Connect with us

European Rugby

Sunday’s Champions Cup round up: Bath record famous win over Racing 92 but Saracens and Leicester Tigers suffer huge loses in France.

Sunday’s three blockbuster matches brought round three of this year’s Champions Cup to a close with three fantastic Anglo-French ties.

Sunday’s three blockbuster matches brought round three of this year’s Champions Cup to a close with three fantastic Anglo-French ties.

Bath completed a fantastic late comeback to edge Racing 92 in a thriller, defending champions La Rochelle put on a dominant showing against Leicester to keep their last 16 hopes alive, and Bordeaux Begles tore Saracens apart with a huge statement win.

Here is a recap of all of Sunday’s Champions Cup action:

Bath 29-25 Racing 92

Bath completed a monumental comeback to pencil their name into the last 16 of the Champions Cup.

A late Will Muir try was enough to steer the West Country side to victory, but other tries from Alfie Barbeary, Thomas du Toit and Joe Cockinasiga helped complete a late comeback against the Parisians.

Entering the final quarter of the game, the French outfit led 22-8; but a spirited late showing from the home side secured their place in the next round of the Champions Cup.

The opening quarter saw both teams exchange three pointers, but it would be Racing who crossed the whitewash first as Nolann Le Garrec dotted down. Bath hit back quickly though as Thomas du Toit powered over the line to bring his side back within two at the break.

Racing would make a great start to the half as Kitione Kamikamica scored their second try. His wing partner Henry Arundell-who was close to penning a deal with Bath recently-extended the French sides lead as he raced down the wing to score. Le Garrec was successful with both conversions, and the visitors had a 14-point buffer.

Bath needed to hit back quickly if they stood a chance of winning, and they did just that as Alfie Barbeary crossed from short range. The home side would be back just three minutes later as Joe Cockinasiga went over for the try. Ben Spencer’s conversions would pull the scores level.

They weren’t level for long though, as Le Garrec slotted another penalty goal to make it 22-25 with 10 minutes to go. The momentum was still firmly with the home side, and they made this count as Will Muir put his side back ahead. Spencer knocked over the conversion to give Bath a four point lead going into the closing stages.

With the clock winding down, Racing would hammer the Bath line as they looked for a late winner, but their efforts would come to no avail and Bath would hold out to secure a famous win.

La Rochelle 45-12 Leicester Tigers

Defending champions La Rochelle kept their last 16 hopes alive as they powered past Leicester Tigers in the South of France.

Prior to today’s game, Ronan O’Gara’s side hadn’t quite been at their brilliant best, but today was a different story. The French outfit dominated the early exchanges, and got the reward their fast start deserved as Pierre Bougarit powered over the line. Hastoy was on hand to add the extras

La Rochelle would dominate much of the first half, however they would have to wait until the 30th minute for their second try, which came from Will Skelton. A lovely strike play from a lineout saw the towering ex-Saracen steamroll through the Tigers defence for the score.

Hastoy was again on hand to add two more points to the board, and La Rochelle were ahead by 14 points.

Leicester would hit back quickly after Skelton’s effort, with their own towering lock George Martin crossing the whitewash. Jamie Shillcock’s kick spilt the uprights, and Leicester were back within a try.

This wouldn’t be for very long though, with Samoan centre Ulupano Seuteni brushing aside the Tigers defenders to grab his side’s third try of the afternoon. Hastoy’s kick was good, which made it 21-7 at the break.

La Rochelle would again come out of the blocks quickest in the second forty, as Teddy Thomas strolled in unopposed to give his side the try-bonus point with just four minutes gone in the half.

Hastoy made it four from four off the tee to give his side a huge 21-point buffer; and it seemed like it was now a case of ‘how many’ for the French side.

The host’s were seemingly dealt a huge blow, as Will Skelton and Jonathon Danty were both sent to the sin-bin; but they would grab their fifth try of the afternoon whilst down to 13 as Joel Sclavi went over from short range. Hastoy added his fifth conversion to make it 35-7.

Teddy Thomas would rub salt into an already gaping wound as he broke from deep in his own half to score his second try of the match, and La Rochelle’s sixth overall.

The La Rochelle party would continue as they scored a spectacular seventh try. Some basketball-esq offloading allowed the home side to break the Leicester line, and Seuteni was on hand to finish the play out wide.

Dan Kelly would grab a late consolation try in the last play of the match to give the traveling supporters something to take home.

Bordeaux-Bègles 55-15 Saracens

Bordeaux Begles put defending English champions Saracens to the sword with monumental 55-15 win.

Mark McCall’s side would open the scoring as Owen Farrell knocked over an easy penalty, however they wouldn’t be in the lead for long as breakout star Louis Bielle-Biarrey scampered home for Bordeaux’s first try.

Mattheiu Jalibert slotted the extras, and his side were up by four.

The French side would make their early dominance count with a second try just five minutes later, as a lovely inside pass from Jalibert sent Romain Buros through the Saracens line to score. The French fly-half slotted the conversion, and in the blink of an eye they were 14-3 up.

They would hammer home their fast start with a third try in the opening twenty minutes as Maxime Lamothe dotted down from a driving maul to add another five points to their tally.

Bordeaux would grab the all important bonus point try in the dying embers of the first half as Damien Penaud crossed out wide, but it was yet again created by a piece of Jalibert magic. The x-factor fly-half couldn’t convert the try, however it was looking ominous for Saracens at this stage.

The rout continued at the start of the second half, as Nicolas Depoortere rounded off yet another dazzling Bordeaux counter attack.

Jalibert had twice created the opportunities from his side to score, but he would finally get the try his performance deserved as he crossed for his side’s sixth try of the night. A great break from Penaud created a two-on-one, and the winger put it on a plate for his teammate.

Penaud would be back in the limelight again as he intercepted a loose pass to race home for his sides seventh.

Saracens would give Bordeaux a taste of their own medicine with two quick tries. Nick Tompkins sliced through the hosts defence for the first, and Theo Dan scored a wonderful solo try as he raced home from 50 meters for the try. Farrell could only add one of the conversions, however this quick burst still felt like a consolation.

With the game starting to die down, Bordeaux would add two quick fire tries of their own. The first came from some front-row magic, as prop Boniface’s kick bounced perfectly for an on-running Uberti, who strolled in to score.

The second would come from another piece of champagne rugby, which allowed Bielle-Biarrey to complete his brace and bring about a crushing defeat for Saracens in Europe.