The European Championship continued this weekend again and here is the Wrap of the weekends Challenge Cup.
Gloucester overcame La Rochelle 35-14 while the Grenoble and Ospreys fixture was postponed in the Challenge Cup on Thursday.
Gloucester 35-14 La Rochelle
Gloucester took the initiative in Pool 1 of the Challenge Cup as they claimed a bonus-point win over La Rochelle at Kingsholm.
Centre Mark Atkinson got them level with a converted try and then Greig Laidlaw slotted a penalty on 24 minutes to push them 10-7 ahead.
Loosehead prop Josh Hohneck and wing Ollie Thorley then crossed in the next 10 minutes before Laidlaw extended the cushion to 15 points.
Hope came for La Rochelle when wing David Raikuna scored three minutes into the second period, but Laidlaw was on-target again soon after, making it 25-14 until the 66th minute when the Scotland international scrum-half called for the tee once again to push his side 28-14 up.
At that point it seemed more likely Gloucester would extend their lead rather than La Rochelle set up a grandstand finish and so it proved as a late score from centre Matt Scott secured the bonus-point that moves the Cherry and Whites five points clear of the French outfit in Pool 1.
Tries: Atkinson, Hohneck, Thorley, Scott
Cons: Laidlaw 3
Pens: Laidlaw 3
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Gourdon, Raikuna
Cons: Holmes 2
Gloucester: 15 David Halaifonua, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Joe Latta, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Josh Hohneck
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Charlie Sharples, 23 Lewis Ludlow
La Rochelle: 15 Vincent Rattez, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Steve Barry, 12 Botia Veivuke, 11 David Raikuna, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 7 Victor Vito, 6 Kevin Gourdon, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Damien Lagrange, 20 Romain Sazy, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Brock James, 23 Elliot Roudil
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Joy Neville (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Grenoble P-P Ospreys
The match between Grenoble and Ospreys at Stade des Alpes was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
After consultation with the respective head coaches, referee Marius Mitrea decided that certain parts of the playing surface were not fit for the fixture to go ahead as scheduled.
It is envisaged that the Pool 2 match will be played on Friday at the same venue with EPCR set to communicate further details as soon as practicable.
Worcester slayed Dragons 33-20, Cardiff Blues thumped Bath 28-3 and Edinburgh edged Stade Francais 28-23 in the Challenge Cup action on Saturday.
Enisei-STM 8-43 Brive
Nicolas Bezy set the tone early on with a try in the second minute of the match before Gaetan Germain added the extras and a penalty for Brive.
Anton Rudoi got Enisei on the board with his side’s only try before Iurii Kushnarev added their only other points of the entire game with a penalty before half time.
Brive ran in a further three tries after that from Guillaume Namy, Guillaume Ribes and Benito Masilevu to secure a comfortable bonus-point victory away from home.
Tries: Bezy, Namy, Ribes, Masilevu
Cons: Germain 3, Bezy
Pens: Germain 5
Enisei-STM: 15 Thomas Halse, 14 Igor Kurashov, 13 Jurijs Baranovs, 12 Dmitrii Gerasimov, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Iurii Kushnarev, 9 Alexey Shcherban, 8 Anton Rudoi, 7 Vitalii Orlov, 6 Mikheil Gachechiladze, 5 Maxim Gargalic, 4 Uldis Saulite, 3 Innokentiy Zykov, 2 Stanislav Selskii, 1 Andrei Polivalov
Replacements: 16 Shamil Magomedov, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Evgenii Pronenko, 19 Andrey Temnov, 20 Aleksandr Budychenko, 21 Konstantin Uzunov, 22 Aleksei Mikhaltsov, 23 Viacheslav Krasylnyk
Brive: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Sevanaia Galala, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Nicolas Bézy, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Dominiko Waqaniborutu 7 Said Hireche, 6 Péniami Narisia, 5 Jan Uys, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Vivien Devisme
Replacements: 16 Francois Da Ros, 17 Damien Lavergne, 18 Patrick Toetu, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 William Whetton, 21 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 22 Christopher Tuatara, 23 Benito Masilevu
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Simon McConnell (England)
Timisoara Saracens 3-42 Harlequins
It took 20 minutes before any points were scored when Valentin Calafeteanu got things underway with a penalty.
It turned out to be the only points his team managed to score as Quins took control of the game with three tries inside eight minutes, all of them before the break.
Charlie Walker scored a brace in the first seven minutes of the second half before Joe Marchant added the sixth try to add to the firdt-half contributions from Dave Ward, George Merrick and Aaron Morris.
