Champions Cup: Leinster storm to win; Dan Evans off after 37 seconds

Leinster's James Lowe scores his sides first try
Leinster's James Lowe scores his sides first try

A review of Saturday's action in the Heineken Champions Cup, where Johnny Sexton's injury cast a shadow over Leinster's impressive victory and Dan Evans saw red after 37 seconds.

Saturday's results

  • Lyon 28-0 Benetton
  • Northampton 16-43 Leinster
  • La Rochelle 24-27 Glasgow
  • Ulster 25-24 Harlequins
  • Munster 10-3 Saracens
  • Ospreys 19-40 Racing 92

Ospreys full-back Dan Evans received one of the quickest red cards in professional rugby union history as his team lost 40-19 against Racing 92.

Evans was sent off by referee Frank Murphy after just 37 seconds at the Liberty Stadium when his boot made contact with Racing wing Teddy Thomas' head as he claimed a high ball.

First-half yellow cards for Scott Williams and Aled Davies - and Wales centre Owen Watkin limping off - compounded Ospreys' misery as they suffered a third successive Champions Cup loss this season.

European title contenders Racing - beaten finalists in 2016 and 2018 - did not require a second invitation to capitalise as Thomas' try double, a penalty try and touchdown for hooker Teddy Baubigny secured a bonus point before half-time.

Davies, wing Hanno Dirksen and prop Ma'afu Fia claimed tries for the battling Ospreys, with fly-half Marty McKenzie adding two conversions, but Racing managed further scores for Yoan Tanga and captain Henry Chavancy, and Maxime Machenaud, who was sin-binned four minutes from time, kicked four conversions.

Racing's victory keeps them firmly on course for the quarter-finals in a punishing group that also includes Champions Cup holders Saracens and twice European champions Munster.

Johnny Sexton's second-half injury cast a shadow over Leinster's storming 43-16 Champions Cup win over Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

The Ireland fly-half went off four minutes into the second half with what appeared to be a right knee problem.

But with Jordan Larmour in sparkling form Leinster absorbed the loss of Sexton to run out comfortable winners.

Northampton's first meaningful test in pursuit of a quarter-final spot ended in a seven-try defeat that places them under pressure for the return fixture in Dublin next weekend.

The Premiership leaders had been superb until colliding with Leinster, catching the eye with an attacking style that was matched by results in the form of six wins from seven outings.

But they were taught a lesson in European rugby by the four-time champions who fielded greater firepower in most departments and who were able to call on a watertight defence to contain Northampton's assault in the final half-hour.

A seventh win in eight meetings between the rivals places Leinster in full control of Pool One.

John Cooney's long-range penalty two minutes from time secured a 25-24 comeback win for Ulster over Harlequins.

Ulster trailed 24-22 in the closing stages after two second-half tries from Quins hooker Elia Elia had edged the visitors in front.

But an Adam McBurney try and Cooney's conversion left Ulster within range and Cooney's penalty made it three wins from three and left them on top of pool three.

Sean Reidy and Stuart McCloskey claimed Ulster's other tries along, both converted by Cooney, who also landed two penalties.

Quins, who earned a losing bonus point, had a try from Alex Dombrandt, in addition to Elia's double. Marcus Smith converted all three tries and added a penalty.

Captain Peter O'Mahony claimed a crucial lone try as Munster overcame Saracens 10-3 in a scrappy contest at a weather-beaten Thomond Park.

O'Mahony's 30th-minute touchdown - adding to JJ Hanrahan's five points from the tee - was all the hosts could muster from their first half wind advantage and a two-thirds share of both possession and territory.

Ben Spencer kicked a penalty for Saracens.

Lyon secured their first-ever Heineken Champions Cup victory with a 28-0 home win over Benetton.

The French Top 14 side broke their Champions Cup duck at the ninth attempt and also registered a late bonus point.

Full-back Jean-Marcellin Buttin opened the scoring in the third minute and New Zealander Charlie Ngatai soon crossed for Jonathan Wisniewski to convert.

Wisniewski's penalty put Lyon into a 15-0 lead before wing Xavier Mignot dotted down 12 minutes from half-time.

The Italian visitors were reduced to 14 men when replacement Marco Barbini was yellow carded and a Pato Fernandez penalty extended Lyon's lead.

Lyon's fourth try came five minutes from time when a driving line-out drew in the Benetton defence and replacement Liam Gill dived over in the corner.

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