Saffa-laden Sarries down Harlequins

Keo.co.za wraps up this weekend’s European action.

In the English Premiership, Saracens returned to winning ways by downing Harlequins 18-16 at The Stoop. It was the defending champions’ first loss of the campaign.

Sarries, who suffered a shock defeat to Exeter Chiefs last weekend, edged the win thanks to flyhalf Owen Farrell, who kicked all the points via six penalties. Seven South African-born players featured in the victors’ match-day squad (inside centre Brad Barritt, hooker Schalk Brits, tighthead prop Petrus du Plessis, lock Alistair Hargreaves, No 8 Ernst Joubert, reserve hooker John Smit and replacement prop Matt Stevens).

In other results, Northampton Saints remained the only unbeaten team in the league as they eased to a 24-6 win over the London Wasps at Franklin’s Garden. Bath downed the Sale Sharks 31-10 at the Rec, while the Leicester Tigers smashed Exeter 30-6 at Welford Road.

In the French Top 14, Toulouse ended Toulon’s winning streak as they achieved a 32-9 victory at the Stade Ernest Wallon.

Toulon were victorious during their opening six games, but were taught a lesson by the defending champions, who cruised to victory with New Zealand flyhalf Luke McAlister grabbing a 27-point haul via a try, six penalties and two conversions. Lock Yoann Maestri also crossed the chalk.

In other results, Stade Francais continued their nightmare campaign with a 28-25 loss to Clermont. New boys Grenoble handed Racing Metro a 27-13 defeat, while Agen achieved their third consecutive win against Bordeaux (19-15).

In the Pro12, Ulster powered to the top of the league after their 48-19 thrashing of the Cardiff Blues at Arms Park.

The Northern Irish club scored seven tries, with No 8 Nick Williams and wing Tommy Bowe securing a brace each. Ulster are the only undefeated team on the log.

In other results, Leinster and Munster both fell to Connact (34-6) and the Ospreys (30-15) respectively. Treviso shocked former table toppers Scarlets with a 22-20 win at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP
Harlequins 16 Saracens 18
London Welsh 25 Gloucester 31
Bath 31 Sale Sharks 10
Leicester Tigers 30 Exeter Chiefs 8
Northampton Saints 24 London Wasps 6
Worcester Warriors 35 London Irish 11

FRENCH TOP 14:
Agen 19 Bordeaux 15
Grenoble 27 Racing Metro 13
Montpellier 19 Castres 12
Perpignan 15 Mont-de-Marsan 6
Toulouse 32 Toulon 9
Clermont Auvergne 28 Stade Fran├žais 25
Biarritz 15 Bayonne 16

PRO12:
Treviso 22 Scarlets 20
Ospreys 30 Munster 15
Newport Gwent Dragons 32 Edinburgh 12
Cardiff Blues 19 Ulster 48
Glasgow 22 Zebre 19
Connacht 34 Leinster 6