Connacht, Newcastle, Gloucester, London Irish and Grenoble were all winners in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Connacht 47-5 Enisei-STM
Connacht thrashed Russian visitors Enisei-STM to secure top spot in Pool 1 of the Challenge Cup.
Winger Matt Healy crossed twice for the hosts as Connacht accumulated eight tries, including a score for Ireland international Robbie Henshaw.
Enisei-STM, who have won two of their six matches in the group stage, managed one score from flanker Vitalii Orlov.
Tries: O’Halloran, Healy 2, Buckley, Poolman, Henshaw, McCartney, Blade
Cons: MacGinty, Carty
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoghan Masterson, 7 James Connolly, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Nathan White, 2 David Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Finlay Bealham, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 George Naoupu, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Rory Parata
Enisei-STM: 15 Ramil Gaisin, 14 Jurijs Baranovs, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Mikhail Babaev, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Iurii Kushnarev, 9 Alexey Shcherban, 8 Anton Rudoi, 7 Andrey Temnov, 6 Vitalii Orlov, 5 Viacheslav Krasylnyk, 4 Uldis Saulite, 3 Innokentiy Zykov, 2 Nazir Gasanov, 1 Alexey Volkov
Replacements: 16 Stanislav Selskii, 17 Andrei Polivalov, 18 Evgenii Pronenko, 19 Mikhail Sidorov, 20 Igor Kurashov, 21 Dmitriy Simonov, 22 Nikolay Serkov, 23 Plavel Butenko
Referee: Tom Foley (England)
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald (England), Roger Baileff (England)
Newcastle Falcons 27-23 Brive
Simon Hammersley’s late try secured a dramatic late win for Newcastle over Top 14 visitors Brive.
Hammersley’s two scores came either side of tries from Alex Tait and Micky Young for the hosts, while Craig Willis kicked seven points.
Brive were right in the contest but two yellow cards hindered their best chances of a win on the road.
Tries: Hammersley 2, Tait, Young
Cons: Willis 2
Tries: Bézy, Luafutu
Cons: Laranjeira 2
Pens: Laranjeira 3
Yellow Cards: Namy, Ribes
Newcastle: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Alex Tait, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Socino, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Micky Young, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Andy Foster, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alex Rogers
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Calum Green, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Ruaridh Dawson, 22 Adam Powell, 23 Dan Marshall
Brive: 15 Romain Sola, 14 Guillaume Namy, 13 Thomas Laranjeira, 12 Christopher Tuatara, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Nicolas Bézy, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Fabien Sanconnie, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Victor Lebas, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Francois Da Ros, 1 Damien Lavergne
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Lucas Pointud, 18 Yusuf Tuncer, 19 Sisa Koyamaibole, 20 William Whetton, 21 Teddy Iribaren, 22 Benjamin Petre, 23 Alfifeleti Mafi
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)
Zebre 11-14 Gloucester
A late penalty from Billy Burns secured victory for Gloucester in Italy as they defeated Zebre by a slim margin.
Dries van Schalkwyk’s try in the 72nd minute drew the sides level, only for Burns to knock over what proved to be the winning points three minutes later.
Two early penalties from Edoardo Padovani put Zebre on course but Burns kept them in the hunt with his boot plus a try from Mark Atkinson, until the winning points late on.
Try: Van Schalkwyk
Pens: Padovani 2
Yellow Card: Ruzza
Pens: Burns 3
Zebre: 15 Kayle Van Zyl, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Edoardo Padovani, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Jean Cook, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Valerio Bernabo, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea de Marchi
Replacements: 16 Victor Emiliano Coria Marchetti, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Guillermo Roan, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Kelly Haimona
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Bill Meakes, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Stevie McColl, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Joe Latta, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawiduik, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Josh McNulty, 19 Tom Hicks, 20 Elliot Stooke, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Charlie Sharples, 23 Gareth Evans
Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Eddie Hogan O’Connell (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
Agen 17-31 London Irish
London Irish ran five tries past Agen in their Challenge Cup clash.
Agen came back into the game in the second half courtesy of a try from replacement Jalil Narjissi, but centre Fergus Mulchrone crashed over for the visitors to give them the lead.
