Fixtures - Top Bar

European round-up: Saracens’ England wings bring smile to McCall’s face

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall believes he has two of the best finishers in the game as David Strettle and Chris Ashton demonstrated their prowess in a European Rugby Champions Cup victory over Clermont Auvergne at Allianz Park.

The French giants visited the London club looking to exact some revenge after Sarries demolished Clermont 46-6 at Twickenham in April.

But they were unable to do that against the Aviva Premiership Rugby stalwarts as wingers Strettle and Ashton each crossed over twice in a 30-23 victory.

Zac Guildford replied with two of his own for the visitors but it was the form of his own flyers that McCall was keen to focus on.

"The two of them [Strettle and Ashton] have been in outstanding form for quite some time now, not just this season but the last 18 months as well,” he said.
"It all depends on what England want to do – do they want to go with youth or experience?

"But either way, it would be hard to find two better finishes than David Strettle's against Clermont. They were high, high class.

"We showed energy and intensity against a really good team."

Elsewhere in Pool One Sale Sharks were left heartbroken as a 40m drop goal from Ian Keatley in the final minute saw Munster squeeze home 27-26 at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Sale looked on course for a famous victory as Danny Cipriani inspired the Aviva Premiership Rugby side to a 23-7 half-time lead.

However tries from Andrew Conway and Conor Murray set up a pulsating finish which enabled fly-half Keatley to rescue Munster with his last-gasp kick, his fifth goal of the game.

In Pool Four high-flying Bath Rugby were brought back down to earth as they were beaten 37-10 by Glasgow Warriors, Mike Ford’s side managing just a sole Jonathan Joseph try while their hosts ran in five scores of their own.

Ford said: "It was disappointing. It is a lesson learned in a tough European tie.

"We are disappointed with the tries that we let in and we let the game get away from us. We didn't finish off the breaks that we had and then they scored a couple of quick tries.

"When that happens, all of a sudden you are on the wrong end of a poor scoreline. We will learn from it though. We are a young side."

There was also disappointment for Northampton Saints as they were downed 20-11 by Racing Metro.

Phil Dowson crossed for a try in France and Stephen Myler added two penalties but Racing Metro left it late to rubberstamp the win, much to Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder’s annoyance.

"It's really disappointing because we were within seven points all game, so losing the bonus point at the last minute is a blow,” Mallinder said.

"But I can't criticise the efforts of my players or their ambitions in trying to win the game.

"Racing are a very good team as we know, they are very physical, strong and probably different from most of the teams we will face in the Premiership.

"But there are still five more games so we are not too down."

However there was better news for Leicester Tigers as they beat Ulster 25-18 at Welford Road thanks to tries from Owen Williams, Graham Kitchener and Freddie Burns.

In the European Rugby Challenge Cup there wasn’t much for Aviva Premiership Rugby to shout about as Exeter and London Welsh both lost in France, to Bayonne and Lyon respectively.

European Rugby Champions Cup
 
Sale 26 Munster 27

 
Sale Sharks
Tries: Lund, Leota
Conversions: Cipriani 2
Penalties: Cipriani 4
 
Munster
Tries: Kilcoyne, Conway, Murray
Conversions: Keatley 2, Hurley
Penalties: Keatley 2
 
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Attendance: 10,500
 
Saracens 30 Clermont Auvergne 23
 
Saracens
Tries: Ashton 2, Strettle 2
Conversions: Hodgson 2
Penalties: Hodgson 2
 
Clermont Auvergne
Tries: Guildford 2
Conversions: Lopez 2
Penalties: Lopez 2
Drop goals: Lopez
 
Referee: John Lacey
Attendance: 8,050
 
Leicester Tigers 25 Ulster 18
 
Leicester Tigers
Tries: Williams, Kitchener, Burns
Conversions: Burns, Williams
Penalties: Williams 2
 
Ulster
Tries: Bowe, Van der Merwe
Conversions: Jackson
Penalties: Jackson 2
 
Referee: Romain Poite
Attendance: 19,943
 
Glasgow Warriors 37 Bath Rugby 10
 
Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Bennett 2, Maitland, Seymour, Matawalu
Conversions: Weir
Penalties: Weir 2
 
Bath Rugby
Tries: Joseph
Conversions: Ford
Penalties: Ford
 
Referee: Jerome Garces
Attendance: 6,746
 
Racing Metro 20 Northampton Saints 11
 
Racing Metro
Tries: Van Der Merwe, Andreu
Conversions: Sexton, Goosen
Penalties: Sexton 2
 
Northampton Saints
Tries: Dowson
Penalties: Myler 2
 
Referee: George Clancy
Attendance: 9,181
 
European Rugby Challenge Cup
 
Bayonne 30 Exeter Chiefs 24

 
Bayonne
Tries: Fonua, Sayerse, Fa’aoso
Conversions: Loustalot 3
Penalties: Loustalot 3
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Hughes, Rimmer
Conversions: Sweeney
Penalties: Sweeney 3, Arnott
 
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon
Attendance: 8,206
 
Lyon 28 London Welsh 18
 
Lyon
Tries: Januarie, Estebanez, Romanet, Sukanaveita
Conversions: Porical 4
 
London Welsh
Tries: Elder, Lewis
Conversions: Roberts
Penalties: Roberts 2
 

Latest News

We’ll expect a physical test against Saints, says Worcester’s Ben Howard

Ben Howard is expecting a big, physical battle when his Worcester Warriors side face Northampton Saints on Saturday. Full-back Howard,…

Evans and Lambert return to the starting line-up for the visit of Leicester Tigers

Harlequins has announced the team to play Leicester Tigers in Round 15 of the Aviva Premiership tomorrow at The Stoop,…

Nick Evans

Leicester Tigers team news ahead of Aviva Premiership trip to The Stoop

Lachlan McCaffrey and Peter Betham return to the Leicester Tigers team for Friday's Aviva Premiership Round 16 fixture away to…

Peter Betham

Front-row trio sign new deals at Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has spoken of his delight after three of his current squad today put pen…

Ben Moon

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Steve Diamond

The charge against Steve Diamond of Sale Sharks for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union and/or the Game,…

England Rugby squad update

Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson is a step closer to making his England return after being one of 24 players retained…

Anthony Watson

Piutau hoping West Country derby brings the best out of Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby centre Siale Piutau admits there is no better way for his side to bounce back from a bruising…

Mark Jennings: In-form Sale Sharks can topple Saracens

Sale Sharks’ Mark Jennings believes his in-form side are now reaping the fruits of their tough European campaign – and…

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe