Saturday 24 March 2018

Hook and Perpignan in ominous form

John Fallon

Perpignan, who play Munster back-to-back in the Heineken Cup in December, continued their rich vein of form, chalking up their third successive win to stay within three points of Top 14 leaders Toulouse.

James Hook extended his purple patch, landing eight penalties and a conversion in their 31-20 win over Bordeaux. Just six points separate the top nine teams in the French league.

Perpignan travel to play promoted Oyonnax tomorrow night.

Edinburgh backed up their Heineken Cup win over Munster by beating Treviso 20-13 at Murrayfield on Friday night.

The Scots, who led 10-3 at the break thanks to a Greig Tonks try, moved off the bottom of the Pro12 table with their second win of the campaign as they look to build momentum for their December double date with Gloucester.

However, it came at a big price as winger Tim Visser, the Celtic League's top try scorer for the past four seasons, suffered an ankle injury which will see him miss the next three to four months for Edinburgh and Scotland.

South African prop WP Nel got the decisive second try in the second half after the Italians, who were looking for a third successive win over Edinburgh, rallied. Edinburgh host Zebre this weekend.

Gloucester may be in a strong position to qualify from Pool 6, but their domestic form continues to be dismal – they have just two wins from six outings. They had to be content with a losing bonus point in a 15-13 defeat at west country rivals Bath, for whom Peter Stringer was in great form.

Gloucester are second bottom of the Premiership table, above winless Worcester. The Cherry and Whites host Wasps this weekend.

Irish Independent

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