Six of the eight European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finalists underlined at the weekend why they are in the last eight by scoring notable victories in their domestic competitions.
Bristol Bears, who entertain Dragons on April 5, led the way in the Gallagher Premiership by rallying from 14-0 down early in the second half at Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finalists Northampton Saints on Sunday to triumph 20-14.
Two tries in two minutes from Henry Purdy and Lewis Thiede, two conversions and a penalty by Callum Sheedy, and a late penalty from Ian Madigan enabled the Bears to stretch their unbeaten run in all competitions to four matches.
Leicester Tigers, who play host to Castres Olympique in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals on April 4, also fought back in the Premiership to claim an 18-9 home win over Wasps on Saturday.
Teamwork makes the dream work. pic.twitter.com/6FmhuemqsT
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) February 15, 2020
Second-half tries from Greg Bateman and Telusa Veainu, a conversion and penalty from Noel Reid, and a penalty from Tom Hardwick saw the Tigers hit back from 9-3 down and secure their first win in three games.
Saturday was the day as well when Edinburgh Rugby returned to the top of Conference B in the Guinness PRO14 with a 14-9 victory at fellow Challenge Cup quarter-finalists Scarlets.
The Scottish side, who travel to Bordeaux-Begles in the last eight on April 4, owed much to Duhan van der Merwe, who scored one try and made Edinburgh’s other for Matt Scott in the first half. Jaco van der Walt converted both.
Scarlets, who visit top seeds RC Toulon in the quarter-finals on April 3, had to be content with three penalties from Dan Jones.
The three French clubs in the last eight all won at the weekend, Bordeaux-Begles overpowering Lyon 37-19 at home to return to the head of the TOP 14, Toulon overwhelming Brive 34-17 at home and Castres storming to a 43-24 victory at Agen.