Heineken Champions Cup Round 5 Review: Bath clinch the spoils against Wasps
Bath Rugby were the only Gallagher Premiership Rugby side to come out on top on an otherwise mixed weekend for England’s best and brightest clubs in the Heineken Champions Cup.
A late Rhys Priestland penalty proved enough to claim the spoils in dramatic fashion for the West Country side against Gallagher Premiership Rugby rivals Wasps.
Meanwhile, Newcastle Falcons, Leicester Tigers and Gloucester Rugby came unstuck on the continent in Round 5.
Here’s a round-up of all the Heineken Champions Cup clashes so far:
Bath Rugby 18-16 Wasps
Bath sealed their first Heineken Champions Cup victory of the season as a dramatic 78th minute penalty from Rhys Priestland stung Wasps.
In a game that saw the lead change seven times throughout, Priestland’s kick provided the telling touch to swing the tie the direction of Todd Blackadder’s men’s.
Wasps led through Lima Sopoaga’s penalty, but the hosts quickly bounced back at The Rec as Taulupe Faletau’s stunning break set up Max Green to score in style.
But the visitors came flying back as returning No. 8 Nathan Hughes bundled his way over from close range.
It took another moment of magic from Bath to throw themselves back in front as Wright’s pass set Zach Mercer free to sprint the length of the half and dot down to put Bath ahead after Priestland’s conversion.
Sopoaga and Priestland traded penalties, before 14-man Wasps retook the lead through Rob Miller’s boot. But Priestland provided the telling touch to seal the win with a penalty on 78 minutes.
“In the past few years these are the kind of games that escaped us. As a Bath team, especially at home, it is great to get this win.
— Bath Rugby (@bathrugby) January 12, 2019
🎥 “There were parts of the game where we were on top, but we lacked the control.”
Dai Young reflects on today’s narrow defeat at Bath Rugby… pic.twitter.com/cGpCu5SRZd
— Wasps Rugby (@WaspsRugby) January 12, 2019
Montpellier 45-8 Newcastle Falcons
Falcons saw their Heineken Champions Cup ambitions slip away as classy Montpellier proved too strong for the Falcons in Pool 5.
Newcastle, competing in the competition for the first time in 13 years this season, fell behind when Fijian Timoci Nagusa crossed before fly-half Toby Flood responded from the tee.
Yvan Reilhac put the Frenchmen 12-3 ahead at the break and from that point Montpellier never looked back as they ran in five tries in the second-half.
France new-boy Paul Willemse ran in try number three and a double from Henry Immelman in between Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg’s converted try, put the hosts into an untouchable lead.
Falcons fans, who enjoyed a memorable away day in France when they beat Toulon at Stade Mayol earlier in the competition, were rewarded when Zach Kibirige ran onto a neat grubber to dot down.
📸 Match action pic.twitter.com/PhWUHXBQdy
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) January 12, 2019
Scarlets 33-10 Leicester Tigers
It wasn’t to be for Leicester Tigers as Scarlets got the better of Geordan Murphy’s side at Parc y Scarlets.
Rob Evans put the hosts ahead after 25 minutes from a drive down the wing and they were further ahead before the break when auxiliary No. 8 Ken Owens bundled his way over the whitewash.
With a 12-0 half-time lead behind them, Scarlets showed their talons when Evans drove the ball over once more and the bonus point was secured when Johnny McNicholl broke through.
Leicester gave their supporters something to cheer about when Will Evans and Mike Fitzgerald crossed in the second half.
Post-match media duties for Geordan. pic.twitter.com/N0EHYsqYj7
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) January 12, 2019
Gloucester Rugby 15-41 Munster Rugby
A ruthless display from Munster put the skids under Gloucester as a stunning display from Joey Carbery clinched the spoils for the PRO14 side on Friday night.
Billy Twelvetrees put the hosts ahead from the tee, but it would prove to be the only time they led as Carbery’s assured kicking display took over.
Tries from Carbery and Rory Scannell turned the tie to put the visitors 20-3 up at half-time, but Gloucester came roaring back when Ollie Thorley crossed the whitewash.
Keith Earls scored for Munster before Fraser Balmain notched for the Cherry and Whites to offer some late solace.
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) January 12, 2019