Two interception tries were the icing on the cake for home coach Gregor Townsend, although the truth is there should have been more tries. Thee scrums on the Tigers five metre line were so dominant that Leicester lost a player to the sin-bin, but Glasgow failed to score.
Tigers were on the scoreboard first thanks to the boot of Owen Williams and also grabbed the game’s first try when wing Adam Thomstone got wrapped up in a driving line-out moments after home flanker Ryan Wilson had seen yellow.
Williams nailed the conversion and the visitors’ looked well in control of their destiny. Glasgow were giving away penalties at a rate of knots and they weren’t able to make the most of Matt Toomu’s 10 minute break after he tip-tackled Finn Russell.
But as soon as the home pack got to grips with the pace of the game, and began to dominate the battle of the gain line, there was only going to be one winner. Glasogw attacked close to the fringes of the rucks and Italian wing Leonard Sarto burst over for the first of three first half tries.
Next over the Tigers line was hooker Fraser Brown and scrum half Henry Pyrgos made it three tries in nine minutes with his close range snipe. That made it 22-13 at the break – Williams kicked another penalty just before the interval – but Russell extended the lead with a penalty 15 minutes into the second half.
Glasgow’s set-piece dominance should have yielded them something, but they had to be content with another Russell penalty that made it 28-13 after 67 minutes. The bonus-point arrived moments later thanks to a 70 metre interception try from Olympic sevens silver medallist Mark Bennett.
Then Sarto followed suit to cap off a great night at a sold-out Scotstoun. That was enough to earn the Italian flyer the Heineken Man of the Match award and Russell’s conversion took the score beyond the 41 points notched by Ulster against Leicester in the 2010/11 season.
Dai Young’s men smashed the winning margin record they set against fellow Italians Benetton Treviso in 2006/07 (66) as they scored a 12 tries to send a statement to their Pool 2 rivals.
The Italians were blown away in the first-half thanks to a Rob Miller brace and tries from Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Simpson, Frank Halai and Ashley Johnson. Elliot Daly made sure the second-half started the way the first ended with a score after 10 seconds, and there was more woe for the Italians when Josh Bassett and Joe Launchbury crashed over, before Simpson bagged his brace.
James Gaskell and Dan Robson completed the thumping, as Danny Cipriani took man-of-the-match, as he did back 2006/07.
It did not take long for Wasps to take-flight in this season’s Champions Cup. Kyle Eastmond, who was making his full Wasps debut, sliced through the defensive line in midfield before the ball was worked wide to Rob Miller, who strolled over the try-line unopposed.
Cipriani kicked the conversion to make it 7-0 after four minutes and had the tee out again moments later. This time it was prop Cooper-Woolley who crashed over from close range to give the hosts a 14-0 lead. It got even worse for the Italians when they lost no8 Andries van Schalkwyk to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle on Launchbury.
Wasps showed their clinical side to use their man advantage to full-effect. They went through a number of high-tempo phases before Cipriani found half-back partner Simpson with a deft offload for the third try.
Zebre showed they were not dead and buried as they shunted replacement Federico Ruzza over the line, but their resurgence did not last long. Miller dived over in the corner for his second and the Wasps’ crucial bonus-point score, before Halai raced around the Zebre defence to get in on the act. But Ruzza got Zebre’s second before the break when he picked off a loose pass from Cooper-Woolley, and Padovani converted.
But Wasps flanker Johnson made sure his side went in at half-time on the front-foot when he crashed over from close-range for Wasps’ sixth. Cipriani maintained his 100 percent record to make it 42-14 at half-time.
It took just 10 seconds of the second period for Daly to race onto the restart and charge over for Wasps’ seventh of the match. Carlo Festuccia had endured a torrid return to his former home and was shown yellow for not rolling away. And once again they were punished when Launchbury wrestled his way over from close-range. But they were not finished there as Josh Bassett, Joe Simpson, James Gaskell and Dan Robson completed the rout.
