KSA Shark ©

Butch Kicks Bath to victory

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 8 Dec 2008 at 06:48
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Munster slipped to their first defeat in Europe since lifting the Heineken Cup when going down 25-19 to Clermont Auvergne in Pool One on Sunday.

Sporting Life reports that Brock James scored all of Clermont’s points, including six penalties and a second-half try, to keep his team in the tournament with a repeat of last season’s victory over the European champions.

But Ronan O’Gara’s 73rd-minute penalty ensured Munster left France with a potentially crucial losing bonus point that keeps them in touch with leaders Sale Sharks with two of their next three pool games at home.

Bath claimed a 35-31 bonus-point victory to remain in quarter-final contention – but to do so, they had to subdue spirited Glasgow resistance at the Recreation Ground.

The Warriors’ former Wasps wing Thom Evans scored three tries, restricting Bath to a 21-19 lead with almost three-quarters of an entertaining Pool Five encounter gone.

But the Guinness Premiership title contenders dug deep when it really mattered, conjuring quickfire tries for wing Michael Stephenson and substitute centre Shaun Berne midway through the second half.

Stephenson finished with a double, while flanker Andy Beattie also crossed; yet it was fly-half Butch James’ goal-kicking that gave Bath breathing space.

The Springboks World Cup-winner slotted six kicks from seven attempts – three penalties and three conversions – to keep the pressure on group leaders Toulouse, who visit Bath next month.

Glasgow find themselves in the familiar position of pondering a pool stage exit – having lost to Bath, Toulouse and Newport Gwent Dragons.

Harlequins recorded a memorable 15-10 victory over Stade Francais in Paris on Saturday to maintain their 100% record in Pool Four and move a step closer to qualification for the knockout stages.

The Londoners raced into a 12-0 lead by the 25th minute thanks to tries by Tom Williams and Jordan Turner-Hall and resisted a brave fightback from the French club to hold on for the win in front of a massive crowd of 76,569 at the Stade de France.

All Stade’s points came when Quins’ England scrum-half Danny Care was in the sin-bin at the end of the first half and start of the second half, Juan Manuel Leguizamon scoring a try and his off-colour Argentina team-mate Juan Martin Hernandez booting a conversion and a penalty.

But Nick Evans, who converted Williams’ try, kicked a penalty with 13 minutes remaining and some resolute defending in a dramatic final few minutes secured the win for the visitors.

Quins now have three wins from three and 13 points from their opening three games, and should all but seal qualification to the last eight with a victory over Stade in the return fixture next weekend.

Gloucester took just 43 minutes to get the bonus point they needed to stay in touch with leaders Cardiff in Heineken Cup Pool Six as they thrashed Calvisano 40-17.

Having seen the Blues pip Biarritz 21-17 on Friday night, Gloucester had to score four tries to ensure the gap between them and the leaders remained no more than one bonus-point victory.

Ryan Lamb, Luke Narraway and Marco Bortolami all crossed before the break for the visitors, with Jack Forster adding a crucial fourth before a penalty try Mike Tindall’s late effort.

Leinster strengthened their position at the top of pool two as a trio of second-half tries helped them to a 33-3 win against Castres Olympique at the RDS.

Bernard Jackman, Brian O’Driscoll and replacement Simon Keogh all crossed the French side’s whitewash but Leinster’s push for a bonus point try came too late.

On the balance of play and for all their effort, the Irish province would not have deserved the extra point as they were lacklustre in attack for much of this game.

Toulouse secured a third successive win in Pool Five, 26-7 against the Newport Gwent Dragons, but the game was marred by a serious-looking injury to Dragons’ centre Marc Stcherbina.

Yannick Jauzion’s first-half try was added to by Clement Poitrenaud, Maxime Medard and Florian Fritz after the interval to seal an emphatic triumph.

The three-time champions blew away the Welsh visitors at the Stade Earnest Wallon but there were concerns over Stcherbina, who was carried off with a suspected neck injury.

The match was delayed for 10 minutes as the former Cardiff Blues centre lay motionless on the ground after the incident in the 49th minute.

Ospreys romped to a record 68-8 win after tearing Treviso apart at the Liberty Stadium.

Ireland wing Tommy Bowe set the tone by scoring three of his four tries in 23 minutes as Ospreys eased past their previous best Heineken Cup victory of 48-17 against Ulster last season.

