Heineken Cup 2013: Key Weekend Fixtures and Recap of Friday Results

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Heineken Cup 2013: Key Weekend Fixtures and Recap of Friday Results
Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Heineken Cup makes its return this weekend, with Friday providing fans with a small taster of what's to come over the next couple of days.

Following the international onslaught of November Test fixtures, club rugby will again stamp its mark on centre stage, the European schedule being next on the agenda.

For the most part, France, Ireland and England can account for a majority of the power in these early group stages, but others may seek to leave their mark this weekend.

Heineken Cup Fixtures: Saturday, Dec. 7 - Sunday, Dec. 8
Fixture Date Stream Info Time
Zebre vs. Saracens Dec. 7 N/A 1:35 p.m. GMT/8:35 a.m. ET
Exeter Chiefs vs. Toulon Dec. 7 SkyGo app 1:35 p.m. GMT/8:35 a.m. ET
Clermont Auvergne vs. Scarlets Dec. 7 N/A 1:35 p.m. GMT/8:35 a.m. ET
Racing Metro vs. Harlequins Dec. 7 SkyGo app 3:40 p.m. GMT/10:40 a.m. ET
Northampton Saints vs. Leinster Dec. 7 SkyGo app 6 p.m. GMT/1 p.m. ET
Ulster vs. Benetton Treviso Dec. 7 N/A 6 p.m. GMT/1 p.m. ET
Munster vs. Perpignan Dec. 8 SkyGo app 12:45 p.m. GMT/7:45 a.m. ET
Edinburgh vs. Gloucester Dec. 8 N/A 1 p.m. GMT/8 a.m. ET
Leicester vs. Montpellier Dec. 8 SkyGo app 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET
Toulouse vs. Connacht Dec. 8 N/A 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET

ERCRugby.com

 

Friday Results Recap

Cardiff Blues 29-20 Glasgow Warriors

Despite running in a late converted try, Glasgow Warriors were forced to leave Cardiff without so much as a losing bonus point in hand on Friday as the Blues went from last to first in Pool 2, even if only temporarily.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Between them, the Welsh pairing of Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Patchell accounted for 24 of the hosts' 29 points, the latter managing to grab his maiden Heineken Cup try. while Alex Cuthbert did what he couldn't against Australia last weekend, crossing over himself in the 72nd minute.

Duncan Weir also contributed a host of points with the boot, notching half of Glasgow's points haul, tries for the visitors coming courtesy of Sean Maitland and Leone Nakarawa.

 

Castres 15-9 Ospreys

Ospreys raked in their first point of the European campaign this weekend, but it won't be enough to save their season just yet, the Welsh outfit losing 15-9 in southern France.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Far from the most entertaining of encounters, all points came from the tee at the Stade Pierre-Antoine, Rory Kockott and Dan Biggar rising to the fore of Castres and Ospreys, respectively, the former with four while the latter slotted three.

The only penalty that didn't come from that pair belonged to Geoffrey Palis, who stepped up to kicking duties in the 76th minute to ensure the French hosts kept their points ticking over until the result was assured.

 

Weekend's Biggest Matchups

Northampton Saints vs. Leinster

David Rogers/Getty Images

One of several top-of-the-table encounters this weekend, Leinster and Northampton, sitting first and second in Pool 1, respectively, clash at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday with either side capable of securing top spot in the group depending on the manner of victory.

In three Heineken Cup meetings with the Irish province, Saints have never triumphed over Leinster and this weekend's clash promises to be an exciting rematch between the European finalists of the 2010/11 campaign.

 

Exeter Chiefs vs. Toulon

David Rogers/Getty Images

A meeting between two sides currently competing to return to the top of their group, Pool 2 will take a major turn this weekend when Toulon and Exeter Chiefs meet at Sandy Park on Saturday.

The pair are currently tied on six points apiece and with Cardiff Blues winning on Friday, a win would be enough to see either team return to first place in Pool 2.

Exeter's line-up boasts far from as many stars as their French counterparts, but Rob Baxter has made the Chiefs' home ground a hard place to travel of late, the reigning Heineken Cup champions facing a difficult challenge ahead.

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