Ill-discipline from the home side then cost them another seven pointer as London Irish earned a penalty try at the death.
Tries: Nakosi, Narjissi
Cons: Bouvier 2
For London Irish:
Tries: Narraway, Fowlie, Smallbone, Mulchrone, Penalty Try
Cons: Geraghty 3
Agen: 15 Benoit Sicart, 14 François Tardieu, 13 Vincent Roux, 12 Julien Heriteau, 11 Filipo Nakosi, 10 François Bouvier, 9 Paul Abadie, 8 Antoine Miquel, 7 Léo Bastien, 6 Denis Marchois, 5 Jean-Baptiste Roidot, 4 Apisai Naikatini, 3 Arthur Joly, 2 Marc Barthomeuf, 1 Giorgi Tetrashvili
Replacements: 16 Jalil Narjissi, 17 Quentin Bethune, 18 Dave Ryan, 19 Corentin Braendlin, 20 Nicolas Gal, 21 Clement Darbo, 22 Pierre Fouyssac, 23 Tamaz Mchedlidze
London Irish: 15 Theo Brophy Clews, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Tom Fowlie, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Conor Gilsenan, 6 Luke Narraway, 5 David Sisi, 4 Ollie Curry, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Tom Smallbone
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Johnny Harris, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Matt Symons, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Connor Murphy, 23 Alex Lewington
Date: Saturday, January 23
Venue: Stade Armandie
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Cammy Rudkin (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
Grenoble 34-23 Edinburgh
Grenoble have South African flyer Gio Aplon to thank for their win at home over Edinburgh. The full-back crossed twice in the final eleven minutes to earn the home side a comfortable win.
Jonathan Wisniewski made the visitors pay for their mistakes, slotting five penalties with the boot to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Tries: Heguy, Aplon 2
Cons: Wisniewski 2
Pens: Wisniewski 5
Tries: Hardie, Helu
Cons: Hidalgo-Clyne 2
Pens: Hidalgo-Clyne 3
Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Daniel Kilioni, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Mahamadou Diaby, 6 Henry Vanderglas, 5 Peter Kimlin, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Sona Taumalolo, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 James Percival, 20 Fabien Alexandre, 21 Christophe Loustalot, 22 Gilles Bosch, 23 Fabien Gengenbacher
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Michael Allen, 12 Matt Scott, 11 William Helu, 10 Phil Burleigh, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 John Hardie, 6 Mike Coman, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Andries Strauss, 23 Dougie Fife
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Small (England), Roy Maybank (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)
Cardiff Blues, Montpellier, Castres and La Rochelle were the big winners on Friday in Round 6 of the Challenge Cup.
Cardiff Blues 74-6 Calvisano
Tom James scored a hat-trick for Cardiff Blues only a few days after his Wales recall as the Welsh region thrashed Calvisano 74-6.
Blues as a result moved up to 17 points in Pool 3, although Montpellier’s convincing win over Harlequins rules them out of a runners-up spot.
Gareth Anscombe, in only his second game back from injury, kicked seven conversions after starting at fly-half.
Calvisano’s sole points came from two penalties by Romania international Florin Vlaicu.
Tries: James 3, Allen 2, Navidi, Fish, Lewis, Cook
Cons: Anscombe 7
Pens: Vlaicu 2
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Cam Dolan, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ethan Lewis, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c).
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Aled Summerhill.
Calvisano: 15 Ben De Jager, 14 Giacomo De Santis, 13 Alberto Chiesa, 12 Tommy Castello, 11 Marco Susio, 10 Florin Vlaicu, 9 Pablo Canavosio, 8 Jim Tuivaiti, 7 Renato Giammarioli, 6 Matteo Archetti, 5 Davide Zanetti, 4 Michele Andreotti, 3 Rudy Biancotti, 2 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 1 Luca Scarsini.
Replacements: 16 Gabriele Morelli, 17 Sami Panico, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Agustin Cavalieri, 20 Emilio Vezzoli, 21 Nicola Belardo, 22 Riccardo Raffaele, 23 Filippo Buscema.
Referee: Thomas Charabas (France)
Assistant Referees: Arnaud Blondel (France), Luc Ramos (France)
Montpellier 42-9 Harlequins
Montpellier ran five tries past English visitors on Friday to put themselves in contention for a best runners-up spot in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
The comprehensive win came after Harlequins has secured top spot six days earlier, before suffering their first defeat of the campaign in France.
