The French sides came out on top in the late Challenge Cup matches played on Saturday with Pau, Brive and Bordeaux-Bègles victorious.
Pau 42-14 Zebre
Pau ran in five tries to secure an emphatic 42-14 victory over Zebre at Stade du Hameau in Challenge Cup action on Saturday.
Vatubua gave Pau a second minute lead but Licata squared matters up in the ninth minute. Bouchet put the hosts back in front in the 16th minute.
Pau’s lead was further extended with a penalty try and yellow card to Valerio Bernabo rubbing salt in to the wounds. They asserted their dominance with one more try before the interval through Tutaia, taking a 26-7 lead into the interval.
Saili got in the act for Pau after the interval in the 47th minute before Halai put the cherry on the top with a well-taken try in the 52nd minute.
Zebre’s consolation try through Licata in the 57th minute was the only remaining scoring action of the game as Pau ran out comfortable 42-14 winners.
Tries: Vatubua, Bouchet, Tutaia, Saili, Halai, Penalty Try
Cons: Lebail 4, Fajardo
Tries: Licata 2
Cons: Palazzani 2
Yellow Card: Bernabo
Oyonnax 17-29 Brive
Brive ran out 29-17 winners over Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon in Challenge Cup action on Saturday.
Tries from Alfi Mafi, Felix Le Bourhis, Seremaia Burotu and Benito Masilevu proved too much for Oyonnax who scored through a Jose Lima try while Julien Audy slotted four penalties.
Brive scored two in the first half through Mafi (8) and Le Bourhis (26) but Audy kept Oyonnax in the game with four first-half penalties as Brive took a slender 15-12 lead into the interval.
The second half saw no action until the 60th minute when Masilevu scored for Brive, a Nicolas Bezy conversion making it 29-12.
Oyonnax were determined not to roll over and Lima scored a consolation try on the final whistle.
Pens: Audy 4
Tries: Mafi, Le Bourhis, Burotu, Masilevu
Cons: Bezy 3
Bordeaux-Bègles 36-28 Dragons
Bordeaux-Bègles claimed a hard-fought 36-28 victory over the Dragons at Stade Chaban-Delmas on Saturday.
In the first action of the game, Angus O’Brien faced the sin-bin with a quarter of an hour gone on the clock. Matthieu Jalibert put Bordeaux-Bègles on the board from the resulting penalty.
Soon after, the Dragons responded through a Dorian Jones penalty. Five minutes later, Dragons had the game’s first try through James Benjamin.
Three Jones penalties brought Dragons back in to the tie but Jalibert’s try ensured the French side would pull away once again to take a 16-8 lead into the break.
Seven minutes after the interval, Blair Connor’s try converted by Jalibert brought the home side storming back into the game one point behind.
Five minutes later, Sarel Pretorius scored for the Dragons. However, the home side put the icing on the cake with tries from Fa’asui Fuatai (56) and Geoffrey Cros (61. 70).
Dragons’ late consolation try through Carl Meyer meant they lost by eight points at 36-28.
Tries: Jalibert, Conor, Fuatai, Cros 2
Cons: Jalibert 3
Tries: Benjamin, Pretorius, Meyer
Cons: Jones 2
Pens: Jones 3