Amlin Challenge Cup
Sale pile more misery on Worcester
October 19, 2013
Lewis Evans of Newport is halted in his tracks © Getty Images
Worcester Warriors are still searching for the first win of the season after falling to a 29-15 Amlin Challenge Cup defeat to Sale Sharks at Sixways.
Having been held to a draw by Oyannax last weekend the Warriors knew only a win could revive their ambitions in the competition but they were soon facing an uphill battle after a poor first-half display. A penalty try and scores from Rob Miller and Dwayne Peel and nine points from the boot of Danny Cipriani gave Sale a commanding 24-3 half-time lead.
But Worcester looked a different side after the break, with quick tries from Alex Grove and Mike Williams bringing them back to within nine points. The home side were in the ascendancy but it proved to be a bridge too far as Mark Easter removed any doubt on the hour mark as he burrowed over from close range as Sale comfortably closed out the final 20 minutes.
Bath continued their perfect start to the Challenge Cup with a battling 26-10 win over Newport Gwent Dragons, thanks to 18 points from the boot of Tom Heathcote. A flurry of early activity seemed to suggest a thriller was on the cards as Bath wing Richard Lane went over on six minutes, only for the converted try to immediately be cancelled out by Toby Faletau's effort moments later. A further penalty apiece levelled the scores at 10-10 at half-time but Heathcote edged them away after the interval before Mat Gilbert's try nine minutes from time finally put it beyond doubt, allowing Bath to wrap up the victory and head into next weekend's West Country derby with back-to-back European victories behind them.
In Lisbon London Irish made short work of Lusitanos XV as they eased to a 67-6 victory to make it two Challenge Cup wins from two for Brian Smith's charges. The Exiles led 20-6 at half-time before the floodgates really opened, with Marland Yarde and hooker Jimmy Stevens both grabbing a pair of tries, with Alex Lewington, Ofisa Treviranus and Darren Allinson also crossing in a routine win for Irish ahead of next week's trip to Newcastle.
Elsewhere Cavalieri Prato were dramatically denied a heroic victory over last season's losing finalists Stade Francais, as Nicolas Garrault's last-gasp try saved the French outfit's blushes in a narrow 17-16 win. The Italians had lost Giacomo Berini in the opening period but Abou Souare's score just after half-time had seemingly put them on course for a famous win, but a 60th-minute penalty try for the visitors was the catalyst for Garrault's late heroics and Jerome Porical's decisive conversion.
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