Wednesday 18 October 2017

Madigan's men sink Chiefs to leapfrog Ulster

A penalty from skipper Baptiste Serin was all Bordeaux had to show for a mundane first half but the scrum-half then registered the decisive try four minutes before the hour. Photo: Getty Images
A penalty from skipper Baptiste Serin was all Bordeaux had to show for a mundane first half but the scrum-half then registered the decisive try four minutes before the hour. Photo: Getty Images

Tom Rooney

Bordeaux-Begles leap-frogged Ulster into second place in Pool 5 after coming from behind to beat the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park last night.

The French side, who had former Leinster playmaker Ian Madigan at fly-half, went into break 7-3 down after Ulster-born out-half Gareth Steenson converted Jack Maunder's try in the 30th minute.

A penalty from skipper Baptiste Serin was all Bordeaux had to show for a mundane first half but the scrum-half then registered the decisive try four minutes before the hour.

Madigan added the extras before Lionel Beauxis sent over a penalty to seal a 13-7 win. Although both sides have nine points, Bordeaux moved ahead of Ulster by dint of beating Les Kiss' men in the opening round in October.

With Exeter going to the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Saturday, Bordeaux will fancy their chances at home, so Ulster will probably have to beat Clermont - who enjoy a three point cushion at the top of the group - 24 hours later at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

Racing 92's hopes of progressing from Pool 1 all but ended after their 23-14 loss at home to Glasgow Warriors,which could be of great benefit to Munster.

Last year's beaten finalists are yet to register a point in Pool 1 and should they lose the return fixture at Scotstoun on Friday, then they will effectively be out of the competition.

Munster go to the Stade Yves-Du Manoir on January 7 to replay the fixture that was postponed due to the death of Anthony Foley, and may encounter a side who have already turned their attention to retaining the Top 14 title.

Toulouse got their first win in Pool 2 by making light work of Zebre at the Stadio Lanfranchi.

The four-time winners ran in five tries, including a fine brace from wing Arthur Bonneval, for a 36-6 win, and they are now just a point behind second-placed Connacht.

Montpellier are hot on the heels of Leinster in Pool 4 after their bonus-point victory over compatriots Castres at the Altrad Stadium.

Despite the dismissal of prop Davit Kubriachvili in the 18th minute, Montpellier, who were aided by a fine display off the tee by out-half Frans Steyn, scored four tries en route to a 32-14 win.

Castres led by a point at the break but only managed a penalty in the second half, while Kelian Galletier, Nic White and Shalva Mamukashvili all got over for the hosts . Castres are five points behind second-placed Montpellier, who trail Leinster by a point.

Champions Saracens appear unassailable at the summit of Pool 3 following their 50-3 thumping of Sale Sharks at Allianz Park - their 11th consecutive win at home. Mark McCall's men blew away their fellow Premiership side with six unanswered tries.

Sean Maitland bagged a brace, while Marcelo Bosch, Chris Wyles, Jamie George and replacement Richard Barrington also got in on the act.

Saracens are now five points ahead of three-in-a-row winners Toulon who, inspired by a 16-point turn from Leigh Halfpenny and a barnstorming display by Mathieu Bastareaud, beat the Scarlets 31-20 at the Stade Felix Mayol.

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