A tight encounter saw Thomas Waldrom and Luke Cowan-Dickie score in either half and Henry Slade booted 10 points as Bordeaux wing Nans Ducuing was sent off.
Ducuing saw red for what was deemed a dangerous tackle on Olly Woodburn as the French side failed to back up their win at Sandy Park last Sunday.
Both sides went hell for leather early on, a tight game seeing the first quarter coming to an end with both sides level at 0-0.
There was little between the sides, Lionel Beauxis putting a drop goal wide and Slade just failing to dot down in a foot race to the line following a chip through.
Beauxis was then back on target with a 24th minute penalty and the French side then moved further ahead when the fly-half added his second penalty. The build-up to that score had seen Bordeaux break down the blindside, a flowing team move ending with Exeter’s Mitch Lees seeing yellow for infringing at a ruck.
At that stage you feared for the Chiefs, but they made light work of being a man down.
They went straight back up the other end, Slade creating the space from which Waldrom crashed over. The England man converted for a narrow 7-6 advantage.
The second period started with a third penalty from Beauxis before Ducuing’s red card incident arrived.
Both players went for the ball, but referee John Lacey deemed the tackle dangerous and sent the French player from the field.
Slade’s penalty then put Exeter back ahead before Exeter’s Greg Holmes was yellow carded to make it 14 against 14.
Replacement Baptiste Serin quickly kicked a penalty, but Cowan-Dickie then responded as he crashed over from close range for what proved to be the decisive score.
Slade converted and sealed the win with a late penalty, but Exeter still face a tough ask to qualify for the latter stages.
The Irish province had inflicted a record 38-0 defeat on Leicester in round three, but the wounded Tigers came out fighting to earn their second victory in this season’s competition. Munster looked to have snatched a second successive victory when Tyler Bleyendaal converted Niall Scannell’s drive over score to make it 16-15 with three minutes remaining.
But outside-half Williams rose to the occasion to send a penalty through the uprights from 52 metres out to claim a revenge triumph. Glasgow Warriors are now out in-front in Pool 4 after four rounds of Champions Cup action.
It was end-to-end stuff in the opening exchanges at Welford Road, but Munster made the most of their first opportunity to get points on the scoreboard. Simon Zebo chipped ahead but was taken out by George Worth and Bleyendaal made no mistake with the long-range kick.
Bleyendaal added a second penalty to make it 6-0, before Manu Tuilagi opened the door for Munster when he was shown yellow for a shoulder charge on Rory Scannell. But instead, it was the 14-men of the Tigers who roared back into the game.
Ellis Genge and Luke Hamilton combined to take Leicester deep into Munster territory, before Peter O’Mahony gave a penalty away in-front of the posts. And Owen Williams made no mistake from the tee to cut the gap to 6-3. The Welshman added a second penalty moments later to level the scores at 6-6 at half-time.
It was more of the same after the interval as both sides fought to gain the ascendancy. Much like the first-half, it was Munster who hit the front with a Bleyendaal penalty after Brendan O’Connor went off his feet at a ruck.
But Williams levelled once again with his third penalty, before Leicester snatched the lead for the first time. Munster infringed again at a ruck and Williams made no mistake to make it 12-3 with 25 minutes remaining.
Munster looked to be building up a head of steam ten minutes later, but the ball went loose and Adam Thompstone went on the attack. Zebo dragged him down moments after he had put boot-to-ball, and earned a yellow card. Williams landed the resulting penalty to earn a vital six-point lead.
But Munster were not dead and buried. Scannell crashed over at the back of a maul, before Bleyendaal converted, despite a slip, to put the Irish province 16-15 ahead. But Williams showed nerves of steel to land the long-range penalty in the dying moments.
The PRO12 champions looked dead and buried after Josh Bassett’s late score had given Wasps a five-point lead in the closing moments. But Naulia Dawai was shunted over the try-line from a late lineout maul to level the scores, before Carty landed the conversion from the out-wide to seal a famous triumph.
Joe Simpson had given the English side an early lead, but that was reined in by a Danie Poolman score and the boot of Jack Carty. Connacht have moved level at the top of Pool 2 after their Galway heroics.
