Heineken Cup round-up: Peace on the cards for European game
Sunday 13 October 2013
Compromise is not a thought in the mind of any rugby player as he thunders into action, but for the blazers, it could lead to salvation.
The decision by the English and the French to abandon the Heineken Cup in favour of a dual band Rugby Champions Cup from next season put the skids under European club rugby once the Rabo teams declined their invitation to join in.
However, it seems the Celtic nations and Italy are prepared to seek a settlement of the dispute in a meeting with the Rugby Football Union next week.
If all parties can agree, it would seal the fate of European Rugby Cup, which runs the Heineken Cup. The summit set by ERC for Dublin on 23 October seemed pointless without the English and the French. Now Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy look ready to settle their differences over qualification and payments on the Anglo-French plan.
In the Heineken Cup action, Leinster got their quest for a fourth Heineken Cup crown off to a winning start as Sean O'Brien's try helped them battle to beat the Ospreys 19-9 at the Liberty Stadium.
The British and Irish Lions flanker's try capped an excellent personal display, with fly-half Jimmy Gopperth booting the rest of Leinster's points with four penalties. The Ospreys responded with three penalties from the Wales fly-half Dan Biggar.
Two sides who are not exactly setting the Aviva Premiership alight this season predictably triumphed over minnows in the Amlin Challenge Cup but their victories could hardly have been more different.
London Wasps racked up their highest score in European competition in winning 90-17 at Viadana, but Newcastle Falcons needed a penalty by Tom Catterick to salvage a 13-12 victory away to Bucharest.
George Ford kicked five penalties to see Bath to a 15-6 win at Bordeaux-Bègles, but Worcester were denied a first win of the season when Conrad Barnard of Oyannax matched Paul Warwick's kicking efforts with a last-gasp penalty in a 9-9 draw.
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