European Professional Club Rugby | Cooney stars in Ulster victory

We’ve taken a look at Saturday’s best domestic action involving Heineken Champions Cup clubs, with Ulster Rugby showing their credentials with a high-scoring win at Scarlets.

Seven attempts at Ulster bring down Scarlets

John Cooney stole the show from Ulster’s Heineken Champions Cup Pool B hopefuls by scoring 30 points in a 55-39 away win at Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship.

The scrum half scored twice for the 1998/99 European champions in a destructive attacking performance for the Irish region, recording seven conversions and two penalties.

Alan O’Connor, Marty Moore, Marcus Rea, Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole also crossed the whitewash for Ulster, who travel to Sale Sharks in the opening round of EPCR action over the weekend of December 9-11.

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Graham hat-trick not enough for Edinburgh

Pool A Bulls and Edinburgh Rugby faced off at Loftus Versfeld, the hosts prevailing 33-31 thanks to a late Morne Steyn penalty.

The Bulls, who welcome Lyon in the opening round of EPCR games in Pretoria, scored a quartet of tries – Johan Grobbelaar, Elrigh Louw, Cornal Hendricks and Stravino Jacobs scored.

Edinburgh, who meet Saracens in their Heineken Champions Cup season opener, failed to capitalize on a Darcy Graham hat-trick. Charlie Savala and Damian Hoyland were also among the Scots’ goalscorers.

Sensational steward takes off for Leicester

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Freddie Steward was the talisman for Leicester Tigers when he scored three tries in the Gallagher Premiership’s 41-21 win over Northampton Saints at the Cinch Stadium in Franklin’s Gardens – the hosts conceded 24 points without a reply in the last 11 minutes.

Steward scored three of Leicester’s six tries in the afternoon, Chris Ashton, Guy Porter and George Martin on the goalscoring list for the Pool B hopefuls who travel to the Ospreys in round one.

Northampton, who have the daunting task of traveling to Heineken Champions Cup winners Stade Rochelais in the opening weekend, responded with tries from Alex Mitchell, Tommy Freeman and Alex Coles.

Saracens spawn Heroics in the late game

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Tom Woolstencroft sent in two crosses in the last five minutes as the Saracens secured a late 41-39 win over Gloucester Rugby at StoneX Stadium.

Saracens scored five tries in the afternoon, with Max Malins, Ben Earl and Josh Hallett the additions to Woolstencroft’s brace. Owen Farrell added 14 points from the tee.

Toulouse rages Racing 92

Stade Toulousain edged out Racing 92 in the TOP 14 in an inter-pool matchup, with the Pool B team leading 37-10.

The five-time European champions, who travel to Ireland to face Munster Rugby in round one, scored four tries in the competition; Emmanuel Meafou, Matthis Lebel, Ange Capuozzo and Sofiane Guitoune all contributed to the win.

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