Former Australia full-back Jesse Mogg opened the scoring for the hosts and he was followed over by Wiaan Liebenberg, Nic White, Yvan Reilhac and finally Charles Geli in a one-sided rout.
Harlequins, who rested several starters but were captained by Jack Clifford and had Chris Robshaw at blindside flanker, could only produce three penalties from fly-half Ben Botica.
Tries: Mogg, Liebenberg, White, Reilhac, Geli
Cons: Catrakilis 2, Trinh-Duc 2
Pens: Catrakilis 3
Pens: Botica 3
Yellow Card: Luamanu
Montpellier: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Anthony Tuitavke, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Marvin O’Connor, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Robins Tchale Watchou, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Davit Kubriashvili, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 Antoine Battut, 21 Nic White, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Yvan Reilhac
Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Jack Clifford (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Danny Care, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Winston Stanley
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Jon Hardy (Wales)
TMO: Jonathan Mason (Wales)
Castres 24-7 Pau
Castres won the battle of the two Top 14 outfits in the Challenge Cup thanks to tries from France squad member Rémi Lamerat and Julien Beziat.
Those tries along with four penalties by three different players – Benjamin Urdapilleta, Julien Caminati and Francois Fontaine – secured a win that was only truly assured with the late try of Beziat in the 75th minute.
Colin Slade converted Quentin Lespiaucq’s try for the visitors, who suffered their sixth loss out of six games in the Challenge Cup this season.
Despite their win Castres were unable to threaten the runners-up places.
Tries: Lamerat, Beziat
Pens: Urdapilleta 2, Caminati, Fontaine
Yellow Card: Caminati
Castres: 15 Julien Caminati, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Florian Vialelle, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Julien Seron, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Mathieu Babillot, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Benjamin Desroche, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Eric Sione, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau
Replacements: 16 Julien Beziat, 17 Antoine Tichit, 18 Karena Wihongi, 19 Ibrahim Diarra, 20 Theo Hannoyer, 21 Francois Fontaine, 22 Romain Cabannes, 23 Valentin Mouysset
Pau: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Sireli Bobo, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Paddy Butler, 6 Sean Dougall, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Chris King, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq, 1 Julien Jacquot.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Claude Dry, 20 Brice Monzeglio, 21 Samuel Marques, 22 Brandon Fajardo, 23 Watisoni Votu.
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)
Assistant Referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England), Kevin Stewart (England)
La Rochelle 35-11 Worcester
Four second half tries helped La Rochelle to a comfortable victory over Premiership visitors Worcester Warriors.
Romana Graham, Benjamin Lapeyre, Kini Murimurivalu and Jone Qovu, who secured the try bonus point in the 76th minute, all crossed the whitewash for a big win for the Top 14 side.
Two early penalties from Worcester centre Andy Symons put the visitors in front early on before Zack Holmes hit back for La Rochelle with two strikes of his own.
The hosts’ improved second half performance then propelled them to a second win in the tournament, leaving them in third place in Pool 4.
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Graham, Lapeyre, Murimurivalu, Qovu
Cons: Audy, Barraque 2
Pens: Holmes 2, Audy
Yellow Card: Synaeghel
Pens: Symons 2
Yellow Card: Kirwan
La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 12 Malietoa Hingano, 11 Elliot Roudil, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Julien Audy, 8 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 7 Romana Graham, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Leo Cedaro, 4 Damien Lagrange, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Jordan Seneca.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Gau, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Gagi Bazadze, 19 Zeno Kieft, 20 Benoit Guyot, 21 Ricky Januarie, 22 Pierre Aguillon, 23 Benjamin Lapeyre.
Worcester: 15 Ben Howard, 14 Andy Short, 13 Andy Symons, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Luke Baldwin, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Marco Mama, 5 Dan Sanderson, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Daniel George, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Bower, 17 Ben Sowrey, 18 Mike Daniels, 19 Huw Taylor, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Max Stelling, 23 Perry Humphreys.
Referee: Elia Rizzo (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Filippo Bertelli (Italy), Luca Trentin (Italy)