Wasps, Montpellier score Champions Cup wins

2016-12-11 19:09
Rugby ball (File)

Paris - Wasps went top of their European Champions Cup pool group on Sunday with an emphatic 32-17 win over visiting Connacht while Montpellier saw off Castres to close in on Pool 4 leaders Leinster.

Australian star Kurtley Beale was in the thick of things on his debut for Wasps as he scored a try after just seven minutes and was also sin-binned for a high tackle on Niyi Adeolokun which brought a caution at the Ricoh Arena.

Beale was coming off some six months on the sidelines nursing a knee injury suffered while still with Aussie Super Rugby outfit Waratahs.

Sweeping up a maximum five points in sealing a try point bonus Wasps stung their rivals as number eight Nathan Hughes, skipper Joe Launchbury -- returning from a ban -- and wing Josh Bassett also went over while fly-half Jimmy Gopperth added two penalties and three conversions.

Scrum-half Kieran Marmion and replacement Rory Parata scored tries for the Irish while fly-half Jack Carty converted both and added a penalty.

The two sides will meet next week in Ireland with Wasps defending a three-point lead over Connacht while they currently stand four ahead of French giants Toulouse as potential quarter-final places start to hove into view.

Jake White's Montpellier meanwhile swatted fellow French side Castres 32-14, nabbing four tries to sweep home even with an early sending off for Georgian tighthead prop Davit Kubriashvili as the southerners bolstered their chances of emerging from Pool 4.

Leinster had put the pressure on, the Irish winning at Northampton 37-10 on Friday. And they lead Montpellier by a point owing to a defensive bonus point garnered in their earlier 22-16 loss to the French at the Altrad Stadium.

Later action Sunday pitted Welsh outfit Scarlets against Toulon in the south of France in Pool 3, where reigning champions Saracens did their chances of advancing no harm at all with Saturday's 50-3 crushing of fellow English side and tailenders Sale.

Saracens have won all three of their encounters to date after edging Toulon 31-23 and beating Llanelli.

Rounding off Sunday's action was a Pool 5 meeting between Exeter and Bordeaux, who were looking to overhaul an Ulster side which Saturday handed French hopefuls Clermont their first defeat in an exciting 39-32 finish.

Clermont shrugged off a measure of their disappointment in landing two bonus points for tries scored and the narrow margin of the loss.

The five pool winners will qualify for the quarters along with the three best-placed runners-up.

Read more on:    wasps  |  montpellier  |  rugby


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