Tries from Tom James and substitute Leigh Halfpenny ensured Cardiff Blues took the honours in their opening match of the Heineken Cupas they defeated Harlequins 20-6. The Blues, who lost three players to injury before half-time, were good value for their Pool Five victory.
Wingers James and Halfpenny scored second half tries that briefly illuminated a dire contest, while the Blues full-back Ben Blair booted two conversions and two penalties for a haul of 10 points. Fly-half Nick Evans, kicked two penalties from four attempts for the English side. In other Heineken Cup action last night, Stade Francais made an impressive start to their campaign as they ruthlessly swept aside Edinburgh 31-7 in their Pool Four clash.
The French side did their heaviest damage a in the first 30 minutes with four converted tries from Julien Arias, Sergio Parisse, Tom Palmer and Lionel Beauxis. Ben Cairns scored a late consolation try for Edinburgh, but it was too little too late for the Scottish side The boot of Marius Goosen proved to be enough for Treviso to edge past Perpignan 9-8 in their Pool One encounter. Goosen kicked three penalties for the Italian side and that proved enough despite a late unconverted try from Perpignan's full-back Jerome Porscal.
Two tries in the opening 17 minutes set Clermont Auvergne up for a convincing 36-18 win over Viadana in Pool Three. Seremaia Baikeinuku went over in the first minute for the French side, and the fly-half Brent Russell scored another 16 minutes later. Vincent Debaty and Thibaut Privat scored tries after half-time and Russell went over for a second try. Pierre Hola and Garry Law both kicked a hat-trick of penaltes for Valdana.
A Tom Williams try and a last-minute score from replacement Rhys Thomas helped Llanelli Scarlets defeat Brive 24-12 in their Pool Six match. Stephen Jones weighed in with three penalties and a conversion for the Welsh side, as Brive's points came from three penalties from Andy Goode and one from Lionel Orquera. In Group Two, the Glasgow Warriors' only scorer in a 22-18 loss to visiting Biarritz was Dan Parks with five penalties and a drop goal.
* With agencies