Challenge Cup Wrap: Saturday

Date published: November 21 2015

Results from Saturday's action in the Challenge Cup, with wins for Zebre, Sale, Castres, Connacht and Grenoble.%u200B

Zebre 27-8 Worcester

PRO12 outfit Zebre impressed after producing a comfortable 27-8 win over Premiership side Worcester at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. 

Exciting young fly-half Carlo Canna kicked 17 points for the Italian side, with Worcester's only try of the contest from Dean Hammond purely a consolation in the closing minutes.

Marcello Violi's fourth-minute try got Zebre on their way, converted by Canna, with Tommaso Boni following him over ten minutes later as the hosts took control.

Canna's drop goal extended the lead before Lamb finally scored Worcester's first points with a penalty in the 22nd minute, with his side 15 points down. A second penalty from Canna gave Zebre a big 21-3 lead at the break.

The 23-year-old added two more penalties in the second half to secure an impressive win for Zebre.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Violi, Boni
Cons: Canna
Pens: Canna 4
Drop Goal: Canna

For Worcester:
Try: Hammond
Pen: Lamb
Yellow Card: Betty

Zebre: 15 Guglielmo Palazzani, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea Lovotti. 
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Tommaso Boni, 23 Edoardo Padovani.

Worcester: 15 Ben Howard, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Alex Grove, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 JB Bruzulier (c), 8 Marco Mama, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Carl Kirwan, 5 Darren O'Shea, 4 Dan Sanderson, 3 Gareth Milasinovich, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Ryan Bower. 
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Tom Biggs.

Referee: Tual Trainini (France)
Assistant Referees: Salem Attalah (France), Vincent Blasco Baque (France)

Sale 29-20 Pau

Sale Sharks moved top of Pool 2 in the Challenge Cup after edging out a high-scoring encounter with Pau on Saturday.

Jonathan Mills' try in the closing stages secured a bonus point for the Sharks after they were pushed all the way by the Top 14 newcomers.

Brian Mujati opened the scoring for Sale, with Pau responding thanks to a penalty from Thibault Daubagna. The visitors then took the lead thanks to Daniel Ramsay's converted score.

Sale hit back with try by Mark Jennings, converted by Joe Ford, to make it 14-13 to Sale at the break.

Ford added three points right at the start of the second half before Pau hooker Quentin Lespiaucq found his way over the line, converted by Daubagna as the score flipped once more.

But a try from Sam James made it 24-20 as the game remained tight until the closing minutes when Mills grabbed the bonus point.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Tries: Mujati, Jennings, James, Mills
Cons: Ford 3
Pen: Ford

For Pau:
Tries: Ramsay, Lespiaucq
Cons: Daubagna 2
Pens: Daubagna 2

Sale: 15 Michael Haley, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Sam James, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Will Addison, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Vili Fihaki, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Magnus Lund (c), 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison. 
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 James Flynn, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Jon Mills, 20 Josh Beaumont, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Tim Jeffers, 23 Neville Edwards.

Pau: 15 Charly Malie, 14, Sereli Bobo, 13 Jale Vatubua, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Elijah Niko, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Jean Bouilhou (c), 6 Loic Bernad, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Claude Dry, 3 Giorgi Natsarashvili, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, 1 Chris King.
Replacements: 16 Vincent Campo, 17. Jérémy Hurou, 18 Geoffrey Moise, 19 Josefa Ulago Domolailai, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Samuel Marques, 22 Mosese Ratuvou, 23 Pierre Dupouy.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)

Castres 32-29 Dragons

Castres emerged on top in a see-sawing Challenge Cup clash with Welsh region the Dragons at the Stade Pierre Antoine.

Full-back Geoffrey Palis finshed with 19 points for the home side, including their second try, as Castres clung on for a bonus point win.

Daniel Kirkpatrick opened the scoring after 14 minutes with Palis adding the conversion but Dorian Jones responded to an early miss by converting his second attempt to give Dragons some necessary points.

Palis missed an attempt of his own before scoring the game's second try, adding the conversion to make it 14-3. Two penalties from Jones before half-time closed the gap.

A try from Carl Meyer after the break gave the Dragons hope, before Palis converted a second penalty, but Castres went down to 14 men when Alexandre Bias was shown a yellow card.

A penalty from Jones followed by Elliot Dee's converted try hinted at something special until Thomas Combezou crossed along with Alex Tulou either side of a Palis penalty.

The game looked done and dusted with Jones then sent to the bin, but Meyer's penalty meant the gap was narrow at the whistle.

