Friday 19 January 2018

Marauding Saracens bring Bradley's men crashing back down to earth

Heineken Cup round-up

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

AFTER causing a sensation by reaching last season's Heineken cup semi-final, Michael Bradley's Edinburgh were brought back down to earth with a bang in their 45-0 defeat by Saracens.

The former Connacht coach saw his side concede five tries in their Pool 1 clash as the Scots fell to their heaviest home defeat in the competition and they must now go to Munster this Sunday.

Sarries' out-half Charlie Hodgson helped himself to 25 points and missed just one kick at goal in nine attempts, with his replacement Owen Farrell touching down in the second half to help complete the rout -- a result that means the English side are the pacesetters in the group.

Conor O'Shea's Harlequins seized the initiative in Connacht's Pool 3 when they produced a superb second-half performance to secure a bonus-point win over Biarritz.

The sides were tied at 13-13 each at the break but second-half tries from Rob Buchanan, Jordan Turner-Hall and Seb Stegmann ensured maximum points.

And, while Ulster made the perfect start in Pool 4 with their bonus-point win against Castres, Northampton followed suit when they beat Glasgow at Franklin's Gardens.

However, the beaten 2011 finalists had to recover from a 15-0 deficit with former Blackrock College wing Vasily Artemyev also crossing for a try.


Simon Easterby's Scarlets have made a strong start to the season but they found the going too tough against Clermont at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

They made a difficult task almost impossible when they were reduced to 14 men as Morgan Stoddart was sent off after picking up a second yellow card just before the break.

Vern Cotter's side haven't lost in Europe at that venue in three years and they ran out 49-16 winners over the Welsh region.

The Scarlets trailed by just three points at the break but they would concede six tries that means the French side are in pole position in Leinster's Pool 5.

In Pool 2, the Ospreys secured their bonus point over Treviso when Ashley Beck crossed with just five seconds left on the clock.

And in the clash of the competition heavyweights, Toulouse had too much for Leicester in Le Stadium.

Gael Fickou got the first-half try that gave Guy Noves' men control while in Pool 6, Sale recorded their first win of the season with a one point success over Cardiff.

Toulon rounded off the weekend's action with a bonus point win over fellow Top 14 side Montpellier last night.

Irish Independent

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