TOP BAR - Fixtures

Owen Farrell, the Vunipola brothers, Louis Picamoles and Tim Visser top the Opta Statistics in European Rugby

Wasps, Saracens, and Northampton Saints head into the second round of European Rugby Champions Cup action with crucial wins under their belt.

Last weekend saw an impressive total of 53 tries scored in the nine Champions Cup matches played at average of 5.8 per game – with an overall points total of 450 at an average of 50 per game.

And Saracens will now host Scarlets this weekend after becoming the first side ever to beat Toulon on home soil in the competition, winning 31-23 in the south of France.

Returning from injury, fly-half Owen Farrell slotted back in seamlessly with 16 points – the most of anyone in the Champions Cup this weekend – and 80 minutes under his belt in a man-of-the-match performance, but it was in the pack that Saracens got the edge.

The Vunipola brothers managed 29 tackles between them, 17 for Billy and 12 for Mako, with none missed, while both played their role ball-carrying as well.

Wasps put Italian side Zebre to the sword at the Ricoh Arena, running in 12 tries in a win that broke the records for both their highest margin of victory and points scored in a European game.

Joe Simpson managed both two tries and two try assists, while Danny Cipriani was impressive at No.10 and not only pulled the strings in the midfield but also nailed six conversions.

Ashley Johnson was at his bulldozing best with 16 carries, while winger Josh Bassett continues to catch the eye and brought his ton up in metres gained with 107.

Ben Foden’s 120 metres gained meant he was the only Aviva Premiership Rugby player to beat Bassett, as a Stephen Myler penalty at the death helped Northampton Saints to a 16-14 victory over Montpellier.

But in attack French powerhouse Louis Picamoles was the star of the show for Jim Mallinder’s men; the No.8 notched up 102 metres gained from his 14 carries, including beating five players.

Ollie Devoto – in his first European game for Exeter Chiefs since moving from Bath Rugby – also proved elusive, beating seven defenders and recording four offloads.

Sam Hill and Thomas Waldrom were at their rampaging best with 19 and 18 carries respectively, although it wasn’t enough for the Chiefs to avoid defeat against Clermont.

Meanwhile in the Challenge Cup both Tim Visser and James Chisholm were in flying form for Harlequins, who humbled Stade Francais in the first half at the Stoop.

Both crossed for two tries apiece, and while Visser gained an astonishing 176 metres from his 11 carries, Chisholm was immense both in attack and defence with 82 metres gained, six defenders beaten, and 15 tackles.

Jonny May marked his return to action with a try for Gloucester Rugby in their 47-27 win away in Bayonne, while Rhys Priestland starred for Bath Rugby in a narrow 25-22 success away to Pau, scoring 20 points.

And Semesa Rokoduguni racked up 84 metres with ball in hand for Bath, scoring their only try to continue his fine start to the season.

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