Biggar inspires Saints to dramatic last-gasp win

With the 2020 Guinness Six Nations less than a month away squads are not far from being announced and players around Europe are desperate to prove they’re in top form.

With the 2020 Guinness Six Nations less than a month away squads are not far from being announced and players around Europe are desperate to prove they’re in top form.

In the domestic action then there were doubles for a Scot, an Englishman and an Irishman, while Saracens and Leinster showed they’re likely to inspire international efforts next month.

Elsewhere, a Welsh wizard produced a few magic tricks of his own and Italy fans will be delighted to see one of their wingers among the scorers again.

Another week, another five points claimed back towards the black for Saracens, with England men Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Elliot Daly all scoring in a huge 62-5 win over Worcester Warriors.

Mark McCall’s men are fighting back from a minus points deficit but are now back to just -7, but still 18 points behind Leicester Tigers who delivered one of their best results of recent times to down Bristol Bears.

The Tigers claimed a 31-18 victory and it was a win inspired by the England men, with all 31 points scored by Ellis Genge, Jonny May (2) and George Ford’s 16, including one try.

Bristol got tries back through Dan Thomas and Piers O’Connor but left Welford Road with no points in a stumble to their ambitions.

Saturday’s third match in England was the always-anticipated West Country Derby, which Gloucester won 29-15, Jason Woodward, Freddie Clarke, Gerbrandt Grobler and Ruan Ackermann getting their bonus point and former Wales man Rhys Priestland 15 points in reply for Bath.

The drama continued on Sunday as England’s Luke Cowan-Dickie was among the scorers for Exeter Chiefs in their dominant 45-28 triumph over London Irish.

But the best was saved until last as Wales fly-half Dan Biggar inspired Northampton Saints to all five points against Wasps in a last-gasp 35-31 victory.

Biggar played a key role in Saints’ first try and added ten points with the boot before Wasps produced a stunning second-half comeback, which included a try from Italian Matteo Minozzi.

However, Northampton showed their never-say-die spirit to recover from going 31-28 down with ten minutes to go, scoring a late try converted by Biggar to snatch the win.

Already thinking of the men to look out for in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations? Or indeed your Championship Fantasy Rugby team? Look no further than Leinster and Ireland centre Garry Ringrose, in serious form in 2019-20.

His double helped Leinster to a 54-7 victory in an Interpro Derby against Connacht and his stats now read; five starts – eight tries, impressive stuff.

It doesn’t seem to matter who Leinster pick or rotate at the moment, the win is coming, with fellow Ireland players Luke McGrath and Dave Kearney also dotting down in the huge win.

Elsewhere in the Guinness PRO14, Zebre recorded just the second win of their season but in some serious style, Carlo Canna’s booted 16 points helping them to a 41-13 win over the Cheetahs.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend will no doubt have been pleased to see a strong performance from Glasgow Warriors, who won 38-16 at Benetton, with centre Sam Johnson, utility man Pete Horne and younger brother George Horne (2) all among the scorers.

Finally to Wales where wing George North was back on the scoresheet for Ospreys, only to lose out 25-18 to resurgent Dragons in an intense Welsh Derby.

Over in France, Lyon continued their excellent start to the season with a tenth win in 13, the tightest of 13-12 victories away at Agen, 10-cap French prop Xavier Chiocci the crucial scorer.

There was also an excellent game in Paris where Clermont Auvergne desperately tried to fight their way out of mid-table but predictably found it hard going at Racing 92, with the Parisians triumphing 27-19.

The big man Ben Tameifuna clambered over on six minutes to open the day, followed by Les Bleus wing Teddy Thomas and after half-time by Teddy Iribaren.

Greig Laidlaw kicked four penalties and dangerman Damian Penaud got one back for Clermont, but Iribaren kept them at bay with a further penalty in the second half.