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ER Challenge Cup Pool Draw 2017 18


Quarter Finals

Gloucester Rugby GLOUCESTER RUGBY 17 - 25 STADE FRANÇAIS Stade Francais

BT Murrayfield Stadium - Friday 12th May 2017
KO: 20:00 HT: 10-10 Att: 24,594

Challenge Cup Final 2017 Stade Francais Paris winners

HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE…

Gloucester v SFP 30m to go! Many at Murrayfield aggrieved by lack of Laidlaw in starting XV
Gloucester v SFP The Cup sits pitch-side as the teams warm up in drizzly Edinburgh
Gloucester v SFP "Nights like this are what players remember when they retire." D Humphreys, Gloucester DoR
Gloucester v SFP Victory for GLO would keep hopes of Champions Cup rugby next season alive
Gloucester SFP SF have reached the final on three occasions, but never won
Gloucester v SFP Murrayfield is fills as the teams head inside before kick off in 2 minutes
Gloucester v SFP The sides emerge to a huge roar from a crowd filled with flags
Challenge Cup Final 2017Gloucester 0-0 SFP 1m Plisson gets things underway with a looping kick to Glos' 22
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 2m A ruck on the halfway and Plisson kicks again, but Marshall gathers
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 3m Heinz's turn to kick now, but May is not under it. SF have possession
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 4m A lively first few minutes, until Plisson kicks to touch
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 5m Burns makes two good kicks, but the 2nd goes too long. SF 22 drop-out
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 6m Plisson attempts a chip and chase which is fumbled by May. SF lineout.
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 7m Glow recover possession, but Heinz kicks back. SF up to 22.
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 7m SF threatening the GLO defence but GLO are awarded a penalty: knock on
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 8m Charlie Sharples was down for a while but is back up and staying on
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 9m GLO scrum 5m out from their own tryline. Collapses once, then Heinz clears
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 10m SF lineout on 10m line, maul forms, SF attack held up by GLO line speed
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 11m May emerges with turnover and GLO gather a kick on 10m line.
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 12m Plisson clears, but Burns catches inside 22.
Gloucester 0-0 SFP 14m SF scrum just inside GLO's half, collapses and SF take quick ball
Gloucester 5-0 SFP 14m TRY! Parisse has a gap, but it is intercepted by May: he's too quick
Challenge Cup Final 2017 Jonny May tryGloucester 7-0 SFP 15m Burns makes no mistake and slots for two more points
Gloucester 7-0 SFP 16m SF take a quick knock on and look to regain composure, but ball is lost
Gloucester 7-0 SFP 17m Thrush was the man to claim the turnover for GLO, but loses it fwd
Gloucester 7-0 SFP 18m Afoa is limping for GLO, but seems ok to stay on
Gloucester 7-0 SFP 19m SF attack dynamic, recycling the ball with speed but GLO defence firm
Gloucester 7-0 SFP 20m scrum on halfway and GLO keep it, but only just
Gloucester 7-0 SFP 21m GLO have broken through the SF line, led by Burns. SF defence leaky.
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 22m McAllister comes on for Afoa and Burns easily scores a penalty
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 23m Another fine box kick for Heinz, which Thrush gathers. GLO swing left
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 24m Another GLO pen, SF hands in ruck. Burns sends it to the corner.
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 25m GLO lineout looks promising but SF get penalty on 5m line and clear ball
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 26m Enormous carry from Nayacalevu and SF are up to 10m line
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 27m Thrush playing superbly, wins the turnover and SF threat neutralised
Gloucester 10-0 SFP 27m Now Genia is down injured, looks to have been winded by the ball
Gloucester 10-3 SFP 27m Genia still with us, Plisson attempts 45m pen and makes it! Huge kick
Gloucester 10-3 SFP 29m Possessions ping pongs after knock on, Marshall accidentally finds touch
Gloucester 10-3 SFP 29m Giant carry from Morgan and Glow gather momentum, but knock on.
Gloucester 10-3 SFP 31m SF scrum on their 10m line. SF penalty after it collapses twice.
Gloucester 10-3 SFP 31m Plisson kicks to touch and SF have lineout outside 22.
Gloucester 10-8 SFP 32m TRY! Genia chips over and of course it's Parisse who's under it
Challenge Cup Final 2017 Sergio Parisse tryGloucester 10-? SFP 32m Or maybe not a try... Ref goes to TMO to check for knock on.
Gloucester 10-8 SFP 32m TMO happy that the ball went backwards, it's a two point game
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 32m It's all equal after Plisson pops over the conversion
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 33m Plisson knocked down by Genia after kick, French crowd displeased.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 33m TMO will check this one out too, it's Heinz not Genia. Big hit.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 33m High challenge according to the ref, yellow for Heinz.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 34m GLO will miss their captain and scrum half for the rest of the half.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 34m Plisson goes for a chip over to Danty, capitalising on Heinz absence
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 35m GLO scrum on their 10m line, Burns acts as scrum half
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 36m Extremely impressive defence from GLO with no scrum half.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 37m GLO miraculously gain scrum on SF's 10m line and launch an attack.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 38m SF line-out cleared, but GLO run straight back at SF line.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 39mSF penalty inside their own half, but ref pauses to chat w/ skippers
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 39m SF line out, maul forms but makes little progress, pulled to touch.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 39m Ref was right to have his chat as fight breaks out involving everyone
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 39m Punches were thrown, some could see consequences for that later
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 39m Officials gather to try and work out what happened, confusion abounds
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 40m Ludlow seems to have taken the brunt of blame but no YC
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 40m SF get a penalty following fight and Plisson kicks to corner
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 41m One last attacking effort from SF, but maul is held up by GLO

Gloucester 10-10 SFP HT T: May C: Burns P: Burns Yellow Card Heinz |T: Parisse C: Plisson P: Plisson

Gloucester v SFP Certainly a lively first half, with both sides worked up.
Gloucester SFP Could Humphreys be regretting the choice of Heinz over Laidlaw?
Gloucester v SFP Either way, Heinz YC is major talking point of first half.
Gloucester v SFP The players take to the field once more, hopefully for explosive 2nd half

Gloucester 10-10 SFP 41m Alo Emile on for Slimani and SF awarded penalty.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 42m SF scrum on 10m line, lifts up and SF have pen.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 43m Heinz YC is over but Laidlaw comes on, Murrayfield erupts.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 44m GLO trying to run it out of their own half but SF have turnover.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 45m May kicks deep from 22 and Plisson repays the favour.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 45m Parisse leads the charge as SF advance, but it's gone fwd again.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 46m GLO lineout on halfway, they safely gather.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 47m GLO are gifted a line out by Plisson but give it away.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 48m Plisson looked to have a gap but SF have fumbled it once more.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 49m Plisson attempts another huge kick 44m out, unsuccessful this time
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 51m SF line out and they advance towards 10m line, making good ground.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 51m Guttural roar from May as GLO secure the turnover.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 52m GLO scrum, collapses again. Not great scrummaging this evening.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 53m SF have found plenty of space on the left, handling lets them down
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 55m Laidlaw sends a kick for Sharples, no luck but GLO have the scrum.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 56m Laidlaw is held up on halfway, GLO struggling to find a way through.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 56m Ball is lose behind tryline but Marshall doesn't get there
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 57m TMO decides Marshall is not held back by Bonneval. GLO fans disagree.
Gloucester 10-10 SFP 58m GLO gaining intensity as they approach 22 but it's intercepted!
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 58m TRY! Camara with the interception and sends left to Danty, who scores
Challenge Cup Final 2017 Sergio ParisseGloucester 10-15 SFP 59m A rare error from Plisson, no extras 2 for SF.
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 60m It's a bit messy from SF, so we'll come back for a GLO penalty.
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 61m Galarza is on for Savage in the GLO pack
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 62m SF have the put in, yet another collapse and it's a penalty.
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 62m The fourth penalty conceded by GLO in scrum, as Twelvetrees comes on. 
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 63m Marshall is lucky not to be pulled into touch 5m from tryline.
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 64m SF line out on 10m line, sent right and Nayacalevu fumbles
Gloucester x-x SFP 65m With less ball handling errors from SF, this could be very different
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 67m SF make it to within 5m once more but it's lost.
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 68m Steyn is on for Plisson, SF have impressive depth at no.10
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 68m Another important clearance from Laidlaw, but SF have penalty
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 69m May took Nayacalevu out in the air and Slimani returns to field
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 69m Steyn's first kick at posts falls short
Gloucester 10-15 SFP 70m SF line out on 22 as Dupuy comes on for Genia
Gloucester 10-20 SFP 72m TRY! Doumayrou finds space from nowhere, beating 6 defenders
Gloucester 10-22 SFP 72m No mistake from Steyn this time, SF lead by 12.
Gloucester 10-22 SFP 73m GLO are not giving up, but lose possession with just 7m left.
Gloucester 10-22 SFP 74m SF scrum inside GLO half, it wheels round but SF have advantage.
Gloucester 10-22 SFP 75m Ref brings SF back for the penalty, their twelfth of the game.
Gloucester 10-25 SFP 75m 45m kick for Steyn, redeems his earlier miss to extend the lead.
Gloucester 10-25 SFP 77m GLO take a quick line out, but Laidlaw throws it back out. SF lineout.
Gloucester 10-25 SFP 77m GLO valiantly attempt a running attack from inside their 22.
Gloucester 10-25 SFP 78m Twelvetrees attempts to kick through, but finds touch.
Gloucester 10-25 SFP 78m GLO line out and they swing it left to May, who can find no space.
Gloucester 15-25 SFP 78m TRY! Moriarty crosses the whitewash, but it is not enough.
Gloucester 17-25 SFP 80m Laidlaw opts for the drop-goal conversion to speed things along, but it’s all over, and Stade Français Paris have the European Rugby win they have longed for but missed out on four times.

Challenge Cup Final 2017 Stade Francais Paris winners

GLOUCESTER: Tom Marshall, Charlie Sharples, Matt Scott, Mark Atkinson, Jonny May, Billy Burns, WILLI HEINZ (C), Josh Hohneck, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Ross Moriarty, Lewis Ludlow, Ben Morgan BENCH: Darren Dawidiuk, Yann Thomas, Paddy McAllister, Mariano Galarza, Freddie Clarke, Greig Laidlaw, Billy Twelvetrees, Henry Trinder

SCORERS T: May, Moriarty C: Burns, Laidlaw P: Burns Yellow Card Heinz

STADE: Hugo Bonneval, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara, Jules Plisson, Will Genia, Heinke Van der Merwe, Remi Bonfils, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues, Antoine Burban, Jonathan Ross, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Laurent Panis, Zurabi Zhvania, Paul Alo Emile, Willem Alberts, Raphael Lakafia, Julien Dupuy, Morné Steyn, Jérémy Sinzelle

SCORERS T: Parisse, Danty, Doumayrou C: Plisson, Steyn P: Plisson, Steyn

Man of the Match: Sergio Parisse (SFP)

Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Andrew Brace, Ben Whitehouse TMO: Simon McDowell Citing Commissioner: John Montgomery

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Quarter Finals

La RochelleLA ROCHELLE 14 - 16 GLOUCESTER RUGBYGloucester Rugby

Stade Marcel Deflandre - Saturday 22 April 2017
KO: 21:00 HT: 6-6 Att: 15,000

LA ROCHELLE: Kini Murimurivalu, Gabriel Lacroix, Paul Jordaan, Pierre Aguillon, Vincent Rattez, Brock James, Ricky Januarie, Vincent Pelo, Jeremie Maurouard, UINI ATONIO (C), Jone Qovu Nailiko, Mathieu Tanguy, Romain Sazy, Botia Veivuke, Kevin Gourdon BENCH: Jordan Seneca, Mike Corbel, Mohamed Boughanmi, Leo Cedaro, Damien Lagrange, Arthur Retiere, Alexi Bales, Savenaca Rawaca

SCORERS  T: Lagrange P: James (3) Yellow Card Qovu

GLOUCESTER: Tom Marshall, Jonny May, Henry Trinder, Mark Atkinson, David Halaifonua, Billy Burns, WILLI HEINZ (C), Josh Hohneck, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Ross Moriarty, Jacob Rowan, Ben Morgan BENCH: Motu Matu'u, Paddy McAllister, Yann Thomas, Mariano Galarza, Lewis Ludlow, Greig Laidlaw, Billy Twelvetrees, Charlie Sharples

SCORERS T: Burns C: Burns P: Burns (3) Yellow Card Savage

Referee: Andrew Brace Asst Referees: George Clancy, David Wilkinson TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon

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Stade Francais STADE FRANÇAIS 28 - 25 BATH RUGBY Bath Rugby

Stade Jean Bouin - Sunday 23 April 2017
KO: 13:30 HT: 11-6 Att: 10,175

PARIS: Hugo Bonneval, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara, Jules Plisson, Will Genia, Zurabi Zhvania, Laurent Panis, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues, Antoine Burban, Sylvain Nicolas, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Craig Burden, Heinke Van der Merwe, Paul Alo Emile, Pascal Papé, Jonathan Ross, Julien Dupuy, Morné Steyn, Julien Arias

SCORERS T: Doumayrou, Plisson, Pyle C: Plisson (2) P: Plisson (2) DG: Plisson

BATH: Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Tapuai, Matt Banahan, George Ford, Kahn Fotuali'i, Nathan Catt, Ross Batty, Kane Palma Newport, Luke Charteris, David Attwood, Tom Ellis, FRANCOIS LOUW (C), Taulupe Faletau BENCH: Nathan Charles, Beno Obano, Shaun Knight, Elliott Stooke, Matt Garvey, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Robbie Fruean

SCORERS T: Rokoduguni, Fruean, Stooke C: Ford (2) P: Ford (2)

Referee: John Lacey Asst Referees: Marius Mitrea, Sean Gallagher TMO: Simon McDowell

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Quarter Finals


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Ospreys


Gloucester Rugby


Edinburgh


Bath Rugby


Brive


La Rochelle


Cardiff Blues


Stade Francais


QF1
OspreysOSPREYS 21 - 25 STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

Principality Stadium - Sunday 02 April 2017
KO: 17:45 HT: 6-8 Att: 12,127

STADE FRANÇAIS survived a red card for Josaia Raisuqe to down the Ospreys 21-25 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a meeting with Bath Rugby in the competition's semi-finals. Raisuqe received a yellow card in either half and was promptly sent off, but it failed to stop the Parisian giants from scoring three tries on their way to victory.

Prop Zurabi Zhvania crossed for their first, and despite being a man light for most of the second half, replacement Raphael Lakafia and wing Julien Arias added further tries in the second half.

Josh Matavesi and Tyler Ardron scored the Ospreys' tries in front of a crowd of 12,127, but Jules Plisson's two conversions and two penalties ensured the majority of them went home disappointed.

At Cardiff's Principality Stadium, the Ospreys, who had qualified for the quarter-finals with a perfect pool stage record of 30 points, started with a bang. Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb and Justin Tipuric were all lively early on, the former's penalty in the 13th minute putting the Welsh region into a 3-0 lead. The fly-half then cantered over to score a try, but it was ruled out by the TMO after Keelan Giles' pass in the build-up was rightly adjudged forward.

It looked like it would be just a matter of time before Steve Tandy's men stamped their mark and they were given another boost when Stade wing Raisuqe was yellow carded for foul play. Strangely, though, their one-man deficit spurred the French raiders into life.

First, Plisson's penalty levelled the scores and then prop Zhvania showed an impressive turn of foot to make his way to the line and dot down in the left corner. Plisson pushed the conversion wide, before he and Biggar then exchanged further misses at goal to leave Stade ahead by just two points at the interval, 6-8.

A second penalty from Plisson extended Stade's advantage at the start of the second period.

But the Ospreys then got the try which had been coming, a lovely floated pass from Webb finding Matavesi who finished expertly in the corner. Biggar missed the conversion, but a strange game soon got even stranger as Stade went down to 14 permanently.

Biggar put the Ospreys on the front foot with another sharp break, Raisuqe receiving a second yellow card and then a red after cynically entering a ruck from the side and taking out Webb. Biggar's resulting penalty made it 14-11, but Stade refused to go away and two more quick tries won them the game.

Lakafia collected Plisson's cross kick to score in the corner, then Hugh Pyle intercepted Sam Davies' horror pass to feed Arias to dive over. Plisson converted both efforts.

Pyle looked like he was offside when intercepting, but the score was given and it left the Ospreys to chase the game. They dominated possession late on and although replacement Ardron crossed late on for a try which Biggar converted, it was too little, too late.

OSPREYS: Sam Davies , Keelan Giles, Ashley Beck, Josh Matavesi, Daniel Evans, Dan Biggar, RHYS WEBB (C), Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Brian Mujati, Lloyd Ashley, Rory Thornton, Sam Underhill, Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker BENCH: Sam Parry, Paul James, Ma'afu Fia , Tyler Ardron, James King, Olly Cracknell, Kieron Fonotia, Thomas Habberfield

SCORERS T: Matavesi, Ardron C: Biggar P: Biggar (3)

PARIS: Hugo Bonneval, Julien Arias, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Josaia Raisuqe, Jules Plisson, Will Genia, Zurabi Zhvania, Laurent Sempéré, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues, Antoine Burban, Sylvain Nicolas, SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: Laurent Panis, Aled De Malmanche , Paul Alo Emile, Pascal Papé, Raphael Lakafia, Julien Dupuy, Morné Steyn, Herman Meyer Bosman

SCORERS T: Zhvania, Lakafia, Arias C: Plisson (2) P: Plisson (2) Yellow Card Raisuqe Red Card Raisuqe

Referee: Matt Carley

 

QF2
Bath RugbyBATH RUGBY 34 - 20 BRIVEBrive

Recreation Ground - Saturday 01 April 2017
KO: 12:45 HT: 20-6 Att: 11,677

BATH RUGBY endured a second-half scare, but progressed to the semi-finals of the European Rugby Challenge Cup with an entertaining 34-20 victory over Brive. A brace of tries from both Taulupe Faletau and Semesa Rokoduguni and a Tom Homer effort were enough to seal the win, with Rhys Priestland kicking a penalty and three conversions.

Faletau's opposite number and Brive No8 Fabien Sanconnie scored two tries of his own after the break to put a different complexion on the scoreline, but Bath held on.

A cagey opening had seen Brive's Gaëtan Germain kick two penalties to one from Priestland, before the Wales international created the game's first try. The fly-half spotted a gap in the French defence, and exploited it to the full, sprinting through and linking with Kahn Fotuali'i who put man of the match Faletau away to score. The impressive try was converted by Priestland, and it opened the game up for Todd Blackadder's men to prosper.

It was fast and loose from the home side in the Bath sunshine, but two more scores before the break from wings Homer and Rokoduguni made it 20-6 at the interval. Homer's try was a sublime, diving finish, while Rokoduguni benefitted from some fast feet by England centre Jonathan Joseph.

A comfortable interval advantage was only extended at the start of the second period, No8 Faletau adding his second of the day beneath the sticks. Priestland, who had missed with his previous two conversion attempts, this time added the simple extras.

Brive's leaky defence had left them in all sorts of trouble in the first half, with Bath's tricky runners Joseph, Anthony Watson and Priestland needing no second invitation to make the most of the space they were being afforded. But then, out of nowhere, the visitors hit back. A close-range scrum ended with Sanconnie crashing over, Germain adding the extras to bring Brive back into it. Complacency seemed to have slipped into the Bath ranks, and they were then given a further fright as more power play from the French pack allowed Sanconnie to score his second. Germain converted and all of a sudden, there were just seven points in it.

Bath were now up against it, Brive taking confidence from their two quick-fire scores. The final quarter was a tight affair, but in the Rokoduguni came up trumps late on to seal the victory. The powerful wing brushed through six or seven Brive tacklers on his way to the line for a sublime individual effort. Priestland converted to send Bath through to the last four.

BATH: Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan, Tom Homer, Rhys Priestland, Kahn Fotuali'i, Nathan Catt, Nathan Charles, Kane Palma Newport, CHARLIE EWELS (C), Luke Charteris, Zach Mercer, Tom Ellis, Taulupe Faletau BENCH: Joe Graham, Beno Obano , Shaun Knight, Levi Douglas, Paul Grant, Chris Cook, Adam Hastings, Ben Tapuai

SCORERS T: Faletau (2), Homer, Rokoduguni (2) C: Priestland (3) P: Priestland

BRIVE: Gaëtan Germain, Taku Ngwenya, Arnaud Mignardi, Seremaia Burotu, Benito Masilevu, Matthieu Ugalde, Teddy Iribaren, Vivien Devisme, Francois Da Ros, Kevin Buys, Johan Snyman, Arnaud Méla, SAID HIRECHE (C), Poutasi Luafutu, Fabien Sanconnie BENCH: Thomas Acquier, Karlen Asieshvili, Soso Bekoshvili, Julien Le Devedec, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Thomas Laranjeira, Sevanaia Galala

SCORERS T: Sanconnie (2) C: Germain (2) P: Germain (2)

Referee: Marius Mitrea

 

QF3
EdinburghEDINBURGH RUGBY 22 - 32 LA ROCHELLELa Rochelle

BT Murrayfield - Friday 31 March 2017
KO: 20:00 HT: 12-26 Att: 5,489

 

LA ROCHELLE are still on for a possible Challenge Cup and TOP 14 double after making it 13 wins in a row in all competitions, and seven on the bounce on the road, with a 32-22 win at BT Murrayfield. Six weeks out from the European Final Weekend in Edinburgh, the French side bagged themselves a home semi-final against either Gloucester Rugby and must now fancy their chances of returning to the home of Scottish rugby on Friday, 12 May.

They came into the game with a huge lead in the TOP 14 and brim full of confidence. The visitors soaked up the first few minutes of home pressure before exploding into action via their driving line-out. Twice in the space of six minutes hooker Jeremie Maurouard was propelled over the Edinburgh line and Brock James, who started the game when Zach Holmes pulled up lame in the warm-up, converted both to make it 14 points in as many minutes.

Edinburgh were all at sea in the opening quarter, but they managed to settle the ship with a great try on the wide outside by centre Phil Burleigh which Jason Tovey converted. That got them a toe-hold in the game, but La Rochelle hit back almost straight away.

French back row star Kevin Gourdon tied in two defenders and when teenage scrum half Arthur Retiere picked up five metres in from touch with 60 metres in front of him it did not look as though there was another try in the offing. But the France Under 20 international raced away from the first line of defence, bamboozled Blair Kinghorn on the Edinburgh 22 and then sped way to the corner.

It was a sensational score and later in the half he made the break that led to a try at the posts for wing Steeve Barry to create a 19 point gap. The next score was vital for Edinburgh and on the stroke of half-time, the veteran Ross Ford crashed over in the corner after a front of the line peel to make it 26-12 at the break.

There were obviously some strong words in the Edinburgh dressing room at halftime because they came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and grabbed the next score with a try from Heineken Man of the Match Hamish Watson. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne added the conversion and suddenly it was anyone's game.

The gap was cut to a single score on 65 minutes when replacement prop Lekso Kaulashvili picked up a yellow card and Duncan Hodge kicked the penalty. Now it was the home side who had their tails up, but they still lacked the accuracy needed to make La Rochelle pay.

In the end, two penalties from the experienced James saw La Rochelle home and put them into their first European semi-final. The Challenge Cup went to Montpellier last year - will it stay in France for another season?

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Phil Burleigh, Tom Brown, Jason Tovey, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Murray McCallum, ROSS FORD (C), Simon Berghan, Anton Bresler, Grant Gilchrist, Viliame Mata, Hamish Watson, Cornell Du Preez BENCH: Stuart McInally, Kyle Whyte, Kevin Bryce, Fraser McKenzie, Vili Fihaki, Nathan Fowles, Duncan Weir, Glenn Bryce

SCORERS T: Burleigh, Ford, Watson C: Tovey, Hidalgo-Clyne P: Weir

LA ROCHELLE: Kini Murimurivalu, Steve Barry, Paul Jordaan, Pierre Aguillon, Elliot Roudil, Zack Holmes, Arthur Retiere, Mike Corbel, Jeremie Maurouard, Mohamed Boughanmi, JASON EATON (C), Mathieu Tanguy, Romain Sazy, Botia Veivuke, Kevin Gourdon BENCH: Hikairo Forbes, Dany Priso, Lekso Kaulashvili, Jone Qovu Nailiko, Victor Vito, Alexi Bales, Brock James, Benjamin Nobles

SCORERS T: Maurouard (2), Retiere, Barry C: James (3) P: James (2) Yellow Card Kaulashvili

Referee: Luke Pearce

 

QF4
Gloucester RugbyGLOUCESTER RUGBY 46 - 26 CARDIFF BLUES Cardiff Blues

Kingsholm Stadium - Saturday 01 April 2017
KO: 20:05 HT: 20-23 Att: 11,206

 

BILLY TWELVETREES masterminded Gloucester Rugby's charge as they downed Cardiff Blues 46-26 in their European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final. In a game which entertained from first minute to last, the Cherry and Whites scored six tries with full-back Tom Marshall crossing twice. Ross Moriarty, Jonny May, Mark Atkinson and Henry Purdy also got in on the act, with the impressive Twelvetrees kicking four conversions and a penalty.

The Blues had played some sublime rugby of their own in the first half, Alex Cuthbert's brace putting them into a narrow three-point interval lead. It was one they could not hang on to though as the Welsh region were left ruing what might have been.

An all-action start at Kingsholm saw two early tries from two Welsh internationals. The Blues were playing some enterprising rugby, Cuthbert opening the scoring with a superb finish following a series of impressive carries by the forwards. The wing smashed through two tackles to make his way to the line, Steven Shingler converting to make it 7-0.

