We reflect on the best of Saturday’s domestic action involving EPCR Challenge Cup clubs, when Dragons’ big win over Zebre Parma in the United Rugby Championship (URC) particularly caught the eye.

Dragons drub Zebre

David Richards scored two tries as Dragons thrashed fellow EPCR Challenge Cup side Zebre Parma 47-7 at home for their third URC win of the season.

Sam Davies, who chalked up 39 points in four games in last season’s EPCR Challenge Cup, provided 22 at Rodney Parade with five conversions and four penalties for the Welsh region.

Richards dotted down in each half, with Rhodri Williams, Steff Hughes and Angus O’Brien contributing the hosts’ other tries, while Andrea Zambonin crossed for Zebre’s consolation score.

Connacht hold on for away win

Elsewhere in the URC, EPCR Challenge Cup returnees Connacht Rugby held on for a 22-19 victory at Ospreys.

The Irish province trailed by 12 points early on but turned things around thanks to tries from Adam Wootton, Caolin Blade and John Porch.

Jack Carty converted the first two of those scores and slotted what proved to be a vital drop-goal on 63 minutes.

Pau win at La Rochelle

In the TOP 14, EPCR Challenge Cup side Section Paloise shocked last season’s Heineken Champions Cup winners, Stade Rochelais, 38-21 at Stade Marcel Deflandre.

The visitors led at the break thanks to tries from Yvan Reilhac and Emilien Gailleton, plus a penalty courtesy of English fly-half Zack Henry.

Pau continued to cause La Rochelle problems in the second half as Vincent Pinto and Jordan Joseph crossed in quick succession, with three Henry penalties in the final 10 minutes securing their victory and taking his match tally to 16 points.

Germain helps Bayonne stun Toulouse

Aviron Bayonnais were another EPCR Challenge Cup club to pull off a shock in the TOP 14, beating 2021 Heineken Champions Cup winners Stade Toulousain 26-22 at Stade Jean Dauger.

Gaëtan Germain contributed 21 points as the newly-promoted side stunned Toulouse, with the hosts racing into a 23-3 half-time lead.

Germain converted his own try and added the extras to Facundo Bosch’s effort, as well as kicking three penalties in the first half. The full-back’s fourth penalty on 63 minutes was enough to keep Toulouse at bay after the break.

USAP overcome Lyon

Meanwhile, Tristian Tedder racked up 18 points as USAP saw off last season’s EPCR Challenge Cup winners, Lyon, 28-21 at Stade Aimé Giral.

The South African kicked an early penalty before converting Afusipa Taumoepeau’s try and dotting down himself on 26 minutes.

Tedder added another penalty early in the second half before improving Sadek Deghmache’s score and wrapping up the home side’s victory with a third three-pointer on 78 minutes.