Last season’s Heineken Champions Cup finalists Stade Rochelais and Leinster Rugby have laid down an early marker in the 2022/23 competition as they lead the pools after the opening two rounds.
La Rochelle, who clinched the 2022 title in Marseille in May, top Pool B after they held on to beat Ulster Rugby 36-29 on Saturday, Antoine Hastoy tallying 26 points as Ronan O’Gara’s side made it two wins from two.
Leinster also have a 100%-win record, taking maximum points from their first two Pool A games. The Irish province ran in nine tries as they cruised to a 57-0 victory over Gloucester Rugby on Friday night.
Cell C Sharks have enjoyed the best start of the three debuting South African sides – they sit fourth in Pool A after they battled to a 19-16 win at Union Bordeaux-Bègles on Saturday, Curwin Bosch starring at Stade Chaban-Delmas.
DHL Stormers were defeated in the opening round but bounced back with a 34-14 success over London Irish on Saturday, securing the bonus point late on as they showcased some terrific running rugby in Cape Town.
Vodacom Bulls suffered a setback after their Round 1 triumph as they went down 44-14 at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, the 2020 champions in fine form at Sandy Park as Luke Cowan-Dickie crossed for a hat-trick of tries and powered them to second place in Pool A.
❌ UNDEFEATED ❌@leinsterrugby and @Saracens are the only unbeaten teams in all competitions 💪
How far will they go this season?
Watch extended highlights from all #HeinekenChampionsCup matches on our YouTube 👇
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 19, 2022
Five-time champions Stade Toulousain proved they will be a force to be reckoned with once again as they ruthlessly dispatched of Sale Sharks 45-19 on Sunday, Antoine Dupont notching two of their seven tries at Stade Ernest Wallon.
Leicester Tigers sit one point adrift of second-place Toulouse in Pool B, with the Gallagher Premiership champions seeing off ASM Clermont Auvergne 23-16 in an assured display at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday.
Saracens are another side to keep an eye on after their thrilling 28-20 victory at Lyon on Saturday, the three-time champions playing the last quarter of an hour at Matmut Stadium de Gerland with 14 men.
Munster Rugby were in desperate need of points in Round 2 after their defeat at home to Toulouse last weekend, and the Irish province delivered at Northampton Saints on Sunday as they triumphed 17-6 in a fiery game which produced four yellow cards.
Ospreys pulled off the shock of Round 2 as they grinded out a 21-10 victory at TOP 14 champions Montpellier Hérault Rugby on Saturday – the Welsh region crossed three times and put in a colossal defensive shift at GGL Stadium.
Edinburgh Rugby and Harlequins both recorded vital first Pool A victories at home to TOP 14 opponents – 31-20 against Castres Olympique on Saturday and 14-10 against Racing 92 on Sunday respectively.