Posted on December 09 2013
It was a fantastic weekend for Irish fans, with all four Irish teams claiming important wins. Leinster showed off some old flare, with Brian O'Driscoll coming to the fore and proving that he's still got plenty of magic left. Northampton Saints were left struggling to gain a foothold and went down 7-40 to the visitors. Connacht managed to edge an impressive 14-16 away victory over Toulouse, leaving their supporters overjoyed. Meanwhile, Munster and Ulster both shone at home, both collecting bonus point wins. Munster grabbed a 36-8 win over Perpignan while Benetton Treviso were hit with a 48-0 defeat as Ulster proved that Ravenhill is a formidable fortress. Elsewhere, Pool 1 saw Castres overtake Northampton in the table due to their 15-9 win over Ospreys. The Welsh side have again failed to make an impact in the tournament this year and remain rooted to the bottom of the rankings. Pool 2 remains tight as Toulon leap to the top thanks to a 9-14 away win over Exeter Chiefs. Cardiff Blue's 29-20 victory over Glasgow Warriors moves them into second place, just a point adrift of Toulon. Glasgow have sunk all the way to the bottom of table, in a Heineken Cup that is yet to hot up for the usually dangerous Scots. You can't get closer than Toulouse and Saracens in Pool 3, with them both vying for the top spot with 10 points apiece. Toulouse are now under pressure after the dramatic loss of the weekend and Saracens had an easy 10-39 win over Zebre to keep the heat on. Pool 4 sees French clubs at the either end of the rankings, with Clermont rising to the top after thrashing Scarlets 11-32. Meanwhile, Racing bring up the rear after taking a 8-32 defeat from Harlequins, with Quins moving up to second thanks to their solid performance. Everything remains the same in Pool 5, with Ulster reigning and Treviso failing to gain any points. Leicester Tigers stay in second and in touching distance of the Irish club after taking down Montpellier 41-32 in a frenetic match that was probably the most entertaining of the round. Pool 6 sees Munster move up to the top, followed closely by Gloucester who have had a good start to the competition, despite their poor showing in the Aviva Premiership. Gloucester fought to a 12-23 victory over Edinburgh to steal the second place slot. Meanwhile, Perpignan are loitering at the bottom and have a lot of work to do if they are to break away from fourth position.