Carty fired Connacht ahead with his second penalty attempt after Wasps held-on at a ruck. But it did not take long for last season’s semi-finalists to hit the front. Thomas Young made the initial break in midfield before finding his back-row colleague Nathan Hughes. He charged towards the line but was stopped short by Kieran Marmion, but Simpson scooped up the ball to score.
Jimmy Gopperth landed the conversion to make it 7-3 before Connacht full-back Tiernan O’Halloran was sent to the sin-bin following a build-up of penalties close to their try-line. But Bundee Aki latched onto Matt Healy’s offload to charge 50 metres downfield and put his side on the front-foot.
Ultan Dillane knocked on after a spell of heavy pressure, but referee Jerome Garces brought it back for a penalty, which Carty kicked to pull Connacht back within a point. And it got even better for the hosts on the stroke of half-time. Carty took the ball at first receiver and picked out replacement wing Poolman with a perfectly weighted cross-kick to score. The outside-half then landed the touchline conversion to give his side a 13-7 half-time lead.
Gopperth cut the gap to three points with a penalty 15 minutes into the second period, but missed the chance to level the scores on the hour mark. He made no mistake from right in-front of the posts moments later though to make it 13-13.
And Wasps showed their title credentials six minutes from time. Their powerful pack shunted Connacht off their own ball before Dan Robson picked up the ball and found Bassett with a perfectly weighted cut-out pass, and the wing finished well. But Connacht showed their fighting spirit to drive Dawai over the line to level the scores. And Carty stepped up to dramatically snatch a 20-18 victory at the death.
After that the three-time winners marched to a nine try triumph that sent the Saints marching home with a sack full of unwanted records – most points conceded (60), biggest margin of defeat (47), most tries conceded (9) and most conversions conceded (6).
Having been hammered 37-10 in Round 3 at Franklin’s Gardens the previous weekend, a much changed Saints side travelled with a lot of work to do and a lot of pride to restore. They managed to do that and more in the first quarter.
Forced to respond to a fourth minute try by right wing Adam Byrne for the home side, Saints found themselves 6-5 ahead after 16 minutes and then 13-5 to the good midway through the half. Steve Myler made up for an earlier miss, his first in the Champions Cup off the tee this season, to land two penalties and then he converted a near length of the field interception try from Ken Pisi.
That was a 14 point turn around given that Leinster were going in for the kill at the other end and no sooner had Romain Poite award the try than home fans were thinking of what happened three years ago when the Premiership side came to Dublin and won a week after taking a hiding at home.
The greasy pitch was making life difficult for the home runners, but it was the brilliant work at the breakdown by Calum Clark, Jamie Gibson and Teimana Harrison that caused the most difficulties. They slowed the ball down and made it a far more physical contest than a week earlier.
But when Leinster finally got to grips with what was going on they became ruthless. By half-time they had converted six raids in the Saints’ 22 into four tries, with Byrne bagging two of them.
Scrum half Luke McGrath and Sean O’Brien added the other first half tries and skipper Isa Nacewa took his Leinster points tally over the 600 mark with a penalty and here conversions. That made it 29-13 at the interval and the onslaught didn’t stop there.
Front row men Tadhg Furlong and Sean Cronin joined the party with tries in the first six minutes of the second half and then it became a long march to the death for the visitors as Leinster piled on the agony with three more tries, two of them when Gibson was in the sin-bin.
Against a below par French side, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell and Ken Owens produced stand-out performances as man of the match Williams scored the game’s only try in the first half.
The rest of the home side’s points came from Patchell’s conversion and five penalties as Leigh Halfpenny nailed seven kicks of his own. The Wales full-back kept Toulon in the game and could have won it in the final minute but his long-range effort fell short.
It meant the home side came out on top by the narrowest of margins, the Parc y Scarlets crowd going wild at the final whistle as they celebrated one of the best results of Wayne Pivac’s tenure.
Last Sunday’s fixture between the two sides in France had seen the Scarlets try to move the giant Toulon pack around the field, and they played some more enterprising rugby in the first half.
Toulon, with their star-studded XV, were poor as they barely got started before the break but credit had to go to Pivac’s men for their performance.
With their Welsh front row of Rob Evans, Owens and Samson Lee reunited for the first time this season, the Scarlets more than patched up to the power of their opponents’ pack. Steffan Evans went close to collecting a Patchell kick, before the home fly-half gave his side a 3-0 lead.
