Challenge Cup wrap: French duo keep perfect record

Date published: December 8 2018

Clermont and La Rochelle secured their third bonus-point victories in the Challenge Cup, while Sale Sharks also managed the same feat.

Pool 1

Clermont Auvergne maintained their 100 per cent record in the competition following a dominant 47-14 victory over Timisoara Saracens on Saturday.

Yohan Beheregaray, Alivereti Raka (2), Loni Uhila, Judicael Cancoriet, George Moala and Paul Jedrasiak scored their tries as they stay five points clear of Northampton at the summit.

Speaking of the Saints, they kept themselves in the fight for qualification following a similarly comfortable 41-7 triumph over the Dragons at home.

Luther Burrell (2), Api Ratuniyarawa, James Fish, Taqele Naiyaravoro (2), Alex Mitchell, Ollie Sleightholme crossed for Northampton while Adam Warren and Nic Cudd went over for the Dragons, who are third in the standings.

Pool 2

Ospreys consolidated their position at the top of the pool, making it two wins out of three with a 51-20 victory over Stade Francais at Liberty Stadium.

Dan Evans, Cory Allen, Rhodri Jones, Luke Morgan and Owen Watkin got themselves on the try column for the hosts while they were also awarded a penalty try in a comprehensive victory.

Pool 3

Sale Sharks maintained their 100 per cent winning record and extended their lead at the top of the pool with a 50-24 victory over 14-man Bordeaux-Begles.

Tries from Paolo Odogwu (2), Chris Ashton (2), Ben Curry, Will Cliff, Denny Solomona and a penalty try proved too much for the Top 14 outfit, who had Cyril Cazeaux red-carded in the 38th minute.

Meanwhile, Connacht kept up the pressure on first-placed Sale and strengthened their hold on second position with a 22-10 win over Perpignan at the Sportsground.

Darragh Leader, Bundee Aki and Kyle Godwin dotted down for the hosts while Manu Leiataua scored the visitors’ solitary try in a bad day for the Top 14 sides in Pool Three.

Pool 4

La Rochelle made it three wins out of three on Saturday as they won 35-22 at Bristol Bears, who fall eight points behind the French outfit.

Crossings from Gregory Alldritt, Romain Sazy, Jules Favre, Vincent Rattez and Jeremy Sinzelle saw them to the maximum, with Maxime Lafage kicking 10 points off the tee. Harry Thacker, Jake Heenan, Tom Pincus and Charlie Powell responded for Bristol, who drop to third position.

Second spot is taken by Zebre, who beat Enisei-STM 31-14 in Sochi. Guglielmo Palazzani (2), Carlo Canna and Johan Meyer scored their tries.

Pool 5

Benetton moved atop of Pool Five they edged Harlequins 26-21 at Stadio Comunale di Monigo to dent the English side’s qualification hopes.

Luca Sperandio (2) and Monty Ioane crossed for the Italians with Ian McKinley kicking 11 points as they go two points clear of Grenoble.

Harlequins, a point further adrift, claimed tries through the in-form Alex Dombrandt (2) while James Lang and Marcus Smith kicked points.