The Ireland hooker twice finished devastating lineout drives from the Leinster pack to put the hosts in charge at the RDS Showground. But the biggest cheer was for his front-row partner Jack McGrath, who celebrated his 100th appearance for the province with a try.
A penalty try for Castres just before half-time threatened to disrupt Leinster’s dominance but man of the match Isa Nacewa’s solo-try early in the second half ensured maximum points for the former European champions.
Castres had not tasted success in this competition since 2013, losing their last seven on the road, and facing an uphill task early on in Dublin. Nacewa missed his first effort at goal after a high tackle on Cronin. But the hooker dusted himself off to finish a drive set-up by the towering Devon Toner after just eight minutes.
All eyes were on Jonathan Sexton’s young deputy, Joey Carvery, and the fly-half almost snatched an interception with an acrobatic effort.
Gary Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw went close but Castres defended valiantly while No8 Alex Tulou, the top ball-carrier in the Top 14, proved a threat. Cronin then peeled off another drive on 26 minutes, stepping past one defender and spinning out a challenge for his second try.
Rob Kearney’s high tackle on livewire scrum-half Antoine Dupont enabled Benjamin Urdapilleta to claw back three points. Prop McGrath had his special moment on 32 minutes when he picked up and crashed over after Luke McGrath was stopped short.
The scrum-half was then frustrated at the other try line when he was shown a yellow card and conceded a penalty try after diving in as the Castres pack rumbled over. Urdapilleta’s conversion narrowed the gap to 19-10 on the stroke of half-time.
Yet with just 14 men, Leinster and in particular Nacewa, showed their class as the full-back picked up and brushed off two tackles as he galloped over for the bonus-point score that he converted himself.
Castres then lost Thibault Lassale to the sin bin and Leinster’s scrum, now blostered by a fresh Mike Ross, capitalised, turning the screw until referee Matthew Carley awarded another penalty try.
The 14 men of Castres managed a response as 20-year-old rookie Anthony Jelonch dived over but Leinster were not to be denied.
The English champions had looked to be romping to victory when tries from Sean Maitland, Richard Wigglesworth and Chris Wyles – plus 10 points from Owen Farrell on his return from injury – gave Mark McCall’s men a 25-6 half-time lead.
But three-time winners Toulon roared back after the break with tries from Levan Chilachava and Bryan Habana, plus the reliable boot of Leigh Halfpenny.
However, Saracens kept their nerve and a late Farrell penalty put the seal on an historic victory and deny Toulon a losing bonus point.
Saracens could hardly have wished for a better start as they totally dominated the opening 40 minutes. Farrell and Halfpenny exchanged penalties before the English side claimed the opening try through Maitland. Strong forward carries laid the groundwork and the Scotland international finished brilliantly in the corner.
They did at least trim the gap through Halfpenny’s second penalty after Maro Itoje was penalised for a high tackle. But Saracens rammed home their ascendency with a third try before the break.
Mako Vunipola’s cute offload allowed Farrell and Marcelo Bosch to make yards, with Wyles finishing the flowing attack on the left and Farrell converting.
Halfpenny got the first points of the second half on the board but Farrell soon replied when Nonu saw red for a tip tackle on Brad Barritt.
But the numbers were soon evened up as Itoje infringed following an extended spell of Toulon pressure and the game suddenly swung in hosts favour.
Chilachava burrowed over from the next passage of play and Habana raced his way over at the end of a flowing attack, with Halfpenny adding both conversions to get his team within five points.
Saracens then lost Schalk Burger to the bin with eight minutes to go for slowing down ruck ball, but Farrell’s penalty got them over the line.
Jim Mallinder’s men had led from the fourth minute after Calum Clark crashed over, only to see their lead wiped out by Frans Steyn, who scored a try and kicked two penalties to send the French side into a 14-13 lead after 66 minutes.
But cometh the hour, cometh the man, and it was Myler who had the last laugh as he showed nerves of steel to convert a penalty from 35 metres at the death. The victory leaves Northampton second behind Leinster in Pool 4 ahead of their trip to Castres next Sunday.
