Planet Rugby

Falcons through, Bristol out

25th January 2009 12:48

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Newcastle secured their place in the European Challenge Cup last eight as they inflicted a seven-try 43-14 demolition job on lowly El Salvador at Stadio Pepe Rogo on Sunday.

The Falcons effort in Spain moved them above Overmach Parma which booked their place away to Saracens in the last eight.

Flanker Phil Dowson set the Guinness Premiership side on their way to a 29-0 interval lead in Pool Four with the opening try in the ninth minute.

The forwards domination continued as hooker Rob Vickers, lock Tim Swinson and prop Jon Golding also scored - before wing Danny Williams crossed for Newcastle's fifth try inside the opening 31 minutes.

El Salvador got their first points on the board when scrum-half Aaron Good touched down in the 42nd minute.

But the visitors cruised into the quarter-finals when scrum-half Micky Young and replacement Matt Thompson scored either side of Gaston Szabo's consolation for the hosts.

Elsewhere, Bristol failed to reach the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup despite a 25-14 win over Montpellier.

The Guinness Premiership club needed the small matter of eight tries to pip Bourgoin for the final spot in the knockout stages.

In the end they only managed three - scored by David Lemi, Shaun Perry and Redford Pennycook - at the Memorial Stadium.

Hopes were raised when winger Lemi darted over to break the deadlock after just five minutes, Ed Barnes adding the conversion.

Perry also crossed in the opening half, Barnes again slotting over the extras, to give the home side a 14-0 advtantage at the break.

Replacement Pennycook went over 10 minutes after the re-start to extend the gap before Montpellier came roaring back to make a game of it.

Francois Trinh Duc, who was left out of the French squad for the upcoming Six Nations, finally got the visitors on the board with a try.

The fly-half also knocked over the conversion and was on target again with the boot following Jerome Vallee's 66th minute effort.

In between Barnes landed three points and his second penalty in the closing stages secured Bristol a rare win in what has been a tough season.

The result means Bristol, who are currently bottom of the Premiership, are the only English side to fail to reach the last eight of the competition.

To make matters even worse for head coach Richard Hill, Robert Sidoli, Luke Arscott and Alfie To'oala all picked up injuries in the game.

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