Gloucester then hit back, Moriarty picking up a loose ball after Richard Hibbard carried into contact and brushing aside Matthew Morgan on his way to the line. Billy Burns' kick levelled the scores, but there was no let-up in the intensity of the encounter.

Moriarty had put in one brutal hit on Gareth Anscombe, while a sublime break from full-back Morgan nearly created a try for visiting scrum-half Lloyd Williams. Shingler then kicked two penalties, either side of one from Burns, before the Gloucester fly-half went off for a head injury assessment after a worrying blow to the head.

In his absence, man of the match Twelvetrees took over kicking duties to make it 13-13, the centre then producing a moment of magic to break clear between Shingler and Rey Lee-Lo and put Marshall away to score. Twelvetrees converted for a seven-point lead, but the see-saw nature of the game continued as the Blues finished the half the stronger. Danny Wilson's men repeatedly opted for driving line-outs close to the Gloucester line, home prop Josh Hohneck eventually sin binned as the Cherry and Whites continued to infringe.

It allowed the Blues to make the most of their man advantage, Anscombe's short ball finding Cuthbert to dot down. Shingler converted and the half ended with Anscombe slotting a nerveless 40-metre drop goal, 20-23.

The first period had been breathless and while there was less scoring in the second, it was similarly fast-paced. Shingler extended the Blues' lead with a 50th minute penalty, but from then on it began to unravel for the visitors.

Twelvetrees, who had stepped inside to fly-half when Burns went off injured, controlled the game magnificently and his cross-kick found England wing May who dived over. Just four minutes later, Marshall added his second and with Twelvetrees booting both sets of extras, Gloucester were suddenly in control.

The Blues' control, which had been so impressive in the opening 40, had now disappeared and the third quarter saw them lose the game.

When Atkinson added Gloucester's fifth try, benefiting from a poor defensive read by Lee-Lo, the Blues were now three scores behind. Twelvetrees once again converted to make it 41-26 and although the Blues pushed hard to get back into it, Gloucester reached the last four as Purdy put the gloss on the victory.

David Humphrey's men coming out on top means they set up a semi-final tie with France's surprise package La Rochelle who they met in the pool stages.

GLOUCESTER: Tom Marshall, Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Billy Burns, WILLI HEINZ (C), Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, Josh Hohneck, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Ross Moriarty, Jacob Rowan, Ben Morgan BENCH: Motu Matu'u, Yann Thomas, John Afoa, Mariano Galarza, Lewis Ludlow, Callum Braley, Mark Atkinson, Henry Purdy

SCORERST: Moriarty, Marshall (2), May, Atkinson, Purdy C: Burns, Twelvetrees (4) P: Burns, Twelvetrees Yellow Card Hohneck

BLUES: Matthew Morgan , Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Steven Shingler, Blaine Scully, Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams, GETHIN JENKINS (C), Kristian Dacey, Tau Filise, George Earle, Jarrad Hoeata, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams BENCH: Matthew Rees, Corey Domachowski, Kieron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Tomos Williams, Willis Halaholo, Aled Summerhill

SCORERS T: Cuthbert (2) C: Shingler (2) P: Shingler (3) DG: Anscombe

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère

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Round 6Challenge Cup Round 6 Final 8 Qualifiers

POOL 1Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 1

Gloucester RugbyGLOUCESTER RUGBY 64 - 19 BAYONNEBayonne

Kingsholm Stadium - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 20:00 HT: 33-12 Att: 9,265

BENETTON TREVISO made La Rochelle struggle for every inch and every point and led the high-flying TOP 14 side until the 57th minute. The home side knew they were through to the quarter-finals thanks to results earlier in the day and eventually took the highest ranking of the three best runners-up as they eventually came up with four second half tries.

Home skipper Jason Eaton picked up the first of four yellow cards in the game after only eight minutes, but the next three all went to the visitors. Andrea Buondonno and Ornel Gega both went to the sin-bin in the pace of a minute at the start of the second half and then Samoan lock Filo Paulo followed them midway through the second half.

That put intense pressure on battling Benetton and they eventually cracked after taking the lead through an Eduardo Gori try and an Ian McKinley penalty in a tight first-half.

That 8-0 lead last until the end of the third quarter, although La Rochelle made the most of 15 v 13 to notch their first try through Hikairo Forbes that Zach Holmes converted to cut the gap to a single point. Then it was just a question of time as to how long the Italians could hold out. La Rochelle eventually took the lead through Holmes' penalty that punished Paulo's yellow card. After that Afa Amosa and Arthur Retiere twice crossed the Treviso line and Holmes maintained his 100 per cent conversion rate.

GLOUCESTER: Tom Marshall, Charlie Sharples, Andy Symons, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Billy Burns, WILLI HEINZ (C), Yann Thomas, Darren Dawiduik, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Lewis Ludlow, Jacob Rowan, Gareth Evans BENCH: Henry Walker, Josh Hohneck, Paul Doran-Jones, Joe Latta, Matt Kvesic, Callum Braley, Matt Scott, Henry Purdy

SCORERS T: Ludlow, Heinz (3), May, Dawidiuk, Symons, Purdy, Hohneck, Braley C: Burns (6), Twelvetrees

BAYONNE: Julien Tisseron, Martin Laveau, Bastien Fuster, Thibault Lacroix, Ryan Tongia, Lucas Meret, Bastien Duhalde, Adrien Bordenave, Simon Labouyrie, Toma Taufa, Guillaume Ducat, Adam Jaulhac, Jean-Blaise Lespinasse, JEAN-JO MARMOUYET (C), Maka Polutele BENCH: Jose Ramon Ayarza, Aretz Iguiniz, Davit Khinchagishvili, Dion Evrard Oulai, Peyo Muscarditz, Manu Saubusse, Maile Mamao, Arnaud Duputs

SCORERS T: Laveau (3) C: Meret Yellow Card Ayarza

Referee: Lloyd Linton

 

La RochelleLA ROCHELLE 31 - 8 BENETTON TREVISOBenetton Treviso

Stade Marcel Deflandre - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 21:00 HT: 0-8 Att: 13,123

BENETTON TREVISO made La Rochelle struggle for every inch and every point and led the high-flying TOP 14 side until the 57th minute. The home side knew they were through to the quarter-finals thanks to results earlier in the day and eventually took the highest ranking of the three best runners-up as they eventually came up with four second half tries.

Home skipper Jason Eaton picked up the first of four yellow cards in the game after only eight minutes, but the next three all went to the visitors. Andrea Buondonno and Ornel Gega both went to the sin-bin in the pace of a minute at the start of the second half and then Samoan lock Filo Paulo followed them midway through the second half.

That put intense pressure on battling Benetton and they eventually cracked after taking the lead through an Eduardo Gori try and an Ian McKinley penalty in a tight first-half.

That 8-0 lead last until the end of the third quarter, although La Rochelle made the most of 15 v 13 to notch their first try through Hikairo Forbes that Zach Holmes converted to cut the gap to a single point. Then it was just a question of time as to how long the Italians could hold out. La Rochelle eventually took the lead through Holmes' penalty that punished Paulo's yellow card. After that Afa Amosa and Arthur Retiere twice crossed the Treviso line and Holmes maintained his 100 per cent conversion rate.

LA ROCHELLE : Zack Holmes, Gabriel Lacroix, Elliot Roudil, Kini Murimurivalu, Vincent Rattez, Brock James, Ricky Januarie, David Feao, Hikairo Forbes, Mohamed Boughanmi, Damien Lagrange, Leo Cedaro, JASON EATON (C), Kevin Gourdon, Jone Qovu Nailiko BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, Jordan Seneca, Uini Atonio, Romain Sazy, Afa Amosa, Arthur Retiere, Botia Veivuke, Steve Barry

SCORERS T: Forbes, Amosa, Retiere (2) C: Holmes (4) P Holmes Yellow Card Eaton

TREVISO: Luke McLean, Andrea Buondonno, Tommaso Benvenuti, ALBERTO SGARBI (C), Luca Sperandio, Ian McKinley, Edoardo Gori, Federico Zani, Ornel Gega, Tiziano Pasquali, Dean Budd, Filo Paulo, Robert Barbieri, Braam Steyn, Marco Barbini BENCH: Roberto Santamaria, Alberto de Marchi, Matteo Zanusso, Filippo Gerosa, Marco Lazzaroni, Giorgio Bronzini, Tommy Allan, Tommaso Iannone

SCORERS T: Gori P: McKinley Yellow Card Buondonno, Gega, Paulo

Referee: Ian Tempest

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POOL 2Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 2

Lyon Olympique UniversitaireLYON 57 - 13 GRENOBLEGrenoble

Stade de Gerland - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 18:00 HT: 26-13 Att: 12,080

LYON thrashed Grenoble 57-13 in their all-French European Rugby Challenge Cup encounter. Neither team could qualify from Pool 2 and reach the quarter-finals, but that failed to stop both sides from serving up an entertaining 10-try encounter.

Lyon scored nine of those themselves in what was eventually a one-sided score leaving them to return to Top14 action on a high.

Remarkably, the home side were two tries up inside five minutes with Hemani Paea and Albertus Buckle crossing the whitewash to give them an early advantage. Romain Loursac converted both of those scores and from then on, it was one-way traffic. Thibault Regard and Napolioni Nalaga both added further first-half scores, with Loursac adding another conversion for a comfortable26-13 half-time advantage.

That lead was one they never looked like relinquishing. Replacement back Jerome Porical scored in both the 45th and 56th minutes and Paul Bonnefond, Curtis Browning and a penalty try completed the scoring.

Loursac ended up with three conversions, as too did Porical, as Lyon ended their pool stage adventure with a bonus-point success.

Peter Kimlin grabbed Grenoble's only try just after the half hour mark, with Clement Gelin converting and booting two penalties but it was not enough to get them anywhere near a victory.

LYON: Toby Arnold, Thibaut Regard, Theo Belan, Hemani Paea, Napolioni Nalaga, Romain Loursac, Nicolas Durand, Albertus Buckle, Ti'i Paulo, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Tai Tu'ifua, Josh Bekhuis, JULIEN PURICELLI (C), Julien Bonnaire, Carl Fearns BENCH: Vincent Giudicelli, Alexandre Menini, David Attoub, Simon Christian Njewel, Curtis Browning, Paul Bonnefond, Jerome Porical, Baptiste Couilloud

SCORERS T: Paea, Buckle, Regard, Nalaga, Porical (2), Bonnefond, PT, Browning C: Loursac (3), Porical (3)

GRENOBLE: Clement Gelin, Sisa Waqa, Xavier Mignot, Nigel Hunt, LUCAS DUPONT (C), David Mélé, Lilian Saseras, Alexandre Dardet, Loick Jammes, Rossouw de Klerk, Peter Kimlin, Mickael Capelli, Mathias Marie, Kevin Kornath, Dylan Hayes BENCH: Etienne Fourcade, Dylan Jacquot, Ali Oz, Thomas Jolmes, Mahamadou Diaby, Loic Baradel, Jeremy Valencot, Pierre Mignot

SCORERS T: Kimlin C: Gelin P: Gelin (2) Yellow Card Fourcade

Referee: Sean Gallagher

 

Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS 21 - 26 OSPREYSOspreys

Kingston Park - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 17:00 HT: 21-7 Att: 3,551

THE Ospreys created European club rugby history when they became the first to finish the group stages with a maximum 30 points - but they had to come back from 14 points adrift to beat Newcastle Falcons 26-21 at Kingston Park. That made it six of the very best out of six in the Challenge Cup for the Welsh club - though this time they had to wait until the 70th minute to bank all five points with Scott Otten getting the vital fourth try and finally killing off the Falcons' faint hopes. And Steve Tandy's men did it with 43 tries in all of their Pool 2 contests as they claimed the No 1 seeds spot for the quarter-finals in real style.

The Falcons, who finished their campaign with just two wins, made the Ospreys work hard for that 30 points record and led 21-7 at the break, despite the Ospreys flying out of the blocks - and no-one flying quicker than Rhys Webb. The Wales scrum half, playing his first match since October following injury, needed just four minutes of his return to scamper over for the first try, Sam Davies converting.

But Newcastle came back with the perfect response, back rower Dan Temm tearing over for a try that Craig Willis converted to even matters up in a whirlwind opening.

Kieron Fonotia initiated an Ospreys charge and his team-mates carried it on until another knock on spoilt the opportunity against an albeit aggressive Falcons defence. And that was rewarded when, after a series of pick and drives, temporary replacement Rob Vickers was credited with the score, Willis adding the conversion.

Scrum half Micky Young then created the opening with a chip kick that Chris Harris raced onto and Willis made it three from three from the tee to open up a 14-points advantage that held until the break.

Dan Evans tried to get the Ospreys going again soon after the restart with a superb break but an attempted long pass from Webb to Dafydd Howells did not go to hand and the chance was lost. It took 15 minutes of the second period for the first points, wing Hanno Dirksen notching up his 150th point for the Ospreys with a try in the corner that went unconverted to leave them nine points adrift.

But that did not last long as outside half Davies converted his own try with the simple conversion from in front of the posts and then adding the extra points to hooker Scott Otten's try that earned them the try bonus point - yet again - and a place in the European rugby record books.

FALCONS: Alex Tait, Tom Catterick, Chris Harris, Dom Waldouck, Fred Burdon, Craig Willis, Micky Young, Ben Harris, Kyle Cooper, David Wilson, Calum Green, Sean Robinson, WILL WELCH (C), Dan Temm, Mark Wilson BENCH: David Nelson, Rob Vickers, Jon Welsh, Mouritz Botha, Harrison Orr, Sam Egerton, Joel Hodgson, Dan Marshall

SCORERS T: Temm, Vickers, Chris Harris C: Willis (3)

OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Kieron Fonotia, Josh Matavesi, Daf Howells, Sam Davies, RHYS WEBB (C), Gareth Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Rhodri Jones, Adam Beard, Rory Thornton, Olly Cracknell, Sam Underhill, James King BENCH: Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Dan Suter, Lloyd Ashley, Rob McCusker, Brendon Leonard, Jonathan Spratt, Ben John

SCORERS T: Webb, Dirksen, Davies, Otten C: Davies (3)

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz

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POOL 3Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 3

BriveBRIVE 36 - 19 NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONSNewport Gwent Dragons

Stade Amédée-Domenech - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 15:00 HT: 22-14 Att: 5,000

GEORGIAN prop, Soso Bekoshvili picked up two tries as Brive powered their way into the Challenge Cup quarter-finals and left the Dragons dreaming of what might have been.

Semi-finalists in the last two seasons, the Welsh region arrived at a sun-bathed Stade Amédée Domenech knowing they had to in to stand any chance of going into the knock-out phase once again. They got off to a terrible start, clawed their way back into the contest, but then fell away at the death.

Brive got off to a flying start and were 15 points up in as many minutes. Bekoshvili powered his way over for the first of five home tries after only four minutes. Gaëtan Germain could not convert that one, but he kicked a penalty and then added the extras to a second try from Taku Ngwenya with the game only a quarter-of-an-hour old. That gave the Dragons a real mountain to climb, but they quickly began to tackle the task.

Former Wales scrum half Tavis Knoyle scampered over for a try that Angus O'Brien converted and not even a third home try, this time from Damien Lavergne, could dampen the visitors' spirits. Three minutes after taking over from Knoyle, Sarel Pretorius made sure the Dragons made the most of the yellow card issued to Romain Cabannes by crossing for a second try. O'Brien added the extras and the gap at the break was only eight points. That was cut even further seven minutes into the second half when Pretorius claimed his second try to make it 22-19.

Now the Dragons were right back in it and had plenty of chances to push for the win. With three tries to their credit, they were only one away from the bonus point they needed, but could not make the most of their chances.

In the end, the power of the home pack triumphed and three of their five tries came from close range, driving line-outs. Bekoshvili was driven over for his second on 64 minutes to bag the bonus-point and then Patrick Toetu put the game beyond doubt with a fifth.

BRIVE: Gaëtan Germain, Taku Ngwenya, Romain Cabannes, Seremaia Burotu, Guillaume Namy, Matthieu Ugalde, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Damien Lavergne, Thomas Acquier, Soso Bekoshvili, Jan Uys, Sisa Koyamaibole, Fabien Sanconnie, Poutasi Luafutu, PETRUS HAUMAN (C) BENCH: Francois Da Ros, Kevin Buys, Patrick Toetu, Johan Snyman, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, Christopher Tuatara, Benjamin Lapeyre

SCORERS T: Bekoshvili (2), Ngwenya, Lavergne, Toetu C: Germain (4) P: Germain Yellow Card Cabannes

DRAGONS: Carl Meyer, Adam Hughes, Sam Beard, Adam Warren, Pat Howard, Angus O'Brien, Tavis Knoyle, Sam Hobbs, T Rhys Thomas, Lloyd Fairbrother, Nick Crosswell, Cory Hill, LEWIS EVANS (C), Ollie Griffiths, Ed Jackson BENCH: Rhys Buckley, Phil Price, Craig Mitchell, Rynard Landman, Nic Cudd, Sarel Pretorius, Dorian Jones, Harrison Keddie

SCORERS T: Knoyle, Pretorius (2) C: O'Brien (2)

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

 

Worcester WarriorsWORCESTER WARRIORS 57 - 14 ENISEI-STMEnisei STM

Sixways Stadium - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 14:00 HT: 35-7 Att: 6,097

HAT-TRICK hero Dean Hammond made sure Worcester Warriors bowed out of Europe in style with a nine-try Pool 3 demolition of Enisei-STM at Sixways Stadium. It was just a second win of the campaign for the Warriors - who went down 19-12 against the Russian club in their Round 1 contest at Slava Stadium Enisei-STM - but this 57-14 romp was some revenge for that defeat while the Russian club also bow out of their debut European campaign with two group wins.

Connor Braid opened proceedings for Carl Hogg's men with an early penalty goal and then Hammond started making his presence felt with the ball in hand, his work carried on by Matt Cox and Sam Betty for Val Rapava Ruskin to provide the finishing touches with the first try.

Dmitri Gerasimov went close for the visitors but a nice finish from Hammond in the corner notched up try No 2 before Enisei looked to batter their way over the 22 through captain Yury Baranov.

Braid missed a penalty opportunity when he pushed his attempt wide but the Russians promptly gave him another chance and this time he made no mistake with the simpler kick. Full back Ben Howard then made 50 metres slicing open Enisei and Hammond profited from that searing run with his second and Warriors' third try.

There was more woe for the Russians when Igor Kurashov was sent to the sin bin by Welsh referee Dan Jones and flanker Sam Betty cashed in against the 14-man opponents by crossing for the bonus point try after 34 minutes, Braid converting.

Enisei did get close with Maxime Gargalic but a nice crossfield kick by Jamie Shillcock bounced kindly for Hammond to collect and pocket his hat-trick. Braid converted but Enisei had the last word of the half as Mikhail Gachechiladze crashed over and Yuri Kushnarev added the conversion for a 35-7 scoreline at the break.

Warriors were relieved to have midfield powerhouse Ben Te'o back in action and he set up Ben Howard for an easy score and their sixth try but the Russians proved they would not go quietly with Valery Morozov burrowing over from close range and Kushnarev converting.

But the Russians were reduced to 14 men for the final 12 minutes when - with that man Hammond bearing down on him - Kurashov illegally putting the ball out and referee Jones awarding a penalty try and showing the Russian the red card.

Tiff Eden added the extra points with Sam Ripper-Smith and Max Stelling going over in the dying minutes to wrap matters up in style.

WARRIORS: Ben Howard, Perry Humphreys, Connor Braid, Ben Te'o, Dean Hammond, Jamie Shillcock, Luke Baldwin, Val Rapava Ruskin, Joe Taufete'e, Bi Alo, DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN (C), Will Spencer, Huw Taylor, Sam Betty, Matt Cox BENCH: Jack Singleton, Ryan Bower, Mike Daniels, Andrew Kitchener, Sam Ripper Smith, George DeCothi, Tiff Eden, Max Stelling

SCORERS T: Rapava-Ruskin, Hammond (3), Betty, Howard, PT, Smith, Stelling C: Braid (2), Eden P: Braid (2)

ENISEI: Ramil Gaisin, Igor Kurashov, JURIJS BARANOVS (C), Dmitrii Gerasimov, Denis Simplikevich, Iurii Kushnarev, Alexey Shcherban, Valery Morozov, Nazir Gasanov, Evgenii Pronenko, Evgeny Elgin, Maxim Gargalic, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Andrey Temnov, Anton Rudoi BENCH: Shamil Magomedov, Andrei Polivalov, Jake Grey, Viacheslav Krasylnyk, Aleksandr Budychenko, Konstantin Uzunov, Aleksei Mikhaltsov, Vitalii Orlov

SCORERS T: Gachechiladze, Morozov C: Kushnarev (2) Yellow Card Red Card Kurashov

Referee: Dan Jones

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POOL 4Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 4

Bath RugbyBATH RUGBY 69 - 10 PAUPau

Recreation Ground - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 15:00 HT: 29-3 Att: 12,080

BATH RUGBY secured their place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals with a convincing 69-10 win over Pau. Paul Grant and Anthony Watson both scored two tries each as Todd Blackadder's men ran in 10 in total at the Rec to seal a home tie in the last eight.

It did not take long for Bath to get on the board - a minute and 25 seconds to be precise - after Tom Dunn powered his way over in the corner. Pau were on the back foot and it took just four minutes for the hosts to double their lead. George Ford hopped in as temporary scrum-half and found No 8 Grant who crashed over.

It was not Pau's day as three injury replacements in one minute hampered their progress and when Bath came knocking once again, Ford had to settle for a simple penalty. Watson found his first and his team's third when he collected Jonathan Joseph's kick, before Pau climbed their way into Bath territory for the first time 28 minutes in.

Pierre Dupouy, however, spilled on the try-line as Tom Homer intercepted a loose pass to run the length of the field to score at the posts. At that stage the hosts were running riot, averaging a point a minute after Ford's conversion.

Giovanni Kueffner was sent to the bin for retaliation, but the visitors got themselves on the board courtesy of a Brandon Fajardo penalty, trailing 29-2 at the break.

Grant bagged his second with ease one minute after the interval, but Ford hit the uprights for the second time with his attempt at the extras. Bath were well on top and Watson soon had his second after diving over at the posts. Rhys Priestland then gathered his own kick to cross six minutes later for Bath's seventh.

But Pau had their reward for a slightly improved second-half display when Mosese Ratuvou crossed in the 61st minute.

Homer was on hand to tee up Zach Mercer who raced away for try number eight - matching last week's tally against Bristol. Ben Tapuai was on hand to surpass that haul as he slid in for the ninth, with Ross Batty securing the tenth at the death.

BATH: Tom Homer, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Robbie Fruean, Anthony Watson, George Ford, Kahn Fotuali'i, Nathan Catt, Tom Dunn, Kane Palma Newport, Charlie Ewels, Elliott Stooke, Zach Mercer, FRANCOIS LOUW (C), Paul Grant BENCH: Ross Batty, Beno Obano, Shaun Knight, Luke Charteris, Guy Mercer, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Ben Tapuai

SCORERS T: Dunn, Grant (2), Watson (2), Homer, Priestland, Zach Mercer, Tapuai, Batty C: Ford (3), Homer (4), Tapuai P: Ford

PAU: Romain Buros, Marvin Lestremeau, Julien Fumat, Pierre Dupouy, Mosese Ratuvou, Brandon Fajardo, Taniela Moa, Jérémy Hurou, Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Joel Scalvi, Baptiste Pesenti, Daniel Ramsay, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Sean Dougall, PADDY BUTLER (C) BENCH: Mehdi Boundjema, Julien Jacquot, Matthew Tierney, Masalosalo Tutaia, Thibault Daubagna, Louis Dupichot, Charly Malie, Loic Bernad

SCORERS T: Ratuvou C: Fajardo P: Fajardo Yellow Card Kueffner

Referee: Ben Whitehouse

 

Cardiff BluesCARDIFF BLUES 37 - 21 BRISTOL RUGBYBristol Rugby

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park - Saturday 21 January 2017
KO: 15:00 HT: 15-14 Att: 7,723

CARDIFF BLUES reached the quarter-finals of the European Rugby Challenge Cup with a 37-21 victory over Bristol Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. The Blues face Gloucester in the last eight.

Their win over Bristol came thanks to two tries from Matthew Morgan - his second a wonderful solo strike - and first-half efforts from Kristian Dacey and Gareth Anscombe. Sam Warburton, set up by Morgan, completed the victory late on.

A scoreless first quarter had seen Bristol have plenty of ball with centre Tusi Pisi their main threat. Fly-half Adrian Jarvis had also missed with a penalty effort he should have converted and once the Blues got their first score, they continued to dominate.

Hooker Dacey got things going, diving over from close range after repeated bursts from Nick Williams among others. Steve Shingler put the conversion wide, but Bristol's wastefulness was then shown as Cardiff added their second score. It was the Ashton Gate outfit who were on the attack but in midfield, a long pass from visiting flanker Nick Koster was picked off by Anscombe. Despite only just returning from a groin operation, the New Zealand-born Welshman sprinted clear from halfway to score under the posts. Shingler converted that score and then kicked a 31st minute penalty to make it 15-0 but despite boasting a comfortable lead, Danny Wilson's men then threw it away through two mistakes.

First a superb break from Bristol scrum-half Andy Uren - through some albeit weak Blues tackling - allowed Welshman Jordan Williams to score under the posts and then just seven minutes later, the visitors were over again. Shingler's loose pass was hacked on by Jordan Williams, the former Scarlet then finding Jack Tovey who saw a nice bounce of the ball give him another simple finish. Jarvis converted both sets of extras to leave Bristol with just a one-point deficit at the break, 15-14.

The Blues knew at half time they had already made the last eight, but they started the second half with a bang. Alex Cuthbert bounced a couple of tacklers and Morgan's first try, which was unconverted, put them back ahead.

To their credit, Wilson's outfit were playing some nice stuff but as they attempted to push for more tries, another mistake saw Bristol strike back. The game was following a familiar pattern and with the Blues once again on the attack, Ray Lee-Lo's pass was intercepted by Jordan Williams who sprinted clear from inside his own half and outpaced Morgan to score. Jarvis converted and for the first time, Bristol were ahead.

It was ebb and flow in the second half but after Shingler booted another penalty, the Blues finally put the game to bed. Morgan's arcing run after collecting a clearance kick saw him scythe through the Bristol defence for a bonus-point score which showed the pint-sized full-back at his absolute best.

It came after replacement hooker Max Crumpton had been yellow carded for slowing the ball down at a ruck following a break from Cardiff substitute Tomos Williams. Morgan was now on fire and with the game won, he allowed Warburton to get the game's final try. Shingler converted to leave the Blues with a quarter-final to look forward to.

BLUES: Matthew Morgan, Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Steven Shingler, Blaine Scully, Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Anton Peikrishvili, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Josh Navidi, SAM WARBURTON (C), Nick Williams BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Corey Domachowski, Scott Andrews, James Down, Seb Davies, Tomos Williams, Garyn Smith, Rhun Williams

SCORERS T: Dacey, Anscombe, Morgan (2), Warburton C: Shingler (3) P: Shingler (2)

BRISTOL: Luke Arscott, Jordan Williams, Jack Tovey, Tusi Pisi, David Lemi, Adrian Jarvis, Andy Uren, Jack O'Connell, Rob Hawkins, Gaston Cortes, Giorgi Nemsadze, Joe Joyce, Nick Koster, JACK LAM (C), James Phillips BENCH: Max Crumpton, Kyle Traynor, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Ian Evans, Nick Fenton-Wells, Martin Roberts, Thretton Palamo, Jack Wallace

SCORERS T: Williams (2), Tovey C: Jarvis (3) Yellow Card Crumpton

Referee: Mike Adamson

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POOL 5Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 5

EdinburghEDINBURGH 49 - 3 TIMISOARA SARACENSTimisoara Saracens

Myreside - Friday 20 January 2017
KO: 19:35 HT: 28-0 Att: 5,235

EDINBURGH booked their place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals after a thumping 49-3 win against Timisoara Saracens. Duncan Hodge's side ran in seven tries on their return to Myreside with Neil Cochrane - on his 50th appearance for Edinburgh - going over for a brace and picking up the Heineken Man of the Match award.

After a 15-year absence from their spiritual home, the 2015 Challenge Cup runners-up simply had to record a win against the Romanians to book a home quarter-final berth and stay on course for a dream trip to the home of Scottish rugby at BT Murrayfield on the European Finals Weekend in May.

It took just one minute for Edinburgh to get the first score in Timisoara in Round 1, but the hosts had to show patience to brush off the early nerves. But after a gritty opening, captain Cochrane was on hand to crash over at the back of a rolling maul in the 10th minute, with outside-half Duncan Weir spot on with the conversion.

The hosts were up and running and soon took a foothold on the game. Cornell du Preez found the second after collecting Tom Brown's set up, with Weir continuing to impress with the tee. Allan Dell departed after a blow to the head, and failed a Head Injury Assessment which put a halt to the Scottish international prop's night.

But there were no such worries for Blair Kinghorn who intercepted a loose ball from 50 metres to score at the posts for number three, before Michael Allen bagged the bonus-point, three minutes before half-time for a 28-0 lead.

Timisoara got themselves on the board, one minute into the second-half after scrum-half Valentin Calafeteanu slotted a penalty. Edinburgh, however, soon resumed from where they left off with Cochrane going over for his second and his team's fifth. Weir bowed out with the conversion to seal a perfect record for the evening, and was replaced by Jason Tovey.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was sent to the bin by referee Adam Jones, and soon after it was level-pegging when Marian Drenceanu saw yellow for collapsing a maul. Edinburgh were well on top as replacement Tovey carved his way through a gap to score number six, and chipped over with the conversion. Hidalgo-Clyne returned, and was immediately involved in teeing up Damien Hoyland who wrapped up proceedings 12 minutes from the end.

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Michael Allen, Chris Dean, Tom Brown, Duncan Weir, Nathan Fowles, Allan Dell, NEIL COCHRANE (C), Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Cornell Du Preez BENCH: Stuart McInally, Jack Cosgrove, Murray McCallum, Lewis Carmichael, Viliame Mata, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jason Tovey, Rory Scholes

SCORERS T: Cochrane (2), du Preez, Kinghorn, Allen, Tovey, Hoyland C: Weir (5), Tovey (2) Yellow Card Hidalgo-Clyne

TIMISOARA: Catalin Fercu, Madalin Lemnaru, Brian Sefanaia, Jack Umaga, Stephen Shennan, Jody Rose, Valentin Calafeteanu, Edmund Aholelei, Andrei Radoi, Horatiu Pungea, VALENTIN POPIRLAN (C), Marian Drenceanu, Daniel Gabriel Ianus, Dorin Lazar, Vasile Rus BENCH: Eugen Capatana, Sione Halalilo, Samuel Maris, Ionut Muresan, Marian Gorcioaia, Florin Popa, Gabriel Conache, Tevita Manumua

SCORERS P: Calafeteanu Yellow Card Drenceanu

Referee: Adam Jones

 

Stade Francais STADE FRANÇAIS 27 - 17 HARLEQUINSHarlequins

Stade Jean Bouin - Sunday 22 January 2017
KO: 14:00 HT: 17-5 Att: 7,330

STADE FRANÇAIS pinched the eighth and final quarter-final place in the Challenge Cup to set up a trip to Swansea to face the unbeaten Ospreys. Harlequins, beaten finalists last season, arrived in Paris knowing they, too, could have gone on to reach the knock-out phase. But they never warmed to a game that had the kick-off delayed to ensure the pitch had been fully thawed out.

When the action eventually began 90 minutes later than scheduled, it was the home side who got to grips with the task and built up a 17 point lead. Heineken Man of the Match Waisea Vuidarvuwalu raced to the posts for the first try and then French international wing Julien Arias skipped over for the second.

Jules Plisson converted them both and then added a penalty on the stroke of half-time. But just as the home fans were thinking about getting warm in the interval break, Danny Care took a quick tap penalty conceded at the restart and gave No8 Mat Luamanu the chance to show off his power with a storming run the length of the home 22 for a try, 17-5.

If that score gave Harlequins a bit of hope, a 10 point burst in the opening 12 minutes of the second half from Stade put them firmly in control once again. Plisson kicked a penalty and then converted a try from replacement hooker Craig Burden.

That extended the lead to 22 points and seemed to have put Harlequins out of the game, but England wing Marland Yarde got over for a try that Tim Swiel converted to breathe new life into the visitors.

Plisson was wide with another penalty before James Chisholm, on as replacement No8, barged his way over for a third Quins try with two minutes left to play. Ruaridh Jackson's conversion hit the upright and it was a case of too little, too late for the Premiership side.

STADE: Hugo Bonneval, Jérémy Sinzelle, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Herman Meyer Bosman, Djibril Camara, Jules Plisson, Will Genia, Zurabi Zhvania, Laurent Panis, Rabah Slimani, Paul Gabrillagues, PASCAL PAPÉ (C), Sylvain Nicolas, Raphael Lakafia, Willem Alberts BENCH: Craig Burden, Emmanuel Felsina, Giorgi Melikidze, Hugh Pyle, Jonathan Ross, Clement Daguin, Théo Millet, Julien Arias

SCORERS T: Nayacalevu, Arias, Burden C: Plisson (3) P: Plisson (2)

HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Matt Hopper, Jamie Roberts, Tim Visser, Tim Swiel, DANNY CARE (C), Dan Murphy, Rob Buchanan, Kyle Sinckler, George Merrick, Charlie Matthews, Jack Clifford, Luke Wallace, Mat Luamanu BENCH: Joe Gray, Owen Evans, Adam Jones, Dave Ward, James Chisholm, Karl Dickson, Ruaridh Jackson, Alofa Alofa

SCORERS T: Luamanu, Yarde, Chisholm C: Swiel

Referee: George Clancy

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Round 5

POOL 1Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 1

BayonneBAYONNE 14 - 24 LA ROCHELLE La Rochelle

Stade Jean-Dauger - Thursday 12 January 2017
KO: 20:45 HT: 9-17 Att: 1,948

LA ROCHELLE left the door slightly ajar for Pool 4 rivals Gloucester Rugby as they failed to pick up a try bonus-point in their all-French affair at Stade Jean-Dauger. Having run in 10 tries in a 51-24 home win in Round 2, many thought the second placed team in the TOP 14 would be able to pick up another five points on the road. But some stubborn resistance from Bayonne made it anything but easy for the visitors for their 24-14 win.

Bayonne drew first blood with a third minute penalty from Raphael Lagarde and the boot of the home outside half kept his side in touch for most of the first-half. Opposite number Brock James levelled six minutes later to notch La Rochelle's 1,000th point in the Challenge Cup in their 42nd match. But Lagarde made it 6-3 with his second successful strike in the 26th minute as the contest heated up. Then Bayonne lost lock Adam Jaulhac to the sin-bin and La Rochelle moved in for the kill. A minute later they conjured up the game's first try for Leo Cedaro before running in a second on the stroke of half-time through Mohamed Boughanmi. James converted them both to give his side a 17-9 interval lead.

When La Rochelle bagged their third try two minutes after the restart, from Levani Botia, it seemed as though the game might turn into a procession of points once again, especially when James knocked over the extras. And things looked like getting far worse for the home side when left wing Julien Jane picked up another yellow card. But as hard as they tried, and as much as they refreshed their side with replacements, La Rochelle couldn't find a way to bag the bonus point try. They lost replacement Alexi Bales to the sin-bin just after the hour and that made scoring even harder.

In the end, Bayonne, without a win in the tournament this season, found a way to cross the line and Bastien Fuster claimed the try. Manu Saubusse missed the conversion.

BAYONNE: Julien Tisseron, Bastien Fuster, Felix Le Bourhis, Adam Whitelock, Julien Jane, Raphael Lagarde, Guillaume Rouet, Jérôme Schuster, Manu Leiataua, Lorenzo Cittadini, Guillaume Ducat, Adam Jaulhac, Tanerau Latimer, JOHNNIE BEATTIE (C), Pieter Jan Van Lill BENCH: Jose Ramon Ayarza, Aretz Iguiniz, Toma Taufa, Pelu Ian Taele, Manu Saubusse, Martin Laveau, Willie Du Plessis, Jean-Blaise Lespinasse

SCORERS T: Fuster P: Lagarde (3) Yellow Card Jaulhac, Jane

LA ROCHELLE : Arthur Retiere, Steve Barry, Paul Jordaan, Levani Botia, David Raikuna, Brock James, Ricky Januarie, Dany Priso, Hikairo Forbes, Mohamed Boughanmi, Damien Lagrange, Leo Cedaro, JASON EATON (C), Afa Amosa, Jone Qovu Nailiko BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, David Feao, Lekso Kaulashvili, Mathieu Tanguy, Charlie Francoz, Alexi Bales, Zack Holmes, Kini Murimurivalu

SCORERS T: Cedaro, Boughanmi, Botia C: James (3) P: James Yellow Card Bales

Referee: Dudley Phillips

 

Benetton TrevisoBENETTON TREVISO 0 - 41 GLOUCESTER Gloucester Rugby

Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 14 January 2017
KO: 15:00 HT: 0-17 Att: 700

THE day did not bode well for the homeside after the kick off was delayed by two hours when the original pitch was deemed unplayable, and was eventually moved to the 4G pitch in the Stadio Comunale di Monigo complex. This was swiftly followed by a 41-0 routing of Benetton Treviso by Gloucester Rugby.

The two-hour delay in kick-off meant things finished in arctic conditions but Gloucester fans were able to warm their hands with half a dozen tries to savour and a defensive display that denied the home side any reward on the board despite a spell early in the second half when they had Gloucester under the hammer. The first of the 41 points came when Treviso were caught offside and Greig Laidlaw made no mistake with his kick directly in front of the posts for an eighth minute advantage and some strong running from Jonny May had the Treviso alarm bells ringing. A line-out steal by flanker Ross Moriarty initiated a Ben Morgan break that stretched the home defence, May and Charlie Sharples made sure the pressure stayed fully on. Wales star James Hook went over for the first try, simply converted by Laidlaw, as the fog began descending and then flanker Jacob Rowan went close with a barnstorming break. Treviso reminded Gloucester that they had an attacking threat of their own and they were indebted to James Hook for a magnificent clearance as Treviso came again. But Gloucester forwards Hibbard and Tom Savage carried strongly and Gloucester twice opted for line-outs from kickable penalties. And it was second time lucky as the forwards drove determinedly and Wales hooker Richard Hibbard was credited with a score that Laidlaw converted for a 17-points advantage with half-time looming, Andrea Buondonno short with a long range penalty chance.

Referee Charabas lectured both teams in the second half after a flare-up, then John Afoa needed lengthy treatment as the temperature plummeted, Treviso enjoying far more possession than they achieved in the opening 40 minutes and putting genuine pressure on the visitors. A powerful Gloucester scrum enabled Morgan and the Savage to test the home defence and Matt Scott powered over for their third try, replacement Billy Burns adding the extra points. And within minutes the bonus point was in the bank when man of the match Hibbard was driven over from a line-out for his second and Gloucester's fourth that effectively said match done. But there was still time for wing David Halaifonua first to provide the icing on the cake with their fifth try following a delightful cross field kick from Burns and then Billy Twelvetrees sealing it at the death with try No 6.

The double former tournament champions will host Bayonne in Round 6 with a place in the last eight in their own hands as they top the group a point ahead of La Rochelle.

TREVISO: Luke McLean, Andrea Buondonno, Tommaso Benvenuti, ALBERTO SGARBI (C), Luca Sperandio, Tommy Allan, Giorgio Bronzini, Federico Zani, Ornel Gega, Tiziano Pasquali, Marco Fuser, Filo Paulo, Marco Lazzaroni, Robert Barbieri, Marco Barbini BENCH: Roberto Santamaria, Alberto de Marchi, Matteo Zanusso, Dean Budd, Braam Steyn, Edoardo Gori, Ian McKinley, Tommaso Iannone

GLOUCESTER: James Hook, Charlie Sharples, Matt Scott, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Billy Burns, GREIG LAIDLAW (C), Josh Hohneck, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Ross Moriarty, Jacob Rowan, Ben Morgan BENCH: Darren Dawiduik, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Joe Latta, Lewis Ludlow, Willi Heinz, Andy Symons, David Halaifonua

SCORERS T: Hook, Hibbard (2), Scott, Halaifonua, Twelvetrees C: Laidlaw (2), Burns (2) P: Laidlaw

Referee: Thomas Charabas

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POOL 2Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 2

GrenobleGRENOBLE 31 - 27 NEWCASTLE FALCONSNewcastle Falcons

Stade des Alpes - Friday 13 January 2017
KO: 19:00 HT: 7-10 Att: 6,850

Grenoble Newcastle FalconsA late show for Grenoble earned them their first points in Pool 2 to leave Newcastle Falcons' European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final hopes hanging by a thread following a narrow 31-27 loss.

Grenoble turned on the heat from the start in frosty conditions at the Stade des Alps, but it was the Falcons who soared into their lead with their first attack. The ball was worked to Will Witty in midfield who combined with Chris Harris, before the centre sold a dummy to crash over. Craig Willis converted to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead after eight minutes. The hosts levelled things up after a 20 minute arm-wrestle thanks to David Mélé. The scrum-half sniped home from close range before outside-half Gilles Bosch converted. But the Falcons made sure they went in at half-time with the lead when Willis slotted a penalty from 25 metres out for a 10-7 advantage.

Bosch landed a penalty to draw Grenoble level, one minute into the second-half. But much like the first period, the Falcons struck. Dan Temm took the ball at the back of a lineout before the Newcastle pack shunted Grenoble back over their own line for a try. Green crashed over at the back and Willis converted, before the outside-half added another penalty to take Newcastle 10 points clear. But a quick fire double from Grenoble put them ahead for the first time. Newcastle pulled down a maul close to their own try line and referee Vlad Iordescu awarded a penalty try, before Etienne Fourcade crashed over. However, Scott Wilson ploughed over from close range to send Newcastle back into the ascendancy. But Estebanez hit a devastating angle to claim the winning score, with Bosch converting to wrap-up their first win in Europe this season.

GRENOBLE: Armand Batlle, Xavier Mignot, Fabrice Estebanez, Clement Gelin, LUCAS DUPONT (C), Gilles Bosch, David Mélé, Alexandre Dardet, Arnaud Heguy, Dayna Edwards, Mickael Capelli, Ben Hand, Mathias Marie, Kevin Kornath, Dylan Hayes BENCH: Etienne Fourcade, Dylan Jacquot, Rossouw de Klerk, Thomas Jolmes, Peter Kimlin, Lilian Saseras, Bastien Guillemin, Sisa Waqa

SCORERS T: Mélé, PT, Fourcade, Estebanez C: Bosch (4) P: Bosch

FALCONS: Brett Connon, Dan Marshall, Chris Harris, FRED BURDON (C), Zach Kibirige, Craig Willis, Sam Egerton, Ben Harris, Ben Sowrey, David Wilson, Will Witty, Mouritz Botha, Sean Robinson, Harrison Orr, Dan Temm BENCH: Kyle Cooper, Adam Brocklebank, Scott Wilson, Calum Green, Glen Young, Micky Young, Dom Waldouck, Tom Catterick

SCORERS T: Chris Harris, Green, Scott Wilson C: Willis (3) P: Willis (2) Yellow Card Green

Referee: Vlad Iordachescu

 

Ospreys OSPREYS 47 - 7 LYON Lyon Olympique Universitaire

Liberty Stadium - Friday 13 January 2017
KO: 15:00 HT: 12-7 Att: 6,986

Ospreys LyonTHE Ospreys maintained their perfect record and sealed a home quarter-final with a comfortable 47-7 victory over Lyon. Steve Tandy's men went behind early on but did not let that worry them as they roared back to cross for seven tries and seal another bonus-point success.

Going into the game on an eight-match unbeaten run, the Ospreys were firm favourites for the Liberty Stadium clash. But despite fielding a full-strength side, things did not go to plan for the home side early on. Lyon, struggling at the wrong end of the Top14 had left out a number of their star men for the trip to Swansea. That failed to stop them though as their physical defence kept the home side at bay and allowed them to move into a shock lead. A try under the posts from No 8 Curtis Browning, converted by fly-half Mike Harris, gave them a 7-0 advantage and with tighthead Ma'afu Fia forced off injured, the Ospreys were not having things their own way. Rhodri Jones was Fia's replacement and his arrival coincided with the Welsh region getting back into things. With their forward pack now matching the Lyon eight, the Ospreys suddenly had a platform and after visiting hooker Ti’i Paulo was yellow carded, they struck. Dan Baker forced his way over the line from close range, Biggar converting to level the scores; Baker’s effort gave the Ospreys some momentum and although wing starlet Keelan Giles handed Wales a Six Nations injury scare by hobbling off, Fonatia's try put them into a 12-7 half-time lead after Biggar had missed the conversion, and Harris a penalty.

Hanno Dirksen and James King crossed for quick-fire scores to seal the bonus point at the start of the second half, and that was the cue for Tandy to replace the likes of Alun Wyn Jones and Scott Baldwin, but with the game now won, the Ospreys did not let up. A yellow card for Jérôme Porical did not help Lyon and a man light, they soon conceded further tries. Dan Evans and Justin Tipuric made it five and then six scores for the day, with Biggar once again adding both sets of extras. It took the Ospreys to the 40-point mark and although King saw yellow, there was still time for one more try. Replacement lock Adam Beard was the man to go over Biggar's conversion sealed the rout to leave the Ospreys looking ahead to the last eight.

OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Keelan Giles, Kieron Fonotia, Ashley Beck, Hanno Dirksen, Dan Biggar, Thomas Habberfield, Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Ma'afu Fia, Rory Thornton, ALUN WYN JONES (C), James King, Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker BENCH: Scott Baldwin, Paul James, Rhodri Jones, Adam Beard, Sam Underhill, Brendon Leonard, Josh Matavesi, Sam Davies

SCORERS T: Baker, Fonotia, Dirksen, King, Evans, Tipuric, Beard C: Biggar (6) Yellow Card King

LYON: Romain Loursac, Thibaut Regard, Paul Bonnefond, Theo Belan, Jone Tuva, Mike Harris, Nicolas Durand, Sami Mavinga, Ti'i Paulo, BJ Botha, Felix Lambey, Maselino Paulino, Dylan Cretin, DEON FOURIE (C), Curtis Browning BENCH: Vincent Giudicelli, Alexandre Menini, Stéphane Clement, Tai Tu'ifua, Didier Tison, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Jerome Porical, Augustin Figuerola

SCORERS T: Browning C: Harris Yellow Card Paulo, Porical

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

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POOL 3Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 3

Brive BRIVE 17 - 14 WORCESTER WARRIORSWorcester Warriors

Stade Amédée-Domenech - Saturday 14 January 2017
KO: 21:00 HT: 0-7 Att: 2,500

Brive Worcester WarriorsBRIVE were waiting for a hero to come along in the final quarter of their tense tussle with Worcester Warriors and it was not until the second minute of injury time that they found one in the guise of replacement Gaëtan Germain who fired over the winning penalty for a 17-14 triumph.

A try from Marco Mama after 24 minutes, improved by Conor Braid, were the only points of a tense first-half. The Warriors' defence was superb and caused so much frustration that the crowd booed both teams off the field at the break, 0-7.

Brive got the perfect start to the second half when Fabien Sanconnie powered his way over and the conversion from Benjamin Lapeyre levelled the scores. Many thought that would be the signal for the home side to march on, but instead the Warriors hit back and regained the lead. Braid pushed a penalty kick wide of the posts, but on 56 minutes loose head prop Val Rapava-Ruskin powered over for a try that was confirmed after the referee went to the TMO. Ryan Mills converted and the home side were under the cosh once again, 7-14. They used their giant pack to get back into it and after two driving line-outs they managed to get Guillaume Ribes over for a try that Germain, who had come on as a replacement five minutes earlier, converted. Now it was a question of who could find the winning score and it looked as though the game was going to end in a 14-all draw. Then up stepped Germain to win it at the death and give his side a four point cushion at the top of the pool.

BRIVE: Benjamin Lapeyre, Taku Ngwenya, Romain Cabannes, Sevanaia Galala, Benito Masilevu, Matthieu Ugalde, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Damien Lavergne, Thomas Acquier, Soso Bekoshvili, Johan Snyman, ARNAUD MELA (C), Poutasi Luafutu, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Fabien Sanconnie BENCH: Guillaume Ribes, Kevin Buys, Damien Jourdain, Jan Uys, Said Hireche, Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, Christopher Tuatara, Gaëtan Germain

SCORERS  T: Luafutu, Ribes C: Lapeyre, Germain P: Germain

WARRIORS: Ben Howard, Perry Humphreys, Max Stelling, Connor Braid, Dean Hammond, Jamie Shillcock, Luke Baldwin, RYAN BOWER (C), Joe Taufete'e, Bi Alo, Andrew Kitchener, Will Spencer, Huw Taylor, Marco Mama, Matt Cox BENCH: Jack Singleton, Val Rapava Ruskin, Mike Daniels, Darren Barry, Sam Betty, George DeCothi, Jonny Arr, Ryan Mills

SCORERS T: Mama, Rapava-Ruskin C: Braid, Mills

Referee: Ian Davies

 

Newport Gwent Dragons DRAGONS 34 - 10 ENISEI-STMEnisei STM

Rodney Parade - Friday 13 January 2017
KO: 19:30 HT: 13-0 Att: 3,544

Newport Gwent Dragons Enisei STMNEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS kept up their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages after Harrison Keddie's late brace secured a vital 34-10 bonus-point win against Enisei-STM. A stubborn Russian effort made life tough for the hosts but a late push, including two tries from Keddie in the final 10 minutes, sealed a crucial victory.

T Rhys Thomas and Rhys Buckley also crossed for the hosts with Simplikevich and Igor Kurashov going over for the visitors.

Dorian Jones kicked the Dragons into a fourth minute lead, but the Russians were proving to be stubborn opposition. Yury Kushnarev saw a penalty attempt land way short in what proved to be their only shot at goal of the half. The Dragons were seemingly struggling up front, but fortuitously found the game's first try; hooker T Rhys Thomas was on the end of a hard-hitting rolling maul to bruise over, with fly-half Jones -son of head coach Kingsley- adding the extras from out wide. And 10 minutes later, Jones was on hand to knock over a simple penalty in front of the posts. But Enisei could count themselves unlucky after persistent pressure went without reward, wing Denis Simplikevich going close with a battling effort in the corner, and the Falcons went into the break 13 points clear.

The Russians again came knocking in the early minutes of the second half, but lacked the killer instinct needed to penetrate the inspired Gwent wall. However, Mikheil Gachechiladze found a moment of class to loop the ball to Simplikevich who was able to crash his way over in the corner. Kushnarev's conversion boomed off the uprights, however, as the visitors trailed by eight. The outside-half was struggling with the boot as another penalty landed short, and that seemed to kick the Dragons into life. Rhys Buckley crossed from the back of another punishing drive with Angus O'Brien on hand for the conversion. And it got better nine minutes from time when Keddie went over at the posts as the Dragons pushed for the crucial bonus point; with the visitors tiring, Keddie blitzed his way over for the fourth before Igor Kurashov slid over in the corner for a late consolation for the battling Russians.

DRAGONS: Carl Meyer, Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Adam Warren, Dorian Jones, Sarel Pretorius, Sam Hobbs, T Rhys Thomas, Brok Harris, Matthew Screech, Rynard Landman, NICK CROSSWELL (C), Nic Cudd, Ed Jackson BENCH: Rhys Buckley, Tom Davies, Lloyd Fairbrother, Cory Hill, Harrison Keddie, Tavis Knoyle, Angus O'Brien, Adam Hughes

SCORERS T: Thomas, Buckley, Keddie (2) C: Jones, O'Brien (3) P: Jones (2)

ENISEI: Ramil Gaisin, Igor Kurashov, JURIJS BARANOVS (C), Dmitrii Gerasimov, Denis Simplikevich, Iurii Kushnarev, Alexey Shcherban, Andrei Polivalov, Shamil Magomedov, Jake Grey, Viacheslav Krasylnyk, Maxim Gargalic, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Plavel Butenko, Anton Rudoi BENCH: Nazir Gasanov, Valery Morozov, Azat Musin, Sergey Chernyshev, Aleksei Mikhaltsov, Konstantin Uzunov, Thomas Halse, Vitalii Orlov

SCORERS T: Simplikevich, Kurashov

Referee: Frank Murphy

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POOL 4Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 4

Bristol RugbyBRISTOL RUGBY 22 - 57 BATH RUGBY Bath Rugby

Ashton Gate Stadium - Friday 13 January 2017
KO: 19:45 HT: 10-38 Att: 13,140

Bristol Rugby Bath RugbyGEORGE FORD and Bath put on an attacking masterclass as they thrashed Bristol 57-22 at Ashton Gate. Bath scored five tries before the break and three more in the second half to secure a bonus-point win that keeps them top of Pool 4 and in the box seat for a home quarter-final.

An entertaining opening quarter began with a fast start. Anthony Watson went over the line but was just tackled into touch before dotting down and a couple of minutes later, Billy Searle gave Bristol a 3-0 lead with a monster penalty from just inside the Bath half. That failed to worry the visitors though as they continued to spread the ball across the field. With Ford prompting the Bath attack, an overthrown Bristol line-out was collected by Tom Dunn who powered over from close range. Ford added the extras, but that was just the start. Two more flowing team moves started by Ford saw Tom Homer and Robbie Fruean cross the try line in the 17th and 25th minutes respectively as the Bath backs cut Bristol's defence to ribbons. Ford converted both tries and had kicked an earlier penalty to make it 24-3 and leave Todd Blackadder's men on the verge of a bonus point with less than half an hour played. It did not take long for the fourth score to arrive, either. Bath were utterly dominant and with some weak Bristol tackling not helping the Ashton Gate outfit, Kahn Fotuali'i brushed off two defenders and sprinted clear to crash over under the posts. Ford booted his fourth conversion of the day to take his team past the 30-point mark. The action was relentless and Bristol, who had offered nothing since Searle's three-pointer, were the next to score. Tom Varndell broke away for their first of the day, Searle converting, but it was fitting that the sublime Ford had the last say of the first half. Taking the ball flat to the line in trademark fashion, the England fly-half ghosted through a gap to score and convert his team's fifth try. At 38-10 a high-octane first period had already settled the game in Bath's favour.

Strangely, the second half started in the same fashion as the first with Watson having another effort ruled out. Fotuali'i's second soon got the scoring back underway though, the scrum-half crossing from close range. Ford's last action of the game was to kick his sixth conversion before being replaced by Rhys Priestland. Bristol also took conceding their latest try as the opportunity to make a raft of changes, and they soon had an impact. Tusi Pisi's burst allowed Rhodri Williams to dart over, Searle converting, before Semesa Rokoduguni’s try took Bath to 50 points at the hour mark. Both teams were now intent on scoring more tries and the result was entertaining for the Bristol crowd despite the one-sided nature of the scoreline. The non-stop action continued and there was still time for one more try for either side. Chris Cook crossed in the 78th minute, Homer converting, before Jack Tovey got Bristol's latest consolation after the clock had ticked past the 80-minute mark.

BRISTOL: Luke Arscott, Jack Wallace, Thretton Palamo, Tusi Pisi, Tom Varndell, Billy Searle, Rhodri Williams, Kyle Traynor, Max Crumpton, Jamal Ford-Robinson, James Phillips, Ben Glynn, Jack Lam, OLLY ROBINSON (C), Mitch Eadie BENCH: Marc Jones, Ryan Bevington, Gaston Cortes, Giorgi Nemsadze, Joe Joyce, Will Cliff, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Tovey

SCORERS T: Varndell, Williams, Tovey C: Searle (2) P: Searle

BATH: Tom Homer, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Robbie Fruean, Anthony Watson, George Ford, Kahn Fotuali'i, Nathan Catt, Tom Dunn, Max Lahiff, Charlie Ewels, Elliott Stooke, Zach Mercer, FRANCOIS LOUW (C), Paul Grant BENCH: Jack Walker , Beno Obano , Kane Palma Newport, Levi Douglas, Guy Mercer, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Ben Tapuai

SCORERS T: Dunn, Homer, Fruean, Fotuali'i (2), Ford, Rokoduguni, Cook C: Ford (6), Homer P: Ford

Referee: Marius Mitrea

 

Pau PAU 21 - 22 CARDIFF BLUESCardiff Blues

Stade du Hameau - Saturday 14 January 2017
KO: 18:30 HT: 14-6 Att: 6,050

Pau Cardiff Blues 140117THE lead changed sides five times in a tense battle between Pau and Cardiff Blues before Steven Shingler snatched a vital 22-21 victory with a faultless kicking display to keep the Blues on course for the quarter-finals.

Shingler ensure their French mission started with points, as he landed a penalty to give the Welsh region a 3-0 lead after two minutes. But Pau soon stamped their mark on the match. Irish back-row Paddy Butler sliced through the defensive line on a devastating angle before the ball was recycled to right wing Louis Dupichot, who raced over at the corner, Brandon Fajardo converting. A second Shingler penalty cut the gap to a single point, but Pau scrum-half Julien Tomas burrowed over from close range for a second converted try to give the Blues an eight point gap to overturn at half-time, 14-6.

Shingler maintained his 100 percent record to pull his men back to within a converted try of the lead four minutes into the second-half. And the turnaround was complete 10 minutes into the second-period when Willis Halaholo spotted an overlap and switched to the short-side. He received the ball from Tomos Williams and jinked his way past the defence to score, with Shingler converting for a 16-14 lead. He added his fourth penalty moments later, but outside-centre Pierre Dupouy to strolled over after a spell of heavy pressure, and Fajardo converted to edge the home side 21-19 ahead. But Shingler kicked a fifth penalty to steal an unlikely victory at the death to keep their last-eight hopes alive.

PAU: Charly Malie, Louis Dupichot, Pierre Dupouy, Watisoni Votu, Mosese Ratuvou, Brandon Fajardo, Julien Tomas, Julien Jacquot, Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Malik Hamadache, Masalosalo Tutaia, Daniel Ramsay, Ben Mowen, Sean Dougall, PADDY BUTLER (C) BENCH: Lucas Rey, Jérémy Hurou, Sylvain Charlet, Baptiste Pesenti, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Taniela Moa, Marvin Lestremeau, Romain Buros

SCORERS T: Dupichot, Tomas, Dupouy C: Fajardo (3)

BLUES: Matthew Morgan, Cory Allen, Willis Halaholo, Steven Shingler, Rhun Williams, Nicky Robinson, Tomos Williams, Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees, Tau Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, James Down, Macauley Cook, SAM WARBURTON (C), Josh Navidi BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Anton Peikrishvili, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Cam Dolan, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Alex Cuthbert

SCORERS T: Halaholo C: Shingler P: Shingler (5)

Referee: Gary Conway

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POOL 5Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 5

HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 18 - 23 EDINBURGH RUGBYEdinburgh

The Twickenham Stoop - Saturday 14 January 2017
KO: 15:00 HT: 6-13 Att: 8,230

Harlequins Edinburgh RugbyEDINBURGH RUGBY moved to the top of Pool 5 as they claimed a 23-18 away victory over Harlequins. The narrow success against Harlequins was just reward for the visitors as John Kingston's men were left to regret spending half an hour of the game a man down courtesy of three yellow cards, obliterating any home advantage they may have had.

Scottish fly-half Duncan Weir exchanged early penalties with Harlequins No 10 Tim Swiel before Fraser McKenzie came up with the first try of the day. The second row hit a neat line to break clear and cruise over the line with the home defence barely able to lay a hand on him. Weir converted and booted another penalty after Mike Brown was pinged for holding on and with Quins forward James Chisholm shown a yellow card for a professional foul on the half hour mark, the home side were up against it. Edinburgh lost Scottish international prop WP Nel to a head injury assessment before the break, and Swiel responded with a second home penalty but saw another monster kick at goal from the halfway line fall short to leave his team needing to come from behind in the second half, 6-13 down.

Quins did not help themselves by losing Kyle Sinckler to another yellow card just minutes after the restart, the England man getting a 10-minute rest for striking Magnus Bradbury while being held back, which proved to be a crucial moment as just minutes after the prop departed, Edinburgh moved further ahead. From inside their own half, numerous phases saw the Scotsmen produce a free-flowing attacking move which ended in the most unlikely of scorers, prop Allan Dell finishing off beneath the posts. With Weir adding the simple extras, Edinburgh were now 14 points clear. The hour mark saw both teams make a raft of replacements, with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne among the new faces coming on to the field for Edinburgh. But Quins' bench failed to make an impact and Dave Ward then became the third home player to see yellow for a professional foul. Weir kicked the resulting penalty, and although Mathew Luamanu and Mathew Gray helped Quins score 12 points in the final three minutes, Quins were left to pay the penalty for their ill-discipline as Edinburgh moved into the box seat for a quarter-final spot.

HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Alofa Alofa, Joe Marchant, Charlie Walker, Tim Swiel, DANNY CARE (C), Dan Murphy, Rob Buchanan, Kyle Sinckler, George Merrick, Charlie Matthews, James Chisholm, Dave Ward, Jack Clifford BENCH: Joe Gray, Adam Jones, Matt Shields, Mat Luamanu, Luke Wallace, Karl Dickson, Ruaridh Jackson, Matt Hopper

SCORERS T: Gray (2) C: Jackson P: Swiel (2) Yellow Card Chisholm, Ward

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Phil Burleigh, Tom Brown, Duncan Weir, Sean Kennedy, Allan Dell, ROSS FORD (C), WP Nel, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Cornell Du Preez BENCH: Neil Cochrane, Jack Cosgrove, Simon Berghan, Lewis Carmichael, Viliame Mata, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jason Tovey, Michael Allen

SCORERS T: McKenzie C: Weir P: Weir (2)

Referee: David Wilkinson

 

Timisoara SaracensTIMISOARA SARACENS C-C STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

Dan Paltinisanu Stadium - Saturday 14 January 2017
KO: 14:00

DUE to a forecast of increasingly poor weather conditions in the Timisoara area, the Challenge Cup Round 5 match between Timisoara Saracens and Stade Français Paris at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium was postponed then cancelled, and the Stade Français squad and management returned to France.

A misconduct complaint against Timisoara Saracens following the cancellation of the Romanian club's home match was held on Wednesday 18th January 2017.

An independent Disciplinary Committee found that Timisoara Saracens had not taken all appropriate steps to prepare and protect the playing surface at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium and that the club had breached the Tournament Rules of the 2016/17 Challenge Cup Participation Agreement.

The Committee, which consisted of Antony Davies (England), Chairman, Julien Berenger (France) and Pamela Woodman (Scotland), determined that Timisoara Saracens' preparation of the playing surface was deficient in that pitch covers were not provided, the undersoil heating system was not ready in good time and that no suitable alternative venue for the match was available.

The Committee also found that there were no exceptional circumstances and it decided to award five match points to Stade Français on the basis of a four-try bonus point result of 28-0 and imposed a fine of €30,000 on Timisoara Saracens.

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EPCR Round 4

POOL 1Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 1

Benetton TrevisoBENETTON TREVISO 21 - 17 BAYONNEBayonne

Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 17 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 21-10 Att: 1,500

Benetton Treviso BayonneBENETTON TREVISO bridged a 12 year gap since they last completed back-to-back wins in Europe, and overcame the handicap of seeing two players pick up yellow cards to complete a notable double over Bayonne.

Bayonne, who were hissed off the pitch on their home ground a week earlier, got off to a flying start and built up a 10 point lead as Raphael Lagarde kicked a penalty and then converted a try from full back Julien Tisseron.

However, their lead was shortlived, and by the break, Treviso’s forwards had built up a sufficient head of steam to ensure the PRO12 team went into the half-time interval with a 21-10 advantage. David Odiete launched the fightback with a 17th minute try that Tommy Allan improved. Luca Bigi was next across the Bayonne try line before a penalty try and two more Allan conversions changed the face of the game.

It could have been even more of a lead had Allan not missed with a penalty on the stroke of half-time and then left the door open for Bayonne. Braam Steyn was the first of the home side to see yellow and four minutes after he went to the sin-bin Thibault Lacroix crossed for a try for the visitors that Lagarde converted.

Next into the bin was Luca Sperandio, although this time Bayonne could not capitalise on their advantage of two men up for six minutes. Treviso tightened their defence and there were no more scores.

TREVISO: David Odiete, Angelo Esposito, Luca Morisi, LUKE MCLEAN (C), Luca Sperandio, Tommy Allan, Tito Tebaldi, Nicola Quaglio, Luca Bigi, Simone Ferrari, Marco Fuser, Dean Budd, Braam Steyn, Marco Lazzaroni, Robert Barbieri BENCH: Roberto Santamaria, Alberto de Marchi, Matteo Zanusso, Jean-François Montauriol, Andrea Pratichetti, Giorgio Bronzini, Ian McKinley, Alberto Sgarbi

SCORERS T: Odiete, Bigi, PT C: Allan (3) Yellow Card Steyn, Sperandio

BAYONNE: BENJAMIN THIERY (C), Ryan Tongia, Bastien Fuster, Thibault Lacroix, Julien Tisseron, Raphael Lagarde, Bastien Duhalde, Davit Khinchagishvili, David Menage, Ben Broster, Guillaume Ducat, Pelu Ian Taele, Arnaud Duputs, Dion Evrard Oulai, Jean-Blaise Lespinasse BENCH: Jose Ramon Ayarza, Jérôme Schuster, Jon Zabala, Pablo Huete, Lucas Meret, Maka Polutele, Tanerau Latimer, Maile Mamao

SCORERS T: Tisseron, Lcroix C: Lagarde (2) P: Lagarde

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

 

La RochelleLA ROCHELLE 42 - 13 GLOUCESTER RUGBYGloucester Rugby

Stade Marcel Deflandre - Saturday 17 December 2016
KO: 20:45 HT: 23-6 Att: 14,153

La Rochelle Gloucester RugbyGABRIEL LACROIX crossed for a double as La Rochelle overpowered Gloucester to claim a 42-13 triumph. The Top 14 heavyweights overpowered the Cherry and Whites from the off as they retook control of Pool 1 after their Kingsholm defeat the previous weekend. Lacroix crossed for a brace of tries to add to scores from Kini Murimurivalu, Hikairo Forbes and Botia Veivuke, before they wrapped it up with a late penalty try.

Gloucester got back in it through John Afoa after half-time, but the giant La Rochelle pack laid the foundations to send the French side back to the summit of the pool with two games remaining. Billy Burns fired Gloucester in-front after only two minutes with penalty after a powerful scrum, but Brock James levelled three minutes later.

The home side turned up the heat at another set-piece to shunt Gloucester back and earn a second penalty, and James made no mistake from the tee. And it got even worse for the Cherry and Whites when La Rochelle wing Lacroix beat James Hook to squeeze in for a try at the corner for an 11-3 advantage.

La Rochelle allowed Burns to pull Gloucester back to within five points with a penalty, but the hosts showed their clinical streak when full-back Murimurivalu cut a devastating angle to score a second try. James converted, before the French side shunted Forbes over the line from close range to make it 23-6 at half-time.

Gloucester got back in it though after the break when Afoa crashed over after a strong carry from centre Mark Atkinson. Burns converted before Matt Scott was shown yellow for a loose boot at a ruck. And Lacroix made them pay when he scooped up a James cross-kick to score the bonus point try.

The game was wrapped up when Botia latched onto a Murimurivalu offload, before a penalty try finished the job for La Rochelle.

LA ROCHELLE: Kini Murimurivalu, Gabriel Lacroix, Paul Jordaan, Pierre Aguillon, Vincent Rattez, Brock James, Alexi Bales, Mike Corbel, Hikairo Forbes, Uini Atonio, Jone Qovu Nailiko, Mathieu Tanguy, Romain Sazy, JASON EATON (C), Victor Vito BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, Dany Priso, Mohamed Boughanmi, Leo Cedaro, Charlie Francoz, Arthur Retiere, Zack Holmes, Botia Veivuke

SCORERS T: Lacroix (2), Murimurivalu, Forbes, Botia, PT C: James (3) P: James (2), Holmes

GLOUCESTER: James Hook, Charlie Sharples, Matt Scott, Mark Atkinson, Jonny May, Billy Burns, CALLUM BRALEY (C), Josh Hohneck, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Jeremy Thrush, Lewis Ludlow, Jacob Rowan, Ben Morgan BENCH: Motu Matu'u, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Joe Latta, Mariano Galarza, Willi Heinz, Henry Purdy, Matt Kvesic

SCORERS T: Afoa C: Burns P: Burns (2) Yellow Card Scott

Referee: Ian Davies

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POOL 2Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 2

Ospreys OSPREYS 71 - 3 GRENOBLE Grenoble

Liberty Stadium - Saturday 17 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 33-3 Att: 7,039

Ospreys GrenobleTHE Ospreys thrashed Grenoble 71-3 in their encounter at the Liberty Stadium. A one-sided Pool 2 tie saw the Welsh region remain undefeated as they ran in a total of 11 tries, while Grenoble floundered, mustering a single penalty from Gilles Bosch which opened the scoring.

Grenoble had been beaten 59-7 by the Ospreys on home soil and although Bosch gave the French side an early 3-0 lead, it soon became clear a repeat scoreline was on the cards.

Olly Cracknell landed the first try for the Welsh side at the end of the first quarter, Dan Biggar converting the first of his eight successful kicks at the uprights. Ashley Beck soon added a second, and with Grenoble lock Mathias Marie yellow carded for a high tackle on Brendon Leonard, the visitors were in real trouble.

Wales hooker, Scott Baldwin crossed twice in quick succession, his second seeing him score in the corner before the best effort of the half came just before the break. Grenoble had barely restarted when Sam Davies ran the ball back. Davies raced clear and found Evans with a lovely inside ball. Evans sprinted clear to dot down and with Biggar adding four out of five conversions, the game was over at half time as the Ospreys went into the interval 33-3 up, bonus pint already firmly secured.

The home side's almost constant try-scoring continued at the start of the second period. Skipper Brendon Leonard dived over from close range, Biggar again converting to bring up the 40-point mark. At that stage the Ospreys looked like they could score at will but Grenoble, to their credit, refused to hide.

Steve Tandy's men dominated possession and although the visitors never stopped tackling, it was not long before Biggar added a try of his own. Again the excellent Davies was the creator, linking up with Kieron Fonotia to send the fly-half over. Biggar converted his own score to make it 47-3, allowing Tandy to make a raft of replacements.

Wing Hanno Dirksen - on his first appearance of the season - was among a number of fresh faces and his arrival soon saw him cross the whitewash. Collecting Biggar's cross-kick, Dirksen went over in the corner for the most popular score of the afternoon. The conversion was wide but there was still time for further scores from replacement Scott Otten and a second for both Evans and Dirksen to complete the rout.

OSPREYS: Sam Davies, Daf Howells, Kieron Fonotia, Ashley Beck, Daniel Evans, Dan Biggar, BRENDON LEONARD (C), Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Rhodri Jones, Lloyd Ashley, Rory Thornton, Olly Cracknell, Sam Underhill, James King BENCH: Scott Otten, Gareth Thomas, Ma'afu Fia, Adam Beard, Rob McCusker, Thomas Habberfield, Josh Matavesi, Hanno Dirksen

SCORERS T: Cracknell, Beck, Baldwin (2), Evans (2), Leonard, Biggar, Dirksen (2), Otten C: Biggar (8)

GRENOBLE: Clement Gelin, Pierre Mignot, Edward Sawailau, Nigel Hunt, Bastien Guillemin, Gilles Bosch, DAVID MÉLÉ  (C), Alexandre Dardet, Etienne Fourcade, Walter Desmaison, Mathias Marie, Thomas Jolmes, Ben Hand, Kevin Kornath, Fabien Alexandre BENCH: Paulin Mas, Denis Coulson, Dayna Edwards, Mickael Capelli, LoÏc Baradel, Lilian Saseras, Xavier Mignot, Chris Farrell

SCORERS P: Bosch Yellow Card Marie

Referee: Luke Pearce

 

Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS 48 - 29 LYON Lyon Olympique Universitaire

Kingston Park - Sunday 18 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 34-10 Att: 3,507

Newcastle Falcons Lyon RugbyNEWCASTLE FALCONS romped to a 48-29 win against Lyon, tying up the bonus-point by half-time and scoring six tries as they overturned their 42-12 defeat in Lyon the previous weekend to stay in the hunt for a quarter-final place.

The visitors took the lead with a sixth minute penalty from Jerome Porical, but then they got hit by hat-trick of home tries in a blistering seven minute spell. Two of them fell to Argentine centre Juan-Pablo Socino, and the other one came from scrum half Tane Takulua.

Lyon showed their mettle by grabbing one try in the first half through wing Thibaut Regard, and Porical converted to give the visitors ten points. But that was their limit in the first 40 minutes.

Falcons outside half Joel Hodgson, who had replied to Porical's early penalty with one of his own, converted all three tries and then crossed for the bonus-point try on the stroke of half-time. He added the conversion and kicked another penalty to take his first-half tally to 19 points as the Falcons led 34-10.

Lyon reduced the gap to 17 points with a second converted try from centre Pierre-Louis Barassi a minute after the restart. Porical converted both scores. But Newcastle were not yet done.

The Falcons picked up a fifth try through wing Zach Kibirige, which Hodgson again converted. But the wing’s opposite number, Franck Romanet, responded with 14 minutes to play to make it 41-22. That left the Frenchmen chasing a possible try bonus-point with three tries done.

The visitors eventually found that almost elusive bonus point thanks to a last gasp effort from Paul Bonnefond, but only after the Falcons had claimed their sixth score from Callum Chick, Craig Willis converting.

FALCONS: Tom Catterick, Dan Marshall, Fred Burdon, Juan Socino, Zach Kibirige, Joel Hodgson, Tane Takulua, Alex Rogers, Ben Sowrey, Jon Welsh, Calum Green, Nick Civetta, Dan Temm, MARK WILSON (C), Callum Chick BENCH: David Nelson, Rob Vickers, Paddy Ryan, Glen Young, Harrison Orr, Sam Egerton, Craig Willis, Belisario Agulla

SCORERST: Socino (2), Takulua, Hodgson, Kibirige, Chick C: Hodgson (5), Willis P: Hodgson (2) Yellow Card Waldouck

LYON: Jerome Porical, Thibaut Regard, Paul Bonnefond, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Franck Romanet, Romain Loursac, AUGUSTIN FIGUEROLA (C), Sami Mavinga, Cameron Mapusua, David Attoub, Josh Bekhuis, Maselino Paulino, Dylan Cretin, Didier Tison, Tai Tu'ifua  BENCH: Ti'i Paulo, Alexandre Menini, Hamza Kaabèche, Andrés Zafra, Deon Fourie, Jacques Louis Potgieter, Nicolas Durand, Baptiste Couilloud

SCORERS T: Regard, Barassi, Romanet, Bonnefond C: Porical (3) P: Porical

Referee: Gary Conway

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POOL 3Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 3

BriveBRIVE 38 - 18 ENISEI-STM Enisei STM

Stade Amédée-Domenech - Friday 16 December 2016
KO: 19:00 HT: 21-6 Att: 4,000

Brive Enisei STMBRIVE took firm control of Pool 3 as they completed a bonus-point double over Enisei-STM to move clear at the top. There were two tries from American speedster Taku Ngwenya among a haul of six for the home side in a game that saw four yellow cards dished out by English referee Tom Foley. The Russians picked up three of them and Brive one.

Having taken the lead with a third minute penalty from Iurii Kushnarev, the visitors then lost Mikheil Gachechiladze to the sin-bin three minutes later. While he was off, Benito Masilevu crossed for the first of home tries and Thomas Laranjeira added the extras.

South African lock Johan Snyman was next to score midway through the first-half, Laranjeira again hitting the target with his conversion, before Ramil Gaisin became the second Enisei player to see yellow. A minute later, No 8 Sisa Koyamaibole extended the lead with try No 3.

Laranjeira's conversion made it 21-3 before Kushnarev made up for an earlier miss by adding a second penalty. That made it a 15 point gap at the break, although Brive lost Wilhelm Steenkamp to a yellow card a minute before half-time.

Not to be outdone, Enisei picked up a third yellow nine minutes into the second half. This time it was Viacheslav Krasylnyk who left the field and two minutes later Ngwenya crossed for the first of his brace of tries.

That earned Brive the bonus point and no sooner had they achieved that goal than they began to ring the changes. Enisei hit back with two tries from Shamil Magomedov, but Ngwenya's second and a final score from Julien Le Devedec made it a good night's work for the home side.

BRIVE: Benjamin Lapeyre, Taku Ngwenya, Christopher Tuatara, Seremaia Burotu, Benito Masilevu, Thomas Laranjeira, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Damien Lavergne, Guillaume Ribes, Kevin Buys, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Johan Snyman, William Whetton, SAID HIRECHE (C), Sisa Koyamaibole BENCH: Thomas Acquier, Vivien Devisme, Soso Bekoshvili, Arnaud Mela, Julien Le Devedec, Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, Sevanaia Galala, David Delarue

SCORERS T: Masilevu, Snyman, Koyamaibole, Ngwenya (2), le Devedec C: Laranjeira (4) Yellow Card Steenkamp

ENISEI: Ramil Gaisin, Thomas Halse, JURIJS BARANOVS (C), Dmitrii Gerasimov, Denis Simplikevich, Iurii Kushnarev, Alexey Shcherban, Andrei Polivalov, Stanislav Selskii, Innokentiy Zykov, Uldis Saulite, Viacheslav Krasylnyk, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Maxim Gargalic, Anton Rudoi BENCH: Shamil Magomedov, Valery Morozov, Jake Grey, Evgeny Elgin, Igor Kurashov, Konstantin Uzunov, Aleksei Mikhaltsov, Andrey Temnov

SCORERS T: Magomedov (2) C: Kushnarev P: Kushnarev (2) Yellow Card Gachechiladze, Gaisin, Krasylnyk

Referee: Tom Foley

 

Newport Gwent Dragons DRAGONS 22 - 7 WORCESTER WARRIORSWorcester Warriors

Rodney Parade - Friday 16 December 2016
KO: 19:30 HT: 10-7 Att: 4,096

Newport Gwent Dragons Worcester WarriorsTHE Newport Gwent Dragons dragged themselves from the bottom of the table in Pool 3 and relegated the Worcester Warriors to replace them with a convincing 22-7 win over the visitors to South Wales on Friday night.

The Men of Gwent got off to the worst possible start when Connor Braid booted a loose ball and out-paced opposite man Angus O'Brien in a straight foot race to touch down. Braid converted his own score, but the Dragons came roaring back when Knoyle was on hand to wrestle his way over before O'Brien kicked the extras from out wide to level the game, seven points each in just seven minutes.

The game turned on its head in the 15th minute when Warriors flanker, Sam Betty lost his head and landed two hooks on Rynard Landman at a mass brawl. Referee David Wilkinson took no prisoners and duly showed him a red card, paving the way for the Dragons to take advantage of XV against 14 for the remainder of the match.

O'Brien missed the resulting penalty from a simple angle, and minutes later it was 14 against 14 when Ollie Griffiths was sin-binned for collapsing a maul. But after last week's hammering at the scrum, Kingsley Jones had highlighted the set-piece as an area for improvement, and the tables had clearly turned. O'Brien was able to sort his radar and bagged a penalty in the 24th minute but on the stroke of half time, he skewed a drop-goal attempt wide to keep it a three-point game.

The Dragons soon put their foot down and made sure they would avenge the previous week's 33-20 defeat to the Warriors. With his first touch after coming on as a replacement, Wales centre Tyler Morgan darted his way over for a second try. And as the final quarter approached, prop Sam Hobbs was on the end of a brutal maul to bag a third score.

The home side needed the bonus point if they were to stay only four points behind Brive, but centre Adam Warren scuppered two opportunities for the fourth try when he spilled the ball on two separate occasions with the line gaping.

DRAGONS: Rhys Jones, Tom Prydie, Sam Beard, Adam Warren, Ashton Hewitt, Angus O'Brien, Tavis Knoyle, Sam Hobbs, T Rhys Thomas, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Rynard Landman, Nick Crosswell, Ollie Griffiths, LEWIS EVANS (C) BENCH: Elliot Dee, Phil Price, Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Harrison Keddie, Sarel Pretorius, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon

SCORERS T: Knoyle, Morgan, Hobbs C: O'Brien (2) P: O'Brien Yellow Card Griffiths

WARRIORS: Josh Adams, Ben Howard, Max Stelling, RYAN MILLS (C), Dean Hammond, Connor Braid, George DeCothi, Ryan Bower, Jack Singleton, Mike Daniels, Will Spencer, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Sam Betty, Marco Mama, Matt Cox BENCH: Matti Williams, Derrick Appiah, Nick Schonert, Andrew Kitchener, Huw Taylor, Charlie Hewitt, Sam Ripper Smith, Jamie Shillcock

SCORERS T: Braid C: Braid Red Card Betty

Referee: David Wilkinson

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POOL 4Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 4

Bath Rugby BATH RUGBY 38 - 3 CARDIFF BLUESCardiff Blues

Recreation Ground - Thursday 15 December 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 10-3 Att: 12,556

Bath Rugby Cardiff BluesIT was payback time at The Rec on Thursday night for Bath Rugby as they overturned their 3-28 defeat to the Cardiff Blues the previous week to win convincingly 38-3 in their Round 4 encounter with their second half effort.

Bath totally dominated the first quarter, George Ford prompting things from fly-half on his return to the side. Remarkably though, they failed to turn almost total domination of possession into points, George Ford's kicking let him down as he put a simple penalty wide early on and the Blues made the most of the England international's surprising miss.

The Welsh side went up the other end - their first visit to the Bath half - Steve Shingler scoring the first points of the evening with three points of his own. The fly-half's effort came as a total surprise, but Bath soon put a fairer reflection on the game as they moved back ahead.

Ford found Ben Tapuai with a chip, only for scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i to knock on. It was then second time lucky for Tapuai, the centre making another break which set up a score for Ross Batty. The Bath hooker found himself in plenty of space and when the ball was recycled, he had an easy run to the line. Ford converted and added a penalty for a 10-3 half-time lead.

If the Blues hoped they had of any chance taking something from the game in the second half with just a score between the sides, it was fast extinguished. Kirby Myhill was promptly yellow carded for upending Dave Attwood in the 42nd minute, and this was rapidly followed by Cardiff being reduced to 13 men, and just 14 for the remaining duration once Myhill returned, after George Earle's red card dismissal for making contact with the eye area of Tom Ellis.

Tries either side of the red card from Jack Wilson and Aled Brew, plus two conversions from Ford then put Bath in total control against 13 men, 24-3 ahead. From there, with almost half an hour still remaining, Bath looked difficult to stop.

Shortly after, Batty intercepted Nicky Robinson's pass to sprint clear from 50 metres for a bonus-point score which sent the Bath crowd wild.  And for a final flourish, Elliott Stooke, who had replaced Charlie Ewels in the first half, added a late fifth try whilst the Blues were unable to muster another point.

BATH: Tom Homer, Jack Wilson, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Tapuai, Aled Brew, GEORGE FORD (C), Kahn Fotuali'i, Nick Auterac, Ross Batty, Max Lahiff, Charlie Ewels, David Attwood, Tom Ellis, Francois Louw, Taulupe Faletau BENCH: Michael Van Vuuren, Beno Obano, Shaun Knight, Elliott Stooke, Zach Mercer, Darren Allinson, Adam Hastings, Max Clark

SCORERS T: Batty (2), Wilson, Brew, Stokes C: Ford (4), Homer P: Ford

BLUES: Matthew Morgan, Cory Allen, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully, Steven Shingler, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Tau Filise, George Earle, James Down, Macauley Cook, SAM WARBURTON (C), Josh Navidi BENCH: Matthew Rees, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, Jarrad Hoeata, Seb Davies, Ellis Jenkins, Tomos Williams, Nicky Robinson

SCORERS P: Shingler Yellow Card Myhill RC Earle

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz

 

Pau PAU 18 - 28 BRISTOL RUGBYBristol Rugby

Stade du Hameau - Friday 16 December 2016
KO: 20:00 HT: 18-14 Att: 8,373

Pau Bristol RugbyTOM VARNDELL scored a superb hat-trick as Bristol made it back-to-back wins over Pau, the English side 18-28 winners in France, Varndell scoring twice in the second half to add to his first before the break in what was a devastating display of clinical finishing.

Bristol had been convincing 41-14 winners in the reverse fixture at Ashton Gate, but the second leg in France got off to a dicey start for the English side. Only four minutes had elapsed before back rower Jon Fisher limped off injured. Then burst into life. Pau's Thibault Daubagna opened the scoring with a penalty before Jack Wallace put Bristol back ahead, collecting Thretton Palamo's pass to dive over. Jason Woodward converted, but that was not the end of the early drama.

Scrum-half Daubagna raced over for Pau and added the extras before Jale Vatubua smashed his way through to score. At 15-7 down Bristol were up against it and they then lost another key man when skipper Jordan Crane was replaced by Giorgi Nemsadze. Woodward had missed with a penalty effort and Daubagna showed him how to do it with three points of his own in the 25th minute.

A high-octane first period was then completed as Varndell scored the first of his hat trick. The flying winger picked the ball up inside his own half, showed the French defence a dummy and flew home to the try line. Adrian Jarvis converted as Bristol went into the break 18-14 behind.

The second period started with a brief skirmish between the two teams, a pre-curser to what was to follow. Bristol's Rob Hawkins saw yellow before Pau's Romain Buros did likewise to make it 14-a-side. Matthew Tierney then sent the French side down to 13 and with both sides ringing the changes, the game turned into a stop-start affair.

Just after the hour mark, Bristol struck with Varndell to inflict further damage again. The former Leicester ace, who looked dangerous throughout, collected Jarvis' kick through to score. The conversion was added to set up a thrilling final quarter, Bristol 21-18 ahead.

At that stage Pau were still in the game, but they were floored once Varndell completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute. Jarvis converted once again and although Bristol pushed for a fifth, their failure to score again failed to dampen the spirits of the travelling fans.

PAU: Charly Malie, Marvin Lestremeau, Julien Fumat, Jale Vatubua, Bastien Pourailly, Brandon Fajardo, Thibault Daubagna, Julien Jacquot, Lucas Rey, Sylvain Charlet, Masalosalo Tutaia, Daniel Ramsay, Ben Mowen, Sean Dougall, PADDY BUTLER (C) BENCH: Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Geoffrey Moise, Matthew Tierney, Fabrice Metz, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Julien Tomas, Pierre Dupouy, Romain Buros

SCORERS T: Daubagna, Vatubua C: Daubagna P: Daubagna (2) Yellow Card Buros

BRISTOL: Jason Woodward, Tom Varndell, Thretton Palamo, Will Hurrell, Jack Wallace, Billy Searle, Will Cliff, Ryan Bevington, Rob Hawkins, Gaston Cortes, James Phillips, Ben Glynn, Mitch Eadie, Jonathan Fisher, JORDAN CRANE (C) BENCH: Max Crumpton, Jack O'Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Giorgi Nemsadze, Olly Robinson, Rhodri Williams, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Tovey

SCORERS T: Wallace, Varndell (3) C: Woodward (3) C: Woodward (2), Jarvis (2) Yellow Card Hawkins

Referee: Lloyd Linton

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POOL 5Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 5

Stade Francais STADE FRANÇAIS 26 - 20 EDINBURGH RUGBYEdinburgh

Stade Jean Bouin - Thursday 15 December 2016
KO: 20:45 HT: 26-3 Att: 7,347

Stade Francais Edinburgh RugbySTADE FRANÇAIS ended Edinburgh Rugby's perfect start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as they inflicted a 26-20 defeat on the visitors who had so far taken three wins both home and away. The Parisians secured the bonus point before the first half was even close to ending, and Edinburgh had a small mountain to climb.

The French opened the scoring through a Rémy Bonfils try half way through the first quarter, Jules Plisson adding the extras. Edinburgh came back with a Jason Tovey penalty, but that was their lot for the first half of the game.

Meanwhile the homeside ran in another three tries; the first began with Josaia Raisuqe making a stunning break before finding Sergio Parisse, who offloaded to Hugo Bonneval to score. Next, the Stade pack shunted Edinburgh back at a scrum to earn a penalty try. And the visitors were dealt a double blow as prop Simon Berghan was shown a yellow card for the infringement. And finally, the man-up advantage was taken by Geoffrey Doumayrou for the fourth try of the match.

The half ended with Stade Français 26-3, but also a man down after Sylvain Nicolas was sent to the sin-bin.

Edinburgh began well after the break, also a man up, pulling a try back through lock Fraser McKenzie, who burrowed over from close range. The conversion went awry, but the home team failed to score another point as Edinburgh battled to catch up from 26-8 down.

Following McKenzie’s try, Viliame Mata evaded the defence for a second try at the start of the final quarter. Tovey converted to put Edinburgh right back in the game as they rallied to a 26-15 scoreline. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne gave the Scotsmen hope with a third try in the 79th minute, but it came too late and added to the two missed conversions.

STADE: Hugo Bonneval, Jérémy Sinzelle, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Josaia Raisuqe, Jules Plisson, Clement Daguin, Emmanuel Felsina, Remi Bonfils, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, PASCAL PAPÉ (C), Jonathan Ross, Sekou Macalou, Sergio Parisse BENCH: Craig Burden, Zurabi Zhvania, Giorgi Melikidze, Mathieu De Giovanni, Sylvain Nicolas, Arthur Coville, Morné Steyn, Julien Arias

SCORERS T: Bonfils, Bonneval, PT, Doumayrou C: Plisson (3) Yellow Card Nicolas

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Michael Allen, Chris Dean, Tom Brown, Jason Tovey, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Alasdair Dickinson, ROSS FORD (C), Simon Berghan, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Cornell Du Preez, Hamish Watson, Nasi Manu BENCH: Neil Cochrane, Allan Dell, Murray McCallum, Lewis Carmichael, Viliame Mata, Sean Kennedy, Duncan Weir, Glenn Bryce

SCORERS T: McKenzie, Mata, Hidalgo-Clyne C: Tovey P: Tovey Yellow Card Berghan

Referee: Dudley Phillips

 

HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 75 - 3 TIMISOARA SARACENSTimisoara Saracens

The Twickenham Stoop - Saturday 17 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 35-0 Att: 9,642

Harlequins Timisoara SaracensTHREE-times tournament winners, Harlequins stormed to the top of Pool 5 with an 11-try demolition of 14-man Timisoara Saracens at Twickenham Stoop. A Jamie Roberts hat-trick of tries was the highlight of a 75-3 bonus point victory that swept them above Edinburgh Rugby as they clinically punished the Romania.

It was an absolute nightmare start for the Romanians as New Zealand-born Romanian international flanker, Randall Morrison was sent off by French referee Thomas Charabas after just two minutes following his high tackle on wing Marland Yarde. That ended it as a contest virtually before it had started as John Kingston's Quins followed up their 42-3 away win in Round 3 with this rout that leaves them unbeaten at home during all tournaments this season.

It meant Timisoara Saracens were a man short for almost all the action, and the points inevitably started to pile up almost immediately. However, Quins also ended up a man short when Mat Luamanu was also red carded at the death for a dangerous tackle.

An inside pass put flanker Luke Wallace over for the opening try, converted by Ruaridh Jackson, and when Quins moved the ball wide, wing Tim Visser showed some nifty footwork to cross for their second try. Jackson added the extra points and was on target yet again when Welsh star Jamie Roberts got try No3 to start building up his hat-trick.

Roberts bagged his second -and Quins' bonus point fourth try- after being fed by Danny Care with sweet line-out possession. The home side were free to play with abandon and Mike Brown crossed for the fifth, giving Quins a 35-0 lead going into the break.

Quins could well afford to take Jackson off for the second half after the outside half had taken a slight knock. The tries started to flow again almost immediately, with Yarde getting his first and replacement Tim Swiel carrying on where Jackson left off with the conversion. Loosehead prop Jack Clifford then got in on the try-scoring act from a rolling maul.

Gabriel Conache finally got Timisoara on the scoreboard with a penalty as the final quarter approached. Meanwhile, Harlequins topped the half century of points when Roberts completed his hat-trick, 56-3 up.

Yarde and Brown each added further scores before Luamanu saw red in the 77th minute. Swiel wrapped matters up with a superb solo effort for try No11, and the lack of conversion did not adversely affect the cricket score Quins had rung up in their routing of the Romanians.

HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Joe Marchant, Jamie Roberts, Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson, DANNY CARE (C), Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, Kyle Sinckler, George Merrick, Charlie Matthews, James Chisholm, Luke Wallace, Jack Clifford BENCH: Dave Ward, Owen Evans, Adam Jones, Stan South, Mat Luamanu, Karl Dickson, Tim Swiel, Alofa Alofa

SCORERS T: Wallace, Visser, Roberts (3), Brown (2), Yarde (2), Clifford, Swiel C: Jackson (5), Swiel (5) Red Card Luamanu

TIMISOARA: Stephen Shennan, Madalin Lemnaru, Brian Sefanaia, Paula Kinikinilau, Fonovai Tangimana, Jack Umaga, Gabriel Conache, Edmund Aholelei, Andrei Radoi, Horatiu Pungea, VALENTIN POPIRLAN (C), Marian Drenceanu, Randall Morrison, Daniel Gabriel Ianus, Sandu Stelian Burcea BENCH: Eugen Capatana, Gigi Militaru, Samuel Maris, Ionut Muresan, Victor Dumitru, Marius Simionescu, Florin Popa, Dorin Lazar

SCORERS P: Conache Red Card Morrison

Referee: Thomas Charabas

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Round 3

POOL 1Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 1

Gloucester RugbyGLOUCESTER RUGBY 35 - 14 LA ROCHELLELa Rochelle

Kingsholm Stadium - Thursday 08 December 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 22-7 Att: 9,278

Gloucester Rugby La RochelleGLOUCESTER RUGBY cemented their status as Pool 1 leaders with a bonus-point 35-14 victory over La Rochelle at Kingsholm. With both teams going into the game unbeaten, something had to give and it was the home side who maintained their perfect start to the competition. Efforts from Mark Atkinson, Josh Hohneck and Ollie Thorley did the damage for the home side, with captain Greig Laidlaw adding 12 points with his right boot. Centre Matt Scott completed a good night's work for the home side with their fourth score late on to seal a vital bonus point.

After Henry Purdy had an early effort rightly ruled out for a knock on following his own chip and chase, it was the French visitors who moved ahead. With the giant France prop Uini Atonio and former All Black Victor Vito in their ranks, La Rochelle clearly decided brute power was the way to go. It worked, too. A series of carries with 24-stone prop Atonio at the heart of things ended with an easy finish for Kevin Gourdon, the flanker waltzing through to dot down. Zack Holmes added the extras, but that was as good as it got for them before the break.

Gloucester soon hit back with centre Atkinson scoring the first for David Humphreys' side, standing up in the tackle to find his way to the line and dot down. Laidlaw kicked the conversion and a penalty to put his team back in front and it soon got even better. With Laidlaw dictating things from the base, the Scottish skipper started a lovely blindside move which ended with Purdy finding prop Hohneck inside him to power over. Laidlaw was awry with the touchline conversion, but there was still time for one more before the break.

Again it was Purdy who was the instigator, his break leaving the French defence at sixes and sevens. When the ball was recycled, Burns - whose kicking game was first class - found Thorley with a chip into space which the winger collected for an easy finish. This time, Laidlaw nailed the touchline conversion for a 22-7 interval lead.

Needing a fast start to the second period, La Rochelle got exactly that. From the kick-off they dominated the physical collisions as their giant pack showed why they have been the surprise package in this season's TOP14. Constant visiting pressure resulted in wing David Raikuna diving over, Holmes again splitting the posts with the conversion. Laidlaw settled some nerves with a second penalty and added another in the 64th minute to make it 28-14 as the game descended into a forward battle which the home side edged.

The hulking Atonio was one of a number of La Rochelle forwards to leave the field in the second period, but their replacements could not quite make the impact coaches would have wanted. In the end they left with nothing to show for their efforts, Scott sending the Kingsholm crowd home happy when he crashed over with just two minutes remaining.

GLOUCESTER: David Halaifonua, Ollie Thorley, Matt Scott, Mark Atkinson, Henry Purdy, Billy Burns, GREIG LAIDLAW (C), Josh Hohneck, Motu Matu'u, Salesi Ma'afu, Tom Savage, Joe Latta, Ross Moriarty, Matt Kvesic, Gareth Evans BENCH: Richard Hibbard, Yann Thomas, Paul Doran-Jones, Tom Denton, Freddie Clarke, Callum Braley, Charlie Sharples, Lewis Ludlow

SCORERS T: Atkinson, Hohneck, Thorley, Scott C: Laidlaw (3) P: Laidlaw (3)

LA ROCHELLE: Vincent Rattez, Gabriel Lacroix, Steve Barry, Botia Veivuke, David Raikuna, Zack Holmes, Ricky Januarie, Mike Corbel, Hikairo Forbes, Uini Atonio, JASON EATON (C), Mathieu Tanguy, Kevin Gourdon, Victor Vito, Jone Qovu Nailiko BENCH: Maxime Gau, Dany Priso, Mohamed Boughanmi, Damien Lagrange, Romain Sazy, Alexi Bales, Brock James, Elliot Roudil

SCORERS T: Gourdon, Raikuna C: Holmes (2)

Referee: Andrew Brace

 

BayonneBAYONNE 15 - 28 BENETTON TREVISOBenetton Treviso

Stade Jean-Dauger - Friday 09 December 2016
KO: 20:00 HT: 3-16 Att: 2,200

Bayonne Benetton TrevisoAFTER a nine year wait, Benetton Treviso finally picked up a European win on the road as they notched only their second victory of the season in Bayonne. Since 2007/08 season when Treviso picked up an away 24-22 win against the Dragons at Rodney Parade, the Italians had lost 22 games in the European Cup and one in the Challenge Cup away from home.

The Italians' led from the fourth minute when international outside half Tommaso Allan kicked the first of his three penalties on a night when he ended with 13 points. Bayonne levelled after 11 minutes with a penalty from Lucas Meret, but after that it was all Benetton.

They scored three tries without reply and build up a 25 point lead. David Odiete scored in the first half and then Luca Bigi, three minutes after the re-start, and then Alberto Sgarbi, six minutes later, all crossed the home line.

Allan converted Odiete's score to make it 16-3 at the break and also improved the try from Sgarbi. Bayonne hit back with second half tries from Dion Evrard Oulai and Benjamin Thiéry, the latter when Sgarbi was in the sin-bin.

But it was not enough to shake Benetton's resolve or nerve and it turned into a night of celebration for the visitors as they notched their first win in Pool 1 after suffering a 41-10 defeat at home against La Rochelle and a 37-8 loss at Gloucester.

BAYONNE: BENJAMIN THIÉRY (C), Ryan Tongia, Bastien Fuster, Thibault Lacroix, Julien Tisseron, Lucas Meret, Bastien Duhalde, Jérôme Schuster, David Ménage, Toma Taufa, Guillaume Ducat, Adam Jaulhac, Arnaud Duputs, Dion Evrard Oulai, Jean-Blaise Lespinasse BENCH: Aretz Iguiniz, Davit Khinchagishvili, Ben Broster, Pelu Ian Taele, Guillaume Rouet, Maka Polutele, Raphael Lagarde, Maile Mamao

SCORERS T: Oulai, Thiéry C: Meret P: Meret Yellow Card Duputs

TREVISO: David Odiete, Andrea Pratichetti, Luca Morisi, ALBERTO SGARBI (C), Luca Sperandio, Tommy Allan, Edoardo Gori, Nicola Quaglio, Luca Bigi, Matteo Zanusso, Marco Fuser, Dean Budd, Marco Lazzaroni, Braam Steyn, Marco Barbini BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Alberto de Marchi, Tiziano Pasquali, Simone Ferrari, Roberto Santamaria, Tito Tebaldi, Ian McKinley, Angelo Esposito

SCORERS T: Odiete, Bigi, Sgarbi C: Allan (2) P: Allan (3) Yellow Card Sgarbi

Referee: Tom Foley

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POOL 2Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 2

GrenobleGRENOBLE 7 - 59 OSPREYSOspreys

Stade des Alpes - Friday 09 December 2016
KO: 18:00 HT: 7-28 Att: 6,754

Grenoble OspreysTHE Ospreys got off to a flying start in a match that had been delayed for a day because of a frozen pitch on Thursday night, and bagged the bonus-point by half-time before going on to score nine tries in a 59-7 win.

The first of those four first-half tries came from New Zealand centre Kieran Fonotia, as he ran in European debut try that proved the Pool 2 table-toppers were in a hurry to get the job done. Dan Biggar added the extras and did the same 10 minutes later. The second came from hooker Sam Parry from a familiar route. The Ospreys won a line-out in the home 22 and Parry was able to burrow over for his sixth score of the season.

Having scored 14 points in as many minutes, the Ospreys tried to maintained the pressure and pace, but found that Grenoble, without a TOP 14 to their credit this season, were still very much up for the fight. They grabbed a try back via centre Clement Gelin at the posts which Gilles Bosch converted.

Italian official Marius Mitrea ruled out an appeal for a second home score after they had driven up to and seemingly over the Ospreys line and by the break the Welsh region had extended their lead to 28-7 with two more tries. Inspirational skipper Alun Wyn Jones drove over from close range for the third, while Fijian centre Josh Matavesi ran in from the home 22 for another try that Biggar improved.

The tries continued to flow after the break as the visitors' maintained their pressure. The outstanding Justin Tipuric got over the Grenoble line after some great inter-play between backs and forwards, but the try was ruled out because of the grounding The TMO was called into action again a few minutes later when some great handling skills saw Dafydd Howells cross in the corner.

This time the try was given, but Biggar was unable to convert from near the touchline. He did improve a second score from the wing in the 57th minute to extend the lead to 33 points. Giles grabbed a second to make it seven tries in three matches in his debut season in Europe before Biggar hoisted his night's tally to 19 with a ninth try.

GRENOBLE: Armand Batlle, Pierre Mignot, Clement Gelin, Nigel Hunt, Tino Nemani, Gilles Bosch, DAVID MÉLÉ (C), Alexandre Dardet, Etienne Fourcade, Walter Desmaison, Mickael Capelli, Mathias Marie, Kevin Kornath, Steven Setephano, Dylan Hayes BENCH: Loick Jammes, Denis Coulson, Dayna Edwards, Thomas Jolmes, Henry Vanderglas, Lilian Saseras, Fabrice Estebanez, Bastien Guillemin

SCORERS T: Gelin C: Bosch

OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Keelan Giles, Kieron Fonotia, Josh Matavesi, Daf Howells, Dan Biggar, Thomas Habberfield, Paul James, Sam Parry, Dmitri Arhip, Rory Thornton, ALUN WYN JONES (C), James King, Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker BENCH: Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Rhodri Jones, Lloyd Ashley, Sam Underhill, Rob McCusker, Brendon Leonard, Sam Davies

SCORERS T: Fonotia, Parry, AW Jones, Matavesi, Howells (2), Giles (2), Biggar C: Biggar (7)

Referee: Marius Mitrea

 

Lyon Olympique Universitaire LYON 42 - 12 NEWCASTLE FALCONSNewcastle Falcons

Matmut Stadium - Friday 09 December 2016
KO: 19:30 HT: 21-5 Att: 8,892

Lyon Rugby Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS' hopes of reaching the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals were dealt a blow after Lyon cruised to a bonus-point 42-12 victory at the Matmut Stadium.

Newcastle knew only a win would do after the high-flying Ospreys earned their third bonus-point triumph down the road in Grenoble. And they got off to the perfect start after four minutes. Alex Tait broke free in midfield and fed Dan Temm who dummied past a defender to score at the corner. Brett Connon failed to add the extras but the Falcons held an early 5-0 lead.

But the hosts fought-back to hit the front after 12 minutes. The giant Lyon pack hammered at the Newcastle line before prop Sami Mavinga  drove over amongst a heap of bodies to score. Jerome Porical landed the conversion to edge his men in-front.

The Falcons held out the homeside for a period, keeping them at just a 7-5 lead well into the second quarter, until Baptiste Couilloud went clean through and found Paul Bonnefond on a perfect supporting line. The centre crashed over before Porical added the extras. Felix Lambey then broke clear down the blindside to score a third converted try in the first-half, Lyon clear in front with a 21-5 score going into the break.

Dean Richards' half-time team talk clearly made an impact as Fred Burdon charged downfield before being stopped just short, but Rob Vickers was on-hand to burrow over from close-range. Connon converted to make it 21-12.

However, Lyon finally got their bonus-point score when Bonnefond got his second of the game. The hosts drove a lineout close to the Falcons line before moving it to the outside centre, and he found the whitewash for the crucial fourth score. Agustín Figuerola then added a fifth before Bonnefond completed his hat trick to put the seal on a 42-12 triumph.

LYON: Jerome Porical, Franck Romanet, Paul Bonnefond, Thibaut Regard, Henry Clunies-Ross, Romain Loursac, Baptiste Couilloud, Sami Mavinga, Ti'i Paulo, BJ Botha, Felix Lambey, Maselino Paulino, DEON FOURIE (C), Dylan Cretin, Curtis Browning BENCH: Cameron Mapusua, Hamza Kaabèche, David Attoub, Simon Christian Njewel, Didier Tison, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Jacques Louis Potgieter, Agustín Figuerola

SCORERS T: Mavinga, Bonnefond (3), Lambey, Figuerola C: Porical (6)

FALCONS: Tom Catterick, Alex Tait, Dom Waldouck, FRED BURDON (C), Zach Kibirige, Brett Connon, Sam Egerton, Alex Rogers, Ben Sowrey, David Wilson, Mouritz Botha, Nick Civetta, Glen Young, Dan Temm, Harrison Orr BENCH: David Nelson, Rob Vickers, Andy Foster, Marcus Watson, Mark Wilson, Joel Hodgson, Dan Marshall, Mike Delany

SCORERS T: Temm, Vickers C: Connon

Referee: David Wilkinson

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POOL 3Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 3

Enisei STMENISEI-STM 8 - 43 BRIVEBrive

Yug Stadium - Saturday 10 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 8-26 Att: 300

Enisei STM BriveBRIVE proved sound learners as they ran in four tries in their Pool 3 clash against Enisei-STM at Yug Stadium in Sochi - full back Gaëtan Germain putting the boot in with 21 points from the tee. The TOP 14 side were left stunned in round three of the 2015 Challenge Cup when they became the first side to be beaten by Enisei in Europe.

Enisei-STM went into the contest as perhaps the surprise package this season with two consecutive victories and nine points in the bag, after both Worcester Warriors and the Newport Gwent Dragons underestimated the Russian fire-power. Brive adjusted expections and headed to Sochi with a inning gameplan, knowing just how dangerous the Russians could be.

With not a hint of complacency, it took the 1997 European Champions just a minute to get their first try on the way to the bonus point win with outside half Nicolas Bézy silencing the home crowd. And it was Bézy who finished matters in the final seconds of the game by converting replacement Benito Masilevu's last gasp try.

Enisei-STM did give their supporters something to cheer about with No8 Anton Rudoi crashing over in the 16th minute. The conversion went awry, but outside half Yuri Kushnarev added a penalty on the half hour for the total score from home side.

The rest of the points, however, rested with the French club, left wing Guillaume Namy landing a second try before the break for a 26-8 half-time scoreline. Hooker Guillaume Ribes scored the third try four minutes into the second half, before Masilevu banked the bonus point in the 80th minute.

ENISEI: Thomas Halse, Igor Kurashov, JURIJS BARANOVS (C), Dmitrii Gerasimov, Denis Simplikevich, Yuri Kushnarev, Alexey Shcherban, Andrei Polivalov, Stanislav Selskii, Innokentiy Zykov, Uldis Saulite, Maxim Gargalic, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Vitalii Orlov, Anton Rudoi BENCH: Shamil Magomedov, Valery Morozov, Evgenii Pronenko, Andrey Temnov, Aleksandr Budychenko, Konstantin Uzunov, Aleksei Mikhaltsov, Viacheslav Krasylnyk

SCORERS T: Rudoy P: Kushnarev Yellow Card Shcherban

BRIVE: Gaëtan Germain, Taku Ngwenya, Arnaud Mignardi, Sevanaia Galala, Guillaume Namy, Nicolas Bézy, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Vivien Devisme, Guillaume Ribes, Damien Jourdain, Johan Snyman, Jan Uys, Péniami Narisia, SAID HIRECHE (C), Dominiko Waqaniburotu BENCH: Francois Da Ros, Damien Lavergne, Patrick Toetu, Wilhelm Steenkamp, William Whetton, Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, Christopher Tuatara, Benito Masilevu

SCORERS T: Bézy, Namy, Ribes, Masilevu C: Germain (3), Bézy P: Germain (5)

Referee: Ian Tempest

 

Worcester WarriorsWORCESTER WARRIORS 33 - 20 DRAGONSNewport Gwent Dragons

Sixways Stadium - Saturday 10 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 7-6 Att: 7,168

Worcester Warriors Newport Gwent DragonsWORCESTER WARRIORS finally secured their first Challenge Cup win of the season in a Pool 3 contest against Newport Gwent Dragons at Sixways Stadium that saw yellow card fever sweeping the ground - two for each side - and two penalty tries for good measure. French referee Thomas Charabas sent four players to the sin bin and awarded Warriors two penalty tries as the Dragons were left still searching for their first away win in all competitions this season.

Outside half Angus O'Brien gave Dragons a perfect start, on target with a drop goal after seven minutes - and then the Warriors' cause was not helped when flanker Sam Betty was the first to be shown a yellow cards by the French official. To add to their early woes O'Brien, promptly doubled the Welsh region's advantage with a penalty goal before lock Christian Scotland-Williamson joined his team-mate in the sin bin to leave the homeside briefly down to 13 men.

Worcester escaped any further punishment on the scoreboard and finally opened their own account seconds before the break with prop Val Rapava-Ruskin rumbling over to the delight of the home fans. And they edged ahead with Canadian Connor Braid adding the conversion of the only try of the half, the Warriors closing out the visitors by a single point at the break, 7-6.

There was further relief for Warriors fans when Dean Hammond bagged their second try, Braid this time failing with his conversion attempt. And promptly it was the Dragons who fell foul of the French official, prop Brok Harris sent to the sin bin. Worcester promptly took advantage of being a man up with referee Charabas awarding a penalty try. Braid made it a 13-point lead with the conversion and there was no let up in the yellow card fever sweeping Sixways.

The Dragons were momentarily back up to their full complement as the final quarter loomed before Leon Brown was marched off to the naughty step. The Warriors repeated being awarded that second converted penalty try. Max Stelling ran in a fifth, the conversion taking the home team 27 points clear.

In the last five minutes, wing Ashton Hewitt made a blazing comeback for the Dragons, scoring two tries which O’Brien converted, but it was too little too late, and they left Sixways with nothing but a modicum of pride.

WARRIORS: Josh Adams, Ben Howard, Max Stelling, RYAN MILLS (C), Dean Hammond, Connor Braid, George de Cothi, Val Rapava Ruskin, Jack Singleton, Bi Alo, Will Spencer, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Sam Betty, Carl Kirwan, Matt Cox BENCH: Matti Williams, Ryan Bower, Mike Daniels, Andrew Kitchener, Huw Taylor, Charlie Hewitt, Jamie Shillcock, Andy Short

SCORERS T: Rapava-Ruskin, Hammond, PT (2), Stelling C: Braid (4) Yellow Card Betty, Scotland-Williamson

DRAGONS: Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Sam Beard, Adam Warren, Ashton Hewitt, Angus O'Brien, Sarel Pretorius, Phil Price, Rhys Buckley, Brok Harris, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill, James Thomas, Nic Cudd, LEWIS EVANS (C) BENCH: Elliot Dee, Sam Hobbs, Leon Brown, Rynard Landman, Harrison Keddie, Tavis Knoyle, Rhys Jones, Jack Dixon

SCORERS T: Hewitt (2) C: O'Brien (2) P: O'Brien DG: O'Brien Yellow Card Harris, Brown

Referee: Thomas Charabas

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POOL 4Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 4

Cardiff BluesCARDIFF BLUES 28 - 3 BATH RUGBYBath Rugby

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park - Saturday 10 December 2016
KO: 14:30 HT: 9-3 Att: 7,569

Cardiff Blues Bath RugbyBATH coach Todd Blackadder was left an unhappy man after his team defeat by Cardiff Blues. The English side simply never got going in the Welsh capital, a Tom Homer penalty all they could manage in a 28-3 reversal to the Blues.

Tries from Matthew Morgan, Alex Cuthbert and Scott Andrews and the boot of man of the match Steven Shingler won it for the Welsh region as they remained unbeaten in Europe.

Cardiff turned around 9-3 ahead thanks to three penalties from Shingler. Homer responded with a kick for Bath but that was as good as it got for the Aviva Premiership side.

Without the rested George Ford and Jonathan Joseph, Bath looked listless in attack and kicked too much ball away when chasing the game in the final quarter. Bath were never able to manage a response once Morgan and Cuthbert put the Blues in control. The former's try was some score, Shingler ghosting through the visiting defence with a wonderful dummy. When the ball was recycled, Morgan finished in the corner. Then, just minutes later, Cuthbert powered through four Bath tacklers to score. His fine finish was a reminder of the qualities which made him a British Lion in 2013.

His score was converted and there was still time for replacement prop Andrews to grab a third which was again added to by Shingler. It completed a memorable day for Wilson whose team remain unbeaten in Europe.

The Cardiff Blues boss paid tribute to Cuthbert. The winger has copped real criticism for his performances on the international scene with Wales but here he was much improved, capping his display with a fine finish.

BLUES: Matthew Morgan, Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully, Steven Shingler, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Tau Filise, George Earle, James Down, Seb Davies, SAM WARBURTON (C), Josh Navidi BENCH: Matthew Rees, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, Jarrad Hoeata, Kirby Myhill, Tomos Williams, Nicky Robinson, Cory Allen

SCORERS T: Morgan, Cuthbert, Andrews C: Shingler (2) P: Shingler (3)

BATH: Tom Homer, Semesa Rokoduguni, Max Clark, Ben Tapuai, Jack Wilson, Dan Bowden, Darren Allinson, Beno Obano, Ross Batty, Max Lahiff, Charlie Ewels, Elliott Stooke, MATT GARVEY (C), Tom Ellis, Paul Grant BENCH: Jack Walker, Nick Auterac, Kane Palma Newport, Guy Mercer, Michael Van Vuuren, Will Homer, Adam Hastings, Jeff Williams

SCORERS P: Homer

Referee: George Clancy

 

Bristol RugbyBRISTOL RUGBY 41 - 14 PAUPau

Ashton Gate Stadium - Sunday 11 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 22-7 Att: 7,559

Bristol Rugby PauBRISTOL secured their first victory this season with a 29-7 triumph over Pau. The West Country side put themselves on the path to a first European win for seven years with a first-half blitz of tries. Jack Wallace crossed, before Tom Varndell became the record Challenge Cup try-scorer. Watisoni Votu got one back for Pau, as did Thibault Daubagna at the death, but Billy Searle and Luke Arscott bagged the bonus before the break. Thretton Palamo and Chris Brooker completed the victory with second-half scores to lift Bristol off the foot of Pool 4.

Bristol got off to the perfect start in their quest to get off the mark in the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Flying wing Wallace made the most of some space to race past the Pau defence to score. Searle could not add the conversion, but it was about to get even better for the hosts.

Varndell created Challenge Cup history to put his side 10-0 up after 17 minutes. The former England wing used some silky footwork to score and take himself ahead of Richard Haughton as the leading try scorer in Challenge Cup history with 21.

But Searle could not convert again and Pau were back in it moments later. Votu punched a hole in the Bristol defence to race in, with Brandon Fajardo converting to make it 10-7. But it did not take long for the hosts to add their third try though as David Lemi raced 40 metres downfield to setup fly-half Searle.

And the bonus-point was wrapped up before half-time when Arscott crashed over at the back of a driving lineout to score. Searle added the extras to make it 22-7 at half-time. And they continued their try-scoring exploits after the break when Palamo scored a stunning solo try from 40 metres out. Brooker put the gloss on the victory with a close range score before being driven over for his second. Daubagna grabbed a late converted consolation try in the 79th minute, but it was too little too late.

BRISTOL: Jack Wallace, Tom Varndell, Thretton Palamo, Luke Arscott, DAVID LEMI (C), Billy Searle, Andy Uren, Soane Tonga'uiha, Max Crumpton, Anthony Perenise, Giorgi Nemsadze, Ian Evans, Nick Koster, Nick Fenton-Wells, James Phillips BENCH: Chris Brooker, Jack O'Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Ben Glynn, Joe Joyce, Martin Roberts, Adrian Jarvis, Jack Tovey

SCORERS T: Wallace, Varndell, Searle, Arscott, Palamo, Brooker (2) C: Searle (2), Jarvis

PAU: Charly Malie, Watisoni Votu, Julien Fumat, Pierre Dupouy, Marvin Lestremeau, Brandon Fajardo, Taniela Moa Teutau, Geoffrey Moise, Lucas Rey, Malik Hamadache, Masalosalo Tutaia, Abdellatif Boutaty, Sean Dougall, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, PADDY BUTLER (C) BENCH: Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Julien Jacquot, Matthew Tierney, Baptiste Pesenti, Loic Bernad, Julien Tomas, Tom Taylor, Mehdi Boundjema

SCORERS T: Votu, Daubagna C: Fajardo Yellow Card Boutaty, Dupouy

Referee: Dudley Phillips

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POOL 5Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 5

Timisoara SaracensTIMISOARA SARACENS 3 - 42 HARLEQUINSHarlequins

Dan Paltinisanu Stadium - Saturday 10 December 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 3-21 Att: 1,000

Timisoara Saracens HarlequinsHARLEQUINS recovered from a slow start to secure a comfortable 42-3 victory over Romanian side Timisoara Saracens. The English side secured a bonus point just one minute into the second half as they kept themselves in contention to qualify from Pool 5. Timisoara stood up well in the final quarter and never gave up but there was only one team which deserved to come out on top.

A lacklustre opening stanza saw Harlequins frustrated, both teams scoreless until the visitors handed over a penalty for Valentin Calafeteanu to convert into three points. But from then on in, it was one-way traffic. With Randall Morrison yellow carded for the Romanians, Harlequins struck. Dave Ward rumbled over for the first try, and George Merrick added a second before Aaron Morris made it three tries in 12 minutes before half time. Ruaridh Jackson converted all three scores to put the game out of sight with just 40 minutes gone.

At 21-3 up going into the second half, Harlequins could afford to relax and Charlie Walker waltzed in to secure the bonus point, before coach John Kingston removed England props Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler from the fray. Their absence failed to stop the Quins from piling on the points, and Walker added his second try just four minutes after his first by sending the Romanian defence flying with a brilliant offload.

Joe Marchant was the last to get on the scoresheet as Jackson completed a memorable day with the boot by converting all three second-half tries to send his team top of the group.

TIMISOARA: Catalin Fercu, Stephen Shennan, Brian Sefanaia, Paula Kinikinilau, Fonovai Tangimana, Jack Umaga, Valentin Calafeteanu, Edmund Aholelei, Eugen Capatana, Horatiu Pungea, Valentin Popirlan, Marian Drenceanu, Randall Morrison, Daniel Gabriel Ianus, SANDU STELIAN BURCEA (C) BENCH: Andrei Radoi, Gigi Militaru, Samuel Maris, Ionut Muresan, Dorin Lazar, Gabriel Conache, Tevita Manumua, Madalin Lemnaru

SCORERS P: Calafeteanu Yellow Card Morrison

HARLEQUINS: Aaron Morris, Charlie Walker, Joe Marchant, Winston Stanley, Alofa Alofa, Ruaridh Jackson, DANNY CARE (C), Joe Marler, Dave Ward, Kyle Sinckler, George Merrick, Charlie Matthews, George Naoupu, James Chisholm, Jack Clifford BENCH: Rob Buchanan, Owen Evans, Adam Jones, Stan South, Matt Shields, Charlie Mulchrone, Tim Swiel, Matt Hopper

SCORERS T: Ward, Merrick, Morris, Walker (2), Marchant C: Jackson (6)

Referee: Lloyd Linton

 

EdinburghEDINBURGH RUGBY 28 - 23 STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

BT Murrayfield Stadium - Saturday 10 December 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 3-20 Att: 4,055

Edinburgh Rugby Stade FrancaisEDINBURGH produced a stunning comeback to maintain their 100 percent record in the European Rugby Challenge Cup with a 28-23 victory over Stade Français from a 3-20 deficit at half time.

Duncan Hodge's men were looking to continue their perfect start in Pool 5, but it was Stade who got off to a flying start. Stade took a close-range lineout and hammered at the Edinburgh line before outside centre Waisea Nayacalevu crashed over. Morné Steyn landed the conversion, and soon added a drop-goal to make it 10-0 after 10 minutes.

The French heavyweights pressed their advantage with a well-taken Steyn offload, before wing Josaia Raisuqe streaked downfield and found Sekou Macalou in support, and the blindside flanker found his way to the line. 25 minutes in, the visitors were 17-0 up.

Stade back Paul Williams was then shown yellow for a tip-tackle on Viliame Mata, and Duncan Weir got Edinburgh on the scoreboard moments later with a penalty. However, Steyn replied with one of his own to send Stade in 20-3 up at half-time.

Whatever was said in the home changing room at Murrayfield had the desired impact, and the hosts came out firing and were fast right back in the game courtesy of Damien Hoyland. Weir took play into the Stade half before releasing Hoyland, and the wing did the rest to pull Edinburgh back in to within 12 points. And the comeback was well and truly on when Ben Toolis was shunted over the line. Weir added the extras to pull them back to within five points at 15-20.

Edinburgh continued in the right direction, despite playing a man down for 25 minutes after Phil Burleigh was red carded for trying to remove Pascal Papé by handing off the visiting captain’s face, and Steyn added one last penalty to keep the Scots at arm's length.

However, just inside the final quarter, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne sniped over the line after a spell of heavy pressure. Weir converted to bring his men back within a point, before he landed a penalty to send his side into the lead for the first time. And Weir added another penalty take his personal tall to 13, and wrap up the impressive comeback triumph.

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Michael Allen, Phil Burleigh, William Helu, Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Alasdair Dickinson, Stuart McInally, Murray McCallum, Ben Toolis, GRANT GILCHRIST (C), Viliame Mata, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury BENCH: Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Fraser McKenzie, Cornell Du Preez, Sean Kennedy, Jason Tovey, Glenn Bryce

SCORERS T: Hoyland, Toolis, Hidalgo-Clyne C: Weir (2) P: Weir (3) Red Card Burleigh

STADE: Jérémy Sinzelle, Julien Arias, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Paul Williams, Josaia Raisuqe, Morné Steyn, Will Genia, Heinke Van der Merwe, Laurent Panis, Giorgi Melikidze, Paul Gabrillagues, PASCAL PAPÉ (C), Sekou Macalou, Mathieu De Giovanni, Willem Alberts BENCH: Remi Bonfils, Zurabi Zhvania, Emmanuel Felsina, Hugh Pyle, Patrick Sio, Clement Daguin, Jules Plisson, Théo Millet

SCORERS T: Nayacalevu, Macalou C: Steyn (2) P: Steyn (2) DG: Steyn Yellow Card Williams

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

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EPCR Round 1

POOL 1Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 1

La RochelleLA ROCHELLE 51 - 24 BAYONNEBayonne

Stade Marcel Deflandre - Thursday 20 October 2016
KO: 20:45 HT: 36-10 Att: 14,634

La Rochelle BayonneLA ROCHELLE impressed at home with an eight try routing of Bayonne, bonus point in the bag by the 34th minute, and a full ten point haul from two rounds of European Challenge Cup rugby.

The home side got off to a flying start with a try in the second minute from Romain Sazy. It was swiftly followed by tries from Charles Bouldoire with a brace, Jason and Steeve Barry. Brock James added four conversion and a penalty to secure a solid first half score. The visitors replied with a converted try from Martin Laveau on the wing, Lucas Meret also adding a penalty, and the teams went into the break 36-10.

The second half saw a better start from Bayonne with a rapid Pablo Huete try, promptly converted. And they kept La Rochelle out for another ten minutes, but after a host of changes, replacement Arthur Retiere made his mark quickly, and Lepani Botia followed just three minutes later, both tries unconverted with James no longer on the field. Leo Cedaro then added the eighth try to bring up the half-century in the final ten minutes. Zach Holmes picked up a yellow card with five minutes left to play, and that gave Bayonne the opportunity to have the final word with a penalty try which Guillaume Rouet converted almost at the death.

LA ROCHELLE: Charles Bouldoire, David Raikuna, Elliot Roudil, Kini Murimurivalu, Steve Barry, Brock James, Anthony Fuertes, Mike Corbel, Hikairo Forbes, Luc Mousset, Romana Graham, Mathieu Tanguy, JASON EATON (C), Romain Sazy, Jone Qovu Nailiko BENCH: Jeremie Maurouard, Vincent Pelo, Mohamed Boughanmi, Leo Cedaro, Afa Amosa, Arthur Retiere, Zack Holmes, Lepani Botia

SCORERS T: Sazy, Bouldoire (2), Eaton, Barry, Retiere, Botia, Cedaro C: James (4) P: James Yellow Card Holmes

BAYONNE: Ryan Tongia, Martin Laveau, Adam Whitelock, Thibault Lacroix, Bastien Fuster, Lucas Meret, Bastien Duhalde, Jérôme Schuster, Gregory Arganèse Ben Broster, Guillaume Ducat, Pablo Huete, JEAN-JO MARMOUYET (C), Dion Evrard Oulai, Pieter Jan Van Lill BENCH: David Menage, Adrien Bordenave, Richard Choirat, Adam Jaulhac, Guillaume Rouet, Maile Mamao, Julien Jane, Jean-Blaise Lespinasse

SCORERS T: Laveau, Huete, PT C: Meret (2), Rouet P: Meret

Referee: Matt Carley

 

Gloucester RugbyGLOUCESTER 37 - 8 BENETTON TREVISOBenetton Treviso

Kingsholm Stadium - Saturday 22 October 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 20-3 Att: 9,618

Gloucester Rugby Benetton TrevisoDESPITE trouncing their Pool 1 rivals, Benetton Treviso  at Kingsholm, it took Gloucester Rugby a full 80 minutes to secure the nearly elusive bonus point fourth try, though a win never really looked in doubt, as the match ended 37-8.

The home team struck first through captain Greig Laidlaw with a penalty in the 12th minute, followed up with another five minutes later. And soon into the second quarter, despite valiant defence from the Italians, Lewis Ludlow barged over for the first try of the afternoon. The conversion gave the Cherry and Whites a decent lead, but Ian McKinley hit back with a penalty soon after to reduce the deficit to ten. But a grubber kick from Billy Burns in the 40th minute was pounced on by England winger, Jonny May for a second score at half time, Laidlaw again converting. Gloucester ran in to the break 20-3 up.

The second half begun with gumption as Michael Tagicakibau crashed over in the corner for Treviso, but McKinley was unable to found his mark for the conversion. This was the last of the few points the Italians could muster, while the opposition were determined to add to their somewhat dented 17-point half time lead and Laidlaw struck another penalty, before Matt Scott immediately found the whitewash thanks to good work from Billy Twelvetrees. The remainder of the match passed with little incident, until Treviso a man down with Nicola Quaglio shown yellow in the 78th minute, into injury time and Callum Braley crashed over the tryline for the extra point needed to keep Gloucester in touch with pool leaders, La Rochelle, also with the full complement of 10 points from two rounds of European rugby.

