Following the conclusion of the Pool stage of the EPCR Challenge Cup last weekend, we take you through the best of Saturday’s domestic action, with victories for Connacht Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, RC Toulon and Lyon.
Blade cuts through for three Connacht tries
Caolin Blade was the hero of the piece for Connacht Rugby as they overcame Emirates Lions 43-24 in the United Rugby Championship at The Sportsground.
Blade notched once in the first half and twice after the break as the Irish province ran in six tries – Diarmuid Kilgallen, Shane Delahunt and Tiernan O’Halloran, with Jack Carty becoming the province’s leading points scorer with 13 from the tee. Connacht travel to Benetton Rugby in the Round of 16 in April.
Emirates Lions, who host Racing 92 in the Round of 16, touched down for a hat-trick in the contest; Asenathi Ntlabakanye, Henco van Wyk and Marius Louw were on the scoresheet for the South African side.
Brown at the double for Glasgow
Scotland hooker Fraser Brown crossed the whitewash on two occasions for Glasgow Warriors as they defeated Dragons 42-28 at Rodney Parade.
The contest, which was a preview of the Round of 16 matchup between the sides scheduled for April, saw the Scottish side score six tries – Cole Forbes, Duncan Weir, Stafford McDowall and Sebastián Cancelliere notching in addition to the Brown double.
Rhodri Williams, Sio Tomkinson, Taine Basham and Chris Coleman crossed for the host Welsh region. The duo will meet at Scotsoun Stadium when the EPCR Challenge Cup returns later in the year.
Get your diaries out 📢
Which #ChallengeCupRugby Round of 16 thriller will you be watching? 🤩 pic.twitter.com/qWfx6D2Tou
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) January 26, 2023
Bristol suffer last-gasp agony
Bristol Bears, who host ASM Clermont Auvergne in the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16, suffered an agonising 20-19 defeat at the hands of Saracens at StoneX Stadium.
AJ MacGinty and Harry Thacker gave Bristol an 8-0 lead at the break against Heineken Champions Cup opposition, with Gabriel Ibitoye putting the visitors up by nine points heading into the final ten minutes of the contest.
However, Bristol were unable to hold on for a vital Gallagher Premiership victory, conceding a last-minute try to fallow to the narrowest of defeats.
Isa on form for RC Toulon
Facundo Isa scored a brace of tries as RC Toulon ran out 27-16 against Section Paloise at the Stade Mayol in the TOP 14 on Saturday.
Duncan Paia’aua was also on the scoresheet for the French outfit – fly-half Ihaia West adding 10 points from the tee in the contest.
Toulon topped EPCR Challenge Cup Pool A with four wins from four and will host Toyota Cheetahs in the Round of 16 in April.
Lyon romp to victory
Two Heineken Champions Cup sides who will now enter the EPCR Challenge Cup faced off at the Stade de Gerland as Lyon ran out 34-14 winners over ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Sebastien Taofifénua, Tavite Veredamu, Patrick Sobela and Josua Tuisova dotted down for the hosts with Leo Berdeu adding 12 points from the tee.
Fritz Lee notched a lone try in responses for the visitors. Lyon travel to Stade Français Paris in the Round of 16 in April while Clermont travel to Bristol Bears.