Amlin Challenge Cup - Round 5
Chiefs set up Perpignan showdown
ESPNscrum Staff
January 15, 2012

Exeter Chiefs took a step closer to the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals with a 50-10 victory over Cavalieri Prato at the Stadio Lungobisenzio on Saturday.

The Chiefs ran in eight tries to set up a tantilising showdown with Pool 4 rivals Perpignan at Sandy Park next weekend. The visitors, who showed 12 changes from the side that beat Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership in the previous week, were awarded two penalty tries with Kevin Barrett, Mark Foster, Alastair Muldowney, Patrick Phibbs and Ignacio Mieres also scoring.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson kicked four conversions and a penalty while Myles Dorrian and Mieres were also on target with conversions. The hosts scored a solitary try through Nicola Belardo with Riccardo Bocchino converting and Rima Wakarua adding a penalty.

The victory puts Exeter top of Pool 3 ahead of Perpignan, who failed to secure a bonus point at home to the Dragons in a 27-13 victory at the Aime Giral. The hosts established a 15-3 lead by half time thanks to five penalties from fullback Jerome Porical. The Dragons responded early in the second half with a try from Aled Brew, which Matthew Jones converted to add to an earlier penalty.

However Charles Geli and Robins Tchale-Watchou touched down, with Porical converting the first try, to ensure the Dragons' fight back was in vain despite another penalty from Jones.

Wasps scored two late tries to claim a bonus-point 32-11 victory over Rovigo and retain control of Pool 3. Winger Richard Haughton and fly-half Ryan Davis both crossed the try line in the last three minutes to grab the bonus point that puts them two points ahead of Bayonne and in pole position to reach the last eight.

Wasps were forced to battle for the victory, let alone the bonus point, as they led just 12-11 in the 50th minute. Two penalties from Davide Duca put the hosts 6-0 ahead before Wasps responded with tries from Sam Jones and Elliot Daly. Davis converted the second of the tries to put Wasps 12-6 up at the break but Rovigo hitback with a try from Samuele Pace. Davis steadied Wasps nerves with two second-half penalties before he and Haughton finally put the result beyond doubt.

Sale Sharks secured their biggest away victory in Europe with a straightforward 69-10 Amlin Challenge Cup win over Spanish champions La Vila. Tom Brady and Richie Vernon both scored twice while Rob Miller added seven conversions in a 19-point haul, as the Sharks ran in 11 tries in Alicante.

Steve Diamond's team will become the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the competition if they beat Pool Five leaders Brive at Edgeley Park next Thursday.

Brady opened the scoring after 10 minutes before Joaquin Tuculet and Joe Ward followed. Welshman Tim Evans gave Sale a scare when he crossed to cut the lead to 17-10 but Miller hit back to secure a bonus point before Vernon grabbed his first on the stroke of half-time. Will Cliff, Will Addison, Brady, Scott Mathie, Vernon and Jordan Davies all scored in the second half to seal an emphatic win.

Toulon struck for a late double to wrap up a 29-10 bonus point win over Lyon at the Stade Mayol on Sunday night, keeping them two points clear at the top of Pool 2.

The hosts led 10-3 at the break thanks to a try from No.8 Leonardo Senatore and five points from former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson. Lyon had opened the scoring with a Tewis de Bruyn penalty, but the Top 14 strugglers then went 73 minutes without adding to their total.

Back-rower Nicolas Bontinck eventually crossed after 76 minutes, cancelling out a try earlier in the half from Toulon winger Benjamin Lapeyre. With the game poised at 17-10 Toulon quickly whipped any hope away from the visitors with two tries in as many minutes. Flanker Pierrick Gunther was first over after 79 minutes, with former league fullback Luke Rooney rounding off his side's efforts at the death.

Also on Sunday, Newcastle kept alive their hopes of progressing to the quarters by thumping Padova 43-0 at Kingston Park.

Former Otago centre Ryan Shortland - played here on the wing - bagged a brace for the Falcons, who parted ways with coach Alan Tait last week, while Tom Catterick, Jordi Pasqualin, James Fitzpatrick, Ashley Wells and promising fly-half Joel Hodgson also crossed.

Worcester Warriors ran in nine tries as they beat Crociati Rugby 57-10 at Sixways to retain an outside chance of reaching the quarter finals.

Fullback Errie Claassens grabbed two tries while Alex Grove, Andy Goode, Tom Arscott, Josh Drauniniu, Ollie Hayes, Ben Gulliver and Miles Benjamin all crossed in the bonus-point victory. Crociati were awarded a penalty try which was converted by Jacopo Zucconi, who also landed a penalty for the visitors.

The victory takes Worcester within four points of Stade with the two sides meeting at Stade Charlety next weekend. Stade Francais, meanwhile, maintained their perfect record in Pool 1 with a 34-13 victory over Bucuresti.

Stade winger Djibril Camara touched down twice with former Wallabies centre Morgan Turinui and replacement Alex Rokokaro also crossing for the visitors. Stade fly-half Jules Plisson converted all three tries and added a further two penalties while Rokokaro converted his own try. The hosts breached their opponents line with tries from Alexandru Mitu and Viorel Lucaci while Florin Vlaicu landed a penalty.

Brive climbed to the top of Pool 5 in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup with a crushing 50-13 victory over French rivals Agen at the Stade Amedee-Domenech on Friday night.

Clement Marienval scored twice and replacement Benjamin Caminati crossed three times in the final 10 minutes to climb above Sale remain on course for the quarter-finals.

On Thursday, Benjamin Boyet's boot was enough to give Bayonne an important 12-6 win over Bordeaux-Begles in their Pool 3 clash at the Stade Andre Moga. Boyet contributed all of Bayonne's points but the game never managed to live up to the quality of players on show with well established internationals such as Joe Rokocoko, Mike Phillips and Troy Flavell all featuring for the away side.

Bayonne triumphed when the pair met back in Round 2 20-3, crossing the line twice in the process. And it is their second win over Bordeaux which has put increased pressure on Wasps to pick up a result in Rovigo on Saturday. Bayonne now have a three point lead over Dai Young's men, but if Wasps come away from Italy with a win, then the fate of the Pool is in their hands ahead of their clash with Bordeaux on January 22.

It was Bayonne who took the lead against Bordeaux in the low scoring affair. Benjamin Boyet knocked over a penalty for the away side after seven minutes before adding a second in the 26th minute. Bordeaux replacement fly-half Manu Saubusse - who came on for Nicolas Sanchez after 23 minutes - knocked over a penalty of his own in the 38th minute to make it 6-3 to Bayonne at half-time.

But a Boyet penalty re-established Bayonne's six point lead in the 41st minute before Saubusse chipped back at the deficit in the 53rd minute. Wales' Phillips took his bow for Bayonne in the 60th minute and Boyet extended the lead soon after in the 67th minute with another penalty in what proved to be the last score of the match.

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