Planet Rugby

Challenge Cup wrap: Gloucester on top

08th December 2012 15:03

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Stade Francais wing Francis Fainifo scores

Hat-trick for Stade: Francis Fainifo

Gloucester took control of Amlin Challenge Cup Pool One thanks to a narrow victory away to London Irish on Saturday.

Results:
Bucuresti 25-22 Agen
Cavalieri Prato 23 - 37 Stade Franšais
Mogliano 0 - 31 Dragons
Bath 67-11 Calvisano
London Irish 22-29 Gloucester
Bizkaia Gernika RT 13-3 Rovigo
Bayonne 13-13 London Wasps

London Irish opened the scoring after just two minutes when Sailosi Tagicakibau went over, fly-half Ian Humphreys converting and adding another penalty to give the home side a 10-6 lead by halftime.

The Exiles stormed into a 22-9 lead thanks to tries from Halani Aulika and Anthony Watson after the break, before Gloucester roared back thanks to tries from Dan Murphy and Freddie Burns, with new England fly-half Burns converting five penalties in total to finish with a personal tally of 24 points in Gloucester's 22-29 victory.

Bath ran in nine tries past lowly opponents Calvisano, with Argentinan international Horacio Agulla scoring a brace and all three members of the Bath back row in Josh Ovens, Guy Mercer and debutant Nick Koster grabbing tries of their own.

Bucuresti provided the big upset of the weekend with a shock victory at home to Agen, scoring three tries with replacement Florin Vlaicu grabbing the winner in the 79h minute.

Stade Franšais were made to work very hard to get the better of Cavalieri Prato but ran in four tries, including a hat-trick for winger Francis Fainifo, although Niccol˛ Cannone had the final say with a try in the 80th minute for the hosts.

Newport Gwent Dragons were comfortable winners over Mogliano with a 0-31 scoreline, thanks to five tries including a double for number eight Ieuan Jones.

Bizkaia Gernika RT picked up a valuable win over visiting Rovigo at the Urbieta Rugby Sport Centre, blindside flanker Jon Magunazelaia scoring the game's only try.

Finally, London Wasps prop Phil Swainston clinched an important draw for his side against Bayonne away from home to give Wasps a crucial advantage ahead of next week's return leg in Pool 3.

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