Challenge Cup Wrap: Quarter-finals

Date published: April 9 2016

Results from Saturday's three Challenge Cup quarter-finals, as champions Gloucester are knocked out by the Dragons.

In other results Grenoble edged Connacht while Harlequins had Danny Care to thank for their high-scoring win over London Irish.


Gloucester 21-23 Dragons
Grenoble 33-32 Connacht
Harlequins 38-30 London Irish

Gloucester 21-23 Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons knocked out defending champions Gloucester thanks to a late try from Charlie Davies at Kingsholm.

Dorian Jones' first penalty opened the scoring after nine minutes before Gloucester hit back with the first try, Matt Kvesic finding England number eight Ben Morgan with a good offload to set up the score.

Both sides traded penalties before the Dragons lost scrum-half Sarel Pretorius to the bin for a late tackle.

Greig Laidlaw furthered Gloucester's advantage with another strike to open up a five-point gap, but two three-pointers from the boot of Jones meant it was the away side who went into the break ahead at 11-12, after Gloucester lost Laidlaw to a yellow card.

Penalties from Jones and a monster effort from within his own half by Dragons full-back Carl Meyer put some daylight between the two sides at 11-18 to leave Gloucester needing a try.

Eventually one came through Steve McColl, pouncing on a loose ball after James Hook's grubber kick to go over under the posts, with Laidlaw converting to draw the scores level at 18-18.

A penalty at the breakdown allowed Laidlaw to restore Gloucester's lead, but instantly from the restart the Dragons won a penalty and twice went to the corner looking to score from the lineout. 

After a 12-man maul the Dragons grabbed what looked like the winning try three minutes from time through replacement scrum-half Charlie Davies as he darted down the blindside, Jones missing the conversion, before their defence secured a memorable win.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Morgan, McColl
Con: Laidlaw
Pens: Laidlaw 3
Yellow Card: Laidlaw

For Dragons:
Try: Davies
Pens: D Jones 5, Meyer
Yellow Card: Pretorius

Gloucester: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Rob Cook, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Steve McColl, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister 
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Ollie Thorley, 23 Jacob Rowan

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ed Jackson, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Angus O'Brien, 23 Geraint Rhys Jones

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant Referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), Laurent Cardona (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Grenoble 33-32 Connacht
Stade des Alpes

A 75th minute drop-goal from Jonathan Wisniewski helped Grenoble book their place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals as they edged Connacht.

The Irish side were 13-19 up at the break thanks to tries from wing Niyi Adeolokun (2) and outside centre Robbie Henshaw, with Wisniewski scoring a try while adding eight points off the tee to keep his Grenoble side very much in what was shaping up to be an entertaining game.

Matt Healy's try made it a ten-point buffer for Connacht before another penalty pushed Connacht into a 16-29 advantage with 53 minutes gone.

But then came a response from the Top 14 side as tries from Lucas Dupont and Mahamadou Diaby took them ahead for the first time at 30-29.

Connacht replacement John Cooney did give his side the lead in the 72 minute off the tee but then Wisniewski was the hero with his late drop.

The scorers:

For Grenoble:
Tries: Wisniewski, Dupont, Diaby
Con: Wisniewski 3
Pen: Wisniewski 3
Drop: Wisniewski

For Connacht:
Tries: Henshaw, Adeolokun 2, Healy
Con: O'Leary 3
Pen: O'Leary, Cooney

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Tino Nemani, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Mahamadou Diaby, 6 Steven Setephano, 5 Peter Kimlin, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Loick Jammes, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Paulin Mas, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Mathias Marie, 20 Fabien Alexandre, 21 Lilian Saseras, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Fabien Gengenbacher

Connacht: 15 Matt Healy, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Shane O'Leary, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 David Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 James Connolly, 21 John Cooney, 22 Peter Robb, 23 Fionn Carr

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner (England), Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Harlequins 38-30 London Irish
The Stoop

A hat-trick from scrum-half Danny Care proved key as Harlequins progressed to the Challenge Cup semi-finals with a win over London Irish.

The England half-back was backed up by flanker Luke Wallace, who scored a brace, as Quins recovered from an 18-30 deficit on 50 minutes.

Wallace and Care had scored in the sixth and 20th minute but Fergus Mulchrone responded to put the Exiles within two points at the break.

Brendan McKibbin and Sean Maitland then crossed for Irish, the latter being a brilliant individual score, as they took a twelve-point lead.

But Care hit back soon after before Wallace added his own second on the hour mark, with Care completing his treble with five minutes left.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries: Wallace 2, Care 3
Con: Botica 2
Pen: Botica 3

For London Irish:
Tries: Mulchrone, McKibbin, Maitland
Con: Geraghty 3
Pen: Geraghty 3

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 George Merrick, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert 
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Joe Marchant, 23 Ross Chisholm

London Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Tom Fowlie, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Joe Trayfoot, 6 Tom Guest, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 William Lloyd, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice (c), 1 Tom Smallbone
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Court, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Ollie Curry, 20 David Sisi, 21 Gerard Ellis, 22 Darren Allinson, 23 Scott Steele

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Elia Rizzo (Italy)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)