FORMER MUNSTER SCRUMHALVES Peter Stringer and Tomás O’Leary went head-to-head at The Rec yesterday and the elder statesman outshone his fellow Irishman.
Stringer was in excellent form for Bath in their 33 — 18 win over London Irish as he kept the home side, and their dominated pack, constantly moving forward. He was involved three times in the space of 60 seconds as Jonathan Joseph dived over on the right flank.
On 17 minutes, Stringer put in a smart grubber kick and quick thinking from his half-back partner George Ford led to a Guy Mercer try. Ford then scored the try of the game as he ran in a fine score from 60 yards.
Ian Humphreys was ruled out of the Exiles line-up just before the match but the visitors still featured four Irish players. Former Leinster prop Jamie Hagan came off the bench for London Irish but was promptly yellow-carded. O’Leary struggled to have a say as the Exiles pack were shunted about The Rec for over an hour before Bath eased off the throttle.
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Over in France, Jonny Sexton scored 15 points for Racing Metro [all penalties] but Top 14 champions Castres won out 19 — 15.
Former Castres coaches Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit were denied a winning return to Stade Pierre-Antoine Stadium but did not leave empty-handed. A losing bonus point sees them retain their league placing of sixth.