Planet Rugby

Sale Sharks looking dangerous

17th November 2007 18:14

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Mark Cueto in the Challenge Cup

Try Time: Mark Cueto got over the line - legally!

Two tries from Mark Cueto ensured Sale continued their comfortable march in the European Challenge Cup with an emphatic 53-14 victory over Petrarca.

The England wing shrugged off the disappointment of his non-try in the World Cup Final with scores in either half during a predictably lop-sided game at the Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium.

He was not the only player to bag a brace, Scottish international Rory Lamont also helped himself to a brace of tries, with forwards Chris Day, Lionel Faure, Dean Schofield and David Tait all going over as the Sharks added to their clinical display against Montpellier last week.

With Charlie Hodgson rested for the game, Lee Thomas stepped up to kick sixteen points with the boot to fill the England fly-half's shirt with aplomb.

Worcester shrugged off their woeful Premiership form to produce their best performance of the season as they brushed aside Montauban 41-18 at Sixways.

They scored five tries in total with Shane Drahm running the show from fly-half, bagging a personal haul of 21 points in their Pool Two match.

Full-back Chris Pennell opened the scoring for Worcester and Drahm added a couple of goals and back-rower Netani Talei opened a 17-3 lead.

Rival forwards Craig Gillies and Yannick Caballero traded tries, and while Drahm slotted a dropped goal to extend the lead, Montabaun showed they had come to play when winger Jean-Emmanuel Cassin scored on the stroke of halftime to narrow the margin to 27-13.

A rapid-fire brace of tries from Thinus Delport and Drahm clinched a try bonus point.

Bath ensured English sides swept the board in the Challenge Cup against Overmach Parma but coach Steve Meehan will have been concerned at the way his team struggled to shrug off the Italians.

The Guinness Premiership side were expected to rack up another healthy victory over the Italians who had never won in England but the frustration around the Recreation Ground was palpable as Bath wobbled to a 28-0 win.

World Cup winner Butch James pulled out a moment of inspiration to send Olly Barkley under the posts to ensure maximum points for Bath.

It took a yellow card for Parma prop Fabio Staibano to hand Bath the advantage and skipper Steve Borthwick finally broke the deadlock with a timely try deep into injury time.

Bath's poor play continued into the second half, before centre Alex Crockett showed a clean pair of heels to his opposite number before Barkley and replacement Jonny Fa'amatuainu went over.

Meanwhile, Argentinian winger Rafael Carballo scored a hat-trick as Castres Olympique bounced back into European contention with a 61-28 mauling of Rugby Calvisano tonight.

Reeling after last weekend's heavy European Challenge Cup loss at Leeds, Castres scored nine tries in a one-sided match. Former England centre Phil Christophers was among the try-scorers as Castres took a 26-9 lead at the break and kept the home side at bay, despite conceding three second-half tries

In Italy, Bucuresti proved their European credentials with a hard-earned 23-23 draw against GRAN Parma.

The Romanians out-scored their rivals three tries to two, but home fly-half Rima Wakarua rescued the draw with a personal haul of 18 points.

Auch flanker Nicolas Bontinck scored his second try in injury time to secure a thrilling 31-30 win at Albi.

The home side stormed to a 20-3 lead at halftime, but Auch clawed their back into contention before Bontinck's bonus-point try left them trailing 29-30 with the last kick of the game to come. Fly-half Benoit Albert, taking over the kicking duties from full-back Frederic Couzier, made no mistake.

Finally, Montpellier rallied from 7-0 down to record a hard-fought 18-7 win over Bayonne at Stade Yves Du-Manoir in Colombes.

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