Toulouse beaten by Saracens on emotional day, Saints edge out Scarlets


Premiership champions Saracens made an impressive start to their European Rugby Champions Cup campaign, beating Toulouse 32-7 on an emotional day at Allianz Park.

All European games due to be played on French soil this weekend were postponed following Friday's terror attacks in Paris, but Toulouse - together with Challenge Cup competitors La Rochelle and Agen - fulfilled their scheduled fixtures in England.

Following a minute's silence in respect of those tragically killed in France's capital, Saracens opened up a 27-0 first-half lead with the aid of tries from Billy Vunipola and Chris Wyles.

When Wyles went over again early in the second half, a bonus point seemed well within the reach of the hosts, who also benefited from 17 points via the boot of Owen Farrell.

Toulouse rallied impressively, however, and got on the board themselves through Christopher Tolofua before holding Saracens at bay for the remainder of the match.

Munster secured the same margin of victory as Saracens on Saturday, beating Benetton Treviso 32-7 at Thomond Park.

Simon Zebo's late try was Munster's fourth of the match and ensured they did claim a bonus point.

In Saturday's remaining fixture, Northampton Saints overcame two yellow cards to beat Scarlets 15-11 in a tense encounter at Franklin's Gardens.

The Saints thought they had moved 12-3 ahead in the first half when Luther Burrell finished off a sweeping move that began deep in his side's own territory.

However, George North appeared to stamp on Michael Tagicakibau in the build-up and, following a consultation with the television match official, referee Romain Poite disallowed the score and sent former Scarlets wing North to the sin bin.

A game of fine margins eventually went the way of Northampton, despite Jamie Gibson also spending 10 minutes off the field in the second half.

Ken Pisi and Alex Waller crossed for Northampton, while Scarlets were left to rue the fact that second-half kicks from Steven Shingler and Aled Thomas struck the post.