THE THREE IRISH provinces in action today combined for a grand total of three tries. Elsewhere in the Heineken Cup, there was a shed-load.
Mark McCall’s Saracens delivered an almighty beating to Edinburgh, last year’s semi-finalists, at Murrayfield.
Charlie Hodgson landed 25 points in a comprehensive 45-0 win and scored one of his side’s five tries.
The scoreline read 16-0 at the break and Edinburgh boss Michael Bradley would have held some ambitions about mounting a comeback.
Two tries in six minutes midway through the second half put paid to such wishful thinking.
Saracens certainly knew how to celebrate as they headed back home following a stunning day at the office:
Sarries: They’re Lovin’ it.
Poking the Clermont-sized bear
Munster, Connacht and Leinster took to the stage next, delivering two wins out of three. Rob Penney’s Munster, courtesy of a solo effort in craziness by Conor Murray, were the province to lose out.
Clermont fell behind at their Stade Marcel de Michelin home ground when Llanelli Scarlets Jonathan Davies dived over for a third minute try. The welsh side led 13-6 after 30 minutes but it got ugly from there.
Sitiveni Sivivatu kicked off the rout with a strong run for a try and there were four other tries, contributed by the French back row and backline, as Clermont won 49-16.
Harlequins rounded out the day’s action with a rough-and-tumble 40-13 victory over Biarritz.
The Top 14 side were led 13-10 at one stage and were level at the break before Conor O’Shea’s side cut loose.
Replacement out-half Ben Botica kicked 18 points and ‘Quins secured the bonus point in the last minute when Seb Stegmann crashed over in the left-hand corner.
The positive news for Munster and Leinster is they will face two badly shaken sides, in Edinburgh and Scarlets, next weekend.
Connacht, who won 19-10 against Zebre, will take on Harlequins in Galway.
Brian O’Driscoll: You have to feel those disappointments to appreciate it fully when it comes around