Scotland international Nikki Walker added a try double, and with flanker Jonathan Thomas also touching down before the break, Pool Three whipping boys Treviso trailed 40-8 at half-time.

The second period proved more of a contest as Treviso restricted Ospreys to a Lee Byrne try during the third quarter, but substitute Shane Williams then pounced to give his team an inevitable half-century of points.

Replacement hooker Ed Shirvington and Bowe completed the rout with touchdowns nine and 10 – fly-half James Hook booted nine conversions – while Treviso had to content themselves with an early Marius Goosen try and Andrea Marcato’s 39th-minute penalty.

On Friday, Danny Cipriani put his England misery behind him as Wasps survived a sterling Edinburgh fightback in another thriller at Murrayfield.

Fly-half Cipriani arrived in the Scottish capital in arguably the worst form of his fledgling career, having been dropped by his country after error-strewn displays in the opening two November Tests.

But he kicked 20 points in their Pool Two clash in a near-flawless display with the boot to keep his side’s quarter-final hopes alive as they prevailed 25-16.

Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe set a captain’s example with two first-half tries as Sale claimed a bonus-point 36-6 victory over French outfit Montauban to climb to the top of Pool One.

The Argentina back row, 27, scored in the fifth and 23rd minutes before Andy Tuilagi, Eifion Roberts and young replacement David Tait added second-half touchdowns to ensure a turbulent week at Edgeley Park ended on a high note.

Director of rugby Philippe-Saint-Andre announced on Thurasday he is quit the club at the end of the season after five years in charge.

He is poised to return to his native France and has several suitors, most notably Toulon, but his dream to bow out as a European champion with Sale remains alive after this win.

Ulster brought their recent Magners League form to the competition to register their first win in Pool Four against Scarlets 26-16.

But, after three games, it looks highly unlikely to be enough for them to get close to qualifying from the group, especially after Ulster failed to register a bonus-point win.

First-half tries from Darren Cave and Simon Danielli, with a David Pollock effort in the 63rd minute, gave Ulster revenge for losing at Ravenhill to the Scarlets on the opening day of the Magners League campaign, and they can repeat the dose next week for what would be a rare away win in Europe when the sides meet again in west Wales.

Cardiff Blues had to rely entirely on the boot to maintain their position at the top of Pool Six.

Biarritz dominated territorially and touched down twice, but five penalties by man of the match Ben Blair and two drop goals by Nicky Robinson clinched the points for the home team 21-17.


  • I am surprised there isn’t a HC Superbru competition. 🙁

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.12.08 06:49:40 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Butch James shows his class
    2008-12-07 19:39

    Paris – Bath’s South African World Cup winning flyhalf Butch James and Clermont’s Brock James inspired their sides to European Cup victories over Glasgow and champions Munster on Sunday.

    Butch James kicked 15 points in Bath’s 35-31 win over Glasgow, while Brock James scored all of his side’s points in the French club’s come-from-behind 25-19 victory over the Irish province.

    Munster – for whom Ronan O’Gara scored 14 points edging him to within seven points of becoming the first player to score 1 000 in the competition – had looked in control but they paid heavily for starting the second-half in a sleepy fashion.

    “I don’t know what got into us in the first 10 minutes of the second-half,” conceded Munster skipper Paul O’Connell.

    Butch magnificent

    “We were waiting for something to happen rather than making things happen.

    “We did show our resilience later in the half, but it cost us dear those first minutes of the second-half.”

    Brock James was quite magnificent with six penalties, a try and conversion to give his French side a much needed boost after what has been an average start to the season.

    “We wanted to do well as we have been inconsistent this season, both in Europe and in the championship,” said James.

    “I guess I got lucky today (Sunday),” added James, who will hope to do the same when they visit Munster next weekend.

    Bath had kept the pressure up on three-time champions Toulouse with a thrilling victory over Glasgow.

    Glasgow outscored the hosts 5-4 on the tryscore count with man of the match Thom Evans scoring three.

    However, it could even have ended up in a remarkable victory as right on the buzzer Ruaridh Jackson – who had also scored a try – intercepted a pass deep in his 22 and ran it almost all the way back.

    But he ran out of steam and support and once the ball went into touch Bath had the points.

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.12.08 06:50:28 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Bath did their best to give the match to Glasgow. Even throwing an intercept pass with only seconds to go. They were 35-19 up at one stage and almost lost the match. 👿

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.12.08 10:48:17 by McLovin Reply

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