European Challenge Cup
Round-up: Five-try Exeter seal first win
ESPN Staff
October 25, 2014
Exeter try-scorer Henry Slade takes the game to Connacht. © Getty Images
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Saturday's Challenge Cup action kicked off with a hard-fought 13-9 win for Stade Français away to Bucureşti. It was the Parisians' first win in the competition but they still sit in the bottom half of Pool 3 after Newcastle's win over Dragons on Friday night.

With snow falling in the Romanian capital, Australian Digby Ioane scored the only try of the match in a tight contest, crossing over in the corner on the stroke of half-time - with Bucureşti blindside Vali-Catalin Mototolea in the sin-bin - to give the visitors a 10-6 lead at the break. The second-half saw Morne Steyn and Florin Vlaicu lad a penalty apiece.

Cardiff Blues made it ten points from a possible ten in Pool 1 with a bonus point win over Rovigo in Italy. Kristian Dacey, Josh Turnbull, Gethin Jenkins, Manoa Vosawai and Macauley Cook crossed for the visitors in a 33-18 win.

Cardiff were forced to battle for their win over the Italian semi-professionals. After fly-half Luciano Rodriguez's early try against the run of play, Blues broke away to a 7-19 lead inside 30 minutes and from there never allowed their grip on the game to slip. Turnbull scored a fine try on the back of in-form hooker Dacey's break and Jenkins bundled over after Adam Thomas had a score disallowed for a knock-on. A pair of penalties from Davide Farolini either side of the interval kept Rovigo in touch but tries from Vosawai and Cook - the latter from a powerful drive - secured all five points for Mark Hammett's side. Jean-Francois Montauriol crossed for a consolation score for the hosts.

Blues now face a crucial double-header against London Irish, who have also taken maximum points from their opening games. The outcome of these two fixtures will go a long way to deciding Pool 1.

In Pool 2, Exeter Chiefs achieved their first win of the campaign, scoring five tries as they saw off Connacht 33-13 at Sandy Park. Chiefs took an early lead after Thomas Waldrom's half-breka and offload sent scrum-half Will Chudley under the posts and Henry Slade scored after Matt Jess was held up short. Damian Welch scored their third on the stroke of half-time after some expansive play that saw the ball spread right to Jack Nowell and back left, where Welch scored. Connacht had just a pair of Craig Ronaldson penalties to show at the break.

It was the same story in the second half as Gareth Steenson passed 1,500 career points for Exeter, man of the match Dave Ewers finished after some concerted pressure for the Chiefs and Ben White scored from a quick-tap penalty. Fionn Carr crossed late for the Irishmen to give the scoreline some semblance of respectability.

Gloucester wrapped up the day's action with a 25-15 victory away to Oyonnax. Matt Kvesic scored the only try on the match, but it was Greig Laidlaw who did most of the damage for Gloucester with the boot. The scrum-half landed six penalties and converted Kvesic's try to put the Premiership side out of reach for their Top 14 opponents.

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