Saracens knocked out of Champions Cup as Exeter and Leinster advance to quarter-finals | Rugby Union News

Saracens crashed out of the Investec Champions Cup after a 45-12 loss at Bordeaux.

Bordeaux scored six tries in all to set up a home quarter-final against Harlequins next week.

The French side were denied no fewer than five first-half tries by TMO and assistant referee decisions, but fly-half Mateo Garcia scored two tries either side of the half-time interval to settle his side’s nerves.

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Maxime Lucu opened the scoring taking a simple penalty chance following a Saracens offside.

The visitors lost lock Maro Itoje for 10 minutes following a deliberate knock-on and that allowed Bordeaux to register their first try of the game, Romain Buros making the break out wide and Garcia picking up and finishing off.

Bordeaux No 8 Tevita Tatafu managed to keep the ball alive before going to touch, the ball ricocheting off the knee of Ben Earl and being touched down over the line by Garcia.

Bordeaux snuffed out any remaining hope for the visitors as scrum power put Saracens on the back foot, allowing Garcia and wing Damian Penaud to combine to put centre Nicolas Depoortere under the posts.

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Louis Bielle-Biarrey soon added a fourth from a loose ball bouncing off the head of centre Yoram Moefana, Lucu maintaining his perfect kicking record.

With the result in the bag Depoortere added his second from a slick tap penalty move, before Alex Lewington grabbed a consolation try for Saracens.

Bielle-Biarrey added his second to rub salt in Saracens’ wounds, Tom Willis responding for the away side but it was too little too late.

Exeter reach quarter-finals

Exeter Chiefs' Zack Wimbush and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso celebrate victory over Bath
Exeter Chiefs’ Zack Wimbush and Immanuel Feyi-Waboso celebrate victory over Bath

Bath could not overcome the loss of injured fly-half Finn Russell as Exeter reached the Champions Cup quarter-finals by beating them 21-15 at a windswept Sandy Park.

Scotland star Russell departed the action after just 15 minutes, before his replacement Orlando Bailey went off hurt during the third quarter.

Exeter Chiefs' Greg Fisilau scores their side's second try
Exeter Chiefs’ Greg Fisilau scores their side’s second try

And the cumulative effect was too much for Bath to absorb as Exeter fought back – into the wind – from eight points adrift.

The Chiefs, tournament winners in 2020, scored tries through No 8 Ross Vintcent, replacement Greg Fisilau and flanker Ethan Roots, with Roots’ England colleague Henry Slade kicking three conversions.

Leinster book La Rochelle clash

Leinster’s Champions Cup title challenge gathered further pace with a 36-22 win over Leicester at the Aviva Stadium.

Having last lifted the trophy in 2018, a fiercely-determined Leinster cancelled out Handre Pollard’s fourth-minute try as Jamison Gibson-Park’s running off the ball was rewarded with a first-half hat-trick.

Robbie Henshaw’s intercept effort four minutes later effectively sealed the result while replacements Jack Conan and Charlie Clare exchanged late scores in front of an attendance of 40,775.

The victory puts Leinster into a quarter-final against La Rochelle.

The French giants, who edged out the Stormers 22-21 in Cape Town, will return to Dublin for next week’s heavyweight quarter-final, 11 months on from retaining their European crown in fairytale fashion.

Ospreys and Edinburgh progress in Challenge Cup

Ospreys roared into the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup with a gritty 23-15 victory over Sale Sharks.

Tries from Morgan Morris, Keelan Giles and Reuben Morgan-Williams were enough to send the hosts through, with Owen Williams kicking a conversion and two penalties.

Sale responded with second-half tries by Tom O’Flaherty and Ben Curry as well as the boot of Robert du Preez, who landed a conversion and a penalty but Ospreys held on.

Edinburgh joined them in the quarter-finals with a 33-15 win against Bayonne at Murrayfield.

The French side struck first through Tom Spring’s converted try before Edinburgh hit back when Hamish Watson crossed the whitewash to leave the hosts trailing by two at half-time.

Ben Vellacott crossed twice and a further try from Duhan van der Merwe completed the scoring for Edinburgh.

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