Saturday 16 December 2017

Saracens rout stuns Bradley

Saracens made an impressive start to their Heineken Cup Pool 1 campaign as they demolished Edinburgh 45-0 at Murrayfield.

Charlie Hodgson landed four penalties, four conversions and a try for a personal haul of 25 points as Michael Bradley's side were completely outclassed.

"It's hard to put into words what I feel," Bradley said. "We knew the systems they would employ. But my guys didn't play to our game plan.

"We've let everyone down. Today was completely unacceptable. We need to give a big performance next week [against Munster]."

Harlequins bag bonus point

Conor O'Shea's Harlequins made a winning start in Pool 3 with a 40-13 bonus-point victory over Biarritz -- thanks to tries from from Danny Care, Rob Buchanan, Jordan Turner-Hall and Seb Stegmann -- despite entering half-time locked at 13-13.

"This is the Heineken Cup and this is Biarritz. If you believe any team will just blast them away, it won't happen," O'Shea said. "The players were so positive at half-time and that was good. We kept on trying to play and we knew the scores would come."

Elswhere, Ashley Beck pounced for the bonus-point try with just five seconds to spare as Ospreys beat Treviso 38-17 at Liberty Stadium.

Glasgow eye Saints scalp

Glasgow are intent on bringing their fine Pro12 form into their Pool 4 trip to Northampton today (12.45).

The clash sees head coach Gregor Townsend take his team to one of his former clubs, set on securing a fifth straight victory in all competitions. The Warriors have never beaten a Premiership team away and, with the Saints currently leading that competition, the size of the challenge facing Townsend and his troops this weekend is clear.

In Pool 6, cup contenders Toulon kick off their campaign with a Mediterranean derby against Montpellier (9.0). RCT have rolled out all their big guns for the all-French showdown in a starting XV that features Frederic Michalak at scrum-half inside fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

Montpellier welcome back Lucas Amorosino while Scottish international Johnnie Beattie starts at No 8. Fulgence Ouedraogo and François Trinh-Duc have been rested.

The other game in the pool sees Cardiff Blues travel to Sale Sharks. Sharks will be looking to put their domestic troubles behind them -- they are bottom of the league with six straight defeats.

Leinster A thrash Leeds

Last season's beaten semi-finalists Leinster A made their intentions clear with a scintillating 47-11 bonus-point demolition of Leeds Carnegie in the British & Irish Cup at Donnybrook last night.

Full-back Darren Hudson created tries for flanker Jordan Coghlan and centre Brendan Macken, while blindside Jack Conan finished from a quick tap penalty. Sam Coghlan-Murray, Hudson, Leo Auva'a and Fionn Carr went over after the break to complete the seven-try haul.

Elsewhere, Ulster Ravens started their campaign with a very comfortable 49-19 victory over Bridgend at Deramore Park.

They ran in a total of six tries with Niall O'Connor making his presence felt with 17 points.

Connacht Eagles slumped to a last-gasp defeat 18-14 to Newport RFC, Will Richards crossing with the match-winning try for the Welsh side in the 79th minute.

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