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Exiles cruise in France

Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:57
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We bring you all Saturday's scores and scorers
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Sailosi Tagicakibau led the charge as London Irish made light work of Bordeaux-Begles in Pool One of the European Challenge Cup.

The Samoan wing crashed over for a fine double to hand the six-try Exiles a valuable point-bonus win in the south of France.

Chris Hala'ufia and Topsy Ojo crossed in the opening period to give Irish a 14-6 half-time advantage at the Stade Andre Moga.

Tighthead prop Halani Aulika added a third before star man Tagicakibau and a late Jonathan Joseph score completed a job well done for the Reading-based outfit.

Irish, who lie in a lowly 11th spot in the Premiership table, actually fell behind to two early Lachie Munro penalties before bursting into life.

No.8 Hala'ufia was the first to touch down in the 14th minute before wing Ojo put the visitors ahead seven minutes later.

The English outfit did not look back in the second half as Ian Humphreys, who converted the first two tries, added a penalty two minutes after the re-start to steer the away side into a commanding 17-6 lead.

Bordeaux replacement Metuisela Talebulamaijaina took over the kicking duties from the injured Munro to cut the deficit to eight points before Irish surged clear in the closing stages.

Charles Brousse scored a last minute consolation for the hosts but Irish will return home happy with their evening's work.

* In other Saturday action Bath - one of the three elite teams to have won both the European Cup and Challenge Cup - took just a minute to open their 2012 account against Bucharest Wolves at Arcul de Triumf.

Fullback Sam Vesty landed that early penalty and the 2008 tournament champions never looked back en route to a try bonus point win when outside-half Ollie Devoto crossed the Romanian line in the 66th minute.

Bath, who will surely find things a fair bit tougher when they travel to Agen in Round 2, were always running the show through their superior forward power with lock Will Spencer and hooker Ross Batty going over for first-half tries in a 40-17 victory.

Vesty - who ended up with a haul of 20 points that included three conversions and three penalties - got in on the act with ball in hand early in the second half for Bath's third try and Kane Palma Newport got their fifth at the death when both teams were reduced to 14 men during the closing stages.

The Wolves did have the satisfaction of scoring two tries themselves through Florin Surugiu and Christian Munteanu but Bath were off to the five-point flier they needed.

* Agen used to reach the knock-out stages of Europe on a regular basis and, while they have not done so since 2005, they took the first albeit tentative step in putting that right with a 36-31 Pool 4 victory on the road at the Peroni Stadium.

After a three-year absence from European competition Calvisano struck first when flanker Giacomo Broncoli went over for a try after just two minutes, former Azzurri scrumhalf Paul Griffen converting and adding a penalty to remind Agen they had some work to do.

And they promptly got to work with a try by Leo Bastien converted by Raphael Lagarde before taking a lead they never surrendered with right wing Leka Tagotago securing the try bonus point just a minute after the break.

Scrumhalf Sylvain Dupuy and No.8 Uelenitoni Fona had already breached the Calvisano defence for a 31-17 half-time advantage but Calvisano showed tremendous spirit by staging a great comeback with lock Jaco Erasmus to the fore that earned them both try and losing bonus points and had Agen hanging on for victory.

* London Welsh's dream of a winning European debut was well and truly blown away by Stade Francais Paris at the Kassam Stadium as they gave the newcomers a torrid introduction to life at the top with a 68-19 success.

The French giants, who have contested three European finals, took control of this Pool 5 contest early on and had it as good as won by the break when they led 35-16.

Any hopes of the Exiles making an early impact vanished in the first minute when Paris hooker Remi Bonfils crashed over for the first of his two tries.

Flyhalf Gavin Henson had the honour of scoring London Welsh's first points in Europe with the first of four penalties and hooker Daniel George was the club's first try scorer when he went over in the 30th minute.

Outside centre Waisea Vuidarvuwalu collected two tries in eight minutes midway through the first half and, with another score from Hugo Bonneval, Stade's try bonus point was under lock and key by the break.

Classy fullback Bonneval was relishing his scoring opportunities while outside-half Felipe Contepomi - who scored 348 points for Leinster in his spell in Dublin - punished the Exiles with the boot to end up with 25 points that included a 75th-minute try for good measure as the second half turned into one-way traffic as the Exiles leaked a total of nine tries.

* Worcester Warriors scored a club record 13 Amlin Challenge Cup tries as they blitzed Spanish champions Bizkaia Gernika 85-5 at Urbieta Rugby Sport Centre.

It turned into a European debut to forget for the home side with wing Toto Mazzochi providing their sole moment of joy with a try after an hour.

But otherwise it was a Warriors try fest with replacement Max Stelling stealing the limelight with a try hat-trick that took just six minutes in the closing stages with the Spaniards out on their feet.

The points and try avalanche easily beat the club's old marks of 68 points and 10 tries as the Premiership club ran riot.

Worcester, tournament finalists in 2008, may expect tougher days at the office when they clash with Perpignan in the back-to-back ties in Rounds 3 and 4 but this was simply one-way traffic.

While Stelling stepped in with his late hat-trick, wing Andy Short and scrum half Paul Hodgson had each earlier claimed a brace with outside-half Joe Carlisle posting 25 points with a try and 10 conversions.

