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Bowe bags brace as Ospreys set the pace

Pool One: Doug Howlett's last-gasp try secured an excellent bonus point win for Tony McGahan's under-fire Munster side against Perpignan yesterday.

The province delivered the perfect riposte to their critics with a brilliant second half performance — while big-money signing Jean de Villiers also crashed over after featuring as a replacement in the 37-14 win.

A late Treviso rally fell just short as Northampton held on for a narrow 21-18 victory in Italy.

Next Fixtures: Jan 15/16/17 Treviso v Munster; Northampton v Perpignan.

pool two: Dimitri Yachivili's impressive 23-point haul all but booked Biarritz's quarter-final place as the French side battled their way to a hard-fought win against the Newport-Gwent Dragons.

Wing Richard Fussell got the Dragons only try as Yachvili's brace of touch downs helped Biarritz across the line.

Gloucester overturned last week's hammering in Glasgow with a 19-6 win over the Scottish side to keep their slim hopes of making the knockout stages alive.

However, they must beat pool leaders Biarittz in France in the next game to have any chance of qualifying.

Next Fixtures: Jan 15/16/17 Glasgow v Dragons; Gloucester v Biarittz.

POOL THREE: A record crowd of 21,286 for a European match at Welford Road saw Leicester emerge 20-15 winners from another hard fought encounter with Clermont — which sees the English side move level on points with the French outfit in second place in the Pool. In the process, the Tigers avenged last weekend's 40-30 defeat at the hands of the same opposition.

After being cleared to play despite a citing for a dangerous tackle, Ireland wing Tommy Bowe touched down twice as the Ospreys romped past the hapless Italians Viadana with a six try haul. Full-back Garry Law got 14 of the Italians' points from the boot as the Welsh region ran out 45-19 winners. Gareth Owen, Sonny Parker, Nikki Walker and Filo Tialata also touched down for the Ospreys who remain in top spot in the Pool.

Next Fixtures: Jan 15/16/17 Leicester v Viadana; Clermont v Ospreys.

POOL FOUR: Stade Francais ran out 29-16 winners over Ulster and extended their lead in the Pool to four points, which means they now sit in the box seat for quarter-final qualification.

Ulster missed the chance to wrestle control of the group from the French side as the teams were level on points going into this encounter.

Andrew Trimble's late effort wasn't enough for Brian McLaughlin's side, who will need to make up the ground lost in the remaining two games.

Elsewhere, Chris Paterson won the battle of the boot as he landed three penalties to Nicky Little's two as Edinburgh moved to joint second place in the Pool with Ulster after a forgettable affair with Bath.

Next Fixtures: Jan 15/16/17 Ulster v Edinburgh; Stade Francais v Bath.

POOL FIVE: Frederic Michalak, operating in his less favoured position of scrum-half, was the man-of-the-match for Toulouse with an 18-point tally, as the three-time champions swept aside Cardiff 23-7 in the south of France.

A try from Thierry Dusautoir rounded off the scoring for Guy Noves' side.

Gareth Thomas, on the same day he revealed he was gay, came off the bench to face his former club but couldn't prevent the Welsh region losing out.

Sale's 21-17 win over Harlequins means they trail Pool leaders Toulouse by a point, who the Sharks face in the final round. The match only went ahead after the club issued a call for volunteers to help clear snow from the pitch.

Next Fixtures: Jan 15/16/17 Cardiff v Sale; Toulouse v Harlequins

pool six: Former Connacht lock Damien Browne couldn't prevent former champions Brive from suffering their fourth successive loss in the competition as London Irish and Leinster stay neck-and-neck at the top of the Pool after the weekend's action. Delon Armitage's 80th minute try secured a bonus point win for the Exiles.

For the second time in a week, Leinster blitzed Scarlets with a stunning first half display.

The province ran in seven tries over the course of the 80 minutes. Rhys Priestland got the visitors' only try at the RDS.

Both Leinster and London Irish will be expected to win their respective Round five matches against Brive and Llanelli, meaning that the final round meeting between the two sides in London will be a winner take all Pool decider.

Next Fixtures: Jan 15/16/17 Leinster v Brive; Llanelli Scarlets v London Irish.

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