It soon got even better. With Toulon still stuck in the changing rooms, Williams scythed his way to the line for a score which sent the home crowd wild and with Patchell converting and adding a penalty, the Welsh region were well on top.
Toulon hadn’t even got started and Ma’a Nonu’s failure to back himself to make the line after intercepting a Williams pass summed up their lethargy.
Toulon then got their first score of the day as Halfpenny landed a monster penalty, but it failed to deter the Scarlets as a searing Patchell break put them on the front foot. DTV Van der Merwe was up in support and he popped the ball up for Gareth Davies who inexplicably dropped the ball over the line.
A bust up following a scrum then saw Samu Manoa – who briefly replaced Duane Vermeulen – lucky to avoid a card for clashing with Davies and Patchell kicked the resulting penalty to make it 16-3.
In attack Toulon had offered next to nothing but their pack remained capable of winning them a penalty and two more efforts from Halfpenny narrowed their deficit to seven at the break.
Patchell and Halfpenny exchanged penalties at the start of the second period, before the latter was short with another effort from range. Toulon were much better after half time – they couldn’t have been worse – but they were hindered when prop Florian Fresia was yellow carded.
A tight encounter ensued as both sides coughed up penalties on a regular basis.
Some of referee Matthew Carley’s decisions were unpopular with the home crowd, and the game turned into a shootout between Wales duo Halfpenny and Patchell.
Two more penalties from Halfpenny – either side of one from Patchell – made it 22-18 and sent the game into the final 10 minutes with all to play for. A seventh kick from Halfpenny in the 72nd minute left one point between the teams and it was Toulon who were doing all the attacking.
Remarkably, the final few minutes saw the visitors have three chances to snatch victory. Halfpenny missed a penalty and Pierre Bernard’s drop goal fell short before Halfpenny had one last shot at goal.
From just inside the opposition half, he stepped up but was off target as the home side celebrated wildly
Indiscipline cost the Challenge Cup champions once again, as Paul Willemse became the second Montpellier player in two weeks to be shown a red card. Tries from Akapusi Qera, Jesse Mogg and Nemani Nadolo had put them in commanding position.
But Alexander Bias’ score after Willemse’s shoulder charge snatched victory for Castres, who stayed in the game thanks to a Horacio Agulla score and 19 points from the kicking tee. Castres remain behind Montpellier in Pool 4, but only by a point heading into the final two rounds of pool action.
The home side were out to get back in the Pool 4 race for the quarter-finals with a revenge victory over their TOP14 rivals. And they got off to the perfect start when Benjamin Urdapilleta split the uprights with a penalty after three minutes.
Dimitri Catrikilis levelled the scores before Urdapilleta nudged the hosts back into a three-point lead. But the Challenge Cup holders asserted their dominance when Catrikilis found Qera with a perfectly weighted long pass to put the flanker over after a well worked lineout move. Catrikilis added the extras before Urdapilleta pulled Castres back to within a point with a penalty.
But two Argentinians combined to send the home side into the lead at half-time. Urdapilleta sent an accurate cross-filed kick towards flying Puma, who rose highest to claim the ball and dot down. Urdapilleta landed the touchline conversion to give the hosts a 16-10 advantage at the interval.
But Montpellier made a blistering start to the second-half to retake the initiative. Australia back Mogg raced over two minutes after the restart to move Montpellier back within a point, before Catrikilis landed a penalty to give the visitors the lead. And it got even better for Jake White’s side when giant wing Nadolo intercepted a loose pass in his own 22 to race home for their third score to put Montpellier 23-16 ahead.
Urdapilleta pulled three points back for Castres, before Montpellier opened the door with their second red card in as many weeks. Last time out it was Davit Kubriashvili who was dismissed for charging into a ruck and this time it was replacement second row Willemse.
And Castres made their man advantage count when they sent Bias over to move into a 26-23 lead. It got even worse for the visitors as Jannie du Plessis was shown yellow for offending as the try was scored. And Rory Kockott sealed victory with a late penalty.
Gregor Townsend’s stunned Dan Carter and co. in the first-half with tries from centurion Josh Strauss and hooker Fraser Brown, before scrum-half Ali Price darted over to seal the 23-7 victory. Racing look dead and buried in this season’s competition less than seven months on from reaching last season’s final in Lyon, as they could only conjure a consolation try from Xavier Chauveau.