* Perpignan, free from their trials in the Top 14, launched their Amlin Challenge Cup bid with a 79-12 Pool 2 win over Femi-CZ Rovigo at Stadio Mario Battaglini.

The French giants, who sit ninth in the Top 14 with just three wins from eight starts, had the try bonus point safely banked as early as the 45th minute when centre Sione Piukala crossed the Rovigo line for Perpignan's fourth try.

The first-half honours on that front were taken comprehensively by left wing Armand Battle with tries in the 10th and 30th minutes, with fellow wing Adrian Plante also cashing in with the ball in hand.

Former Munster centre and 2008 Heineken Cup winner Lifeimi Mafi got Perpignan's fifth try as Rovigo's early resistance cracked under the pressure.

Fullback Stefan Basson had kept them ticking over with four first-half penalty goals and at 27-12 at the break they had shown up well.

But Mafi got his second and Perpignan's sixth with less than an hour gone and Perpignan's power then earned them a penalty try. It all added up to something akin to kicking practice for outside-half David Mele as he slotted nine conversions along with a couple of penalty goals.

Perpignan wrapped matters up with further braces from Joffrey Michel and Sebastien Vahaamahina as Rovigo crumbled.

* Agen used to reach the knock-out stages of Europe on a regular basis and, while they have not done so since 2005, they took the first albeit tentative step in putting that right with a 36-31 Pool 4 victory on the road at the Peroni Stadium.

After a three-year absence from European competition Calvisano struck first when flanker Giacomo Broncoli went over for a try after just two minutes, former Azzurri scrumhalf Paul Griffen converting and adding a penalty to remind Agen they had some work to do.

And they promptly got to work with a try by Leo Bastien converted by Raphael Lagarde before taking a lead they never surrendered with right wing Leka Tagotago securing the try bonus point just a minute after the break.

Scrum-half Sylvain Dupuy and No.8 Uelenitoni Fona had already breached the Calvisano defence for a 31-17 half-time advantage but Calvisano showed tremendous spirit by staging a great comeback with lock Jaco Erasmus to the fore that earned them both try and losing bonus points and had Agen hanging on for victory.

* London Wasps - one of just three elite clubs to have won both the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup - are on the way back from being down in the doldrums and this commanding 38-25 win at Adams Park will be a major boost to their confidence.

The Newport Gwent Dragons got off to a flier when qualified pilot Andrew Hughes scorched over for a second-minute try but Wasps hit back through Jack Wallace in a lively opening.

Prop Fabio Staibano quickly got a second for the 2003 tournament champions before powerhouse No8 Billy Vunipola muscled his way over for their third.

Flank Owen Evans gave the Dragons a lift with their second try before the break but, with former Wales outside-half Nicky Robinson on song with the boot, Wasps kept a healthy advantage.

Scrumhalf Joe Simpson got the try that clinched the bonus point for Wasps with 20 minutes remaining. It also provided them with a 20-point lead and saw them match Bayonne's five-point haul at the top of the group.

But the Dragons kept plugging away and teenager Jack Dixon got their second try to bring greater respectability to the final scoreline.

All Saturday's scores and scorers!

Rovigo 12-79 Perpignan

Scorers:

For Rovigio:
Pens:
Basson 4

For Perpignan:
Tries:
Batlle 2, Plante 2, Piukala, Mafi 2, Michel 2, Vahaamahina 2
Cons: Mele 9
Pens: Mele 2

Bucharest Wolves 17-40 Bath

Scorers:

For Bucharest:
Tries:
Surugiu, Munteanu
Cons: Vlaicu, Wiringi
Pen: Vlaicu

For Bath:
Tries:
Spencer, Batty, Vesty, Devoto, Newport
Cons:, Vesty 3
Pens: Vesty 3

London Welsh 19-68 Stade Francais

Scorers:

For London Welsh:
Try:
George
Con: Henson
Pens: Henson 4

For Stade Francais:
Tries:
Bonfils 2, Bonneval 2, Vuidarvuwalu 2, Fainifo, Guillemain, Contepomi
Cons: Contepomi 7
Pens: Contepomi 2
DG: Bonneval

Bizkaia Gernika 5-85 Worcester Warriors

Scorers:

For Gernika:
Try:
Mazzochi

For Warriors:
Tries:
Cowan 2, Howard 2, Short 2, Hodgson 2, Porter, Stelling 3, Grove
Cons: Carlisle 10

Calvisano 31-36 Agen

Scorers:

For Calvisano:
Tries:
Brancoli, Erasmus 2, Visentin
Cons: Griffen 4
Pen: Griffen

For Agen:
Tries:
Bastien, Fono, Dupuy, Penalty try, Tagotago
Cons: Lagarde 4
Pen: Lagarde

London Wasps   38-25   Newport Gwent Dragons

Scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: 
Wallace, Staibano, Vunipola, Simpson
Cons: Robinson 3
Pens: Robinson 4

For Dragons:
Tries:
Hughes, Evans, Dixon
Cons: Robling 2
Pens: Robling 2

Bordeaux-Begles 16-43 London Irish

Scorers:

For Bordeaux:
Try:
Brousse
Con: Favaro
Pens: Munro 2, Talebulamaijaina

For London Irish:
Tries:
Hala'ufia, Aulika, Tagicakibau 2, Joseph, Ojo
Cons: Humphreys 4, Shingler
Pen: Humphreys

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