Football

Heineken Cup: Opening weekend round-up

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24/7

The Heineken Cup kicked off last weekend, and it was a round of matches full of upsets.

Friday night was the start of the competition, and the first shock was witnessed in Ireland, where Ulster managed a brilliant 22-16 win over Leicester Tigers, who picked up what could turn out to be a vital losing bonus point.

One of the favourites Saracens survived a potential scare before overcoming Connacht 23-17, whilst the other English teams had contrasting weekends.

Northampton Saints suffered a shock 19-13 defeat to Castres, meaning they need to beat Ospreys if they are to qualify from the tough group, which also includes two-time champions Leinster.

But the Exeter Chiefs were the stand out English side, and they played superbly in the first-half, scoring five tries before surviving a late fightback by the Cardiff Blues to secure a thrilling 44-29 win at Sandy Park.

Harlequins' slow start to the season continued as they slumped to a 33-26 loss at home to a stubborn Scarlets defence.

But there was no upset in France as the holders Toulon started their defence of the trophy with a thumping 51-28 win over Glasgow, in a match that saw the hosts run in six tries, and the visitors even managed a losing bonus point of their own. 

There was joy up in Edinburgh as they stunned two-time champions Munster 29-23 at Murrayfield, whilst Leinster played very professionally to edge Ospreys 19-9 in Swansea.

But there was no doubt about the result of the weekend, coming from France where Racing Metro 92 caused a huge shock by beating last season's runners-up Clermont 13-9.

Johnny Sexton was the hero for the home side, who were largely outplayed throughout, but their defence held superbly, and there was pandemonium from the stands and from the players at full-time. 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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