Heineken Cup round-up: Leinster off to racing start but O'Driscoll is hurt

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The Independent Online

In Pool Two of the Heineken Cup, in Dublin, Leinster beat Racing Métro 92 38-22, collecting a try-scoring bonus point. Worryingly for Ireland, Brian O'Driscoll sustained a hamstring injury. Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney, Richardt Strauss, Jamie Heaslip and Fergus McFadden scored Leinster's tries and Isa Nacewa kicked two conversions and three penalties. Albert Vulivuli scored Racing's try; Jérôme Fillol kicked a conversion and three penalties and Frans Steyn kicked two penalties.

In Pool Five, in Llanelli, the Scarlets and Perpignan produced a hugely entertaining match that was won 43-34 by the home team, who were out-scored by five tries to four. Rees Priestland scored twice in the first half for the Welsh region, the second a contender for try of this season or any other. Regan King and Stephen Jones scored tries in the second half for a bonus point and Jones also kicked 23 points, from four conversions and five penalties. Perpignan also scored two tries in the first half, establishing an early lead through Jean-Philippe Grandclaude and Jérôme Candelon. Jérôme Porical kicked a conversion and a penalty. In the second half the wing Adrien Plante scored the Catalan club's third try, the Romanian flanker Ovidiu Tonita drove over for their fourth and the No 8 Damien Chouly scored No 5. Porical and Manny Edmonds kicked conversions.

In Pool Four of the Amlin Challenge Cup, Leeds had a tough time in Romania but took their first win of the season, beating Bucuresti 23-9. Henry Fa'afili scored a try for Leeds, who were also awarded a penalty try. Christian Lewis-Pratt kicked a conversion and two penalties and Ceiron Thomas kicked one of each. Florin Vlaicu kicked three penalties for Bucuresti.

In Pool Three Exeter were beaten 20-13 by Montpellier, in their first European match. Dimitri Pelo and Seita Tuilevuka scored Montpellier's tries and Raphaël Lagarde kicked two conversions and two penalties. Chad Slade scored Exeter's try, which Phil Dollman converted; Ryan Davis kicked two penalties. In Pool One there was a surprise in Italy, where I Cavalieri beat Connacht 23-21.

Two England players were injured on Friday. The Northampton full-back Ben Foden suffered an ankle injury in an 18-14 Heineken Cup victory over Castres at Franklin's Gardens. He played on for a while, strapped up, before leaving the field. The Gloucester lock Dave Attwood took a blow to the shoulder in a 26-19 Challenge Cup defeat in Agen. The severity of the injury should be known tomorrow. England's first autumn Test, against New Zealand, is four weeks away. Should Attwood not be fit, the next in line would be the man he replaced in the elite squad, Steve Borthwick.

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