Guinness Six Nations stars come to the fore in domestic top of the table clashes

Marcus Smith, Owen Farrell and Henry Slade 13/11/2021
Top of the table tussles, a well-executed revenge mission and failed fightbacks all feature in this week’s round-up of the domestic leagues.

Top of the table tussles, a well-executed revenge mission and failed fightbacks all feature in this week’s round-up of the domestic leagues.

The top two in the United Rugby Championship went head-to-head and Ireland’s Dan Sheehan helped Leinster end Ulster’s perfect start to the season.

Across the Irish Sea, Owen Farrell’s Saracens blew away champions Leicester Tigers to move top of the Gallagher Premiership.

And at the Top 14 summit, Toulouse toppled title-holders Montpellier thanks to France full-back Melvyn Jaminet’s boot.

Leinster hang on in driving rain

Ireland hooker Dan Sheehan continued his outstanding form for club and country with a superb player of the match performance against Ulster on Friday evening.

The 24-year-old ran in the eight-time champions’ second try in a dominant first-half display that saw the visitors open up a 17-3 lead.

Ulster fought back after the interval through a John Andrew maul try, but a Leinster side packed with Ireland stars including Josh van der Flier, Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw and captain Garry Ringrose held firm.

In Swansea, Keelan Giles might have caught Wayne Pivac’s eye with a tremendous two-try showing for Ospreys against Glasgow Warriors with Wales centurion George North also dotting down in the 32-17 win, their first of the season.

Italy stars Edoardo Padovani and Tommaso Menoncello both crossed for Benetton to make it an unhappy return from injury for Scarlets’ Leigh Halfpenny, who kicked three out of three penalties in a 34-23 defeat.

Saracens bring up half century against Tigers

Elliot Daly reacted to his England omission in sublime fashion, scoring one of seven Saracens tries in an emphatic response to their Premiership final defeat to Leicester Tigers in June.

Two players who did make Eddie Jones’ latest squad are Farrell and uncapped second row Hugh Tizard, with both impressing against Freddie Steward and Jack van Poortvliet’s Tigers in a 51-18 triumph.

Steward grabbed a try back for the reigning champions, who unfortunately lost Guy Porter to injury with the same fate befalling Saracens’ Jamie George with both withdrawing from England’s training camp.

Newcastle Falcons duo George McGuigan and Adam Radwan are set to benefit from their absences and both were key to their club’s first win of the season against an unbeaten Bristol Bears on Friday night.

Cadan Murley, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank and Luke Northmore were all in scintillating form in a highly watchable clash in west London between Harlequins and Northampton Saints.

All four crossed the whitewash as Quins quelled Saints’ fightback to emerge 35-29 victors, with England fly-half Marcus Smith and his Wales counterpart Dan Biggar converting all eight tries on the day.

Jaminet’s perfect boot takes Toulouse top

France full-back Jaminet slotted all five of his kicks as Toulouse edged Top 14 champions Montpellier 19-17 on Sunday.

A monster 60-metre penalty was the highlight as the 23-year-old shone in the absence of Romain Ntamack who was rested.

Even without Peato Mauvaka, Antoine Dupont and Anthony Jelonch, Toulouse prevailed to leapfrog countryman Paul Willemse’s Montpellier.

The day before, Scotland fly-half Finn Russell rescued a bonus point for Racing 92 as they lost 24-19 to La Rochelle.

Gregory Alldritt’s reigning European champions moved up to second in the Top 14 after coming back from being 16-7 down at the interval.