ESPN's European rugby review: Player of the weekend, flop & more

It was another enthralling weekend of European club action as Saracens returned to the top of the Aviva Premiership, Leinster beat Munster at a packed Aviva Stadium and Racing and Toulon both lost in France.

But who caught the eye, who had a game to forget, and what will we all be talking about ahead of the next round of fixtures?

Player of the weekend

Prem (Martyn Thomas): Jamie George (Saracens). Saracens boss Mark McCall praised his hooker's attacking display against Wasps, and George was at the heart of everything good that his side did Sunday. In the 12th minute he found himself with the freedom of Allianz Park to score and after the break he benefited from a couple of clinical lineout drives to complete his hat trick. It was rich reward for a perfect afternoon at the set piece. Next up is a meeting with Northampton, and England rival Dylan Hartley.

PRO14 (Cillian O Conchuir): Samson Lee (Scarlets). Take a bow Scarlets prop Lee, who scored his first try in 101 appearances for the region, which proved crucial in their win over Ospreys. Lee won the last of his 34 international caps in March, and with Toulon and Bath to come in the Champions Cup, a few more performances like this could prove invaluable if he wants to add a 35th.

Top 14 (James Harrington): Arthur Coville (Stade Francais). For the second match in a row, Stade Francais' 19-year-old scrum-half played with a calmness and wisdom beyond his years. After driving the Parisians to victory at Pau last weekend, he was entrusted again with the responsibility behind the scrum against Montpellier. He delivered -- and how. Coville was the architect of Stade's first two tries, and then, with a composed tactical performance, he nursed his side home.

Flop of the weekend

Prem: Worcester. The Premiership table does not look any better this morning for Warriors fans, and with every passing week it looks increasingly likely that relegation will be decided between them and London Irish. Worcester have picked up just a solitary point all season, and they left the Recreation Ground empty handed Saturday despite enjoying parity in territory and possession, and playing against 14 men for the final 17 minutes.

PRO14: Things continue to go from bad to worse for the Southern Kings and their abysmal 31-3 defeat against Treviso eclipsed anything that had gone before. It was their worst performance since joining the league and there is little expectation that they can get better. When November comes, the absence of internationals for other teams could make them competitive. Until then, there is little hope for the South Africans.

Top 14: Xavier Chauveau. It is harsh to point a finger at one player, such was the abjectness of Racing's performance at La Rochelle, but the 24-year-old scrum-half struggled badly. Chauveau has only made a handful of appearances for Racing since his debut in 2013 -- and his lack of confidence was evident. He was replaced by Teddy Iribaren after 56 minutes, when -- too late -- the ciel et bleu suddenly became much more of a threat.

Best coaching call

Prem: Exeter boss Rob Baxter rested Nic White last weekend. It was a move that did not initially bear fruit as the Chiefs were beaten at Leicester, but the time off clearly did the Australian scrum-half good as he returned to inspire Exeter's win over Newcastle Saturday. White scored the Chiefs' opening try as he sniped over from close range, and then set up the second for Lachie Turner with a slaloming run through the Falcons defence.

PRO14: It might only be a little over a month since Dave Rennie took charge in Glasgow, but his influence has undoubtedly started to shine through. Stuart Hogg revealed how Rennie has introduced a family atmosphere around the club and on the field the Warriors seem invincible. On Friday they were made to dig deep but fought back to seal victory over the Cheetahs, with replacements Henry Pyrgos and Rob Harley scoring tries in the final 10 minutes.

Top 14: It was the decision of the weekend for all the wrong reasons. Dan Carter had been widely expected to start for Racing at La Rochelle, but was unable to shake a niggling injury. With Remi Tales also on the physio's couch and Pat Lambie deemed, late on, not to be quite ready for action, Maxime Machenaud moved from nine to 10. A scrum-half at fly-half often causes all kinds of trouble for defences -- but only if they get good service -- which Machenaud did not.

Biggest refereeing call

Prem: Luke Pearce (Bath vs. Worcester). The 29-year-old official has shown an ability to keep a level head while dealing with pressure situations over recent weeks, and that was again on display at the Rec. Initially deeming Freddie Burns' tip tackle on Josh Adams worthy of a yellow card, Pearce decided to consult his TMO Graham Hughes, took his time, and having reviewed all the angles upgraded that to a red. Burns was reckless rather than malicious, but it was the correct decision.

PRO14: George Clancy (Cheetahs vs. Glasgow). The problem is, there wasn't just one. The Cheetahs were penalised a number of times in the opening 10 minutes; cards should have followed and Glasgow should have been comfortable winners. The responsibility didn't rest with Clancy alone but the Cheetahs' lineouts were blatantly crooked, they were offside when Glasgow attacked, players didn't roll away but a lack of consistency at the scrum meant that, incredibly, not a single yellow card was shown to the home side.

Top 14: Pierre Brousset (Bordeaux vs. Toulon). Toulon prop Laurent Delboulbes pulled down a monstrous Bordeaux maul a metre or so from his side's try line after it had bulldozed its way some 30 metres. The yellow card and penalty try that followed were inevitable. But this was the maul -- and the card and the try -- that changed the game. In the 10 minutes Delboulbes spent on the naughty step, Bordeaux touched down twice more.

Storyline to keep an eye on...

Prem: Fixture congestion. Wasps were missing 15 first-team players due to injury for their trip to Saracens, so it was not a huge surprise that they started slowly in north London. But having got through a 38-19 defeat relatively unscathed Dai Young's men face a five-day turnaround before their Champions Cup opener in Ulster. "When your luck's down, everyone keeps running over to kick you in the nuts," Young said Sunday.

PRO14: Can the Southern Kings win? It took Aironi 18 games to register their first victory back in 2010-11. At present the Kings look devoid of any belief that they can score never mind grab a win. Only Ospreys have failed to reach double digits in tries scored this season, with the Kings on seven, one behind the Welsh region after six games. Four victories in their final season -- including against Munster and Edinburgh -- failed to save Aironi. The Kings will hope to avoid the same fate.

Top 14: Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb's move to Toulon was confirmed last week, meaning he will wear a different shade of red next season. Now, two more players' resumes are reportedly being circulated among Top 14 clubs: those of England wingers Christian Wade and Marland Yarde. Word is, their interest in a French future depends on their chances of a call-up to Eddie Jones's squad in the run-up to the Rugby World Cup.