We select our best XV from the penultimate round of group matches across Europe
The European powers-that-be prematurely pronounced Harlequins as being out of the Heineken Cup on Saturday evening, after the multi-coloured ones’ 16-13 home loss to Clermont Auvergne.
Robshaw’s men bow out of Cup and scrum-half’s injury adds to woes
French league leaders’ home record now stands at 70 straight wins
Connacht coach Pat Lam was delighted at the way his side held their nerve on Sunday to pull off one of the biggest wins in the history of the Irish provincial side and put them back in the hunt for a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.
Quarter-final place now in sight as Londoners take apart French in four-try demolition
If Morecambe and Wise had been blessed with Premier Rugby’s sledgehammer sense of timing, the celebrated Andre Previn sketch would have been about as side-splittingly funny as a David Cameron one-liner.
There was no dream return for Dean Richards against his former club Harlequins. In fact, it turned out to be a real nightmare as Quins claimed a four-try bonus point victory, with two of them coming from wing Sam Smith and one from Danny Care.
Knee trouble sees loose-head prop join fellow front-rowers Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler on the casualty list
Lancaster will freshen up England side with Ashton, Youngs and Cole due to be rested
Harlequins’ doomed attempt to play fast and loose against a Scarlets team that knows no other way – “we will never change,” said the Welsh region’s manager and former Wales wing Garan Evans, as he boarded a bus emblazoned with a rampant dragon for a happy journey back down the M4 – leaves them contemplating more of the same pain this weekend, away to Clermont Auvergne in the second round of Heineken Cup pool matches.
Conor O'Shea 'furious' as Scarlets tries by three different Williamses seal win
Dean Ryan, the Worcester director of rugby, has had his share of issues with referees in the short time he has been back in the Premiership coaching game, so when the international official Wayne Barnes picked on his players with a vengeance here last night – there were enough flashes of bright yellow to obviate the need for floodlights – he was some way short of delighted. But it was not Barnes who condemned his team to this thrashing. The culprits were Worcester themselves.
It was wet – really wet – at the Stoop last night, and it suited Northampton all the way down to the sodden ground.
After a neck break that almost paralysed him, No 6 is out for season with ligament damage
Chris Robshaw admitted his relief at Harlequins’ narrow opening day victory over Wasps after seeing Andy Goode miss a penalty with the final kick at Twickenham on Saturday.