European rugby roundup: A good day for Munster, Connacht and Ulster

Here's a roundup of today's Heineken Champions Cup games:

EXETER CHIEFS 10 - 10 MUNSTER

Simon Lewis, Sandy Park

Munster’s last-ditch defensive rearguard earned the province an excellent draw at the home of the English league leaders as their Heineken Champions Cup campaign got up and running in dramatic style.

A second-half try by CJ Stander, converted by Joey Carbery had levelled proceedings with 15 minutes remaining to wipe out a 10-3 Exeter lead after hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie had scored the first try of the game before half-time, converted by Gareth Steenson.

But it still needed a nerveless defensive effort from the visitors with time up to withstand a late Chiefs rally. It denied the home side a seventh straight win after an unbeaten start to the English Premiership season and may well prove invaluable to Munster’s hopes of advancing out of Pool 2 next January.

onnacht's Kyle Godwin undrer pressure from Cameron Woki of Bordeaux-Begles. Photo: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Connacht 22 - 10 Bordeaux

Connacht opened their Challenge Cup campaign with a 22-10 win over Bordeaux at the Sportsground.

Kyle Godwin scored tries in either half with Finlay Bealham also getting a try for the Westerners.

Ulster 24 - 10 Leicester

Second-half tries from Alan O'Connor, Will Addison and Jacob Stockdale earned Ulster a 24-10 win over Leicester in their Heineken Champions Cup opener.

Ulster's John Cooney kicked all three conversions and a penalty to complete the Irish province's scoring in the Pool Four clash at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

Ulster pushed for the bonus point score but were unable to get it.

Racing 92 14 - 13 Scarlets

Racing 92 opened their Heineken Champions Cup Pool Four campaign with a dramatic and controversial 14-13 victory over Scarlets.

The French side were trailing 13-7 in the final minutes when referee Matthew Carley awarded Racing a penalty try and also sent scrum-half Gareth Davies to the sin bin, and from there, Racing held on to win.

Racing's two tries came at the end of the first and second halves with a losing bonus point being little consolation for Scarlets, last year's semi-finalist's, who led for most of the match.

Montpellier 21 - 15 Edinburgh

Referee Wayne Barnes ruled out two tries for Edinburgh as they fell just short of a famous Champions Cup victory over Montpellier on French soil.

Montpellier, coached by the former Scottish national coach Vern Cotter, scored three first half tries on the way to a 21-15 victory, but it was Richard Cockerill's Edinburgh who dominated the final 40 minutes.

Edinburgh crossed for a try in each half and would have won the game if Barnes not ruled out a Hamish Watson try at the posts for offside and another by Magnus Bradbury for obstruction.

In the end they had to settle for a losing bonus-point, although they had to scramble to keep hold of it after home skipper Louis Picamoles intercepted 30 metres out and almost reached the line for what would have been an extra point for the hosts.

Toulouse 22 - 20 Bath

Freddie Burns was guilty of two late blunders as Toulouse continued English clubs' painful start to the Heineken Champions Cup by claiming a 22-20 victory over Bath.

Less than 24 hours after European title holders Leinster crushed Wasps under a half-century of points in Dublin, Toulouse clinched a crucial Pool One win at the Recreation Ground.

And they were helped by Bath full-back Burns, who missed an easy 74th minute penalty chance and then blew a try barely 60 seconds later after crossing the Toulouse line before losing control of the ball under pressure from Toulouse defender Maxime Medard.

PA & Digital Desk

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