GLOUCESTER: James Hook, Charlie Sharples, Matt Scott, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Billy Burns, GREIG LAIDLAW (C), Paddy McAllister, Motu Matu'u, John Afoa, Tom Savage, Joe Latta, Ross Moriarty, Matt Kvesic, Lewis Ludlow BENCH: Richard Hibbard, Cameron Orr, Salesi Ma'afu, Freddie Clarke, Jacob Rowan, Callum Braley, Mark Atkinson, Ollie Thorley

SCORERS T: Ludlow, May, Scott, Braley C: Laidlaw (3), Hook P: Laidlaw (3)

TREVISO: Jayden Hayward, Michael Tagicakibau, Tommaso Benvenuti, LUKE MCLEAN (C), Andrea Pratichetti, Ian McKinley, Giorgio Bronzini, Alberto de Marchi, Ornel Gega, Simone Ferrari, Marco Fuser, Dean Budd, Francesco Minto, Marco Lazzaroni, Braam Steyn BENCH: Luca Bigi, Nicola Quaglio, Tiziano Pasquali, Filippo Gerosa, Roberto Santamaria, Tito Tebaldi, Tommaso Iannone, David Odiete

SCORERS T: Tagicakibau P: McKinley Yellow Card Quaglio

Referee: Dudley Phillips

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POOL 2Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 2

Lyon Olympique Universitaire LYON 13 - 31 OSPREYS Ospreys

Matmut Stadium - Saturday 22 October 2016
KO: 20:45 HT: 3-17 Att: 8,638

Lyon OspreysTEENAGER Keelan Giles scorched over for a hat-trick as Ospreys maintained their blistering start to the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The 18-year-old finished a team attack for the first and danced through for a brace, before half-time before claiming his third with a near length of the field effort early in the second half.

Lyon's pack tried to ruffle Ospreys feathers, particularly as they dominated the scrum that handed Jacques Louis Potgieter an early penalty kick. But the hosts could do little to contain the Ospreys backline that bristled with ambition every time they touched the ball. Dafydd Howells, Josh Matavesi and James King all combined to hand Giles an easy finish on 16 minutes. Giles revelled outside Matavesi's play but his second was all his own work, jinking past two defenders before stepping on the gas to score. The Wales Under-20s wing proved just effective at the other end with a try-saving tackle on opposite number Henry Clunies-Ross after Potgieter's drop goal remarkably bounced twice along the crossbar. It was a telling blow for the homeside on the stroke of half-time as they failed to breach the try line despite previously going close through Sami Mavinga and Curtis Browning, losing 3-17.

Ospreys defence, spearheaded by Dan Lydiate, Lloyd Ashley and Ollie Cracknell, then set up the third try as Giles scooped up a loose ball inside his own 22 and galloped clear. Davies converted to open a 24-3 lead early in the second half. Matavesi was binned for a high tackle and Curtis Browning got a pushover try for the hosts. Rory Thornton and Cracknell both lost possession over the line as Ospreys pushed for the bonus and thought it had slipped through their grasp until replacement hooker, Sam Parry squeezed over in the final minute of full time to clinch the bonus-point, with Sam Davies converting all four tries, to complete a perfect night for Steve Tandy's side. Franck Romanet barged over in the final seconds before referee Andrew Brace blew the whistle, but it was too late to prevent Ospreys claiming a second bonus-point win in Pool 2.

LYON: Romain Loursac, Franck Romanet, Paul Bonnefond, Thibaut Regard, Henry Clunies-Ross, Jacques Louis Potgieter, Baptiste Couilloud, Sami Mavinga, Ti'i Paulo, David Attoub, Felix Lambey, Maselino Paulino, DEON FOURIE (C), Dylan Cretin, Curtis Browning BENCH: Vincent Giudicelli, Tornike Mataradze, BJ Botha, Thibaut Privat, Didier Tison, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Jerome Porical, Nicolas Durand

SCORERS T: Browning, Romanet P: Potgieter

OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Keelan Giles, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Daf Howells, Sam Davies, THOMAS HABBERFIELD (C), Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Ma'afu Fia, Lloyd Ashley, Rory Thornton, Dan Lydiate, Olly Cracknell, James King BENCH: Sam Parry, Paul James, Rhodri Jones, Adam Beard, Rob McCusker, Justin Tipuric, Brendon Leonard, Eli Walker

SCORERS T: Giles (4), Parry C: Davies (4) P: Davies Yellow Card Matavesi

Referee: Andrew Brace

 

Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS 50 - 7 GRENOBLE Grenoble

Kingston Park - Sunday 23 October 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 28-0 Att: 3,390

Newcastle Falcons GrenobleNEWCASTLE FALCONS' forwards set the stage for their first win of the European Rugby Challenge Cup against Grenoble. The Falcons pack overwhelmed their visitors at Kingston Park to set up a comfortable victory and put Dean Richards' side back into contention in Pool 2.

It took just four minutes for flanker Will Welch to power over the for the game's opening try after Joel Hodgson turned down a shot at goal and opted to kick a penalty to the corner, the perfect way for Welch to celebrate his 150th appearance for the club and was to set the tone for the rest of the game. Alex Tait's break almost set up Marcus Watson for a try but Tait was soon forced with an injury. His replacement Fred Burdon's attack then led to Grenoble scrum-half Lilian Saseras being sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on. Falcons looked to hammer home the advantage and hit Grenoble with three more tries before half-time to complete an early bonus-point. Lock Will Witty raced over, scrum-half Sonatane Takulua then snuck through from a lineout before another penalty kick to the corner set up flanker Mark Wilson for the fourth. Hodgson kept slotting over the conversions for a 28-0 lead at the break

It soon got worse for Grenoble when centre Tino Nemani became the second player to see a yellow card, for his high tackle on Simon Hammersley early in the second half. Ben Sowrey swiftly drove over from the back of a ruck a metre out from the line for the Falcons fifth before hooker Scott Lawson finished another driving lineout just a minute after taking the pitch as a replacement. The former Scotland international then did the same five minutes later. Grenoble finally managed to get themselves on the scoreboard when centre Eddie Sawailau raced down the right wing to score, but the Falcons blasted to the half-century on 78 minutes when Vickers and Hodgson combined to free Watson for a score in the left corner.

FALCONS: Simon Hammersley, Marcus Watson, Dom Waldouck, Juan Socino, Alex Tait, Joel Hodgson, Micky Young, Sam Lockwood, Ben Sowrey, Jon Welsh, Calum Green, Will Witty, Mark Wilson, WILL WELCH (C), Callum Chick BENCH: Scott Lawson, Rob Vickers, Scott Wilson, Mouritz Botha, Dan Temm, Tane Takulua, Craig Willis, Fred Burdon

SCORERS T: Welch, Witty, Takulua, Mark Wilson, Sowrey, Hodgson, Lawson, Watson C: Hodgson (5)

GRENOBLE: Bastien Guillemin, Sisa Ledua Waqa, Edward Dratai Sawailau, Tino Nemani, Armand Batlle, Gilles Bosch, Lilian Saseras, Denis Coulson, Loick Jammes, Dayna Edwards, BEN HAND (C), Mickael Capelli, Jonathan Best, Kevin Kornath, Henry Vanderglas BENCH: Etienne Fourcade, Alexandre Dardet, Ali Oz, Steven Giroud, Loic Baradel, Jeremy Valencot, David Mélé, Chris Farrell

SCORERS T: Sawailau C: Mélé Yellow Card Saseras, Nemani

Referee: Lloyd Linton

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POOL 3Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 3

Enisei STMENISEI-STM 38 - 18 DRAGONSNewport Gwent Dragons

Trud Stadium - Saturday 22 October 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 17-12 Att: 1,500

 

ENISEI-STM were in firm control of Pool 3 after picking up their first try bonus point with a convincing 38-18 win over the Newport Gwent Dragons. This was Enisei-STM's fourth home win in five games to date.

The Russians took the field with a full quota of international players in their back line, including the 95-times capped Georgian World Cup centre David Kacharava, and had two more Russians caps and an Ukrainian international up front. And they simply overpowered the Welsh region with their pick-and-go style and four of their tries came from close range.

The Dragons did not get off to the best of starts as outside half Angus O'Brien missed a fifth minute penalty and scrum half Charlie Davies had to be replaced by recent recruit Tavis Knoyle seven minutes later. That allowed home outside half Kushnarev to push his side ahead with a penalty of his own before the Dragons struck with the first of the game's seven tries. Pat Howard showed off his pace and power as he burst through the home defence to score midway through the opening period and O'Brien added the extras. Dmitrii Gerasimov then crossed for the first of his two tries and Kushnarev's conversion regained the lead for the home side. Sam Beard then rounded off some quick, clean phase play by the Dragons with a second try for the visitors, but O'Brien pushed his conversion wide. The Dragons' lead was even shorter lived this time as they failed to deal with the re-start and were sent into the interval trailing 17-12 after Stanislav Selskii drove over from close range for a try which Kushnarev once again improved.

Two successive penalties from O'Brien's boot hoisted the Dragons into a 18-17 lead on the hour, but no sooner had they hit the front, they conceded a third try from a poor re-start reception. Selskii needed no second invitation to use his burrowing skills from close range and Kushnarev's reliable boot made it 24-18. The Dragons kept on playing all the rugby, but their adventure and lack of control cost them dearly in the end. The Russians finished with a flourish with further tries from Gerasimov and replacement Valery Morozov, and two more Kushnarev conversions took his match tally to 13.

ENISEI: Ramil Gaisin, Igor Kurashov, David Kacharava, Thomas Halse, Denis Simplikevich, Iurii Kushnarev, Alexey Shcherban, Andrei Polivalov, Stanislav Selskii, Innokentiy Zykov, ULDIS SAULITE (C), Maxim Gargalic, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Vitalii Orlov, Anton Rudoi BENCH: Shamil Magomedov, Valery Morozov, Evgenii Pronenko, Tagir Ghadgiev, Jurijs Baranovs, Konstantin Uzunov, Aleksei Mikhaltsov, Viacheslav Krasylnyk

SCORERS T: Gerasimov (2), Selskiy (2), Morozov C: Kushnarev (5) P: Kushnarev

DRAGONS: Carl Meyer, Pat Howard, Sam Beard, Jack Dixon, Adam Warren, Angus O'Brien, Charlie Davies, Phil Price, Rhys Buckley, Lloyd Fairbrother, NICK CROSSWELL (C), Rynard Landman, James Thomas, Nic Cudd, Harrison Keddie BENCH: Darran Harris, Tom Davies, Craig Mitchell, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill, Tavis Knoyle, Rhys Jones, Ashton Hewitt

SCORERS T: Howard, Beard C: O'Brien P: O'Brien (2)

Referee: Vlad Iordachescu

 

Worcester WarriorsWORCESTER WARRIORS 24 - 25 BRIVE Brive

Sixways Stadium - Saturday 22 October 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 7-10 Att: 7,209

Worcester Warriors BriveBRIVE got back on track with a comeback victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways. The former European champions held out for a narrow victory that puts them back in the mix in Pool 3 while Worcester, who claimed a losing bonus point in the final seconds thanks to a try by Andy Short, left it too late after letting slip a 17-10 lead.

Brive had raced into an early ten-point lead thanks to USA international Taku Ngwenya's early try and the boot of Thomas Laranjeira. It could have been more but the Brive fly-half sliced his drop-goal attempt under pressure from Warriors lock Andrew Kitchener. Short almost also went close to scoring after an interception by No8 Matt Cox but it was left to the home forwards to claw a way back into the tie, earning a penalty try after Brive pulled own a driving maul that was heading over the try line. Tom Heathcote converted and then levelled the scores 10-10 early in the second half after Laranjeira missed with a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

There was then real concern for the Warriors when Heathcote had to be carried from the pitch on a stretcher after a heavy challenge. But Worcester had turned the tables and took the lead for the first time on 57 minutes through summer signing Te'o. Jamie Shillcock's foot work enabled the full-back to make the initial break. Chris Pennell, in his first game of the season following injury, showed no signs of rustiness with his handling skills and Te'o powered over. But Worcester took their eye off the ball and allowed Brive to hit back straight away through skipper Said Hireche. Replacement Nicholas Bézy missed the conversion but swiftly made amends when he was successful with a penalty that glanced off the post for a slender 18-17 lead.
Brive were reduced to 14 men for the final ten minutes when lock Jan Uys was shown a yellow card yet the French side still had enough to score next when replacement hooker Thomas Acquier went over. Bézy held his nerve to slot over the conversion that was to prove decisive as Shillcock and Pennell combined again for Short's last-gasp try.

WARRIORS: Chris Pennell, Andy Short, Max Stelling, Ben Te'o, Josh Adams, Tom Heathcote, Luke Baldwin, RYAN BOWER (C), Matti Williams, Mike Daniels, Andrew Kitchener, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Huw Taylor, Zac Xiourouppa, Matt Cox BENCH: Jack Singleton, Derrick Appiah, Bi Alo, Charlie Hewitt, Sam Ripper Smith, George DeCothi, Jamie Shillcock, Dean Hammond

SCORERS T: PT, Te'o, Short C: Heathcote, Shillcock (2) P: Heathcote

BRIVE: Benjamin Lapeyre, Taku Ngwenya, Arnaud Mignardi, Seremaia Burotu, Guillaume Namy, Thomas Laranjeira, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Vivien Devisme, Guillaume Ribes, Soso Bekoshvili, Jan Uys, Johan Snyman, Poutasi Luafutu, SAID HIRECHE (C), William Whetton BENCH: Thomas Acquier, Damien Lavergne, Kevin Buys, Arnaud Méla, Péniami Narisia, David Delarue, Nicolas Bézy, Benito Masilevu

SCORERS T: Ngwenya, Hireche, Acquier C: Laranjeira, Bézy P: Laranjeira, Bézy Yellow Card Uys

Referee: Gary Conway

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POOL 4Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 4

Bath Rugby BATH RUGBY 22 - 6 BRISTOL RUGBYBristol Rugby

Recreation Ground - Thursday 20 October 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 12-3 Att: 13,257

Bath Rugby Bristol RugbyIN a slow-starting match at The Rec, Rhys Priestland’s boot contributed 17 of the 22 points that Bath Rugby heaped on Bristol in the first local derby of the season since the visitors returned to Premiership rugby, under the floodlights of a packed full house.  

The lacklustre first half, Priestland knocked over four penalties to Billy Searle’s single successful effort, though defence was sharp on both sides. Both Searle and Tom Homer missed a three points each, and at the break, Bath ran in 12-3 up. Andy Robinson, the coach who led Bath to their European championship in 1998, had hoped for more as his team now battled his former West Country side after seven years away.  

The third quarter looked promising with a Matt Banahan try coming close, but was shut down, and Bristol debutant Shane Geraghty fired over a penalty in the 60th minute to reduce the visiting deficit. But Priestland cancelled out that effort moments later with his final penalty. Jack Tovey saw yellow for infringing at a ruck, and Geraghty followed for a no-arms tackle on Brew, leaving Bristol with 13 men for two minutes. And Bath took advantage with Banahan finally getting his dues, racing clear for the game's only try in the final seconds. Priestland added the extras, and secured another four points to stay second in Pool 3.

BATH: Tom Homer, Jeff Williams, Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan, Aled Brew, Rhys Priestland, Will Homer, Nick Auterac, Michael Van Vuuren, Max Lahiff, Luke Charteris, Charlie Ewels, Matt Garvey, GUY MERCER (C), Zach Mercer BENCH: Tom Dunn, Shaun Knight, Kane Palma Newport, Elliott Stooke, Leroy Houston, Dan Bowden, Adam Hastings, Semesa Rokoduguni

SCORERS T: Banahan C: Priestland P: Priestland (5)

BRISTOL: Jordan Williams, Ryan Edwards, Jack Tovey, Will Hurrell, Tom Varndell, Billy Searle, Will Cliff, Kyle Traynor, Chris Brooker, Anthony Perenise, Ian Evans, James Phillips, Mitch Eadie, Jonathan Fisher, JORDAN CRANE (C) BENCH: Rob Hawkins, Jack O'Connell, James Hall, Giorgi Nemsadze, Olly Robinson, Andy Uren, Shane Geraghty, Jack Wallace

SCORERS P: Searle, Geraghty Yellow Card Tovey, Geraghty

Referee: David Wilkinson

 

Cardiff BluesCARDIFF BLUES 27 - 12 PAU Pau

BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park - Friday 21 October 2016
KO: 19:15 HT: 13-5 Att: 6,960

Cardiff Blues PauCARDIFF BLUES remain at the top of pool 4 beating Pau 27-12, last week’s bonus point the difference between the Welsh side and Bath Rugby.

The Blues were ahead from the second minute after Blaine Scully crashed over in the corner following some nifty teamwork, and the visiting French side never quite caught up to threaten the lead. Steve Shingler’s conversion and two penalties had Cardiff 13 points up by half time, Pau’s only reply a was from captain Daniel Ramsay who barged over from close range, but Thibault Daubagna could not convert.

Cory Allen opened the account in the second half with his first of a brace, thanks to Shingler’ s handiwork, and the fly half converted simply. And while Pau were busy emptying their bench, the Blues worked the ball from wide from a close range scrum, and the Welsh centre fought off the remnants of defence to score again. Shingler’s conversion maintained his 100% kicking record, and took the homeside to a 27-5 lead at the start of the final quarter.

The bonus point remained elusive for the Blues, and with Jarrad Hoeata summarily dismissed by referee JP Doyle, and it was the opposition who took full advantage, Pierre Dupouy crossing for a consolation try at the death. Thierry Lacrampe’s conversion took Pau’s final score to 12, but a losing bonus point was far out of the visitors’ reach, keeping the French third in the table ahead of Bristol after two rounds of fierce rugby.

BLUES: Dan Fish, Alex Cuthbert, Cory Allen, Garyn Smith, Blaine Scully, Steven Shingler, Lloyd Williams, GETHIN JENKINS (C), Kirby Myhill, Tau Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, James Down, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Josh Turnbull BENCH: Matthew Rees, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Kristian Dacey, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Matthew Morgan

SCORERS  T: Scully, Allen (2) C: Shingler (3) P: Shingler (2) Yellow Card Hoeata

PAU: Charly Malie, Louis Dupichot, Santiago Fernandez, Pierre Dupouy, Bastien Pourailly, Brandon Fajardo, Thibault Daubagna, Jérémy Hurou, Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Sylvain Charlet, Masalosalo Tutaia, DANIEL RAMSAY (C), Pierrick Gunther, Sean Dougall, Ben Mowen BENCH: Lucas Rey, Geoffrey Moise, Joel Sclavi, Fabrice Metz, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Thierry Lacrampe, Romain Buros, Marvin Lestremeau

SCORERS T: Ramsay, Dupuoy C: Lacrampe

Referee: JP Doyle

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POOL 5Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 5

Stade Francais STADE FRANÇAIS 27-0 TIMISOARA SARACENSTimisoara Saracens

Stade Jean Bouin - Thursday 20 October 2016
KO: 20:00 HT: 22-0 Att: 6,511

Stade Francais Timisoara SaracensAFTER the previous week’s significant loss to their nemesis, Harlequins, Stade Français headed back home to take on Timisoara Saracens, who put up a respectable fight against Edinburgh in Round 1. But the visitors had little fight left, and despite Morné Steyn leaving six points out on the pitch after 80 minutes, the Parisians nulled the Romanians, subjecting them to a 27-0 defeat, and capturing that much needed bonus point.

The first half saw Jules Plisson, Faraj Fartass on starting debut and Djibril Camara found the whitewash. Steyn converted two and added a penalty for a solid 22-0 lead.

The match was not, however, the routing that could have been inflicted, as the visitors fought hard and long to stop a cricket score being run up against them, especially in the second half, where only Sylvain Nicolas managed to cross for the only points of the half. Despite Timisoara down to 14 with Madalin Lemnaru in the bin, the French team could not capitalise on their advantage.

STADE: Djibril Camara, Faraj Fartass, Théo Millet, Jules Plisson, Ratu Alipate Ratini, Morné Steyn, Clement Daguin, Zurabi Zhvania, Laurent Panis, Zak Taulafo, Mathieu De Giovanni, PASCAL PAPÉ (C), Sekou Macalou, Sylvain Nicolas, Jonathan Ross BENCH: Craig Burden, Emmanuel Felsina, Giorgi Melikidze, Willem Alberts, Raphael Lakafia, Arthur Coville, Herman Meyer Bosman, Paul Williams

SCORERS T: Plisson, Fartass, Camara, Nicolas C: Steyn (2) P: Steyn

TIMISOARA: Catalin Fercu, Fonovai Tangimana, Brian Sefanaia, Jack Umaga, Stephen Shennan, Jody Rose, Valentin Calafeteanu, Gigi Militaru, Andrei Radoi, Edmund Aholelei, Ionut Muresan, Valentin Poparlan, Randall Morrison, Vasile Rus, SANDU STELIAN BURCEA (C) BENCH: Eugen Capatina, Sione Taupaki, Samuel Maris, Marian Gorcioaia, Madalin Lemnaru, Daniel Vladut Zaharia, Daniel Ianus, Tevita Manumua

SCORERS Yellow Card Lemnaru

Referee: Tom Foley

 

Edinburgh EDINBURGH RUGBY 36 - 35 HARLEQUINSHarlequins

BT Murrayfield Stadium - Saturday 22 October 2016
KO: 15:15 HT: 31-14 Att: 5,326

Edinburgh Rugby HarlequinsTOM BROWN was the toast of BT Murrayfield as he kept Edinburgh on course with a last gasp try to overtake Harlequins at the death. Leading 31-14 at the break, with a bonus point already in the bag, it looked as though the Scottish capital side were going to romp home. But Harlequins had other ideas and hit back to lead 35-31 with 15 minutes to go. There was final drama as Harlequins pushed for a match-winning try or penalty at the end, but an Edinburgh turnover on their own line brought victory.

Before the match there was an impeccably observed minute silence by the crowd of 5,326 people in the memory of Munster head coach Anthony Foley, but after that it was Harlequins who came out of the blocks fastest. Immediate pressure on the Edinburgh line brought a five metre lineout and a half break by scrum half Karl Dickson drew the defence to allow a slick pass to put wing Charlie Walker clear to cross the line. Nick Evans converted. Edinburgh hit straight back and there were two tries within the first four minutes, turnover ball on half way freed centre Phil Burleigh and he passed back inside for prop Allan Dell to score in the corner. Another six minutes and Edinburgh scored again with a moment of individual brilliance by full back Blair Kinghorn taking advantage of a two on two to slice through to the corner on his own, skipping outside the despairing Evans. Edinburgh's third try came after 19 minutes, No 8 Nasi Manu finishing off after a break by right wing Damian Hoyland. Jason Tovey landed his first conversion. The try scoring bonus point came within 25 minutes, again turnover ball which was run from Edinburgh's 22 with Kinghorn giving the scoring pass to flanker Hamish Watson. Tovey added his second conversion. Harlequins got a penalty try from a driving lineout just before the break, Evans adding the straightforward conversion, but when they tried to get another it gave Hoyland an interception and the wing went the length of the pitch for the try. Kinghorn converted as Tovey and Walker were sin-binned for a scuffle off the ball.

Harlequins needed to score early in the second half and did just that, prop Kyle Sinckler finishing once Marland Yarde had been tackled short of the line. Evans added another conversion. However Harlequins were then down to 13 men, prop Joe Marler taking out Ben Toolis in a lineout, soon cancelled out when Edinburgh captain Grant Gilchrist saw yellow just as Walker and Tovey returned to the pitch, this time for being the wrong side of a ruck. With Marler back on the pitch, the London side took advantage with another penalty try from a driving lineout. Tom Swiel added the conversion to bring his side back within three points. Another period of pressure on the line put Harlequins ahead with replacement back rower Mat Luamanu barging his way over. Swiel again added the conversion. Edinburgh looked to have hit back as replacement Glenn Bryce went over in the corner, only for play to be called back for a Harlequins scrum. However, they were not to be denied when, with a penalty coming anyway, Hoyland lofted a kick over the Quins try line which was reclaimed by left wing Tom Brown who just got the ball down for the try with just over six minutes remaining. Tovey hit the post with the conversion as Edinburgh led by a point. Edinburgh emerged with five points and Quins headed home with two.

EDINBURGH: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Phil Burleigh, Tom Brown, Jason Tovey, Sean Kennedy, Rory Sutherland, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Ben Toolis, GRANT GILCHRIST (C), Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Nasi Manu BENCH: Stuart McInally, Allan Dell, Felipe Arregui, Fraser McKenzie, Viliame Mata, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Michael Allen, Glenn Bryce

SCORERS T: Dell, Kinghorn, Manu, Watson, Hoyland, Brown C: Tovey (2), Kinghorn Yellow Card Tovey, Gilchrist

HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Joe Marchant, Jamie Roberts, Charlie Walker, Nick Evans, Karl Dickson, Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, Kyle Sinckler, Sam Twomey, JAMES HORWILL (C), Chris Robshaw, Luke Wallace, James Chisholm BENCH: Joe Gray, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Mat Luamanu, Danny Care, Tim Swiel, Alofa Alofa

SCORERS T: Walker, PT (2), Sinckler, Luamanu C: Evans (3), Swiel (2) Yellow Card Walker, Marler

Referee: Romain Poite

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EPCR Round 1

POOL 1Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 1

Benetton TrevisoBENETTON TREVISO 10 - 41 LA ROCHELLELa Rochelle

Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Saturday 15 October 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 3-13 Att: 1,900

Benetton Treviso La RochelleBENETTON TREVISO made their return to the Challenge Cup after 13 years, and were promptly put to the sword by La Rochelle, with France prop Uini Atonio securing an impressive brace, helping the visiting side to a bonus point 41-10 win over the Italians.

