Leinster beat Castres in Dublin yesterday, as expected, but a general inability to catch the ball meant that they did not secure the try-scoring bonus point that would have damaged Wasps' chances of catching them in Pool Two.
Bernard Jackman, Brian O'Driscoll and Simon Keogh scored the Dubliners' tries in the second half but there wasn't too much rejoicing over the final 33-3 scoreline, which disguised an error-filled display. Castres, who are under threat towards the bottom of the French championship, tackled and tackled and tackled. But they are not formidable Heineken Cup opponents. Michael Cheika's side will need to rack up the tries in the return match, in France next weekend.
Gloucester, chasing the Cardiff Blues in Pool Six, also collected an expected victory, in their case in Italy, against Calvisano. Mark Foster, Ryan Lamb, Marco Bortolami, Luke Narraway, Mike Tindall and the infamous "penalty" were responsible for the Guinness Premiership side's tries, Olly Barkley converting five times. Calvisano scored two tries and played their part but Nicola Cattina, their replacement flanker, was sent off.
In Toulouse, in Pool Five, the Newport-Gwent Dragons lost 26-7, losing the Australian centre Marc Stcherbina to a neck injury along the way. Yannick Jauzion, Florian Fritz, Maxime Médard and Clément Poitrenaud, internationals backs all, scored Toulouse's tries. The hooker Steve Jones scored the Dragons' try.
Newcastle were also in Italy yesterday, for a European Challenge Cup game against Overmach Parma. Tries from the former Leeds Rhinos wing Danny Williams and John Rudd, a former Northampton wing known to his mates as "Rhino", helped the Falcons to a 20-14 win. In the same competition Connacht came away from Rovigo with a 35-20 win and Viadana won 21-15 in France, against Mont de Marsan.Reuse content