Bristol, Leicester and Toulon go three from three

Date published: December 7 2019

Bristol maintained their 100 per cent unbeaten record in Challenge Cup Pool Four with a superb 37-11 triumph over Stade Francais at Ashton Gate.

Although Lester Etien gave the visitors the lead with the game’s first try, Bristol went into the break with a 13-8 advantage courtesy of two Ian Madigan penalties either side of a Luke Morahan try.

A penalty apiece early in the second half ensured the tie was still close going into the final 20 minutes before Bristol ran away with the game with converted tries from Harry Thacker, Charles Piutau and Toby Fricker to secure a bonus-point win.

In the same pool, Zebre secured their first win of the tournament with a tight 27-24 victory over Brive.

Meanwhile, Leicester ran in nine tries to crush Rugby Calvisano 59-7 in their European Challenge Cup Pool Five match at Welford Road.

The Tigers blitzed the visitors with four tries inside the opening 16 minutes from Manu Tuilagi, two for Jonny May and Sam Lewis for a 26-0 lead at Welford Road, with George Ford landing three conversions.

Although the visitors reduced the deficit before the break to 19 points via a converted try from Lorenzo Cittadini, second-half tries from Tom Reffell, Adam Thompstone, Jake Kerr, Noel Reid and Telusa Veainu added an emphatic touch to the scoreline to make it three wins from three.

Worcester secured a bonus-point with a pulsating 34-28 win over the Dragons at Sixways Stadium to end the visitors’ unbeaten start.

After an Aaron Wainwright try gave the Dragons an early 7-3 lead, flanker Taine Basham was shown a red card in the 18th minute. A try from Ryan Mills helped put Worcester in front 13-10 at half-time.

Rhodri Williams edged the Dragons ahead early in the second half before the home side finally took full advantage of the extra man with tries from Ollie Lawrence, Noah Heward and Jono Kitto. Despite a late Luke Baldwin try, Warriors held on for a crucial victory.

In Pool Two, Toulon remain unbeaten following a 37-17 win at home to London Irish.

France scrum-half Baptiste Serin scored two tries in the first half at the Stade Mayol, sandwiching Steve Mafi’s first try for London Irish that kept his side in touch at the break as the visitors trailed 15-10.

But Toulon grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck after the break via tries from Ramiro Moyano and Masivesi Dakuwaqa to open up a 27-10 advantage, before two red cards soured the game for Toulon’s Theo Dachary and Irish flanker TJ Ioane.

Although Tom Fowlie grabbed a late try for the visitors, Toulon finished with a flourish as Moyano grabbed his second try.

Finally, the late games saw Welsh sides Cardiff Blues and Scarlets claim victories over Pau and Bayonne respectfully. Josh Adams was making his Blues debut and he marked it with a hat-trick in the 54-22 home triumph, while Rob Evans touched down and Leigh Halfpenny kicked four penalties for the Llanelli-based outfit in their 19-11 win.