Sarries to host quarter-final

Saracens secured a 33-17 win over Ulster in their European Champions Cup match at Allianz Park on Saturday, while there were also wins for Munster, Bordeaux, Oyonnax, Leinster, Leicester and the Ospreys.

It was Sarries' fifth victory in a row in the tournament and enabled the English club to secure a home quarter-final and enhance their reputation as genuine title contenders.

Flyhalf Owen Farrell produced a Man of the Match performance, slotting two conversions and three penalties, while Billy Vunipola, Duncan Taylor, Maro Itoje and Schalk Brits all crossed for tries in the bonus-point win.

At Thomond Park, former Junior Springbok CJ Stander scored a try in a Man of the Match performance to inspire Munster to a comfortable 26-13 win over Stade Français.

The result saw Munster avoid their worst ever European run of four successive defeats, with tries from Mike Sherry and Keith Earls helping the Irish side into a 12-6 half-time lead, while Simon Zebo and Stander scored in the second stanza to secure the win.

Meanwhile, Bordeaux racked up five tries as they clinched an important 34-27 victory over the Exeter Chiefs in a thrilling encounter at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Bordeaux scored two quick-fire tries through Adam Ashley-Cooper and Blair Connor, while Louis Madaule added another before the break, but a superb response from Exeter saw them draw the scores level 20-20 at the break.

Tries from Benat Auzqui and Max Bodilly meant matters remained even heading into the final 10 minutes, but Marco Tauleigne then went over to seal a memorable result for the hosts.

In a later game on Saturday, winless Leinster clinched a relatively redemptive 25-11 victory over out-of-sorts Bath in Dublin. 

After leading 12-3 at half-time, Sean Cronin scored an important second-half try as Leinster finally secured their first win in the Champions Cup, with Ian Madigan ending with 20 points to his name.

In Saturday's final match, Leicester booked a home quarter-final after picking up their fifth successive win in the Champions Cup as they beat Treviso 47-7 in a one-sided affair.

Leicester scores seven tries in total, while flyhalf Freddie Burns finished with a personal haul of 15 points as he went over for one of the tries and slotted five conversions.

In snowy conditions at the Stade Charles Mathon in France earlier on Saturday, two tries in either half enabled Oyonnax to claim a comfortable 32-14 victory over Toulouse.

While on Friday night, Sam Davies came off the bench to score 15 points as the Ospreys overturned a seven-point half-time deficit to defeat Clermont 21-13 and move to the top of Pool 2.

Round 5 results:
Saracens 33 Ulster 17
Munster 26 Stade Français 13
Bordeaux 34 Exeter Chiefs 27
Leinster 25 Bath 11
Oyonnax 32 Toulouse 14
Ospreys 21 Clermont 13
Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Post by

Craig Lewis