The Ospreys put a first RaboDirect PRO12 defeat of the season behind them with a 28-21 win over Biarritz in their Heineken Cup opener at the Liberty Stadium.
Scott Johnson’s side fell to their first league loss of the campaign last week at Glasgow but a try from Ireland winger Tommy Bowe 18 minutes from time was enough to see off the Basque side who have twice fallen at the final hurdle in the European Cup.
That was the only try for the Ospreys but fly-half Dan Biggar was impressive from the kicking tee knocking over seven penalties and a conversion to cancel out Iain Balshaw’s double.
Elsewhere Munster fly-half Ronan O’Gara kept his nerve to slot a last-gasp drop goal to give the reigning RaboDirect PRO12 champions a 23-21 win over Northampton in a thriller at Thomond Park.
And it was a similar situation in Montpellier where Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton kicked the decisive penalty to hand the European champions a 16-16 draw against last year’s Top 14 finalists.
There was more good news for Irish rugby as Ulster came from behind to beat French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne 16-11 thanks to some good kicking and a try from Ian Humphreys.
Nigel Davies’ Scarlets also got off to a winning start as they battled past Castres 31-23.
Scotland centre Sean Lamont broke the deadlock with the opening try after the break and Ben Morgan and Jonathan Davies made the game safe before Chris Masoe’s late try almost threatened to spark a comeback.
But there was not to be a second win of the season for RaboDirect PRO12 bottom side Aironi as they slumped to a 28-12 win at home to Leicester with just four Luciano Orquera penalties show for their efforts.
Finally Edinburgh produced perhaps the performance of the day as they followed up last week’s RaboDirect PRO12 win in Treviso with a stunning 20-19 win away to London Irish.
Stuart McInally’s try 20 minutes from time was enough for Michael Bradley’s side as they recorded a first away win in Europe for three years.