Planet Rugby

Challenge Cup wrap - Friday

09th October 2009 19:59

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Tom May Toulon

Tom May: Solid for Toulon

Toulon kicked off their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a convincing 33-17 win away at Castres on Friday, coming back from 14-3 down.

Castres Olympique 17-33 RC Toulonnais

Toulon dominated the opening exchanges and were rewarded with the opening points from the boot of Sebastia Fauqué, but Luke Rooney's lackadaisical approach to an up and under gave Castres an immediate riposte, with Castres recovering the loose ball and sending Thomas Bouquié to the right-hand corner, where Joe Tekori made the final centimetres with a pick and drive and Cameron McIntyre's conversion gave the home side a 7-3 lead.

The Toulon scrum was under immense pressure after their initial energy and it only seemed a matter of time before the next score came for the home side. It was Mcintyre who got it after 17 minutes, taking a ball on a drift line and dummying before cutting inside and accelerating to the posts, from where he converted to make it 14-3.

Tom May pulled back a drop goal for the visitors, and after a better spell of pressure from the visitors, Luke Rooney scampered on the outside of his marker and made it to the corner on the half-hour mark, with Fauqué's conversion making it 14-13.

The game opened up a bit, but neither side was able to string together enough phases to breach the other's line and it stayed a one-point game into the second half.

Luke Rooney took the ball off the fly-half's outside shoulder early in the second half to put Toulon back ahead early in the second half, with Fauqué making it 20-14 from the tee and then extending the lead with a drop goal on the hour.

Matt Henjak scampered through a gap for the killer blow, with Fauqué again converting, two mintues after Romain Teulet had pulled Castres back to within a score with a penalty.

Anothony Giocabazzi sealed Castres' fate with a drop goal.

Bourgoin 29-19 Leeds Carnegie

Leeds Carnegie got off to a losing start in the Amlin Challenge Cup 29-19 at Bourgoin to continue their winless start to the new season.

Neil Back's men failed to reverse their domestic form in the Guinness Premiership after they were out-scored two tries to one at Stade Pierre Rajon.

Rudi Coetzee's early score was followed by David Janin while fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo landed six kicks to leave Leeds trailing 23-6 by half-time.

Leeds briefly hinted at what would have been a remarkable comeback when Samoan back-row Alfie Vaeluaga To'oala barged over six minutes into the second half.

Veteran fly-half Jason Strange converted and added two more penalties to his first half strikes to haul Leeds to within a try at 23-19.

But replacement and France international Benjamin Boyet stepped off the bench to land two more penalties, including a last-minute effort which denied Leeds a losing bonus point.

Connacht 46-6 Olympus Madrid

Connacht took an early lead in Pool Two with a comfortable 46-6 win over Olympus Madrid.

The Spanish minnows were only able to field an 18-man squad after being struck by a stomach bug before arriving in Galway and rarely troubled the Irish province.

Second-row Michael Swift and wing Fion Carr both crossed twice as Connacht ran in eight tries. Adrian Flavin, Mike McCarthy, Tiernan O'Halloran and Niva Ta'auso grabbed the others.

Bayonne 61-3 Rugby Roma

Former Australia fly-half Manny Edmonds, playing at scrum-half for Bayonne, scored 17 points including one of his teams eight tries in an emphatic 61-3 win against Roma.

Albi 7-17 Montauban

Pool Five's opening fixture saw Montauban struggle past fellow French outfit Albi to take an early lead ahead of Newcastle and Petrarca Padova, who go head-to-head on Saturday.

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