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Parks Top Of Cup’s Scoring Charts

Parks Top Of Cup’s Scoring Charts

Dan Parks is two points short of reaching the half-century mark in the Heineken Cup for the fifth time in eight seasons after his 17-point haul in Connacht’s famous victory over Biarritz Olympique in Galway last weekend.

Dan Parks is now the leading scorer in this season’s Heineken Cup after his heroics in guiding Connacht to their first win in the tournament against French opposition.

Since arriving at the Sportsground in the summer, the former Scotland international has had quite an influence on the province’s backs division.

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In his first appearance for Connacht at the end of September, he helped them to a brilliant 34-6 triumph over Leinster and he had a hand in subsequent wins over Zebre and Benetton Treviso.

Last Friday night against Biarritz, with the home back-line missing captain Gavin Duffy and fellow injury victims Eoin Griffin, Frank Murphy and Kyle Tonetti, Parks led a collection of young backs that included teenage full-back Robbie Henshaw and a smattering of 20-somethings.

Tiernan O’Halloran (21), Danie Poolman (23), David McSharry (22) and scrum half Kieran Marmion (20) all started alongside Parks in Connacht’s historic success against the French giants.

The 34-year-old out-half converted Fetu’u Vainikolo’s try and kicked three penalties and two drop goals to help Eric Elwood’s men claim the scalp of Biarritz.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Parks said: “Macca (Mike McCarthy) led the forwards and the lineout, and i try and take control of the backs. We have got a lot of young backs and these guys have been fantastic all year.

“It’s a really exciting time for Connacht Rugby and that’s obviously why I came down here for that opportunity. There’s some really good players and on a night like tonight, it makes it all worthwhile.

“I think the game last week really made a big difference. We had edinburgh here (in the league) and although we lost by a point, we showed a lot of good things and there were a lot of young guys who came through and did really well.

“That was especially the case in the forwards – we’ve had stability in the back-line but the forwards really stepped up. It’s just that week of experience, being around the squad and starting.

“Those guys are really pushing for starting slots when some of these injured guys come back in.”

Looking forward to the return fixture next weekend in Biarritz, he insisted: “We’ve got to back it up next week. It will be a Herculean task. i’ve been out there twice before when I’ve been with Glasgow. It’s a lovely place to play but it’s a difficult place to play.

“Their fans get really loud, very boisterous, so we’re going to have to be on our game. We can’t rest on what’s been a great night (in Galway). We’ve got to kick forward.”

Parks has moved to the top of the Heineken Cup scoring charts with 48 points, three ahead of Harlequins’ Ben Botica and seven more than Clermont Auvergne’s goal-kicking scrum half Morgan Parra.

Five players are currently tied for top place with three tries in the race to find the Heneken Cup’s best try scorer this term – George Pisi of Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers’ Manu Tuilagi, Danny Care of Harlequins, Cardiff Blues’ Alex Cuthbert and Clermont Auvergne’s Napolioni Nalaga.

The leading Irish try scorers so far in the tournament are all on two – Munster flanker Sean Dougall and Ulster duo Paul Marshall and Andrew Trimble.


48 – Dan Parks (Connacht)

45 – Ben Botica (Harlequins)

41 – Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne)

40 – Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)

39 – Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)

38 – Luke McAlister (Toulouse)

37 – Dan Biggar (Ospreys)

36 – Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)

35 – Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs)


3 – George Pisi (Northampton Saints), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Danny Care (Harlequins), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Napolioni Nalaga (Clermont Auvergne)

2 – Julian Salvi (Leicester Tigers), Hanno Dirksen (Ospreys), Sean Dougall (Munster), Juan Imhoff (Racing Metro 92), Arnaud Heguy (Biarritz Olympique), Paul Marshall (Ulster), Yann Lesgourgues Biarritz Olympique), Sam Smith (Harlequins), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), Mamuka Gorgodze (Montpellier), Wesley Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), Delon Armitage (Toulon), Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont Auvergne), Timoci Nagusa (Montpellier), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse)