Enisei upset Warriors in Russia
CHALLENGE CUP SATURDAY WRAP: Russian side Einsei-STM caused a big upset when they edged English side Worcester Warriors 19-12 in Russia in Moscow Saturday.
Worcester Warriors may not have been fully tooled-up, but they would have travelled with the expectation of winning. In the end, they were never ahead and became the third big name victim of the Russian Super League side as they went the same way as Brive and Newcastle Falcons last season.
In Saturday's other results, La Rochelle beat Treviso 41-10 and in the other Pool One encounter Gloucester beat Bayonne 47-27.
In Romania, Edinburgh thrashed Timisoara Saracens 59-17, while Bath edged Pau 25-22.
We take a look at all Saturday's action!
Einsei-STM 19-12 Worcester Warriors
The boot of outside half Iurii Kushnarev was instrumental in setting the stage for victory as he kicked three penalties and converted a first-half try from centre David Kacharava. The other points came from the boot of Ramil Gaisin with a 74th minute drop goal that sealed the win.
Worcester got back into the game with a try from wing Josh Adams, which Jamie Shillcock converted, to leave the game handing in the balance at the break at 10-7. Kushnarev then nudged the home team further in front with two penalties before Worcester took full advantage of an extra man after Dmitrii Gerasimov saw yellow.
Derrick Appiah grabbed a try and with nine minutes left to play the gap was reduced to four points. Worcester tried to find a way to break down the dogged home defence, but in the end it was Gaisin's drop goal that ensured the pits went Enisei's way.
For Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Adams, Appiah
Yellow card: Dmitrii Gerasimov (Einsei-STM)
Enisei-STM: 15 Thomas Halse, 14 Igor Kurashov, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Dmitrii Gerasimov, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Iurii Kushnarev, 9 Alexey Shcherban, 8 Anton Rudoi, 7 Vitalii Orlov, 6 Mikheil Gachechiladze, 5 Maxim Gargalic, 4 Uldis Saulite, 3 Innokentiy Zykov, 2 Stanislav Selskii, 1 Alexey Volkov.
Replacements: 16 Shamil Magomedov, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Evgenii Pronenko, 19 Andrey Temnov, 20 Ramil Gaisin, 21 Konstantin Uzunov, 22 Aleksei Mikhaltsov, 23 Viacheslav Krasylnyk.
Worcester Warriors: 15 Josh Adams, 14 Andy Short, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Will Butler, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Luke Baldwin, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Huw Taylor, 5 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 4 Charlie Hewitt, 3 Mike Daniels, 2 Matti Williams, 1 Ryan Bower.
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Bi Alo, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Zac Xiourouppa, 21 George DeCothi, 22 Tiff Eden, 23 Ryan Lamb.
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Pau 22-25 Bath
Rhys Priestland kicked 20 points to steer Bath to a hard-fought win over Pau at Stade du Hameau.
The English side were rocked early on when they conceded a try to lose the lead, but they maintained the pressure and punished the home side's indiscipline by hitting the target with their penalties.
But they were still forced to hang on at the death when they lost Aled Brew to the sin bin and then conceded a third try to Watisoni Votu with six minutes left on the clock. The conversion went wide, but with only three points between the two teams it was a tense finish.
Priestland opened the scoring with a first minute penalty and then added two more before the break. He also converted a try midway through the first period from England wing Semesa Rokoduguni.
That gave Bath a 16-7 lead, but the home side kept in touch thanks to two tries of their own. Romain Buros actually gave Pau the lead with his eighth minute touchdown, which Brandon Fajardo improved, and a second conversion of Sean Dougall's try on the stroke of half-time meant the Top 14 side only trailed by two points at the break.
Fajardo then had a chance to take the lead with a penalty six minutes into the second half, but he missed the target for a second time. His kicking duel with Priestland continued throughout the second period and the Welshman came out on top as he added three more to one from the Pau player.
Priestland kicked one of his second half hat-trick shortly after former Australian skipper Ben Mowen had been sent to the sin-bin. Then Pau made the most of their extra man after Brew had seen yellow.
