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Rugby | Champions Cup

Ruan Ackermann © Getty Images

Falcons, Edinburgh and Connacht shine

Gloucester were made to work but got the job done in their Champions Cup match as they beat Zebre while Sale, Worcester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Connacht also won.


Gloucester consolidated second position in Pool 3 of the Challenge Cup when they claimed a bonus-point win in a thrilling clash in Parma.

Johan Ackermann's side were made to work, however, and Zebre held a deserved 14-12 lead at the break thanks to tries from Johan Meyer, Renato Giammarioli and Tommaso Boni, with Ruan Ackermann and Ollie Thorley crossing for the visiting outfit during that period.

Gloucester took control of proceedings in the second half and sealed their win courtesy of tries from Thorley, Owen Williams and Richard Hibbard but Zebre added some respectability to the score via Ciaran Gaffney's try in the 71st minute.

The scorers:

For Zebre:

Tries: Meyer, Giammarioli, Boni, Gaffney

Cons: Canna 2, Palazzani

For Gloucester:

Tries: Ackermann, Thorley 2, Williams, Hibbard

Cons: Williams 4


Sale picked up their first victory of the Challenge Cup campaign as they saw off Pool 2 pace-setters Cardiff Blues at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The victory moves the Sharks up to third, one point behind Toulouse and two off the Blues, who of course play host to Sale next weekend.

Sale led 9-0 at the break thanks to three AJ MacGinty penalties and scored the fixture's first try on the hour through scrum-half Will Cliff.

They wrapped up the four points three minutes from time with a try from replacement hooker Marc Jones adding the gloss to the victory.

The scorers:

For Sale Sharks:

Tries: Cliff, Jones

Con: MacGinty

Pens: MacGinty 4


Worcester were too good for Oyonnax as they ran out comfortable 35-14 winners at Sixways, picking up the bonus point for good measure.

This win keeps them very much in the hunt for pool qualification, with tries from Tom Howe (2), Luke Baldwin and David Denton carded.

In reply, Oyonnax's try scorer was Hika Elliot as they suffer a third defeat from three and remain on zero points at the bottom of Pool 5.

The scorers:

For Worcester:

Tries: Howe 2, Baldwin, Denton

Cons: Olver 3

Pens: Olver 3

For Oyonnax:

Try: Elliot

Pens: Ruiz 3


Newcastle Falcons won a thrilling Challenge Cup game against Bordeaux-Begles to move back to the top of Pool 1, above the Dragons.

First-half scores from Calum Green, Adam Radwan (2), Mark Wison, Ben Sowrey and Craig Willis gave them a 38-17 halftime cushion. Yann Lesgourgues and Matthieu Jalibert hit back for the visitors in a high-scoring affair.

Geoffrey Cros scored for UBB on 56 minutes to reduce the gap but Alex Tait's try soon after kept the Frenchmen at arm's length before Josh Matavesi took the Falcons up to the 50-point mark to cap an impressive home win.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:

Tries: Green, Radwan 2, Wilson, Sowrey, Willis, Tait, Matavesi

Cons: Willis 4, Hodgson 2

For Bordeaux-Begles:

Tries: Lesgourgues, Jalibert, Cros

Cons: Jalibert 2, Volavola

Pen: Jalibert


Edinburgh made it three victories from three in their Challenge Cup campaign as they eased past London Irish, winning 50-20 at Murrayfield.

A venue change from Myreside did not affect the hosts as they ran in eight tries for a classy bonus-point win that puts them eight points clear.

Stuart McInally got the ball rolling before Blair Kinghorn and a double from Phil Burleigh helped put Edinburgh 26-10 ahead at the turnaround.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Darcy Graham, Junior Rasolea and Sean Kennedy went over in the second period to take the Scots past the half century.

Ben Ransom, Mike Coman and Ben Meehan scored London Irish's tries, with this heavy loss now leaving them 10 points behind Edinburgh.

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:

Tries: McInally, Kinghorn, Burleigh 2, Hidalgo-Clyne, Graham, Rasolea, Kennedy

Cons: Van der Walt 3, Kinghorn 2

For London Irish:

Tries: Ransom, Coman, Meehan

Con: Tonks

Pen: Bell


Connacht claimed an impressive 38-31 bonus-point win away to Brive on Saturday in a result that takes them back to the top of Pool 5.

The Irish side were trailing 19-17 at the break as tries from Mike Tadjer, Florian Cazenave and Julien Brugnaut put Brive's noses in front. Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion were the visitors' try scorers in a close-fought opening half.

Tadjer scored again early in the second period before Jack Carty hit back for Connacht, with Cian Kelleher also crossing before Guillaume Namy's 72nd minute try gave Brive hope. But Carty's boot was ultimately the deciding factor in the game as Connacht held on for the victory.

The scorers:

For Brive:

Tries: Tadjer 2, Cazenave, Brugnaut, Namy

Cons: Germain 3

For Connacht:

Tries: Dillane, Marmion, Carty, Kelleher

Cons: Carty 3

Pens: Carty 4



Zebre 26-33 Gloucester

Sale Sharks 24-0 Cardiff Blues

Worcester 35-14 Oyonnax

Newcastle 52-24 Bordeaux-Begles

Edinburgh 50-20 London Irish

Brive 31-38 Connacht

Zebre 26-33 Gloucester


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