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Heineken Cup round-up: Beattie helps to sink Cardiff in Montpellier

On the prowl: Johnnie Beattie launches another attack on the Cardiff defences

On the prowl: Johnnie Beattie launches another attack on the Cardiff defences

SCOTLAND international Johnnie Beattie scored Montpellier’s final try as they completed a 34-21 bonus-point win over Cardiff Blues at Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

The win puts the French club level with Pool 6 leaders Toulon, who host Sale, replete with their own Scotland contingent, today.

Martin Bustos Moyano scored 14 points with the boot for the Top 14 club, with their other tries coming from wingers Timoci Nagusa and Yoan Audrin and hooker Rassie van Vuuren.

Alex Cuthbert and Sam Warburton crossed for Cardiff, with 11 points from the boot of Rhys Patchell.

Ulster fell to their first defeat of the season as Northampton made up for their heavy defeat at Franklin’s Gardens by turning over the Pool 4 leaders at Ravenhill in their concluding back-to-back clashes.

The result keeps Saints above them in the mix with two more pool games remaining while Ulster, whose 13-game winning run came to an end in front of their home fans, are no longer in control of the group – even though they still managed a losing bonus point.

The visitors scored all their points in the opening 40 minutes with a try from No.8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze along with a conversion and penalty from Stephen Myler.

Northampton deserved their win despite Ulster’s frantic efforts to snatch the game, with Ruan Pienaar’s last-gasp penalty to win it sailing wide.

Ulster’s points all came from the boot of Paddy Jackson.

Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees believes his side’s stunning 17-6 win over Toulouse offers a “light at the end of the tunnel” to Welsh rugby.

A sense of gloom has enveloped rugby fans in the principality with the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Scarlets managing just one win from nine Heineken Cup games before this weekend, while the national side have suffered seven straight defeats. But the Ospreys proved there is no lack of talent or application among the regions as they claimed a thoroughly merited Pool 2 home victory over the four-time European champions.

Dan Biggar kicked two penalties and a drop goal to give the hosts a 9-6 half-time lead, with a further penalty from the stand-off and an excellent finish from man of the match Eli Walker sealing a famous triumph. Toulouse’s only response was a penalty and drop goal from Jean-Marc Doussain and their failure to at least pick up a losing bonus point throws Pool 2 wide open.

The Ospreys will still need to beat Leicester and Treviso and hope other results go their way to advance, but they are riding high after a wonderful performance.

Rees said: “We think we offer a light at the end of the tunnel. People are quick to beat up Welsh rugby but we are confident in the future direction of the team.”

Defeat sees Toulouse slip behind Leicester Tigers into second place in the pool.

Tigers coach Richard Cockerill admitted his side had got out of jail after coming from behind to beat Benetton Treviso 14-13 in Italy in yesterday’s other Pool 2 clash.

Trailing by six points in the closing minutes, it looked as though the Aviva Premiership side were heading out of Europe. However, a series of scrums on the home line led to a penalty try and the subsequent conversion by George Ford ensured the former champions lived to fight another day.

“We’re obviously very relieved because we came away with the win,” Cockerill said.

Treviso had been awarded an earlier penalty try as the Tigers were leading thanks to a magnificent 14th-minute try by Adam Thompstone, but were rocked on their heels when Rolland pointed to between the posts for an infringement at a maul 13 metres from the line.

In Pool 3, Harlequins remain unbeaten in the Heineken Cup after demolishing Italian strugglers Zebre 53-5 at The Stoop.

The bonus-point win ensured that Quins only have to secure one point from their remaining two games to top Pool 3 and hopefully secure a home draw in the quarter-finals.

Quins took some time to subdue the visitors but once Zebre picked up two yellow cards in quick succession, it was a case of damage limitation as the home side scored seven tries and collected 18 points from the boot of Nick Evans. Tom Casson, Ben Botica, Tom Guest, Sam Smith, Danny Care and Karl Dickson touched down for Quins who were also aided by a penalty try.

Exeter completed back-to-back victories over Scarlets in Pool 5 to keep their hopes alive of at least progressing to the latter stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup. The Scarlets recovered from 17-3 down to get back on level terms early in the second half, but a late try from James Scaysbrook sealed a 30-20 victory for the Chiefs.

 

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