It was close, but not close enough for the Top 14 team, although at least there was a losing bonus point.
Tries: Buros, Dougall, Votu
Cons: Fajardo 2
Pens: Priestland 6
Yellow cards: Ben Mowen (Pau), Aled Brew (Bath)
Pau: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Marvin Lestremeau, 13 Santiago Fernandez, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Brandon Fajardo, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Abdellatif Boutaty, 3 Matthew Tierney, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, 1 Jérémy Hurou.
Replacements: 16 Lucas Rey, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Malik Hamadache, 19 Masalosalo Tutaia, 20 Giovanni Habel Kuffner, 21 Thierry Lacrampe, 22 Pierre Dupouy, 23 Bastien Pourailly.
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Elliott Stooke, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Kane Palma Newport, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Michael Van Vuuren, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Matt Garvey, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Jeff Williams.
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Bayonne 27-47 Gloucester
Jonny May scored on his comeback to cap a perfect start to the Challenge Cup for former champions Gloucester.
England wing May had been out for 10 months with a knee injury but marked his return to rugby with a crucially-timed score. Gloucester were struggling to handle Bayonne's driving line-out that had just claimed a third try to narrow the gap to two points at 29-27.
James Hook, who kicked 17 points, slotted a penalty before May opened up daylight that set up a strong finish from David Humphreys' side at the end of a thrilling clash.
Gloucester ran out at Stade Jean-Dauger in their black, yellow and red 125th anniversary jerseys and revelled in the French sunshine as they raced into a 21-6 lead after just 16 minutes.
May looked threatening from the opening seconds and after Lucas Meret kicked the opening points, Gloucester struck three times. Mark Atkinson burst onto a delightful short pass from Billy Twelvetrees in the fifth minute and Matt Scott then strolled through after a well-timed interception as Bayonne attacked.
Atkinson grabbed a second try after Hook found May with a well-placed cross-field kick. May was held short but had the awareness to hand Atkinson an easy finish. Hook converted all three early scores to cap a breathless opening.
Bayonne had real power up front, dominating the scrum and making yards every time with their powerful driving maul that set up a first response for Thibault Lacroix and then Simon Labouyrie and also forced an early exit for Paul Doran-Jones.
Hook chipped away with more penalties and when he snagged Meret on the Bayonne tryline, Gloucester's forwards flooded forward and Twelvetrees touched down.
Gloucester led 29-20 but Bayonne's forward power told once more as flank Dion Outai rumbled over before May scorched clear thanks to quick thinking from skipper Willi Heinz at a penalty and the scoring pass by Joe Latta.
Gloucester were forced to dig deep amid a Bayonne backlash, not least when replacement prop Motu Matu'u was binned for dragging down a maul. But the visitors held firm with Lewis Ludlow, Jacob Rowan and replacement Matt Kvesic making crucial tackles while Charlie Sharples, who took over from May, twice threatened.
Hook's fourth penalty finally curtailed home hopes and Tom Savage charged over after a smart break by Matu'u to put the seal on a thrilling win.
Tries: Lacroix, Labouyrie, Oulai
Cons: Meret 3
Pens: Meret 2
Tries: Scott, Atkinson 2, Twelvetrees, May, Savage
Cons: Hook 4
Pens: Hook 3
Yellow card: Motu Matu'u (Gloucester)
Bayonne: 15 Julien Jane, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Adam Whitelock, 12 Thibault Lacroix, 11 Bastien Fuster, 10 Lucas Meret, 9 Bastien Duhalde, 8 Jean-Blaise Lespinasse, 7 Dion Evrard Oulai, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Guillaume Ducat, 3 Richard Choirat, 2 Simon Labouyrie, 1 Aretz Iguiniz.
Replacements: 16 Manu Leiataua, 17 Adrien Bordenave, 18 Toma Taufa, 19 Pablo Huete, 20 Manu Saubusse, 21 Arnaud Duputs, 22 Simon Maillard, 23 Maile Mamao.
Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Joe Latta, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 John Afoa, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Ollie Thorley, 23 Charlie Sharples.
