Heineken Cup round-up: Contepomi helps Toulon end Irish hopes in the pool of death

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The Independent Online

In the Heineken Cup's "pool of death", Pool Three, London Irish have passed away. They were beaten 38-17 in Toulon yesterday. Munster and the Ospreys make up the group.

Olivier Missoup and Mickaël Ivaldi scored first-half tries for Toulon, who led 17-0 at the break. Chris Malone and Alex Corbisiero then scored tries and Irish came back to 17-17, despite having Sailosi Tagicakibau sent off for two yellow cards. Felipe Contepomi, Tom May and Christian Loamanu then scored tries for Toulon, for whom Contepomi kicked 13 points. Malone kicked seven for the Exiles.

In Pool Five, in Italy, the Scarlets took a bonus point in a 38-15 win against Benetton Treviso. Dominic Day and Dan Newton scored tries in the first half and Gareth Maule and Jonny Fa'amatuainu scored tries in the second. Rhys Priestland kicked 18 points. Robert Barbieri and Marco Filippucci scored tries for Treviso and Willem de Waal kicked a conversion and a penalty.

The Scarlets are top of the pool, in which the Leicester Tigers play Perpignan at Welford Road today. Having seen his side take a bonus point in defeat in Catalonia last weekend, the Tigers' director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, said: "This was always going to be a tight pool. Every point is very important. We expect another big performance from Perpignan. We need to have our attitude spot-on, and we need the crowd behind us."

The Leicester and England scrum-half Ben Youngs said: "Perpignan was a tough place to go and we learned a lot. This weekend they will be leaving the Mediterranean and landing in freezing-cold Leicester. The French aren't always the greatest at travelling and we need to put a statement down in the first 10 minutes."

In Pool One, the Cardiff Blues face Northampton Saints at the Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon. After defeats at Castres and Northampton, the Blues have to win to stay in contention. Their head coach, David Young, said: "We have to win, but also we have to make sure that Northampton leave with nothing. There are still two games left and the Saints have to visit Castres."

The Saints director of rugby, Jim Mallinder, said: "The Blues didn't lose at home in Europe last season. We will have to be at our best to get a result."

Today's other Heineken Cup matches are in Toulouse, where Glasgow are the visitors; High Wycombe, where Wasps face Newport Gwent Dragons; and Edinburgh, where Castres visit.

In the Amlin Challenge Cup, Gloucester are home to La Rochelle, Sale are home to Brive, Leeds are at Parma and Newcastle are home to Exeter. In France yesterday, Agen beat Rovigo 61-11.