Harlequins suffered a 47-19 defeat at home to Toulouse; Exeter defeated Munster 32-24 at Sandy Park; Archie Vanes crossed for a hat-trick as Leicester withstood late pressure from Stade Francais to seal a battling 27-24 away victory
Last Updated: 17/12/23 9:00pm
Harlequins suffered a heavy 47-19 defeat to Toulouse in the Investec Champions Cup at the Stoop.
The Top 14 champions, led by Antoine Dupont, produced moments of genius in their seven tries that included two for centre Pierre-Louis Barassi.
The match was stopped for 10 minutes to allow second row Dino Lamb to receive medical attention after he had been knocked out in a clash of heads with Pita Ahki and he was eventually carried from the pitch on a stretcher.
His replacement Irne Herbst scored a try in each half, accompanying Andre Esterhuizen’s earlier touch down, but Quins needed to be at their best to topple the five-time European champions and they were well below that.
The sheer volume of mistakes affected both sides and a lapse in the home defence almost invited Dimitri Delibes for a second try but the wing was then alive to a well-worked chance down the right that was finished by hooker Peato Mauvaka.
An exchange of tries between Matthis Lebel and Herbst, both scored off line-outs, kept the contest open during the third quarter but in the 51st minute Toulouse slammed the door shut with a sublime score.
Full-back Blair Kinghorn launched the counter attack off Esterhuizen’s kick from just outside the 22 and, once Dupont arrived to inject some magic, the path was clear for an accelerating Barassi to sprint over.
Next over was replacement prop Rodrigue Neti and Thomas Ramos added a seventh that showcased Toulouse’s brilliance in attack.
Slade the difference for Exeter
Seventeen points from Henry Slade proved the difference as Exeter defeated Munster 32-24 to register their second narrow Champions Cup victory in as many weeks.
Having secured a 19-18 triumph at Toulon last weekend thanks to a last-minute conversion from Slade, they needed a remarkable rally on Sunday with Munster having looked in control when they led 24-13 after 65 minutes.
Dan Frost, Jack Dunne, Ross Vintcent and Slade scored the Chiefs’ tries, with Slade converting three and adding two penalties in front of more than 13,000 at Sandy Park.
Tom Ahern, Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch and Shane Daly scored Munster’s tries, with Jack Crowley kicking two conversions.
Exeter were able to maintain the pressure and were rewarded when replacement Vintcent crashed over under the posts.
A minute later, the game turned on its head when Exeter scored a second. Nash was all at sea in dealing with an awkwardly bouncing ball and it fell into the hands of Dunne, who gratefully touched down, with Slade’s conversion giving the home side a three-point lead going into the final 10 minutes.
Exeter were fortunate to escape a yellow card for Harvey Skinner’s challenge on Crowley, but Slade then intercepted a Conor Murray pass before running 50 metres to secure a valuable five points.
Leicester win at Stade Francais
Archie Vanes crossed for a hat-trick as Leicester withstood late pressure from Stade Francais to seal a battling 27-24 victory at Stade Francais in the Investec Champions Cup.
The win, which came via a 66th-minute penalty from Jamie Shillcock, helped the Tigers extend their unbeaten record in Pool Four of the competition.
Shillcock finished with 12 points with the boot, while the Paris side’s tries came from Mathieu Hirigoyen, Charles Laloi and Leo Barre.
Leicester had fashioned a 14-7 advantage at half-time through Vane’s first two tries which were both converted by Shillcock.
And that lead was cut, despite the visitors’ temporary reduction to 14 men due a yellow card for Charlie Atkinson.
The hosts seized the momentum at the start of the second half, with Laloi crossing in the corner within one minute of the restart.
Vanes’ third try of the night helped Leicester hold their nerve and edge back in front in the contest with 54 minutes on the clock.
But once again Stade Francais fought back and appeared to have wrested the momentum when they scored to level the match with 20 minutes to go.
Shillcock’s 66th-minute penalty nudged Leicester back in front and they withstood some fierce pressure from the home side in the closing stages.
Source : Sky Sports