Two-time European Cup winners Leicester Tigers, whose last continental success came in 2002, sounded a warning that they will be a danger in the Heineken Champions Cup this season by making it three wins from three Gallagher Premiership games on Saturday.
A dramatic late penalty try saw them beat three-time European champions Saracens 13-12 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road to stay top of the domestic table by a single point from fellow Heineken Champions Cup contenders Northampton Saints.
Leicester trailed 12-3 heading into the closing stages, but George Ford’s second penalty of the game on 75 minutes moved the hosts to within striking distance, before a rolling mail collapsed on the Saracens line nearly four minutes into added time and the referee awarded the penalty try.
Northampton were another Heineken Champions Cup side to register a win over EPCR Challenge Cup opposition on Saturday, triumphing 23-21 over London Irish at Franklin’s Gardens to complete their third win in three domestic games.
Dan Biggar was their match-winner, kicking his third penalty of the game with six minutes left in a haul of 13 points, after Irish had rallied from a 17-7 half-time deficit and conceding tries in the first 15 minutes to Tom Collins and Matty Proctor.
Meanwhile, Wasps were beaten 18-14 by Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park. Tom Cruse and Tom Willis crossed for the visiting Heineken Champions Cup side, with the latter’s try on 74 minutes looking to have sealed victory before a late Newcastle score.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) October 2, 2021
In the United Rugby Championship, Cole Forbes scored a brace of tries as Glasgow Warriors beat South African side Sharks 35-24. Ryan Wilson, Jamie Bhatti and Sione Tuipulotu also crossed for Glasgow, as did Ross Thompson, who slotted all five conversions.
Munster Rugby also enjoyed a win over South African opposition, with Jack O’Donoghue (2), Jean Kleyn, Niall Scannell and RG Snyman going over for the two-time European champions in their 34-18 success against Stormers.
Elsewhere, Ulster Rugby recorded a dominant 36-3 win over Zebre Rugby in Italy, where Ethan McIlroy and Nick Timoney chalked up two tries each for the Irish province, with further scores coming through Will Addison and James Hume.
Meanwhile, Gareth Anscombe kicked six penalties as Ospreys edged out fellow Heineken Champions Cup side Cardiff Rugby 18-14, despite tries for Josh Adams and Owen Lane for the visitors.
In the TOP 14, last season’s Heineken Champions Cup finalists, Stade Rochelais, were beaten 21-11 by Challenge Cup winners Montpellier Hérault Rugby. Paolo Garbisi kicked all of Montpellier’s points, while La Rochelle’s Jules Favre went over for a consolation try on 74 minutes.
Heineken Champions Cup winners Stade Toulousain notched their fifth straight league win of the season to remain six points clear at the top of the table, with Tim Nanai-Williams and Antoine Dupont crossing in a 17-11 success at Biarritz Olympique.
Matthieu Jalibert tallied 15 points for second-placed Union Bordeaux-Bègles as they triumphed 20-15 at Lyon, but Stade Français Paris fell to a 19-12 defeat at CA Brive despite four penalties from Leo Barre.
Elsewhere, Wilfrid Hounkpatin’s brace of tries helped Castres Olympique to a 27-16 home win over three-time European champions RC Toulon.