sport

Leinster crush Saints, Quins win

Leinster cruised to a 40-7 win at Northampton in the Heineken Cup on Saturday, while there were also wins for Harlequins and Saracens.

Brian O'Driscoll orchestrated a masterful victory for Leinster at Franklin's Gardens that has done significant harm to Northampton's hopes of progressing from Pool One.

The vision of man of the match O'Driscoll created the opening two touchdowns for Luke Fitzgerald in a humiliating evening for Saints that saw them concede the bonus point as early as the 37th minute.

Jamie Heaslip and Eoin Reddan also crossed in the first half as Leinster issued a statement of intent in their quest to claim a fourth Heineken Cup crown.

They led 26-0 at half-time in the first meeting between the teams since the 2011 final and the rout continued after the interval with O'Driscoll, playing his first Heineken Cup match of the season, and Fitzgerald adding further tries.

Fly-half Ian Madigan slotted five conversions against the Aviva Premiership's second placed team.

Lee Dickson scored Northampton's only try.

Nick Evans scored 17 points as Harlequins produced one of their finest performances in Europe to win 32-8 and give themselves a lifeline in the tournament.

The fly-half scored the first of his team's four tries as Quins stunned Racing Metro in Nantes to claim their first win of the campaign.

Nick Easter, Charlie Walker and Karl Dickson then all followed to secure a bonus-point victory at Stade de la Beaujoire that lifts them to second in Pool Four.

Bernard Le Roux scored the home side's only try.

Clermont Auvergne extended their remarkable unbeaten home record to 68 matches after overcoming a spirited Scarlets side 32-11 in Pool Four at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

Jamie Cudmore, Napolini Vonowale-Nalaga (2) and Clement Ric scored the tries for the hosts, while Rhodri Williams went over for the away side.

Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who had already missed 11 points, landed a 30-metre drop goal five minutes from time as holders Toulon moved to the top of Pool Two with a 14-9 win over Exeter.

However, the game was costly for the French side, who lost Bakkies Botha (cut head), fellow Springbok Bryan Habana (hamstring) and Craig Burden (arm) to injury in the first half.

Florian Fresia scored the only try of the match for Toulon with all Exeter's points coming from penalties.

Saracens claimed top spot in Pool Three with a 39-10 bonus-point victory over Zebre.

George Kruis, Ernst Joubert and Chris Wyles all crossed before Chris Ashton scored twice in the space of eight minutes to wrap up the victory.

Samu Vunisa claimed a late consolation score for Zebre but it was never enough to trouble the visitors who recovered from their defeat to Toulouse at Wembley Stadium to get their campaign back on track.

Ulster further tightened their grip at the top of Pool Five with this 48-0 thumping of bottom side Treviso in the first of their back-to-back clashes which saw the home side also registering their first try bonus of the campaign.

First-half tries from Paddy Jackson, Luke Marshall, John Afoa gave unbeaten Ulster a commanding 22-0 lead which was added to by further scores from Dan Tuohy, Sean Doyle, Andrew Trimble and then a second from Marshall - who had been sin-binned early in the second half.

Jackson also ended the evening with 13 points to his name from a try, five conversions and a penalty while Darren Cave also had an outstanding game and was the provider for two of the scores.