Round-up: Exeter serve notice they are not to be taken lightly
Monday 15 October 2012
Exeter gave the reigning European champions Leinster a fright in their own back yard in their 9-6 loss and the Chiefs' next Heineken Cup opponents certainly took notice. Clermont Auvergne, who travel to Sandy Park next week , beat Llanelli Scarlets 49-16 in their first-round match, but their head coach Vern Cotter has warned his men not to take Exeter, in their first season in the tournament, lightly.
Cotter, a New Zealander who was linked with a post with the All Blacks after their World Cup win last year, said: "[The win over Scarlets] is a great start, but we know how tough it is going to be in Exeter next week. We are under no illusion that this pool is as tough as tough can be.
"To qualify is going to take a major effort and major concentration. The Scarlets played to their strengths and had us in difficulty. We probably didn't get things right and had to claw our way back into it."
Jonathan Sexton scored three penalties to give Leinster the win, with Gareth Steenson replying with two for the Chiefs. Ignacio Mieres missed an injury-time penalty for the visitors, which would have given Exeter a memorable draw.
The Wales winger Morgan Stoddart was sent off in the first half for Scarlets, who were outscored by six tries to one by Auvergne.
Olly Barkley, the former England fly-half, kicked 14 points for Racing Métro against Munster, who threw away an early 10-0 lead to lose 22-17. Ronan O'Gara, the Ireland fly-half, was forced off for Munster at half-time with a hamstring problem.
Barkley said: "You don't win games like that against teams like Munster without a really good team spirit. It just doesn't happen in the rain. We'll take a lot of confidence from that. [O'Gara] was kicking fantastically well, as we knew he would. That was a major blow for them."
Gavin Henson scored 14 points with his boot in London Welsh's 68-19 home loss in the Amlin Challenge Cup to Stade Français, but Lyn Jones, the coach, urged patience for those wanting to see the player back in a national-team jersey. He said: "Give him time to settle in and play and we'll see what comes of it."
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