At Thomond Park yesterday, Munster went top of the Heineken Cup's obligatory "pool of death", Pool Three, by hammering Toulon 45-18. Bonus points mean that Munster lead the Ospreys by a point; the Welsh region are a point ahead of the French club and London Irish.
Jonny Wilkinson was on the bench for Toulon, who want the England manager, Martin Johnson, to allow the fly-half to play in their next two Top 14 games. Wilkinson came on after 44 minutes and dropped a long-range goal. He also looked sharp in open play – given that it is usually when Wilkinson is looking sharp that a hamstring goes or one of his kneecaps chooses to reverse itself in a tackle, Johnson may well choose to wrap him in cotton wool, forthwith. Yesterday, the fly-half had lengthy treatment, but only for a wallop that took a chunk out of his chin.
Denis Leamy, Doug Howlett (twice), Tony Buckley, Mick O'Driscoll and James Coughlan scored Munster's tries. Johne Murphy would have had another if, in the first half, a scintillating attack had not been stopped by a stupendously good covering tackle from Felipe Contepomi. The Argentinian kicked a conversion and a penalty and Jean-Philippe Genevois and Joe van Niekerk scored Toulon's tries. Ronan O'Gara kicked 20 points for Munster.
In Pool Two, which if not another pool of death is certainly turning into a pool of the relatively unwell, Racing Métro 92, who lost to Leinster last week, beat the French champions, Clermont Auvergne (who beat Saracens) 16-9. Sireli Bobo scored the Parisian team's try and their fly-half, Jonathan Wisniewski, kicked the conversion and three penalties. The centre Gavin Williams kicked three penalties for Clermont.
In Pool Six, Toulouse won away to the Newport-Gwent Dragons, 40-19 . Maxime Médard, Thierry Dusautoir and Louis Picamoles scored the holders' tries; David Skrela kicked three conversions, four penalties and a drop-goal and Florian Fritz kicked two penalties. Will Harries scored a try and Matthew Jones kicked 14 points for the Dragons.
In the Amlin Challenge Cup, Harlequins beat I Cavalieri Estra 55-17 at the Twickenham Stoop. Tom Williams scored a hat-trick for Quins and Ross Chisholm (twice), George Lowe and Sam Smith also scored tries. Quins were awarded a penalty try and Rory Clegg kicked 15 points. Denis Majstorovic and Ed Lewis-Pratt scored tries for the Italian club and Rima Wakarua kicked two conversions and a penalty.
In Italy, Sale beat Petrarca Padova 56-9. Tom Brady, Nick Macleod and Mark Cueto scored two tries each and Rob Miller scored another. Charlie Hodgson kicked four conversions and three penalties and Miller kicked two conversions. Tim Walsh kicked all Petrarca Padova's points.Reuse content