Heineken Champions Cup review: Northampton beat Lyon

Northampton Saints' Dan Biggar
Northampton Saints' Dan Biggar

A review of Sunday's action in the Heineken Champions Cup, where Northampton were too good for Lyon on home soil.

Sunday's results

  • Northampton 25-14 Lyon
  • Racing 92 30-10 Saracens
  • Connacht 23-20 Montpellier
  • Saturday's review

Dan Biggar kicked 20 points to steer Northampton to an impressive 25-14 victory over Lyon in their Heineken Champions Cup opener at Franklin's Gardens.

Back from World Cup duties for Wales, it was Biggar's first appearance for Saints this season and his six penalties and the conversion of Rory Hutchinson's try helped his side to a hard-fought success.

Replacement Thibaut Regard scored two tries for Lyon, both of which Jonathan Wisniewski converted.

This season, Lyon have won eight of the opening nine league games to lead the Top 14 but they were no match for the home side, who also saw England World Cup squad members Courtney Lawes, Piers Francis and Lewis Ludlam return to the fray.

Holders Saracens suffered defeat in the opening match of their title defence after going down 30-10 to Racing 92 at the Paris La Defense Arena.

The reigning Premiership and European champions, who are set to drop their planned appeal against a £5.4million fine and a 35-point penalty for a breach of the salary cap, were comfortably beaten as Racing claimed a bonus-point victory.

The hosts ran in four tries through Virimi Vakatawa, Teddy Thomas, Finn Russell and Wenceslas Lauret, with Maxime Machenaud kicking 10 points.

Alex Lozowski scored the only try for a Saracens side missing a host of star names, with scrum-half Ben Spencer contributing five points with the boot.

Connacht marked their return to Champions Cup rugby in memorable style with a terrific 23-20 victory over Montpellier at the Sportsground.

Tries from Paul Boyle, stand-in captain Tom McCartney and Caolin Blade, with the rest of the points kicked by Jack Carty and Conor Fitzgerald, saw the westerners prevail in their first European top tier game in three seasons.

Montpellier scored tries through Aaron Cruden and Anthony Bouthier, while captain Benoit Paillaugue added two penalties, but injury-depleted Connacht, who led 13-10 at half-time, were worthy winners in a performance of massive character.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our writers combine to pick out Saturday's best betting opportunities, with racing selections from Sandown to Wolverhampton and our take on the Manchester derby.

Marcelo Gallardo after winning the CONMEBOL Recopa Sudamericana 20192

Arsenal must look to Gallardo

Arsenal continue in their hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Unai Emery. Tom Carnduff believes they should appoint Marcelo Gallardo.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Bally a Becher beauty

Matt Brocklebank heads to Aintree on Saturday with Charlie Longsdon backed to win the Becher Chase over the famous Grand National fences.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview4

Friday's racing preview

Brushwork is Anita Chambers' best bet for Newcastle and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

The Manchester derby is one of Saturday's games5

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with Tom Carnduff providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Most Read

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our writers combine to pick out Saturday's best betting opportunities, with racing selections from Sandown to Wolverhampton and our take on the Manchester derby.

Marcelo Gallardo after winning the CONMEBOL Recopa Sudamericana 20192

Arsenal must look to Gallardo

Arsenal continue in their hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Unai Emery. Tom Carnduff believes they should appoint Marcelo Gallardo.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Bally a Becher beauty

Matt Brocklebank heads to Aintree on Saturday with Charlie Longsdon backed to win the Becher Chase over the famous Grand National fences.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview4

Friday's racing preview

Brushwork is Anita Chambers' best bet for Newcastle and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

The Manchester derby is one of Saturday's games5

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with Tom Carnduff providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Racing Tips

Oli Bell highlights his Saturday picks

Oli Bell: Trust Mee

Oli Bell looks ahead to the feature races at Sandown and Aintree on Saturday, with As De Mee fancied over the Grand National fences.

Defi Du Seuil (centre)

Tingle Creek guide: Defi to deliver

All eight stand their ground for Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown - check out David Ord's horse-by-horse guide.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview

Friday's racing preview

Brushwork is Anita Chambers' best bet for Newcastle and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off

16:50 Aqueduct
1
(1)
Blahnik
J: Benjamin Hernandez
2
(2)
Beauty Buzz
J: Manuel Franco

Football Tips

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

We're back to a full fixture list this weekend meaning the latest Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams from across the divisions.

The Manchester derby is one of Saturday's games

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with Tom Carnduff providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Our best bets in the Sky Bet EFL

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend preview

We're back to a full round of fixtures following the FA Cup weekend. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets in the Sky Bet EFL.