarritz skipper Imanol Harinordoquy scored his side's only try of the match with Dimitri Yachvili kicking the other points.