European Challenge Cup - Round 2 Review
Falcons and Leeds pick up bonus points
October 17, 2009

After a nervy win over Petrarca Padova last weekend, Steve Bates' Newcastle Falcons secured an emphatic 45-3 home win over Top 14 basement-boys Albi in their Pool 5 showdown at Kingston Park.

The Falcons ran in seven tries to take control of the Pool with their second bonus-point victory. A rampant Falcons back-three all registered tries, with Charlie Amesbury, Danny Williams and England Sevens star Tom Biggs all crossing.

Not to be outdone, prop Lawrence Ovens, openside William Welch and replacement Alex Walker also registered five-pointers. The other try went to Kiwi fly-half Jimmy Gopperth, who also slotted five conversions for a 15-point haul.

Meanwhile, Montauban failed to register a bonus-point against Petrarca Padova, scoring three tries in a 27-10 victory. Jean-Emmanuel Cassin, Silviu Florea and Shannon Paku crossed for the Top 14 side as Petrarca fly-half Stefano Amrosio scored all of his side's points with a try, penalty and conversion.

Leeds secured a vital home victory against Overmach Parma, running out 37-13 victors after slipping to a damaging defeat in their opening game. Parma also struggled last weekend and lost to Romanian side Bucresti.

Andy Key's Leeds picked up a bonus-point to keep their Challenge Cup hopes alive and gave the Headingley Crowd something to cheer about. Winger Richard Welding breached the Parma defence twice, with centre Scott Barrow, prop Gareth Hardy and openside Calum Clark completing the victory. Roberto Mariani scored a try for the visitors and replacement Barry Iriving converted and landed two drop-goals.

Also in Pool 1 Bucuresti slipped to a narrow 21-19 home defeat against Bourgoin. Camille Levast and Remy Vigneaux scored tries for the French side, backing up last weekend's win over Leeds.

In Pool 3, Castres bounced back from last weekend's loss to Toulon by routing Rovigo 76-11. Samoan No.8 Joe Tekori led the way with a hat-trick, Yoan Audrin bagged a brace while there were tries from Rodrigo Capo Ortega, Thomas Sanchou, Marc Andreu, Yannick Caballero, Thomas Bouquie, Mathieu Bonello and a penalty try.Toulon remain in control of the Pool after defeating Saracens 31-23 in our Game of the Week.

Paul Sackey celebrated being handed the Wasps' captaincy by scoring one of his side's nine tries in a comfortable 57-0 European Challenge Cup Pool 4 victory over Rugby Roma at the Stadio Tre Fontane.

No.8 Dan Ward-Smith and Dan Leo scored two tries apiece while Paul Sackey, Tom Varndell, Charlie Beech and Joe Ward all crossed, along with Eoghan Hickey, who added six conversions in a 17-point haul.

Hooker Ward broke the deadlock in the sixth minute at the Stade Tre Fortane before Ward-Smith grabbed the first of his brace at the end of the opening quarter. Tony Hanks' men were in cruise control and after Beech had crossed for the third try, the visitors had secured the bonus point after 45 minutes.

England wingers Varndell and Sackey then got in on the act before Ward-Smith rounded off an impressive display with his second try and Leo sealed the victory.

Also in Pool 4, Bayonne fought off Racing Metro 20-16 in Saturday's late game. Filimoni Bolovucu and Sam Gerber scored tries for the away side at the Stade Yves du Manoir, with Jone Qovu Nailiko responding in vain for the hosts.

Mike Ruddock's Worcester atoned for their opening day loss at home to Montpellier with a bonus-point 38-5 victory over Olympus Madrid.

Miles Benjamin and Scotland centre Alex Grove both crossed twice as Mike Ruddock's men coasted to a comfortable away win. Madrid scored their only try through wing Matias Tudela's first-half strike but the visitors had the bonus point in the bag inside 31 minutes as Jonny Arr also crossed in the five-try success.

The Warriors ran out victors despite the loss of five key players with wing Marcel Garvey, centre Dale Rasmussen, prop Matt Mullan, lock Graham Kitchener and Shaun Ruwers all ruled out through injury.

A brace of tries from winger Fionn Carr helped Connacht to a superb 22-19 away victory over Montpellier at Stade Yves du Manoir on Friday.

Montpellier defeated Worcester at Sixways last weekend to get their campaign underway, but could not break down the resolute Irish province in the closing stages.

Michael Bradley's Connacht stuck out seven minutes of pressure on their line to take control of Pool 2 following a heavy 46-6 home win over Olympus Madrid last weekend, a game in which Carr also notched two scores.

Connacht's third try came from Niva Ta'auso, with the home side limited to a try from former England and one-time British & Irish Lion Ollie Smith and 14 points from the boot of fly-half Federico Todeschini.


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