We’ve taken a look at the best of Saturday’s domestic action involving Heineken Champions Cup clubs, with Saracens’ battling home victory over Bath Rugby top of the agenda.
Saracens underline threat
Saracens further underlined their Heineken Champions Cup credentials as they beat Bath 37-31 at the StoneX Stadium, their fifth straight win at the start of the Gallagher Premiership season.
Owen Farrell tallied 17 points for the three-time winners of EPCR’s elite competition, with tries from Alex Goode, Max Malins, Elliot Daly and Alex Lewington sealing a bonus-point win which secured their place at the top of the table.
Hastings kicks Gloucester to derby win
Elsewhere in the Premiership, Adam Hastings kicked a last-gasp penalty to hand Heineken Champions Cup returnees Gloucester Rugby a 31-28 home victory in a pulsating West Country derby against Bristol Bears.
Jordy Reid, Val Rapava-Ruskin and Freddie Clarke all crossed in the first half for Gloucester, but Bristol battled back and led midway through the second period.
However, Rapava-Ruskin touched down again to level the scores, before Hastings nervelessly slotted his 77th-minute kick to win it for Gloucester and take his personal match tally to 11 points.
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Ulster survive Emirates Lions fightback
In the United Rugby Championship (URC), Ulster Rugby held off Emirates Lions to clinch a first win in South Africa, triumphing 39-37 at their EPCR Challenge Cup counterparts.
Ulster trailed 18-15 at the break despite scores from Robert Balacoune and Billy Burns, but seized control early in the second half as Rob Lyttle, Stuart McCloskey and Rob Herring all went over.
Emirates Lions scored three late tries, but it wasn’t enough, because a 74th-minute penalty from Nathan Doak kept them at bay.
Coombes double for Munster
Elsewhere in the URC, two Gavin Coombes tries plus 11 points from the boot of Joey Carbery helped Munster Rugby to a 31-17 home triumph over Vodacom Bulls in an all-Heineken Champions Cup clash.
Munster were in control at the interval thanks to Coombes’ double and Carbery’s goal-kicking, and extended their advantage through Jeremy Loughman’s converted score early in the second half.
Vodacom Bulls got over through WJ Steenkamp to keep Munster on their toes, but Tadhg Beirne notched a converted try on the hour to hand the Irish province the bonus point, with David Kriel’s effort a mere consolation for the South African outfit.
Berdeu and Dumortier key to Lyon victory
In the TOP 14, Montpellier Hérault Rugby’s home game with fellow Heineken Champions Cup side Lyon was one of the standout games, with the visitors edging it 33-26.
Ethan Dumortier dotted down twice for Lyon, while Leo Berdeu contributed 18 points, but the visitors trailed at half-time as Montpellier crossed through Léo Coly and Brandon Paenga-Amosa, with Louis Carbonel adding both conversions and a penalty.
Berdeu and Carbonel exchanged penalties in the second half, but Dumortier’s second score, in addition to a try from Thibaut Regard, earned Lyon their fourth win of the domestic season.