Flank Chris Cloete continued his rich try-scoring form as Munster beat Leicester 33-10, while there were also European Champions Cup wins for the Scarlets, Ospreys, Toulon, Montpellier and Castres.
Munster were at their brutal best in Johann van Graan’s first Champions Cup match in charge as coach to record a bonus-point win that takes them to the top of pool four.
In a one-sided opening half, Munster raced out to a 23-3 lead thanks to a double strike, by flyhalf Ian Keatley and fullback Simon Zebo, and three Keatley penalties. Flyhalf George Ford accounted for the Tigers’ three points.
Munster extended their lead early in the second half with flanker Peter O’Mahony’s try, but when the Tigers hit back with a try through replacement hooker Harry Thacker, it looked as though the visitors were on the comeback trail. But Cloete then barged over the line from the back of a rolling maul to secure the bonus point and seal the win for Munster.
In other matches, the Scarlets scored two tries in the last three minutes to beat a gritty Treviso side 33-28, the Ospreys caused a stunning upset when they beat the Northampton Saints 43-32 in an 11-try thriller at Franklin’s Gardens.
With captain Duane Vermeulen leading from the front, Toulon completed a 24-20 comeback win against Bath. Trailing by six points with 15 minutes remaining, Toulon closed the gap with a penalty before a brilliant self-converted try by young flyhalf Anthony Belleau in the 76th minute turn the result in their favour.
In an all-French derby, Castres defeated Racing 16-13 at home. And on Friday, Jacques du Plessis scored a try and Frans Steyn kicked seven points to guide Montpellier to an important 29-22 away win against the high-flying Glasgow Warriors.
Champions Cup results (Round 3):
Munster 33 Leicester Tigers 10
Scarlets 33 Treviso 28
Northampton Saints 32 Ospreys 43
Toulon 24 Bath 20
Castres 16 Racing 13
Glasgow Warriors 22 Montpellier 29
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