A raft of European Rugby Challenge Cup hopefuls overcame Heineken Champions Cup opposition on an enthralling Saturday afternoon of domestic action. 

Ospreys and Cardiff Blues – who have both enjoyed unbeaten starts to the preliminary round stage of this year’s Challenge Cup – defeated Dragons and Scarlets respectively in the Guinness PRO14. 

14 points from the boot of Jarrod Evans punctuated Cardiff’s 29-20 victory over Scarlets – Willis HalaholoRey Lee-lo and Tomos Williams scampering over for the Blues. 

A 37th minute red card for Scarlets’ Liam Williams aided Cardiff’s triumph as the visitors played the entire second half with 14 men. 

Ospreys were also victorious on Saturday in a 28-20 win over Dragons, Stephen Myler starring with 13 points as they edged out their Welsh rivals in Newport. 

Full-back Mat Protheroe notched a first half try before George North and replacement Scott Otten scored in the second period in the hotly contested encounter. 

Gallagher Premiership surprise package Newcastle Falcons maintained their excellent domestic form with a 22-10 victory over Heineken Champions Cup hopefuls Gloucester Rugby. 

A stunning third minute try from wing Adam Radwan set the wheels in motion as Falcons moved the second in the table.

Matias Orlando added a second soon after to give the hosts a 12-0 lead before the visitors replied with a try of their own before the break. An added time try from replacement hooker George Mcguigan eventually decided the game’s fate in a tense second half. 

In the Top 14, Castres Olympique earned a bonus point victory against Agen – scoring five tries in a 39-23 victory. 

A brace from Geoffrey Palis plus solo scores from Gaëtan Barlot, Wilfrid Hounkpatin and Vilimoni Botitu were enough to see off the visitors – Benjamín Urdapilleta adding 11 points from the tee.