After three rounds of Heineken Cup rugby, Munster, Cardiff Blues, Leinster, Clermont Auvergne, Saracens and Toulouse lead their respective pools. At this stage of the tournament, the Scarlets and Ulster would be eligible for the coveted seventh and eighth finals spots. We are now half way through the competition, with three more Heineken Cup rounds before the finals. Go to the Heineken Cup fixtures page to see the schedule for all the upcoming games.
In Pool One Castres Olympique took on Northampton Saints at Stade Pierre Antoine, with Castres triumphing 41 points to 22 in front of 5,000. It has been a hard season for the Northampton Saints. Despite being beaten finalists in the last tournament, after three rounds they are yet to register a win in 2011.
Fellow Pool One members, Munster and Scarlets battled at Parc y Scarlets, with Munster winning their third in a row, 14 to 17 in front of over 13 thousand spectators. Long time Munster stalwart Ronan O’Gara made his 100th Heineken Cup appearance in the game, capping off a magnificent tournament so far. In the previous two games, first against Northampton Saints and then against Castres Olympique he secured victory in the dying seconds with a drop goal. In the Northampton Saints game the goal came in the 84th minute after successive 41 phases by Munster. In his illustrious career O’Gara has all sorts of records to his name. Check out this Ronan O’Gara article on to read more about his latest accomplishments as well as his other career highlights and records.
The Pool Two matches in round three included a decisive 25 – 8 victory for the Cardiff Blues over Edinburgh Rugby at Cardiff City Stadium. London Irish secured a valuable away win against Racing Métro 92 at Stade Yves du Manoir in Paris.
Pool three matches were much closer, with both round three games being decided by only five points. Bath Rugby lost at home 13 to 18 against reigning champions Leinster Rugby at The Rec. Glasgow Warriors triumphed 20 points to 15 against Montpellier at Firhill Arena.
There were fairly decisive victories for both home teams in round four. At Ravenhill, Ulster Rugby defeated Aironi Rugby 31 points to 10. Earlier that day, ASM Clermont Auvergne had won against Leicester Tigers 30 to 12 at Stade Marcel Michelin.
The score lines in the Pool Five games were both airily similar. Both away teams, Biarritz Olympique and Ospreys lost, despite scoring 26 points. Biarritz’s opponents Benetton Treviso scored 30 points to win by four points at Stadio Comunale di Monigo. Saracens defeated Ospreys by five points at the illustrious Wembley Stadium. The Wembley crowd came to the party, with over 40,000 fans in attendance, which was the record for most spectators in round three. They were treated to a very close yet high scoring match.
Meanwhile both home teams in Pool Six scored ten points and lost to their travelling counterparts. At The Twickenham Stoop Toulouse scored 21 points to defeat Harlequins by 11 points. Earlier that day Gloucester Rugby gained a hard fought four point victory at over Connacht Rugby The Sports Ground.