The homeside mustered little more than a penalty from the boot Ian McKinley, while Atonio charged over for his first try of the match, to add to Brock James’ penalties in a close-fought first half battle, settling at 3-13 going into the break.

La Rochelle head coach Patrice Collazo made changes during the break, and they produced an immediate effect as replacement hooker Hikairo Forbes broke the impasse with a try inside two minutes of the second half kick-off. Atonio then followed from close-range for his second just six minutes later and James conversion suddenly had the visitors firmly in command, with half an hour still on the clock. Treviso steadied themselves and managed a response through Italy wing Luke McLean. But the French visitors finished strongly as skipper Jason Eaton marshalled his pack to win a penalty try, to secure the bonus, before claiming a try of his own five minutes from time.

TREVISO: Luke McLean, Michael Tagicakibau, Tommaso Benvenuti, ALBERTO SGARBI (C), David Odiete, Ian Mc Kinley, Tito Tebaldi, Alberto de Marchi, Ornel Gega, Simone Ferrari, Filippo Gerosa, Marco Fuser, Francesco Minto, Marco Lazzaroni, Braam Steyn BENCH: Davide Giazzon, Matteo Zanusso, Tiziano Pasquali, Roberto Santamaria, Dean Budd, Giorgio Bronzini, Tommy Allan, Andrea Pratichetti

SCORERS T: McLean C: Allan P: McKinley

LA ROCHELLE: Kini Murimurivalu, David Raikuna, Elliot Roudil, Zack Holmes, Romaric Camou, Brock James, Arthur Retiere, Dany Priso, Jeremie Maurouard, Uini Atonio, JASON EATON (C), Damien Lagrange, Kevin Gourdon, Afa Amosa, Victor Vito BENCH: Hikairo Forbes, Vincent Pelo, Luc Mousset, Mathieu Tanguy, Leo Cedaro, Anthony Fuertes, Botia Veivuke, Charles Bouldoire

SCORERS T: Atonio (2), Forbes, PT, Eaton C: James (3), Holmes (2) P: James (2)

Referee: Greg Garner

 

BayonneBAYONNE 27 - 47 GLOUCESTER RUGBYGloucester Rugby

Stade Jean-Dauger - Saturday 15 October 2016
KO: 17:00 HT: 20-29 Att: 5,005

BAYONNE led for just four minutes of the match before Gloucester Rugby’s Mark Atkinson scored the first of six impressive tries, including a brace for himself, and a solid start for returning wing Jonny May after a knee-injury that saw him out for his club and country for ten months.

Following Gloucester’s surge of three converted tries, Matt Scott scoring in between Atkinson’s successes, the home team kept up quite admirably in the first half, Thibault Lacroix and Simon Labouyrie running in two tries, converted by Lucas Meret who also added two penalties to the score for a respectable first half 20 points. Billy Twelvetrees finished the half with a flourish, adding a fourth score to James Hook’s conversions and a penalty goal, 20-29.

The second half Bayonne came out refreshed, Dion Evrard Oulai quickly rumbling over the whitewash, and thanks to another conversion from Meret, were just two points short of equalising by the 44th minute. But Hook slotted a penalty with half an hour left on the clock, before May scorched clear thanks to quick thinking from skipper Willi Heinz at a penalty and the scoring pass by Joe Latta. Gloucester were forced to dig deep amid a Bayonne backlash, not least when replacement prop Motu Matu'u was binned for dragging down a maul. But the visitors held firm, and Hook's fourth penalty finally curtailed home hopes while Tom Savage charged over after a smart break by Matu'u to put the seal on a thrilling win.

BAYONNE: Julien Jane, Martin Laveau, Adam Whitelock, Thibault Lacroix, Bastien Fuster, Lucas Meret, Bastien Duhalde, ARETZ IGUINIZ (C), Simon Labouyrie, Richard Choirat, Guillaume Ducat, Adam Jaulhac, Tanerau Latimer, Dion Evrard Oulai, Jean-Blaise Lespinasse BENCH: Manu Leiataua, Adrien Bordenave, Toma Taufa, Pablo Huete, Manu Saubusse, Arnaud Duputs, Simon Maillard, Maile Mamao

SCORERS T: Lacroix, Labouyrie, Oulai C: Meret (3) P: Meret (2)

GLOUCESTER Rugby: James Hook, David Halaifonua, Matt Scott, Mark Atkinson, Jonny May, Billy Twelvetrees, WILLI HEINZ (C), Yann Thomas, Richard Hibbard, Paul Doran-Jones, Tom Savage, Joe Latta, Lewis Ludlow, Jacob Rowan, Ben Morgan BENCH: Motu Matu'u, Cameron Orr, John Afoa, Mariano Galarza, Matt Kvesic, Callum Braley, Ollie Thorley, Charlie Sharples

SCORERS T: Atkinson (2), Scott, Twelvetrees, May, Savage C: Hook (4) P: Hook (3) Yellow Card Matu'u

Referee: Gary Conway

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POOL 2Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 2

OspreysOSPREYS 45 - 0 NEWCASTLE FALCONSNewcastle Falcons

Liberty Stadium - Friday 14 October 2016
KO: 19:05 HT: 19-0 Att: 7,352

THE Ospreys made a solid debut in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as they planted seven tries on a hapless Newcastle Falcons.

Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb and Ashley Beck ran in three comfortable tries in the opening stanza, Biggar missing only one conversion for a 19-0 lead at half time. The fly half also notched up his 500th European point long before forty minutes was even over. Olympic silver medallist Marcus Watson caused unrest in the Ospreys defence, but the visitors failed to turn their early dominance into points.

 

The Falcons had no reply, while the homeside crossed the whitewash another four times, two in the space of two minutes from Scott Baldwin -securing the bonus point- and an excellent solo effort from Justin Tipuric. As both sides made changes from the bench, 18-year-old wing Keelan Giles made his mark with a brace to round off an impressive opening performance to the opening weekend, first sprinting down the wing and chipping ahead to score, followed by a corner try thanks to an offload from debutant Rhodri Jones.

OSPREYS: Daniel Evans, Daf Howells, Ben John, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Ma'afu Fia, Rory Thornton, ALUN WYN JONES (C), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker BENCH: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Rhodri Jones, Lloyd Ashley, James King, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies, Josh Matavesi

SCORERS T: Biggar, Webb, Beck, Baldwin, Tipuric, Giles (2) C: Biggar (5)

FALCONS: Brett Connon, Marcus Watson, FRED BURDON (C), Craig Willis, Belisario Agulla, Joel Hodgson, Micky Young, Alex Rogers, Ben Sowrey, David Wilson, Will Witty, Nick Civetta, Glen Young, Dan Temm, Harrison Orr BENCH: David Nelson, Sam Lockwood, Andy Foster, Mouritz Botha, Callum Chick, Sam Egerton, Juan Socino, Alex Tait

Referee: David Wilkinson

 

GrenobleGRENOBLE 13 - 39 LYONLyon Olympique Universitaire

Stade des Alpes - Friday 14 October 2016
KO: 19:30 HT: 13-16 Att: 7,003

LYON finished strong and with a flourish, picking up a bonus-point in the last move of the match to clinch a 39-13 win away to Grenoble.

The home side got off to a flying start with a try after only five minutes through Loick Jammes which Giles Bosch converted. They were still in touch after half-an-hour, but lost their way in the second half. Cameron Mapusua crossed for the first of Lyon's four tries to enable Jacques Potgieter to level the scores. Potgieter and Bosch then had their own private kicking duel over the remainder of the half, with the former landing three penalties to Bosch's two to give Lyon a 16-13 interval lead.

Potgieter then added two more penalties in the opening few minutes of the second half before Thibaut Regard powered over for a second try. Now the race was on for a bonus point for the visitors, but they had to wait until the final five minutes before reaching their goal. Deon Fourie crossed five minutes from time and then Henry Clunies-Ross bagged the bonus point with a try in the last minute. Potgieter added the conversion to take his match tally to 19 points.

GRENOBLE: Bastien Guillemin, Sisa Ledua Waqa, Xavier Mignot, Tino Nemani, Edward Dratai Sawailau, Gilles Bosch, Lilian Saseras, Alexandre Dardet, Loick Jammes, Walter Desmaison, BEN HAND (C), Mickael Capelli, Jonathan Best, Kevin Kornath, Fabien Alexandre BENCH: Etienne Fourcade, Dylan Jacquot, Ali Oz, Steven Giroud, Loic Baradel, Jeremy Valencot, David Mele, Pierre Mignot

SCORERS T: Jammes C: Bosch P: Bosch (2) Yellow Card Oz

LYON: Romain Loursac, Franck Romanet, Paul Bonnefond, Thibaut Regard, Henry Clunies-Ross, Jacques Louis Potgieter, Baptiste Couilloud, Sami Mavinga, Cameron Mapusua, David Attoub, Felix Lambey, Simon Christian Njewel, DEON FOURIE (C), Dylan Cretin, Curtis Browning BENCH: Ti'i Paulo, Tornike Mataradze, Hamza Kaabèche, Maselino Paulino, Didier Tison, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Jerome Porical, Augustin Figuerola

SCORERS T: Mapusua, Regard, Fourie, Clunies-Ross C: Potgieter (2) P: Potgieter (5) Yellow Card Mavinga

Referee: Dudley Phillips

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POOL 3Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 3

Newport Gwent DragonsNEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS 37 - 16 BRIVEBrive

Rodney Parade - Friday 14 October 2016
KO: 19:30 HT: 13-13 Att: 8,289

Newport Gwent Dragons BriveFROM a half time stalemate with both the Newport Gwent Dragons and visiting Brive equal on 13 points each, the Dragons switched it up a gear in the final quarter, and showed the French side quite what they are capable of,  running in five tries to a solitary effort for a 37-16 win.

Rodney Parade provided the first backdrop for the clash of two nations, both Rynard Landman and Thomas Laranjeira providing the opening tries, the latter responsible for all the visitors’ points, while Nick Macleod added the extras and struck over two penalties. And the French fly half took Brive into the lead briefly for a third, but that was his last conversion into points.

After both coaches made significant changes to the starting line up, little could stop the fire of the Dragons with captain Lewis Evans wrestling over the tryline for the second try, Cory Hill battling for a third, and Hallam Amos sneaking over in the corner for the bonus point. A neat crosskick from Sam Beard and Adam Warren punched a hole in the Brive defence to put the seal on the win in the run up to full time. Macleod’s earlier missed penalty appeared trivial looking at the big picture, the Welsh securing a second of three Challenge Cup wins on a chilly late Friday night.

DRAGONS: Carl Meyer, Ashton Hewitt, Tyler Morgan, Adam Warren, Hallam Amos, Nick MacLeod, Charlie Davies, Tom Davies, Rhys Buckley, Brok Harris, Cory Hill, Rynard Landman, James Thomas, LEWIS EVANS (C), Ed Jackson BENCH: Darran Harris, Phil Price, Craig Mitchell, Matthew Screech, Harrison Keddie, Sarel Pretorius, Angus O'Brien, Sam Beard

SCORERS T: Landman, Evans, Hill, Amos, Warren C: Macleod, O'Brien (2) P: Macleod (2)

BRIVE: Benjamin Lapeyre, Elia Radikedike, Arnaud Mignardi, Christopher Tuatara, Guillaume Namy, Thomas Laranjeira, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Vivien Devisme, Guillaume Ribes, Damien Jourdain, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Johan Snyman, William Whetton, Fabien Sanconnie, PETRUS HAUMAN (C) BENCH: Francois Da Ros, Damien Lavergne, Soso Bekoshvili, Jan Uys, Péniami Narisia, Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, Taku Ngwenya, Sevanaia Galala

SCORERS T: Laranjeira C: Laranjeira P: Laranjeira (3)

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

 

Enisei STMENISEI-STM 19 - 12 WORCESTER WARRIORSWorcester Warriors

Slava Stadium - Saturday 15 October 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 10-7 Att: 1,000

Enisei STM Worcester WarriorsCOMPLACENCY is a dangerous trait in rugby, and another top tier team fell foul of Enisei-STM’s strength and resilience by not taking their best team to the Slava Stadium, returning to England with the first loss of the Challenge Cup in the first week, the Russian Super League team convincingly beating the visitors 19-12.

The Russians led from the outset, David Kacharava running in the homeside’s only try, and Iurii Kushnarev adding a conversion to his opening penalty kick. The Warriors kept in touch with a try from wing Josh Adams, which Jamie Shillcock converted for a 10-7 score at the break.

Kushnarev came out in the second and booted over two more penalties for a comfortable 16-7 lead, before Dmitrii Gerasimov was shown a yellow card by referee Marius Mitrea. Worcester took advantage of an extra man, Derrick Appiah grabbing a second try for the visiting side and reducing the deficit to just four points. But a drop goal from Ramil Gaisin sealed the home win, and visitors had to be content with a losing bonus point.

ENISEI: Thomas Halse, Igor Kurashov, David Kacharava, Dmitrii Gerasimov, Denis Simplikevich, Iurii Kushnarev, Alexey Shcherban, Alexey Volkov, Stanislav Selskii, Innokentiy Zykov, ULDIS SAULITE (C), Maxim Gargalic, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Vitalii Orlov, Anton Rudoi BENCH: Shamil Magomedov, Valery Morozov, Evgenii Pronenko, Andrey Temnov, Ramil Gaisin, Konstantin Uzunov, Aleksei Mikhaltsov, Viacheslav Krasylnyk

SCORERS T: Kacharava C: Kushnarev P: Kushnarev (3) DG: Gaisin Yellow Card Gerasimov

WARRIORS: Josh Adams, Andy Short, Max Stelling, Will Butler, Dean Hammond, Jamie Shillcock, Luke Baldwin, RYAN BOWER (C), Matti Williams, Mike Daniels, Charlie Hewitt, Christian Scotland-Williamson, Huw Taylor, Sam Betty, Matt Cox BENCH: Jack Singleton, Derrick Appiah, Bi Alo, Andrew Kitchener, Zac Xiourouppa, George DeCothi, Tiff Eden, Ryan Lamb

SCORERS T: Adams, Appiah C: Shillcock

Referee: Marius Mitrea

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POOL 4Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 4

Bristol RugbyBRISTOL RUGBY 20 - 33 CARDIFF BLUESCardiff Blues

Ashton Gate Stadium - Friday 14 October 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 13-21 Att: 8,289

Bristol Rugby Cardiff BluesBRISTOL RUGBY’S return to European competition saw them suffer a 33-20 defeat at the hands of Cardiff Blues at Ashton Gate on Friday night, the visitors securing a bonus point win.

Both sides had a try apiece disallowed early on by referee Pascal Gaüzère, Tom Varndell’s foot in touch and Rhodri Williams guilty of a double movement, but the homeside led the Blues 13-9 with a Max Crumpton try and eight points from the boot of Adrian Jarvis, while Gareth Anscombe knocked over three penalties for the visiting Welsh team. But as the clock approached the half hour mark, despite Cardiff a man down with Matthew Morgan in the bin, Ray Lee-Lo scooped up Anscombe’s perfectly weighted cross to take them into the lead. From then on, the Blues did not look back. Bristol's Nick Koster was also sent to rest for ten minutes, and Josh Turnbull drove over a second try, the visiting opposition ahead 21-13 at the break.

Alex Cuthbert came out firing in the second half with a third score, and Tom James secured the bonus point effort, though it went unconverted. Bristol mustered a converted consolation try at the death from Joe Joyce after Gethin Jenkins was binned for infringing at the ruck, but the Welsh were a tad too strong for the recently promoted West Country boys.

BRISTOL: Jack Wallace, Tom Varndell, Jack Tovey, Thretton Palamo, DAVID LEMI (C), Adrian Jarvis, Rhodri Williams, Soane Tonga'uiha, Max Crumpton, Gaston Cortes, Ian Evans, Ben Glynn, Nick Koster, Olly Robinson, Mitch Eadie BENCH: Chris Brooker, Jack O'Connell, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Joe Joyce, Nick Fenton-Wells, Andy Uren, Billy Searle, Luke Arscott

SCORERS  T: Crumpton, Joyce C: Jarvis, Searle P: Jarvis (2) Yellow Card Koster

BLUES: Matthew Morgan, Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Steven Shingler, Tom James, Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams, Rhys Gill, Matthew Rees, Scott Andrews, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Josh Turnbull, ELLIS JENKINS (C), Nick Williams BENCH: Kirby Myhill, Gethin Jenkins, Dillon Lewis, James Down, Cam Dolan, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Dan Fish

SCORERS T: Lee-Lo, Turnbull, Cuthbert, James C: Anscombe (2) P: Anscombe (3) Yellow Card Morgan, Jenkins

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère

 

PauPAU 22 - 25 BATH RUGBYBath Rugby

Stade du Hameau - Saturday 15 October 2016
KO: 20:45 HT: 14-16 Att: 9,212

Pau Bath RugbyA buoyant Bath went to the south of France on the back of a strong opening Premiership season, ready to take a French scalp under their new coach Todd Blackadder. They returned home to the West Country with a 25-22 win under their belt, despite scoring only one try to Pau’s three.

The visitors opened the scoring with a penalty from the boot of Rhys Priestland, and lost their lead briefly after Romain Buros forced his way over the tryline, Brandon Fajardo adding the extras; all this within the first ten minutes of the match. Priestland added three more penalties to the Bath score, and converted the electric Semesa Rokoduguni’s try at the beginning of the second quarter. Bath looked comfortable heading into the break, 16-7 up, but for Sean Dougall finding the whitewash in the 40th minute, Fajardo again converting, and only two points kept the visitors ahead.

Forty minutes following the break, and it was Priestland who kept Bath ahead with three further successful penalty kicks, maintaining a 100% record. Pau managed one last penalty, and Watisoni Votu flew over for a try in the 74th minute, while Bath’s Aled Brew joined Pau’s Ben Mowen on the naughty step. But Fajardo’s missed penalties and conversion were enough to ensure it was Bath who went home with the spoils, the homeside having to content themselves with a losing bonus point.

PAU: Romain Buros, Marvin Lestremeau, Santiago Fernandez, Watisoni Votu, Mosese Ratuvou, Brandon Fajardo, Thibault Daubagna, Jérémy Hurou, Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, Matthew Tierney, Abdellatif Boutaty, DANIEL RAMSAY (C), Pierrick Gunther, Sean Dougall, Ben Mowen BENCH: Lucas Rey, Geoffrey Moise, Malik Hamadache, Masalosalo Tutaia, Giovanni Habel Kuffner, Thierry Lacrampe, Pierre Dupouy, Bastien Pourailly

SCORERS T: Buros, Dougall, Votu C: Fajardo (2) P: Fajardo Yellow Card Mowen

BATH: Tom Homer, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan, Aled Brew, Rhys Priestland, Kahn Fotuali'i, Nick Auterac, Tom Dunn, Kane Palma Newport, Luke Charteris, Elliott Stooke, Tom Ellis, GUY MERCER (C), Leroy Houston BENCH: Michael Van Vuuren, Max Lahiff, Shaun Knight, Charlie Ewels, Matt Garvey, Chris Cook, Dan Bowden, Jeff Williams

SCORERS T: Rokoduguni C: Priestland P: Priestland (6) Yellow Card Brew

Referee: Ian Davies

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POOL 5Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 5

HarlequinsHARLEQUINS 43 - 21 STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

The Twickenham Stoop - Thursday 13 October 2016
KO: 19:45 HT: 31-7 Att: 11,820

Harlequins Stade FrancaisHARLEQUINS ignored their previous mediocre form so far this season, despite significant injuries, and a last minute change with Joe Marchant starting for a sickly Alofa Alofa, they heaped an impressive seven tries on an unsuspecting Stade Français. George Merrick was unfortunately stretchered off to hospital in the 13th minute with a injury, but aside from that, Joe Marler, Marchant and Marland Yarde found the whitewash with efficiency; Scottish international Tim Visser secured a brace, the second with an impressive intercept on his own tryline to run the length of the pitch to score, while James Chisholm showed his mettle in front of England Rugby Coach Eddie Jones with a brace of his own. Both fly halves, Tim Swiel and Ruaridh Jackson missed three conversions between them, but there was no flattering of the scoreline, Quins going into the break 31-7 up.

Stade Français made a significant comeback in the second half with far more possession, territory and pressure, spending much of it camped in the Quins 22, but could only convert their opportunities into three tries. Sekou Macalou sauntered under the posts unhindered while the homeside was caught napping, Clement Daguin had to work somewhat harder for his effort, while Springbok Willem Alberts bulldozed over in the only fashion he knows how; Jules Plisson clinically converted all the visitors’ efforts. If the London side keep up this level of intensity in the remaining rounds, last year’s finalists should find themselves right back in the 2017 Edinburgh final.

HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Joe Marchant, Jamie Roberts, Tim Visser, Tim Swiel, Karl Dickson, Joe Marler, Rob Buchanan, Will Collier, George Merrick, JAMES HORWILL (C), Chris Robshaw, Luke Wallace, James Chisholm BENCH: Joe Gray, Owen Evans, Adam Jones, Sam Twomey, Mat Luamanu, Charlie Mulchrone, Ruaridh Jackson, Winston Stanley

SCORERS T: Marler, Marchant, Visser (2), Chisholm (2), Yarde C: Swiel (3), Jackson

STADE: Djibril Camara, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Herman Meyer Bosman, Paul Williams, Jérémy Sinzelle, Jules Plisson, Clement Daguin, Zak Taulafo, Craig Burden, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, PASCAL PAPÉ (C), Sekou Macalou, Raphael Lakafia, Sergio Parisse BENCH: Remi Bonfils, Zurabi Zhvania, Giorgi Melikidze, Mathieu De Giovanni, Willem Alberts, Arthur Coville, Faraj Fartass, Théo Millet

SCORERS T: Macalou, Daguin, Alberts C: Plisson (3)

Referee: Ben Whitehouse

 

Timisoara SaracensTIMISOARA SARACENS 17 - 59 EDINBURGH Edinburgh

Dan Păltinișanu Stadium - Saturday 15 October 2016
KO: 14:00 HT: 10-45 Att: tbc

Timisoara Saracens EdinburghTIMSOARA SARACENS had a baptism of fire as Edinburgh Rugby rampaged around the Dan Păltinișanu Stadium landing nine tries on the unsuspecting debutants of the Challenge Cup, hæmorrhaging 59 points to the visitors.

The Scottish side were busy creating records alongside making a cracking start to their European campaign, recording their highest points tally, their biggest winning margin of 42, scoring the highest number of tries and kicking their most ever conversions. There were also try hat-tricks for skipper Stuart McInally and Nasi Manu.

It took a mere two minutes for Edinburgh, the 2015 finalists, to get the scoreboard moving. Viliame Mata made the initial break before McInally set up wing Mike Allen for his fourth try of the season. Jason Tovey added the conversion and went on to improve a further six tries with his trusty boot. Mata's debut got even better three minutes later when he crossed for a wonderful try to extend Edinburgh's lead. Timisoara scrum half Valentin Calafeteanu slotted an eight minute penalty to get his side moving, but a hat-trick of tries from hooker McInally in a 20 minute period put the visitors out of sight. Manu then scored two before the break to leave the Saracens, who had a try from wing Stephen Shennan converted by Calafeteanu, trailing 45-10.

There were only two more tries from Edinburgh in the second half - Manu completing his hat-trick and a second for Manu -as the replacements flooded onto the field. Shennan got the final score of the game five minutes from time to give the home side something to smile about.

TIMISOARA: Catalin Fercu, Fonovai Tangimana, Brian Sefanaia, Jack Umaga, Stephen Shennan, Jody Rose, Valentin Calafeteanu, Gigi Militaru, Eugen Capatana, Horatiu Pungea, Valentin Popirlan, Marian Drenceanu, Daniel Ianus, Vasile Rus, SANDU STELIAN BURCEA (C) BENCH: Andrei Radoi, Edmund Aholelei, Samuel Maris, Ionut Muresan, Randall Morrison, Gabriel Conache, Tevita Manumua, Daniel Vladut Zaharia

SCORERS T: Shennan (2) C: Calafeteanu (2) P: Calafeteanu Yellow Card Militaru

EDINBURGH: Rory Scholes, Alexander Northam, Sasa Tofilau, Junior Rasolea, Michael Allen, Jason Tovey, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Allan Dell, STUART MCINALLY (C), Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Viliame Mata, John Hardie, Nasi Manu BENCH: Neil Cochrane, Rory Sutherland, Jack Cosgrove, Lewis Carmichael, Vili Fihaki, Nathan Fowles, Blair Kinghorn, Glenn Bryce

SCORERS T: Allen, Mata (2), McInally (3), Manu (3) C: Tovey (7)

Referee: Ian Tempest

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Pools


POOL 1

Bayonne
Benetton Treviso
Gloucester Rugby
La Rochelle

POOL 2

Grenoble
Lyon Olympique Universitaire
Newcastle Falcons
Ospreys

POOL 3

Brive
Enisei STM
Newport Gwent Dragons
Worcester Warriors

POOL 4

Bath Rugby
Bristol Rugby
Cardiff Blues
Pau

POOL 5

Edinburgh
Harlequins
Stade Francais
Timisoara Saracens

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Schedule

POOL STAGE DATES
Round 1: 13/14/15/16 October
Round 2: 20/21/22/23 October
Round 3: 8/9/10/11 December
Round 4: 15/16/17/18 December
Round 5: 12/13/14/15 January 2017
Round 6: 19/20/21/22 January 2017

QUARTER-FINALS
30/31 March - 1/2 April 2017

SEMI-FINALS
21/22/23 April 2017

CHALLENGE CUP FINAL
Friday 12 May 2017 - BT Murrayfield Stadium

European Rugby Finals Edinburgh 2017

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