Toulon kicked off their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a convincing 33-17 win away at Castres, coming back from 14-3 down.
Toulon kicked off their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a convincing 33-17 win away at Castres on Friday, coming back from 14-3 down.
Castres Olympique 17-33 RC Toulonnais
Toulon dominated the opening exchanges and were rewarded with the opening points from the boot of Sebastia FauquÃ©, but Luke Rooney's lackadaisical approach to an up and under gave Castres an immediate riposte, with Castres recovering the loose ball and sending Thomas BouquiÃ© to the right-hand corner, where Joe Tekori made the final centimetres with a pick and drive and Cameron McIntyre's conversion gave the home side a 7-3 lead.
The Toulon scrum was under immense pressure after their initial energy and it only seemed a matter of time before the next score came for the home side. It was Mcintyre who got it after 17 minutes, taking a ball on a drift line and dummying before cutting inside and accelerating to the posts, from where he converted to make it 14-3.
Tom May pulled back a drop goal for the visitors, and after a better spell of pressure from the visitors, Luke Rooney scampered on the outside of his marker and made it to the corner on the half-hour mark, with FauquÃ©'s conversion making it 14-13.
The game opened up a bit, but neither side was able to string together enough phases to breach the other's line and it stayed a one-point game into the second half.
Luke Rooney took the ball off the fly-half's outside shoulder early in the second half to put Toulon back ahead early in the second half, with FauquÃ© making it 20-14 from the tee and then extending the lead with a drop goal on the hour.
Matt Henjak scampered through a gap for the killer blow, with FauquÃ© again converting, two mintues after Romain Teulet had pulled Castres back to within a score with a penalty.
Anothony Giocabazzi sealed Castres' fate with a drop goal.
Bourgoin 29-19 Leeds Carnegie
Leeds Carnegie got off to a losing start in the Amlin Challenge Cup 29-19 at Bourgoin to continue their winless start to the new season.
Neil Back's men failed to reverse their domestic form in the Guinness Premiership after they were out-scored two tries to one at Stade Pierre Rajon.
Rudi Coetzee's early score was followed by David Janin while fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo landed six kicks to leave Leeds trailing 23-6 by half-time.
Leeds briefly hinted at what would have been a remarkable comeback when Samoan back-row Alfie Vaeluaga To'oala barged over six minutes into the second half.
Veteran fly-half Jason Strange converted and added two more penalties to his first half strikes to haul Leeds to within a try at 23-19.
But replacement and France international Benjamin Boyet stepped off the bench to land two more penalties, including a last-minute effort which denied Leeds a losing bonus point.
Connacht 46-6 Olympus Madrid
Connacht took an early lead in Pool Two with a comfortable 46-6 win over Olympus Madrid.
The Spanish minnows were only able to field an 18-man squad after being struck by a stomach bug before arriving in Galway and rarely troubled the Irish province.
Second-row Michael Swift and wing Fion Carr both crossed twice as Connacht ran in eight tries. Adrian Flavin, Mike McCarthy, Tiernan O'Halloran and Niva Ta'auso grabbed the others.
Bayonne 61-3 Rugby Roma
Former Australia fly-half Manny Edmonds, playing at scrum-half for Bayonne, scored 17 points including one of his teams eight tries in an emphatic 61-3 win against Roma.
Albi 7-17 Montauban
Pool Five's opening fixture saw Montauban struggle past fellow French outfit Albi to take an early lead ahead of Newcastle and Petrarca Padova, who go head-to-head on Saturday.