Sarries gear up to defend title

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 08:53
Large saracens celebrate euro cup win 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Saracens will start the defence of their European Rugby Champions Cup next weekend in excellent form, after a 38-19 home win over Wasps on Sunday lifted them to the top of the Premiership.

The Cup holders, who begin their bid for a hat-trick of Champions Cup successes with a trip to English rivals Northampton Saints in Pool 2 next Sunday, edged a point clear of Exeter Chiefs with their fifth victory in six games.

British and Irish Lions hooker Jamie George spearheaded the comfortable win with a hat-trick of tries in a game that marked captain Brad Barritt's 200th appearance for Saracens.

"We're in a good place moving forward into Europe," said the London club's American wing, Chris Wyles, who also scored a try.

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In an even better place are Glasgow Warriors, who will open their Pool 3 programme at Exeter as the only team in both European competitions with a 100 percent domestic record.

Dave Rennie's side made it six wins from six games with a dramatic 29-26 triumph over Toyota Cheetahs in South Africa on Friday night thanks to a 76th minute try from Rob Harley made by a pinpoint kick from Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell.

Russell, who also kicked nine points in the Conference A game, said: "It means we've now won all of our games, which gives us momentum going into Europe next weekend,"

Conference B is led by Scarlets, who have two more bonus points than Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby after all three notched their fifth win in six matches, Scarlets 19-18 at Ospreys, Leinster 23-17 against Munster Rugby and Ulster 16-18 versus Connacht Rugby.

In France, European Rugby Challenge Cup holders Stade Français Paris continued their recent resurgence with a 31-20 home win over Montpellier, with Jules Plisson the star as he kicked 16 points and created the first of Waisea Nayacalevu's two tries.

Lyon leapfrogged Montpellier into first place in TOP 14 with a 25-6 win at Agen, their sixth success in seven games moving them three points clear and sounding a Challenge Cup warning before their Pool 2 game at Cardiff Blues on Friday night.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 20 October 2017
Scarlets v Bath 18h45 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 21 October 2017
Australia v New Zealand 09h00 Brisbane
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 12h00 Scotstoun
Sharks v Blue Bulls 12h30 Durban
Treviso v Toulon 14h15 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Western Province v Golden Lions 15h00 Cape Town
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Leicester Tigers v Castres 16h30 Welford Road
Munster v Racing Metro 16h30 Thomond Park
Saracens v Ospreys 18h45 Allianz Park
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
La Rochelle v Ulster 14h15 Paris
Wasps v Harlequins 16h30 Ricoh Arena
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 1 1 0 0 5
Ulster 1 1 0 0 4
Harlequins 1 0 0 1 1
Wasps 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 1 1 0 0 5
Clermont Auvergne 1 1 0 0 4
Ospreys 1 0 0 1 1
Northampton Saints 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 1 1 0 0 5
Exeter Chiefs 1 1 0 0 4
Montpellier 1 0 0 1 1
Glasgow Warriors 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 1 1 0 0 4
Castres 1 0 1 0 2
Munster 1 0 1 0 2
Leicester Tigers 1 0 0 1 1
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Bath 1 1 0 0 4
Toulon 1 1 0 0 4
Scarlets 1 0 0 1 1
Treviso 1 0 0 1 0