Planet Rugby

Challenge Cup - Sunday

14th December 2008 18:24

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Foden Saints

On the double: Saints star Ben Foden crosses for the first of his two tries against Bristol

Northampton Saints completed back-to-back victories over Bristol to book their place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.

Scrum-half Ben Foden sealed a bonus-point win with the first and last of the Saints' four tries either side of scores from Jon Clarke and Chris Mayor at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday.

But they were forced to survive a late scare as Bristol rallied from 25-9 down to snatch a losing bonus point through tries from Lee Robinson and Luke Arscott.

Victory at the Memorial Ground ensures Northampton will top the pool with two rounds still to play, having taken a maximum 20 points from their first four games.

Meanwhile, Saracens have one foot in the last eight after beating Bayonne 36-0 in a fiery game at Vicarage Road that saw five yellow cards.

Gordon Ross kicked Saracens into a 12-0 lead before Neil de Kock sent Kameli Ratuvou over for the opening try on 30 minutes.

However, the half ended with Nicolas Laffite, Census Johnston and Julian Fiorini all in the sin-bin in a bad-tempered clash.

De Kock, Noah Cato and Chris Jack all scored in the second half to clinch a bonus point before Hugh Vyvyan and Anthony Etchegaray were sin-binned for fighting.

Elsewhere, Newcastle Falcons struggled for the second week in a row to shake off Overmach Parma before holding out for a 21-16 win at Kingston Park.

Jamie Noon looked to have put the Falcons on course at the start of the second half with the Falcons' third try, following scores from Rob Miller and Micky Young.

But Parma replacement Juan Martin Soffredini crashed over on 58 minutes to salvage a losing bonus point for the Italians that leaves Pool Four in the balance.

Newcastle are now two points behind leaders Brive who eased to a comfortable victory at Cetransa El Salvador.

Former England wing Ben Cohen clinched a bonus-point with the fourth of Brive's nine tries in a 55-5 win in Spain.

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