Scotland lock Jonny Gray helped himself to a rare hat-trick as Exeter Chiefs got the better of Montpellier on the return of European rugby.
Gray became the first second row in Heineken Champions Cup history to score three tries, helping the 2019/20 champions to a 42-6 win.
Montpellier had trailed by just a point at half-time, Scotland skipper Stuart Hogg crossing for a 7-6 lead, but it was one-way traffic after the break as Gray went over three times.
Gray was one of two unlikely hat-trick scorers this weekend, with former France flanker Wenceslas Lauret having kicked off the action with a treble in Racing 92’s 45-14 win over Northampton Saints, with Finn Russell pulling the strings for the French side.
Another man running the show was France scrum-half Antoine Dupont, celebrating being named World Rugby Player of the Year with a virtuoso display against a depleted Cardiff.
He made three tries and scored another for defending champions Toulouse in a 39-7 win, with France colleague Anthony Jelonch one of the beneficiaries of his work.
Another scrum-half who enjoyed himself was Ireland and Leinster No.9 Jamison Gibson-Park, who crossed twice in a comfortable 45-20 win over Bath, with James Lowe, Tadhg Furlong, Hugo Keenan, Ronan Kelleher and Josh van der Flier also getting over for the four-time champions.
It was a good weekend for the Irish provinces, all of whom were victorious. Ulster were hugely impressive in winning 29-23 away to Clermont Auvergne, Stuart McCloskey and Nick Timoney getting their tries as Damian Penaud’s double proved in vain.
Munster were also winners on the road, getting past 14-man Wasps 35-14, with Keith Earls and Andrew Conway among the try-scorers.
Connacht completed a fine weekend as they saw off Stade Français 36-9, while Sale beat the Ospreys 21-13 as Scotland hooker Ewan Ashman crossed for one of their three tries with England’s Tom Curry named star of the match.
There were two big wins on the road for English sides in France, George Ford kicking 11 points as Leicester Tigers edged out Bordeaux-Bègles 16-13, while Alex Dombrandt’s try helped Harlequins get the better of Castres 20-18.
One French side who did taste success at home though, were La Rochelle. Captained by Grégory Alldritt, they battled past Glasgow Warriors 20-13.
In the Challenge Cup, the result of the round came as Edinburgh won away at Saracens, 21-18, WP Nel one of the try-scorers for the visitors.