Challenge Cup wrap: Grenoble, Dragons and Bath win

Date published: January 13 2017

Grenoble claimed their first win of the Challenge Cup campaign, against Newcastle, while the Dragons beat RC Enisei and Bath thumped Bristol in Friday’s other game.

Grenoble 31-27 Newcastle

A 77th minute try from outside centre Fabrice Estebanez helped Grenoble pick up a 31-27 victory at Stade des Alpes on Friday.

The Falcons hit the front early when their own 13, Chris Harris, crossed after 10 minutes, Craig Willis knocking over the extras.

But Grenoble would close the gap before the break as a try from scrum-half David Mele was converted before Willis slotted over a penalty that gave the visitors a slender 10-7 advantage at the turnaround.

Gilles Bosch levelled matters off the tee three minutes into the second 40 but then a penalty try nudged Newcastle back in front at 17-10, Willis landing a penalty soon after that made it a ten-point buffer.

Grenoble responded with Etienne Fourcade’s crossing and a penalty try to move 24-20 up but again the Falcons would go over, this time through replacement Scott Wilson, as they were now 27-24 ahead.

Estebanez though struck late on to seriously dent Newcastle’s hopes of making the knockouts and give Grenoble something to smile about.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Mele, Penalty Try, Fourcade, Estebanez
Cons: Bosch 4
Pen: Bosch

For Newcastle:
Tries: Harris, Penalty Try, Wilson
Cons: Willis 3
Pens: Willis 2
Yellow Card: Green

Grenoble: 15 Armand Batlle, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Fabrice Estebanez, 12 Clement Gelin, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 David Mele, 8 Dylan Hayes, 7 Kevin Kornath, 6 Mathias Marie, 5 Ben Hand, 4 Mickael Capelli, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Alexandre Dardet
Replacements: 16 Etienne Fourcade, 17 Dylan Jacquot, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Thomas Jolmes, 20 Peter Kimlin, 21 Lilian Saseras, 22 Bastien Guillemin, 23 Sisa Ledua Waqa

Newcastle: 15 Brett Connon, 14 Dan Marshall, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Fred Burdon (c), 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Sam Egerton, 8 Dan Temm, 7 Harrison Orr, 6 Sean Robinson, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Will Witty, 3 David Wilson, 2 Ben Sowrey, 1 Ben Harris
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Calum Green, 20 Glen Young, 21 Michael Young, 22 Dom Waldouck, 23 Tom Catterick

Referee: Vlad Iordachescu (Romania)
Assistant Referees: Radu Petrescu (Romania), Alexandru Ionescu (Romania)

Dragons 34-10 Enisei-STM

Dragons jumped up to top spot in Pool 3 of the Challenge Cup after they beat RC Enisei 34-10 in a hard-fought effort at Rodney Parade.

The Dragons were up 13-0 at half-time thanks to a try on 20 minutes from hooker T Rhys Thomas while Dorian Jones kicked eight points.

RC Enisei struck first after the break though when wing Denis Simplikevich crossed for an unconverted try on 54 minutes that made it 13-5.

But the Dragons recovered with tries from replacements, hooker Rhys Buckley and two from back-row Harrison Keddie, to extend their cushion before wing Igor Kurashov went over for the visitors to have the final say.

This bonus-point success for the Welsh region has now put the pressure on pool rivals Brive, who host Worcester Warriors on Saturday.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries: Thomas, Buckley, Keddie 2
Cons: Jones, O’Brien 3
Pens: Jones 2

For Enisei-STM:
Tries: Simplikevich, Kurashov

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Adam Warren, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Brok Harris, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Tom Davies, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Adam Hughes

Enisei-STM: 15 Ramil Gaisin, 14 Igor Kurashov, 13 Jurijs Baranovs, 12 Dmitrii Gerasimov, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Iurii Kushnarev, 9 Alexey Shcherban, 8 Anton Rudoi, 7 Plavel Butenko, 6 Mikheil Gachechiladze, 5 Maxim Gargalic, 4 Viacheslav Krasylnyk, 3 Jake Grey, 2 Shamil Magomedov, 1 Andrei Polivalov
Replacements: 16 Nazir Gasanov, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Azat Musin, 19 Sergey Chernyshev, 20 Aleksei Mikhaltsov, 21 Konstantin Uzunov, 22 Thomas Halse, 23 Vitalii Orlov

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), Helen O’Reilly (Ireland)

Bristol 22-57 Bath

Bath outclassed their opponent at Ashton Gate as Bristol were well beaten, going down 57-22.

Todd Blackadder’s men put on a masterclass in the first-half as they went in 38-10 up thanks to five tries, converted by George Ford who also nailed a penalty. Hooker Tom Dunn, full-back Tom Homer, centre Robbie Fruean, scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i and fly-half Ford scored their tries.

Tom Varndell crossed for Bristol but it was their only bright spot on an otherwise disappointing opening 40 minutes in front of their fans.

After the break it was unsurprising to see Bath continue their dominance as Fotuali’i got his second on 48 minutes, which made it 45-10.

Rhodri Williams did respond with a try on 56 minutes, but normal service was resumed when Semesa Rokoduguni crossed on the hour.

Chris Cook added an eighth try for Bath on 78 minutes but it would be Bristol who had the final say on the game as replacement Jason Tovey crossed for Bristol’s third of the night, with their European hopes now ended.

The scorers:

For Bristol:
Tries: Varndell, Williams, Tovey
Cons: Searle 2
Pen: Searle

For Bath:
Tries: Dunn, Homer, Fruean, Fotuali’i 2, Ford, Rokoduguni, Cook
Cons: Ford 6, Homer
Pen: Ford

Bristol: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Wallace, 13 Thretton Palamo, 12 Tusi Pisi, 11 Tom Varndell. 10 Billy Searle, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Mitch Eadie, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Ben Glynn, 4 James Phillips, 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2 Max Crumpton, 1 Kyle Traynor
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Gaston Cortes, 19 Giorgi Nemsadze, 20 Joe Joyce, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Jack Tovey

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Robbie Fruean, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 George Ford (c), 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Paul Grant, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Zach Mercer, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Ben Tapuai

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Elia Rizzo (Italy), Simone Boaretto (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)