Jim Mallinder’s men sent a statement of intent after just four minutes at Franklin’s Gardens. George North cleared up a loose lineout and powered into the heart of the Montpellier defence. Harry Mallinder then made a half break to release former Montpellier star Louis Picamoles, who disguised a deft pass back to Clark for him to crash over.
Myler converted at the second time of asking before he slotted a long-range penalty to put Northampton 10 points ahead. But the Montpellier juggernaut gathered speed and they got their first points thanks to a Ben Botica penalty after some heavy pressure.
And Jake White’s men got right back into it four minutes before half-time. Frans Steyn slung a long pass out-wide to Nemani Nadolo, who slipped a deft offload out the back of his hand to Joffrey Michel. The replacement full-back charged down the wing and fed Steyn – and the Springbok did enough to reach over the line to cut the gap to 10-8 at half-time.
The contest descended into an arm wrestle after the break. Myler landed a penalty but that was cancelled out by Steyn as the clock ticked past the hour mark. But the French side finally hit the front with 13 minutes remaining after Northampton failed to roll away at a ruck.
North had a late chance to win it for Mallinder’s men, but he was beaten by the bounce after chipping over the French defence. But Myler stepped up to clinch it at the death after Montpellier left their hands in a ruck.
A try from Bundee Aki in the 64th minute, converted by Craig Ronaldson, completed a magnificent fightback after they had fallen 10 points behind at the end of the first-half. The power of the Toulouse front row caused problems for the home side in the early exchanges and saw the visitors race into a nine point lead
But, playing in the top-tier of European rugby for the first time under their own steam after winning the Guinness PRO12 title, Connacht were never going to be overawed and stuck to their systems and, in the end, outscored the TOP 14 side by three tries to two
Sebastien Bezy kicked two of those early penalties for Toulouse and Florian Fritz added a third from long range. But once Connacht managed to get their hands on the ball they caused no end of problems for the four-time European champions.
A brilliant move from their own 22 after stealing a Toulouse line-out led to Niyi Adeolokun scoring in the right corner at the other end and then Jack Carty’s penalty cut the gap to a single point. A second Carty penalty then edged Connacht in front, but Toulouse came up with a big response.
Tries from Yann David in the left corner and Jean-Marc Doussain in the space of three minutes saw them regain control and lead 21-11 at the break. Connacht finished the half knocking on the Toulouse door for another try and they picked up two more in the second half.
Tiernan O’Halloran crossed in the 57th minute and then Heineken Man of the Match Aki burst through the remnants of the visitors defence and crossed in the right corner to level the scores. Ronaldson stepped up to end Connacht’s goalkicking problems to nail the conversion and leave Toulouse with 13 minutes to find a score.
The Welsh region lost all six pool games in this competition last term and this was their first win in nine European outings. Canadian international Van der Merwe led the way with his brace, with scrum-half Gareth Davies also dotting down and Rhys Patchell kicking 13 points.
Neil Briggs got Sale’s only try with fly-half Dan Mugford kicking two penalties but the Sharks were made to pay for a first quarter where they gave up a 13-point lead to their hosts.
Mugford had kicked them into an early lead but Patchell levelled matters in the ninth minute before the first Scarlets try arrived four minutes later.
The Sale number 10 took too long to get his kick away and Davies pounced to charge down and regather to score, with Patchell converting.
Sale’s struggles continued as a lost line-out and a ruck infringement gave Patchell two more sights of goal, both of which he put straight between the uprights to make it 16-3.
It looked a long way back for the visitors but they got back into the contest with a well-worked drive. The Scarlets did well to repel one driving maul, but Briggs dotted down when the next effort found the weak spot in the home defence.
However, they were put on the back foot again by Van der Merwe’s first score. Davies made the break from the base of the scrum, and when the ball was recycled Patchell’s cross-kick allowed the Canada winger to pirouette through a tackle to go over in the corner.
