North too hot for Ospreys, Glasgow hold on

George North touches down
George North touched down four times for Northampton during their win over the Ospreys
©Press Association
 
Finn Russell delivered a faultless kicking display as Glasgow beat Montpellier
Finn Russell delivered a faultless kicking display as Glasgow beat Montpellier
©Press Association
 

George North scored four tries as Northampton beat the Ospreys in Pool Five while Glasgow held on to beat Montpellier in Pool Four of the European Champions Cup.

North bagged all four tries as Northampton Saints brought an end to the Ospreys' hitherto unbeaten start to the season with a 34-6 win at Franklins Gardens.

The home side atoned for their defeat to Racing Metro in the opening round with a dominant performance and were well worth their bonus point.

Despite having two tries disallowed in the first half, a brace from North put them 20-3 ahead at the break and the Welsh international scored twice more in the second half.

Ospreys were forced into a late reshuffle after Andrew Bishop pulled out with illness and Northampton were totally dominant even though Dan Biggar's ninth-minute penalty levelled the scores after Steven Myler had given Northampton the lead.

North then crossed after 16 and 30 minutes, set up by Myler and George Pisi, while both Christian Day and Dylan Hartley were denied following forward passes in the build-up.

Ospreys could not gain a foothold in the game and were given no opportunity to capitalise on those reprieves, with Biggar also missing three kicks at goal.

He did land one to double his side's score after the break but even though Northampton were not as sharp as they had been in the second period, and losing Luther Burrell to a hand injury, they still had too much for the Welsh side who currently top the Pro12 standings.

North got the ball down through a pile of bodies to seal his hat-trick the the coup de grace came with four minutes to go when he ripped the ball out of a tackle, charged down the left wing and beat three Ospreys defenders to his kick through to cap a virtuoso performance.

Myler converted to lift Northampton to the top of the group with Metro and Benetton Treviso meeting tomorrow.

Glasgow followed up their fine opening-day win against Bath with an arguably more impressive 15-13 win over Montpellier at the Altrad Stadium to top Pool 4.

A pulsating first half produced no tries but Glasgow held superiority at the break, going in 9-6 courtesy of three Finn Russell penalties while Benoit Paillaugue converted twice.

Montpellier's Robert Ebersohn was sent to the sin-bin shortly before the hour-mark which allowed Russell to extend Glasgow's lead to 12-6, and after Stuart Hogg missed a kick at goal, Russell increased his tally to put Glasgow 15-6 up.

As Montpellier tried to get back into the game, Enzo Selponi missed a drop goal and Teddy Iribaren missed a penalty.

Long after 80 minutes had passed, sustained pressure on Glasgow's line saw the home side awarded a penalty try which salvaged a bonus point but despite Iribaren's conversion, Glasgow had done enough.

They now lead the pool with nine points from Toulouse (eight), Montpellier (two) and Bath (one).

 

European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table