Planet Rugby

Leeds on course for quarter-finals

16th November 2007 21:52

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Daryl Powell of Leeds in the mist

Powell: Delighted at his sides win in France

Leeds are on course for a European Challenge Cup quarter-final after a hard-fought 23-20 victory in Dax on Friday.

After last week's 35-18 win over Castres Olympique, coach Daryl Powell knows victories in the home and away games against Italian side Rugby Calvisano will give his team a berth in the final eight.

"Getting a win against any team in France is fantastic, and it was a great achievement for the whole team - we played a very good game," Powell said.

"I was particularly proud of the way we closed the game down, which is something we have only learned in the last six months. A good kicking game won us this match."

Leeds' Argentinian-born fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo kept his side in the match with five goals in a polished performance, with tries to prop Fosi Pala'amo and replacement centre Lee Blackett in either half proving crucial.

Samoa international Gavin Williams kicked 10 points for the home side, converting tries to back-rower Pierre Caillet and winger Laurent Diaz, but the French side are virtually out of the competition after losses in their opening two matches.

Meanwhile, Irish province Connacht racked up their highest score in Europe as they cantered past Cetransa El Salvador 75-8 at the Sportsground.

Connacht, who earned a bonus point in last weekend's 15-9 loss in Brive, ran in 10 tries against the out-classed Spanish side.

Winger Ofisa Treviranus and centre Danny Riordan both bagged two tries inside the hour and Riordan's third in the dying minutes took the home side past the 70-point mark.

Spain's Test number eight Ivan Criado followed up his try against Newcastle last week with another five-pointer, but it was one-way traffic against a side who had their try bonus point in the bag inside 26 minutes.

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