Challenge Cup Wrap: Gloucester knocked off top spot

Date published: December 18 2016

Ospreys and Harlequins both scored 70 points in their respective big wins while La Rochelle saw off Gloucester in the Challenge Cup.

Treviso 21-17 Bayonne

Treviso picked up their second win of the pool stage in the first of four Challenge Cup games on Saturday, with a 21-17 victory over Bayonne.

Raphael Lagarde got Bayonne on the board first with a penalty before Julien Tisseron scored their first try which Lagarde promptly converted.

Treviso hit back straight after through David Odiete with Tommaso Allan adding the extras to reduce the deficit to three points.

Treviso took the lead through Luca Bigi's try shortly after before a penalty try allowed the hosts to pull away with a 21-10 half-time lead.

The Italian outfit were twice reduced to 14 men in the second 40 and the yellow cards to Braam Steyn and Luca Sperandio even overlapped for four minutes, forcing them to defend with just 13 men.

Bayonne were able to take advantage when Thibault Lacroix touched down right after the second yellow, but in the end it wasn't enough as Treviso held on to achieve the double over Bayonne.

The scorers:

For Treviso:
Odiete, Bigi, Penalty Try
Cons: Allan 3
Yellow Card: Steyn, Sperandio

For Bayonne:
Tisseron, Lacroix
Cons: Lagarde 2
Pen: Lagarde

Treviso: 15 David Odiete, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Braam Steyn, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Roberto Saantamaria, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Matteo Zanusso, 19 Jean-François Montauriol, 20 Andrea Pratichetti, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Alberto Sgarbi

Bayonne: 15 Benjamin Thiery, 14 Ryan Tongia, 13 Bastien Fuster, 12 Thibault Lacroix, 11 Julien Tisseron, 10 Raphael Lagarde, 9 Bastien Duhalde, 8 Jean-Blaise Lespinasse 7 Dion Evrard Oulai, 6 Arnaud Duputs, 5 Pelu Ian Taele, 4 Guillaume Ducat, 3 Ben Broster, 2 David Menage, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili
Replacements: 16 Jose Ramon Ayarza, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Jon Zabala Arrieta, 19 Pablo Huete, 20 Lucas Meret, 21 Maka Polutele, 22 Tanerau Latimer, 23 Maile Mamao

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald (England), Phil Watters (England)

Ospreys 71-3 Grenoble

The Ospreys followed up their heavy away win last weekend by putting Grenoble to the sword in a one-sided contest in Swansea.

In the end Steve Tandy's men finished with eleven tries, eight converted by Wales fly-half Dan Biggar, as they put away an appalling effort from the visitors.

Wing Daniel Evans, hooker Scott Baldwin and replacement back Hanno Dirksen all finished with two tries apiece.

The contest was all over at half-time, with the Ospreys up 31-3 and Grenoble finishing the half with 14 men after second-row Mathias Marie was sent to the bin.

And there was no let-up in the second half either, with Biggar among the try scorers as the PRO12 side topped the 70-point mark once Dirksen's second try had rounded off the rout.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries: Cracknell, Beck, Baldwin 2, D Evans 2, Leonard, Biggar, Dirksen 2, Otten
Cons: Biggar 8

For Grenoble:
Yellow Card: Marie

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Daf Howells, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Daniel Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 James King, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Thomas Habberfield, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Hanno Dirksen

Grenoble: 15 Clement Gelin, 14 Pierre Mignot, 13 Edward Dratai Sawailau, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Bastien Guillemin, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 David Mele, 8 Fabien Alexandre, 7 Kevin Kornath, 6 Ben Hand, 5 Thomas Jolmes, 4 Mathias Marie, 3 Walter Desmaison, 2 Etienne Fourcade, 1 Alexandre Dardet
Replacements: 16 Paulin Mas, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Dayna Edwards, 19 Mickael Capelli, 20 Loic Baradel, 21 Lilian Saseras, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Chris Farrell

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Dean Richards (England), Roger Baileff (England)

Harlequins 75-3 Timisoara Saracens

Wales centre Jamie Roberts scored a hat-trick as both Harlequins and visitors Timisoara Saracens finished with 14 men having had a player red carded.

Unfortunately for the visitors flanker Randall Morrison was shown red by referee Thomas Charabas after just two minutes for a dangerous high tackle.

Harlequins cruised from there, with Tim Visser, Roberts and Mike Brown among the scorers in the first half as the hosts romped to a 35-0 lead.

Gabriel Conache's penalty meant that Timisoara Saracens avoided being nilled on their travels, as Harlequins added to their tally with England wing Marland Yarde scoring twice in the second half.

Harlequins also finished with 14 men following a red card to replacement back-row Mat Luamanu late on.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Tries: Wallace, Visser, Roberts 3, Brown 2, Yarde 2, Clifford, Swiel
Cons: Jackson 5, Swiel 5
Red Card: Luamanu,

For Timisoara Saracens:
Red Card: Morrison

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Danny Care, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Stan South, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa

Timisoara Saracens: 15 Stephen Shennan, 14 Madalin Lemnaru, 13 Brian Sefanaia, 12 Paula Kinikinilau, 11 Fonovai Tangimana, 10 Jack Umaga, 9 Gabriel Conache, 8 Sandu Stelian Burcea, 7 Daniel Gabriel Ianus, 6 Randall Morrison, 5 Marian Drenceanu, 4 Valentin Popirlan, 3 Horatiu Pungea, 2 Andrei Radoi, 1 Edmund Aholelei
Replacements: 16 Eugen Capatana, 17 Gigi Militaru, 18 Samuel Maris, 19 Ionut Muresan, 20 Victor Dumitru, 21 Marius Simionescu, 22 Florin Popa, 23 Dorin Lazar

Referee: Thomas Charabas (France)
Assistant Referees: Luc Ramos (France), Thomas Déjean (France) 

La Rochelle 42-13 Gloucester

La Rochelle moved to the top of Pool 1 in the Challenge Cup as they saw off a disappointing Gloucester side at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

They jump above the Cherry and Whites on points difference as crossings from Gabriel Lacroix (2),  Kini Murimurivalu, Hikairo Forbes and Levani Botia were followed by a late penalty try as they cruised home.

La Rochelle led 23-6 at half-time and continued their dominance after the break as Gloucester were well beaten, setting up a fascinating two-horse race to win this pool when the action resumes in January.

The scorers:

For La Rochelle:
Tries: Lacroix 2, Murimurivalu, Forbes, Botia, Penalty Try
Cons: James 2, Holmes
Pens: James 2

For Gloucester:
Try: Afoa
Con: Burns
Pens: Burns 2

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Brock James, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jason Eaton, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Leo Cedaro, 20 Charlie Francoz, 21 Arthur Retiere, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Levani Botia

Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Josh Hohneck
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Mariano Galarza, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Henry Purdy, 23 Matt Kvesic

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Simon Rees (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)