The scorers:

For Castres:
Tries: Kirkpatrick, Palis, Combezou, Tulou
Cons: Palis 4
Pens: Palis 2
Yellow Card: Bias

For Dragons:

Tries: Meyer, Dee
Cons: Jones 2
Pens: Jones 4, Meyer
Yellow Card: Jones

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Romain Cabannes (c), 11 Remi Grosso, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Julien Seron, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Alexandre Bias, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Victor Moreaux, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Mathieu Bonello, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Lucas Martinez, 19 Alex Tulou, 20 Theo Hannoyer, 21 Julien Dumora, 22 Remi Lamerat, 23 Antoine Dupont.

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Ross Wardle.

Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Kieran Barry (Ireland), Barrie O'Connell (Ireland)

Connacht 21-17 Brive

Connacht clung on at home to hold off Top 14 visitors Brive for their second win in the Challenge Cup.

The Irish province endured a nightmare journey back from Russia this week after defeating Enisey-STM, meaning their preparations for Saturday's game were far from ideal.

Brive full-back Romain Sola missed two early attempts at the posts but it was Brive who eventually took the lead before the half hour mark through a try from hooker Thomas Acquier.

Sola's missed conversion meant that after a Jack Carty penalty and try from winger Rory Parata it was the hosts who led at half-time 8-5.

Ben Marshall's try for Connacht after the break was matched by a score for Brive's Benito Masilevu although Mathieu Ugalde, their latest kicker, couldn't add the extras.

Kieran Marmion added Connacht's third to give them some breathing space before Sevanaia Galala's late try set up a tense finish, with Connacht holding on.

The scorers:

For Connacht:
Tries: Parata, Marshall, Marmion
Pens: Carty 2

For Brive:

Tries: Acquier, Masilevu, Galala
Cons: Iribaren

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran (c), 14 Rory Parata, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Danie Poolman, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Nepia Fox Matamua, 6 Eoghan Masterson, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Ben Marshall, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris Wright, 1 Ronan Loughney.
Replacements: 16 David Heffernan, 17 Conan O'Donnell, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Niyi Adeolokun.

Brive: 15 Romain Sola, 14 Elia Radikedike, 13 Benjamin Petre, 12 Christopher Tuatara, 11 Benito Masilevu, 10 Matthieu Ugalde, 9 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine (c), 8 William Whetton. 7 Poutasi Luafutu, 6 Hugues Briatte, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Thomas Acquier, 1 Damien Lavergne.
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Ribes, 17 Goderzi Shvelidze, 18 Giorgi Jgenti, 19 Victor Lebas, 20 Said Hireche, 21 Teddy Iribaren, 22 Alfifeleti Mafi, 23 Sevanaia Galala.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Small (England), Nigel Carrick (England)

Grenoble 27-20 London Irish 

Grenoble replacement Clement Gelin ran in an 80-metre try with time up on the clock to snatch victory in Saturday's game against London Irish.

Gelin's try was Grenoble's third of the night, coming after the two sides had been deadlocked at 20-20 for much of the final quarter.

Arnaud Heguy opened the scoring for the home side and he was soon followed over by another Grenoble forward in Fabien Alexandre.

Irish though responded quickly with a try from young academy centre Johnny Williams, but a penalty from Gilles Bosch gave Grenoble a 17-7 lead at half-time.

Jebb Sinclair's try just after the break brought Irish within a score and two penalties from young replacement Theo Brophy-Clews helped put Irish ahead for the first time.

But a second penalty from Bosch tied it up at 20-20 before Gelin's dramatic late try.

For Grenoble:

Tries: Heguy, Alexandre, Gelin
Cons: Bosch 3
Pens: Bosch 2

For Irish:

Tries: Williams, Sinclair
Cons: Noakes, Brophy-Clews
Pens: Brophy-Clews 2

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Lucas Dupont, 13 Fabrice Estebanez, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Daniel Kilioni, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Rory Grice, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Hendrik Roodt, 4 Ben Hand (c), 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Sona Taumalolo, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Mathias Marie, 20 Steven Setephano, 21 Christophe Loustalot, 22 Clement Gelin, 23 Xavier Mignot.

London Irish: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Lexington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Darren Allison, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Joe Trayfoot, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Matt Symons (c), 4 Eoin Sheriff, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Gerard Ellis, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Ben Franks, 19 David Sisi, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Conor Gilsenan, 22 Scott Steele, 23 Theo Brophy-Clews.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Simon Rees (Wales)
TMO: Jonathan Mason (Wales)