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Champions Cup: Northampton open with win in Glasgow as Tommy Freeman scores two tries

Tommy Freeman scores two of Northampton's three tries in 28-19 away win over Glasgow: elsewhere, Connacht make a miserable start to their Champions Cup campaign as they're beaten 41-5 by Bordeaux-Begles in Galway

Tommy Freeman holds off Stafford McDowell on his way to one of his two tries for Northampton in their win over Glasgow
Image: Tommy Freeman holds off Stafford McDowell on his way to one of his two tries for Northampton in their win over Glasgow

Tommy Freeman scored two tries as Northampton opened their Champions Cup campaign with a three-try 28-19 victory away to Glasgow.

The Scots had only been beaten once at home in the previous two years but were distinctly second best here as their Premiership visitors recovered from falling behind early on to land a deserved win.

Glasgow also ended up with three tries of their own, making Saints' superior kicking the difference between the teams.

There was a late change among the home replacements with Nathan McBeth taking the place of new dad Oli Kebble, while Matt Fagerson made his 100th appearance for the club in the back row.

England scrum-half Alex Mitchell returned to the Northampton side alongside winger George Hendy, while Fin Smith - who is eligible to play for either Scotland or England - started at fly-half for the visitors.

The hosts went ahead after five minutes. It was a moment to forget for Mitchell whose intended pass for Hendy was picked off by Sebastian Cancelliere. The Argentina winger ran from inside his own half before dotting down for the try. Tom Jordan failed to add the extras.

Northampton quickly recovered, however, and by half-time had built up a commanding advantage after running in three tries of their own and adding a Smith penalty.

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The first try was scored by Courtney Lawes, the England veteran taking a pass from Smith and shrugging off Sean Kennedy's attempted tackle to score.

The visitors maintained the pressure and it was not long before they were over the line again. This time Freeman was the scorer, rounding off a period of exerted Northampton pressure to score after accepting a pass from Smith.

Warriors were then temporarily reduced to 14 men when Scott Cummings was adjudged to have not jumped straight in the line-out before landing on Alex Waller, who went off for a head injury assessment and never returned.

Northampton made the most of the man advantage, George Furbank setting up Freeman who burst around the post for his second score of the game.

Glasgow switched scrum-halves at half-time - Ben Afshar on for Kennedy - and then changed three of the pack not long after to try to regain a foothold in the contest.

It failed to change matters, however, as Smith kicked another brace of penalties to stretch Saints' advantage and take the game away from their hosts.

Warriors finally gave their supporters something to cheer when Ollie Smith ran on to his own chip kick to score before the home side were then awarded a penalty try. But Saints held firm to record a vital win.

Connacht thumped at home by Bordeaux-Begles

Connacht made a miserable start to their Champions Cup campaign as they were beaten 41-5 by Bordeaux-Begles in Galway.

The French club claimed a bonus-point triumph, with France World Cup star Damian Penaud playing a key role as Connacht suffered their heaviest home defeat in top-flight European competition.

Penaud finished off a flowing move for his team's second try, while full-back Romain Buros and Penaud's fellow wing Pablo Uberti each touched down twice.

Bordeaux were also awarded a penalty try, with Maxime Lucu kicking a penalty and two conversions and Paul Abadie adding a late conversion.

Connacht were never in the hunt, despite an early try from flanker Shamus Hurley-Langton.

Their cause was not helped by the loss of Ireland back Mack Hansen after he suffered a first-half injury and they face a tough task to regroup for next Saturday's away clash against three-time European champions Saracens.

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