Mujati’s Saints march into semis
10 Apr 2011
Brian Mujati delivered a strong performance in Northampton’s 23-13 win over Ulster while Toulouse beat Biarritz 27-20 in extra time in the last two European Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
The former Springbok tighthead prop impressed with a good overall display up front for Northampton as they advanced to the European Cup semis for the third time. Ulster, who fielded five Saffas in scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, No 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, flanker Robbie Diack, lock Johann Muller and tighthead prop BJ Botha, weren’t able to score in the second half as they surrendered a 13-10 half-time lead.
Wing Andrew Timble’s try and flyhalf Ian Humphrey’s boot secured Ulster’s three-point advantage at the break, but scrumhalf Lee Dickson’s 54th-minute converted try proved to be the deciding score in Northampton’s triumph in Milton Keynes.
In San Sebastian, Toulouse survived a late fight back from Biarritz. The former relinquished a 17-0 half-time lead in a rain-affected match as the teams were deadlocked at 20-20 after 80 minutes. Flanker Yannick Nyanga then scored the match-winning try in extra time to seal Toulouse’s place in the final four.
Last year’s champions were cruising in the first stanza as tries from fullback Cedric Heymans and wing Maxime Medard built a healthy lead. Biarritz scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili spearheaded his team’s comeback as he slotted five penalties, including a last-minute three-pointer that leveled matters and forced extra time. Yachvili, however, missed the conversion after wing Ilikena Bolakoro’s try at the death which would’ve been enough for victory.
During the extra 20 minutes, Nyanga charged down a Yachvili clearance and crossed the chalk to seal the win for Toulouse.
European Cup quarter-final results:
Perpignan 29 Toulon 25
Leinster 17 Leicester 10
Northampton 23 Ulster 13
Toulouse 27 Biarritz 20
European Cup semi-final draw (30 April):
Perpignan vs Toulouse
Northampton vs Leinster