Edinburgh improved their hold on top spot in Pool 5 in the European Champions Cup with an important away win at Newcastle Falcons, but Montpellier stayed within touch.
Newcastle’s St James’ Park will host this season’s final and the Falcons were in a commanding position to reach the knockouts after starting their campaign with two straight victories, but a double-header against Edinburgh has seen the Scottish side seize control of the group.
After easing to a 31-13 home win last time out, Edinburgh overturned a half-time deficit at Kingston Park to triumph again 21-8 and move onto 15 points at the summit.
Sinoti Sinoti scored the only try of the opening period for Newcastle after 18 minutes, but penalties limited their lead to 8-6 at the interval.
And the visitors rallied from there as James Johnstone swiftly went over and, after a fourth successful Jaco van der Walt kick, Duhan van der Merwe charged through to clinch victory.
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) December 16, 2018
Newcastle slipped three points below second-placed Montpellier after the Top 14 side defeated Toulon 34-13 and claimed a bonus point.
Tries from Jan Serfontein, Henry Immelman, Vincent Giudicelli and Ruan Pienaar put Montpellier in the driving seat and, despite Mamuka Gorgodze’s 55th-minute response, Levan Chilachava capped a fine win.
In Pool 4, last season’s runners-up Racing 92 maintained their 100 per cent record in Europe by handing Leicester Tigers an eighth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
The French side made a flying start with Teddy Iribaren, Juan Imhoff and Virimi Vakatawa all crossing in the first 20 minutes, and George Worth’s try before half-time could not turn the tide.
Racing cruised through the second period and Imhoff went over again late on to secure a bonus-point 34-11 win in Leicester.
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