Glasgow top Pool 1 with 13 points, three clear of quarter-final rivals Munster, who play Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
The hosts got off to the perfect start in their bid to move top of Pool 1, and it was their new centurion who crashed over. Finn Russell’s delicate chip was collected by Tommy Seymour, who looked to have put Stuart Hogg in at the corner. The full-back was stopped short but offloaded to Strauss, who crashed over on his 100th appearance.
And it did not take long for Gregor Townsend’s men to build on their early advantage. With Russell enjoying a free reign at outside-half, the Warriors moved the ball from left to right. Russell then took the ball at first receiver and sent Brown crashing through a hole in midfield, and the hooker finished in style.
Russell landed the conversion and added two more penalties to take the score to 18-0. Marc Andreu thought he had kicked off the comeback with a try at the end of the half, but Seymour’s leg prevented the wing from grounding the ball.
Things went from bad to worse for last season’s finalists six minutes after the break. Scrum-half Price repeated last week’s heroics to sell a dummy to beat a defender before darting over from five-metres out for a 23-0 advantage. The Warriors chased a bonus-point score but it was Chauveau who bagged a late consolation try.
It means Ugo Mola’s men are level on 13 points with Wasps and Connacht Rugby in Pool 2 and are well in the hunt for a first quarter-final slot since 2014. They face Wasps in the Ricoh Arena in Round 5 and Connacht at home a week later.
The Italians got off to a flying start with a try within two minutes of the kick-off from Italian international hooker Tommaso D’Apice. Carlo Canna converted and the Italian No 10 also added a first-half penalty.
But the Toulouse response was rapid and pretty savage. Having matched that early score with a try from back row man Gillian Galan they put the visitors to the sword in a nine minute purple patch that ended the game as a contest.
The four time champions scored four tries flowed in that period as Paul Perez, Yoann Huget, Arthur Bonneval and Toby Flood crossed to bag the bonus point before half-time. Flood converted three of them and then added the extras to a 38th minute score from Guthro Steenkamp that made it 40-10 at the break.
In the second half the scoring slowed down, although Johan Meyer grabbed a second try for Zebre four minutes after the re-start. Perez got his second try, which Flood converted, before Yann David completed the scoring with an eighth try, Flood’s conversion making it 19 points on the day for the former England outside half.
After becoming the first team to win nine games in a row on their way to winning the Champions Cup for the first time last season, Mark McCall’s side made it four in a row this season with a double over Premiership rivals Sale.
Having run in six tries in a 50-3 home win over the Sharks in Round 3, life got a lot tougher away from home. They had led 26-3 at the break a week earlier, but only had two Farrell penalties to show for their efforts in the opening 40 minutes.
Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond had demanded a reaction from his side and their defensive display showed a massive improvement. So much so, in fact, that a penalty from AJ MacGinty meant they were only three points behind at the break.
The second half started poorly for the home side as Rob Webber become the fourth player in the two games against Saracens to pick up a yellow card when he hauled down a driving line-out in his 22. Fortunately for Webber, and his side, Farrell pushed his kick wide of the posts and then the England star proved he can be a mere mortal off the kicking tee by missing a second shot moments later.
Those two misses kept the game in the melting pot until New Zealand lock Bryn Evans picked up another yellow card for a deliberate knock down as Saracens looked to build an attack on the home 10 metre line. This time Farrell hit the mark to make it 9-3 as the game moved into the final quarter.
A third yellow card for Sale No 8 TJ Ioane 12 minutes from time gave Farrell the chance to kick a fourth goal and that made it six yellows in two games and nine in four games in the Champions Cup this season for Sale.
A delightful off-load as he went to ground in a tackle in the shadow of the home posts by giant Australian lock Will Skelton then paved the way for Farrell to cross for the first try of the game. Farrell added the simple conversion to make it 19 points on the night.
There was an quick exchange of tries at the death, with Nathan Earle racing onto a pin-point kick through by Alex Goode and then Bryn Evans cantering over for a try from the re-start, but nothing could unsettle Saracens. They remain the only unbeaten team in the Champions Cup this season.