European Champions Cup: Ulster deny Bath and Glasgow beat Sale

Ulster's Rob Lyttle dives over to score
Ulster's Rob Lyttle dives over to score

A review of Saturday's action in the European Champions Cup, where Ulster edged out Bath and Glasgow beat Sale.

Saturday's results

  • Bath 16-17 Ulster
  • Glasgow Warriors 13-7 Sale
  • La Rochelle 12-31 Exeter
  • Leinster 33-19 Benetton
  • Ospreys 13-32 Munster
  • ASM Clermont Auvergne 53-21 Harlequins

Ulster deny Bath in thriller

Ulster squeezed out a vital 17-16 victory at Bath in their opening match in Pool Three of the European Champions Cup.

Tries in each half by John Cooney and Rob Lyttle helped the PRO14 side make it five straight wins against Bath in European competition. Scrum-half Cooney converted both and kicked a 70th-minute penalty to seal the win.

The Premiership side kept in touch with two penalties from Freddie Burns before replacement wing Gabriel Hamer-Webb scored their only try, converted by Burns. Rhys Priestland's 66th-minute penalty put them ahead for the first time in the match but Cooney had the final say.

Glasgow overcome Sale

DTH Van Der Merwe's try gave Glasgow a winning start to their Champions Cup campaign as they edged out Sale 13-7.

Dave Rennie's team dominated the first half but should have taken more than a solitary try and eight points from the boot of Adam Hastings.

With South Africa's World Cup winning scrum-half Faf De Klerk still to return to action, Sale badly lacked tempo during the opening 40 minutes.

Steve Diamond rang the changes early after the interval and got a response as Coenie Oosthuizen crossed over.

Warriors failed to build on their tally but were relieved as they held on for victory.

Exeter make winning start at La Rochelle

Exeter Chiefs got their Champions Cup campaign off to a winning start with a 31-12 bonus point victory over La Rochelle at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre.

Tries from Dave Dennis, Tom O'Flaherty, Henry Slade and Sam Simmonds - with Joe Simmonds kicking 11 points - secured the points.

The hosts scored two tries courtesy of Geoffrey Doumayrou and Kini Murimurivalu, with Brock James kicking two points.

Ringrose hat-trick in Leinster victory

Returning centre Garry Ringrose helped himself to a hat-trick in Leinster's five-try 33-19 Heineken Champions Cup win over Benetton at the RDS.

The Ireland star touched down twice inside the first 14 minutes, sandwiching a Dean Budd effort, and Ronan Kelleher marked his European debut with a try on the half-hour mark as last season's runners-up opened up a 19-7 interval lead.

A crowd of 15,080 watched Leinster captain Jonathan Sexton convert his own bonus-point try but Hame Faiva hit back to keep the pressure on. Man-of-the-match Ringrose cut inside a tired 68th-minute tackle to notch his first career hat-trick, before Luca Sperandio claimed a late consolation score.

Comfortable opening win for Munster

Munster opened their Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a 32-13 bonus point victory over Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.

Tries from Jeremy Loughman, Keith Earls, Andrew Conway and James Cronin, along with 12 points from the boot of Tyler Bleyendaal was enough to get Munster over the line.

All the Ospreys could muster was a late try from Aled Davies, with Luke Price and James Hook kicking eight points between them.

Harlequins hammered in France

Harlequins suffered a heavy defeat in their Heineken Champions Cup opener at Clermont Auvergne on Saturday, losing 53-21.

The excellent Alivereti Raka and Peceli Yato scored two tries apiece in a dominant display from the three-time finalists, who were making their return to the competition after failing to qualify for last season's tournament.

Clermont opened up a 22-0 lead inside 25 minutes and kept Quins firmly at arm's length throughout.

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