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Over in Belfast, Ulster hosted Castres in a highly-anticipated Pool 4 matchup. The match ended up being all Ulster as they jumped out early with two penalty goals and two converted tries (Andrew Trimble and Paul Marshall) in 15 minutes to take a stranglehold on the match. Castres did managed to score two tries but it wasn't enough. Patrick Jackson had three conversions and five penalties for Ulster. Castres 17-41 Ulster. Also in Pool 4, Northampton beat Glasgow 24-15. Glasgow looked the better side early through tries from new signing Josh Strauss and Sean Lamont. However, the tide quickly turned in Northampton's favor as Ken Pisi ran in two tries. Stephen Myler and Vasily Artemyev added a try a piece for the Saints.
In Pool 3, the Harlequins had no trouble with Biarritz at the Stoop winning 40-13. Danny Care, Rob Buchanan, Jordan Turner-Hall, and Seb Stegmann each scored for the Quins while Arnaud Heguy grabbed Biarritz's lone try. It was a very impressive performance for the Saints who are looking to follow-up on their domestic success with a European triumph. The other match in the pool saw an unexpectedly tight match between Zebre and Connacht. The teams traded penalties early before John Muldoon scored for Connacht. Zebre did make a game of it with Filippo Ferrarini scoring in the 72nd minute. It wasn't enough though as Connacht won 19-10.
The Saracens took out revenge on Edinburgh for not agreeing to having their later fixture in South Africa by pasting them 45-0 at Murrayfield. The Saracens scored early and often via Sam Tomkins and Charlie Hodgon. Alex Good, Chris Ashton, and Owen Farrell all had tries for the Sarries. The other match in Pool 1 saw Racing Metro pull out a close 22-17 win over Munster at the Stade de France. Olly Barkley and Mirco Bergamasco were the hero's for the Parisians with their penalty goals in the 76 and 78th minutes.
Despite their horrible form in the Premiership, Sale managed to pull out a big 34-33 win over Cardiff. It didn't look good early for the Sharks as they were down 12-24 at the half thanks to a hat trick by Alex Cuthbert. But in the second half it was all Sale as Danny Cipriani, Mark Jennings, and Tony Buckley each scored a try. Leigh Halfpenny led Cardiff with three conversions and four penalties, including one in the 78th minute to give Cardiff a chance. In other Pool 6 action, Toulon dispatched Montpellier with relative ease 37-16. Delon Armitage scored two tries.
Lastly, in Pool 5 Leinster topped Exeter 9-6 in a relatively drab affair. Elsewhere, Clermont ran up 46 to the Scarlets 16. Five different players scored for Clermont along with a penalty try. The Scarlets were hurt by a red card to Morgan Stoddart in the 37th minute.
After one round, two English, two French, one Welsh, and one Irish teams lead their pools. Check here for the full standings.
Amlin Challenge Cup