Mugford kicked his second penalty shortly before the break but, when Sale lost prop Ross Harrison to the bin for a high tackle on Ken Owens, the hosts killed the game off.
Van der Merwe was again the finisher, doing well to pick up Patchell’s long pass on the tips of his fingertips to dive over in the corner.
Patchell converted and the hosts’ attentions turned to capturing a bonus point but it was not to be during a scrappy final quarter.
An Andrew Trimble try and eight points from the boot of Paddy Jackson gave Ulster a commanding 13-9 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining. But The hosts stages a late show to steal the spoils and get their Pool 5 campaign of to a flying start.
Sébastien Taofifenua barged over at the corner before a searing break from Metuisela Talebulamaijaina earned a penalty try. And Blair Connor broke free to put the gloss on the hard-fought victory.
Ian Madigan capitalised on some early dominance to kick Bordeaux into a 3-0 lead after just two minutes. But the early scare sparked Les Kiss’s side into life. Ulster battled their way downfield, and made the most of their first foray into enemy territory.
The Ulster pack drove the hosts back at a scrum before Stuart Olding charged into midfield. Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar switched the play to blind-side and found Trimble running a devestating angle to cut-through and score. Jackson converted to give the Irish province a 7-3 lead.
Ulster had two chances to put themselves even further on the front foot but twice knocked on close to the try-line. They had to settle for a Jackson penalty late in the first-half to make it 10-3 at the break.
It was Madigan who struck first in the second period with a penalty to rein Ulster’s lead back to within four points. Lionel Beauxis replaced the Ireland outside-half and his first act was to land a penalty to cut the gap to a single point. But Jackson was on-hand to reply two minutes later with a long-range strike.
Ulster looked to be on their way to a famous Champions Cup win with some heroic defence, but their resolve was finally broken with five minutes remaining. Giant forward Taofifenua rumbled over the Ulster defence and squeezed the ball down at the corner to give the hosts the lead.
Talebulamaijaina then broke clear and charged downfield from the kickoff. He offloaded to Serin, who was tackled early by Sean Reidy, preventing a try. JP Doyle sin-binned Reidy and awarded a penalty try, before Connor streaked home from a turnover.
The Chiefs had not only beaten the two-time finalists 31-14 at home last year, but also pipped them to the quarter-final spot from their pool. This time they were never at the races.
Despite taking a seventh minute lead with the wind at their backs through a Gareth Steenson penalty, the Chiefs conceded three tries in the first-half and a further two after the break as they were made to wait 73 minutes before finally adding to their early score.
There were two tries from French centre Wesley Fofana, matching his performance at Sandy Park in his side’s 46-12 triumph, but the physicality of the Clermont pack as the biggest difference between the two teams. They laid the platform and the back line did the rest.
Back row man Julien Bardy scored the first try after 25 minutes as he picked up an inside pas from wing Noa Nakaitaci off his boot laces to score in the left corner. Morgan Parra added a magnificent touchline conversion.
Once they got their noses in front the Frenchmen never looked back. Forwards coach Jonno Gibbes revealed they had opted to play into the wind to try to stop the Chiefs getting ahead in the opening quarter and their plan worked perfectly.
Nakaitaci was next to score as he profited from a break into the home 22 by Camile Lopez and then Fofana grabbed a third try two minutes before the break. Parra converted both tries and Clermont led 21-3 at half-time.
The second half saw former England full back Nick Abendanon bring up the bonus point for the visitors with a thrilling try at the posts after some magnificent off-loading. Parra added the simple conversion and the strength of the French team’s defence kept on squeezing mistakes out of the Chiefs and frustrating them.
It meant Fofana was able to slice through the hoe midfield to cross for his second try at the posts following a scrum five and Pato Fernandez’ conversion made in 35-3. The Chiefs were down, but not quite out.
To their credit they kept on playing and were rewarded with an 80th minute try from Sam Hill. The conversion attempt from Henry Slade summed up the home performance as it headed off somewhere towards the far corner flag.