For Timisoara Saracens:
Tries: Ward, Merrick, Morris, Walker 2, Marchant
Cons: Jackson 6
Timisoara Saracens: 15 Catalin Fercu, 14 Stephen Shennan, 13 Brian Sefanaia, 12 Paula Kinikinilau, 11 Fonovai Tangimana, 10 Jack Umaga, 9 Valentin Calafeteanu, 8 Sandu Stelian Burcea, 7 Daniel Gabriel Ianus, 6 Randall Morrison, 5 Marian Drenceanu, 4 Valentin Popirlan, 3 Horatiu Pungea, 2 Eugen Capatana, 1 Edmund Aholelei
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Gigi Militaru, 18 Samuel Maris, 19 Ionut Muresan, 20 Dorin Lazar, 21 Gabriel Conache, 22 Tevita Manumua, 23 Madalin Lemnaru
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Alofa Alofa, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Danny Care, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 James Chisholm, 6 George Naoupu, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Stan South, 20 Matt Shields, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Matt Hopper
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
Cardiff Blues 28-3 Bath
Two penalties from Steve Shingler gave the Blues a early 6-0 lead before Tom Homer pulled one back with a penalty for Bath.
The rest of the first half was quiet and fairly even with Shingler’s third penalty the only other points scored in the first half.
Cardiff Blues stepped up their efforts in the second stanza and were rewarded with two quick tries in the space of five minutes when Matthew Morgan and Alex Cuthbert opened up the Bath defence,
Scott Andrews scored his try two minutes from time to put the cherry on top of a dominant performance for the hosts.
For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Morgan, Cuthbert, Andrews
Cons: Shingler 2
Pens: Shingler 3
Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Blaine Scully, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Seb Davies, 5 James Down, 4 George Earle, 3 Tau Filise, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 Kirby Myhill, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Nicky Robinson, 23 Cory Allen
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Max Clark, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Jack Wilson, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Paul Grant, 7 Tom Ellis, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Kane Palma Newport, 19 Guy Mercer, 20 Michael Van Vuuren, 21 Will Homer, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Jeff Williams
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland) Assistant
Referees: Gary Conway (Ireland), Eddie Hogan-O’Connell (Ireland)
Worcester 33-20 Dragons
Amazingly, all of Worcester’s points were scored in the second half as the Dragons took a 6-0 half-time lead thanks to a penalty and drop goal from Angus O’Brien.
The Warriors opened their account right after the break when Val Rapava Ruskin went over for a five-pointer. Dean Hammond scored a second just two minutes later and suddenly the home side were 10-6 ahead.
Worcester were awarded two penalty tries which Connor Braid both converted which further extended their lead and when Max Stelling scored in the 73rd minute the writing was on the wall.
But the Dragons weren’t finished as Ashton Hewitt scored a brace in the space of two minutes to add some respectability to the score.
Tries: Ruskin, Hammond, Stelling, Penalty Try 2
Cons: Braid 4
Tries: Hewitt 2
Cons: O’Brien 2
Drop Goal: O’Brien
Worcester: 15 Josh Adams, 14 Ben Howard, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Connor Braid, 9 George DeCothi, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 4 Will Spencer, 3 Bi Alo, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Huw Taylor, 21 Charlie Hewitt, 22 Jamie Shillcock, 23 Andy Short
Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Tyler Morgan, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Angus O’Brien, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 James Thomas, 5 Cory Hill, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Rhys Buckley, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Rynard Landman, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Rhys Jones, 23 Jack Dixon
Referee: Thomas Charabas (France)
Assistant Referees: Sébastien Minery (France), Luc Ramos (France)
Edinburgh 28-23 Stade Français
This was in impressive performance from Edinburgh, who struggled in the first half and played the majority of the second half with just 14 men after Phil Burleigh received a red card in the 56th minute.
Stade has the upper hand in the first 40. Waisea Nayacalevu scored after just four minutes. Morne Steyn added the extras and four minutes later kicked a drop goal to give his side a 10-0 lead early on.
Sekou Macalou extending their lead even further with his own five-pointer before Steyn and Duncan Weir exchanged penalties before half time as Stade took a 20-3 lead into the second half.
But Edinburgh fought back in the second 40, starting with a try from Damien Hoylan. Ben Toolis followed suit shortly after to reduce the deficit to just five points.
Steyn kicked another penalty in the 59th minute right after Burleigh has been sent off, but the hosts hit back almost immediately through Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. Weir’s extras made it a one-point game before he added two more penalties to complete the comeback and seal the result.
Tries: Hoyland, Tooliss, Hidalgo-Clyne
Cons: Weir 2
Pens: Weir 2
Red Card: Burleigh
For Stade Français:
Tries: Nayacalevu, Macalou
Cons: Steyn 2
Pens: Steyn 2
Drop Goal: Steyn
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Michael Allen, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 William Helu, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Viliame Mata, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Cornell Du Preez, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Glenn Bryce
Stade Français: 15 Jérémy Sinzelle, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 12 Paul Williams, 11 Josaia Raisuqe, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Will Genia, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Mathieu De Giovanni, 6 Sekou Macalou, 5 Pascal Papé, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Giorgi Melikidze, 2 Laurent Panis, 1 Heinke van der Merwe
Replacements: 16 Remi Bonfils, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Emmanuel Felsina, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Patrick Sio, 21 Clement Daguin, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Théo Millet
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant Referees: Dean Richards (England), Andrew Pearce (England)
TMO: David Sainsbury (England)