Henry Immelman scored two tries as Montpellier hammered the Newcastle Falcons 45-8, while there were European Champions Cup wins for Leicester, Ulster, Edinburgh, Bath and the Scarlets on Saturday.
In a one-sided match at the GGL Stadium, the home side, featuring a lineup packed with South Africans, eased to a bonus-point win to seal second place in the group. This to stay in contention for a wild-card playoff spot with a crucial tie against Pool 5 topping Edinburgh next weekend.
The game got off to a frenetic start, but Montpellier drew first blood when Johan Goosen went through a gap in the defensive line, allowing Fijian wing Timoci Nagusa to eventually jog the ball in for the opening try. Experienced Falcons flyhalf Toby Flood reduced the deficit with a penalty, but that was to be the only joy – bar a late try from Zach Kibirige – that the visitors got from the match.
Montpellier grabbed their second on the half-hour mark through Yvan Reilhac, and substitute lock Paul Willemse (who has been called up to the France squad), showed great strength to muscle over for the home side’s third just after half-time.
Fine work from two Grey College products, Ruan Pienaar and Jan Serfontein, resulted in two Newcastle defenders being squared up, allowing Immelman to go in for his first try and seal the bonus point. Lock Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg and replacement hooker Romain Ruffenach both added tries, with Immelman showing a clean pair of heels to score his second and round off a dominant display.
In other results, Leinster took control of Pool 1 with a 29-13 bonus-point win over Toulouse, who got a last-minute try from wing Cheslin Kolbe. A penalty from Rhys Priestland gave Bath a narrow 18-16 win against Wasps, with both sides unlikely to make the playoffs as they bring up the rear in Pool 1.
Two tries from Jacob Stockdale allowed Ulster to stun Racing 26-22 and come within three points of their opponents in Pool 4 going into the final week of round robin matches. Edinburgh also managed a good win over French opposition as flyhalf Jaco van der Walt kicked 13 points to set up a 28-17 victory against Toulon. Meanwhile, the Scarlets beat the Leicester Tigers 33-10.
In Sunday’s fixtures, the Exeter Chiefs face Castres, with both sides battling for second place in Pool 2 and a potential playoff place. Lyon, who are without a win, host Pool 3 topping Saracens, while the Glasgow Warriors can apply pressure on Sarries should they beat the Cardiff Blues.
Gloucester 15 Munster 41
Montpellier 45 Newcastle Falcons 8
Leinster 29 Toulouse 13
Bath 18 Wasps 16
Ulster 26 Racing 92 22
Toulon 17 Edinburgh 28
Scarlets 33 Leicester Tigers 10
Exeter Chiefs vs Castres
Lyon vs Saracens
Glasgow Warriors vs Cardiff Blues
Photo: Alexandre Dimou/Icon Sport via Getty Images