Referee: Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Treviso 10-41 La Rochelle
France prop Uini Atonio put La Rochelle on track for an impressive victory over Benetton Treviso.
Atonio scored the only try of a closely fought first half at Stadio di Monigo before crossing again in the second half to set-up a bonus-point win.
Hikairo Forbes and Jason Eaton also crossed either side of a penalty try as the La Rochelle made a perfect start to the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Treviso were making their first appearance in this tournament for 13 years and had never previously lost in the competition to French opposition.
However, they found themselves trailing by ten points after Brock James kicked the opening points with a 10th minute penalty before Atonio rumbled over for his first try.
Ian McKinley pulled back a penalty from distance for Treviso but a nip-and-tuck first half saw both sides miss kicks at goal.
La Rochelle centre Zack Holmes missed from a similar range and McKinley failed to capitalise after Treviso's scrum won a penalty. James made him pay with his third kick to lead 13-3 at half-time.
Head coach Patrice Collazo made changes during the break and they produced an immediate effect as replacement hooker Forbes broke the impasse with a try inside two minutes of the second half kick-off.
Atonia then followed from close-range for his second just six minutes later and James conversion suddenly had La Rochelle in command of the tie at 27-3.
Treviso steadied themselves and managed a response through Italy wing Luke McLean. But the French visitors finished strongly as skipper Eaton marshalled his pack to win a penalty try, to secure the bonus, before claiming a try of his own five minutes from time.
For La Rochelle:
Tries: Atonio 2, Forbes, Penalty Try, Eaton
Cons: James 3, Homes 2
Benetton Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 David Odiete, 10 Ian Mc Kinley, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Filippo Gerosa, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Roberto Santamaria, 20 Dean Budd, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Andrea Pratichetti.
La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 David Raikuna, 13 Elliot Roudil, 12 Zack Holmes, 11 Romaric Camou, 10 Brock James, 9 Arthur Retiere, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Afa Amosa, 6 Kevin Gourdon, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Luc Mousset, 19 Mathieu Tanguy, 20 Leo Cedaro, 21 Anthony Fuertes, 22 Botia Veivuke, 23 Charles Bouldoire.
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Timisoara Saracens 17-59 Edinburgh
Timsoara Saracens had a baptism by fire on their Challenge Cup debut as they conceded a try in only the second minute at the Dan Paltinisanu Stadium and then leaked a further eight against a rampant Edinburgh.
The Scottish side re-wrote their Challenge Cup record books as they notched their highest points tally (59), registered their biggest win (42), scored their most tries (9) and kicked most conversions (7). There were also try hat-tricks for skipper Stuart McInally and Nasi Manu.
Interim head coach Duncan Hodge will fully realise that next week's challenge against Harlequins will be far harder, but this game was a potential banana skin against a team packed with Romanian internationals that nobody knew much about.
It took a mere two minutes for Edinburgh, the 2015 finalists, to get the scoreboard moving. Viliame Mata made the initial break before McInally set up wing Mike Allen for his fourth try of the season.
Jason Tovey added the conversion and went on to improve a further six tries with his trusty boot. Mata's debut got even better three minutes later when he crossed for a wonderful try to extend Edinburgh's lead.
Timisoara scrumhalf Valentin Calafeteanu slotted an eight minute penalty to get his side moving, but a hat-trick of tries from hooker McInally in a 20 minute period put the visitors out of sight. Manu then scored two before the break to leave the Saracens, who had a try from wing Stephen Shennan converted by Calafeteanu, trailing 45-10.
There were only two more tries from Edinburgh in the second half - Manu completing his hat-trick and a second for Manu -as the replacements flooded onto the field.
Shennan got the final score of the game five minutes from time to give the home side something to smile about.
For Timisoara Saracens:
Tries: Shennan 2
Cons: Calafeteanu 2
Tries: Allen, Mata 2, McInally 3, Manu 3
Cons: Tovey 7
Yellow Card: Gigi Militaru (Timisoara Saracens)
Timisoara Saracens: 15 Catalin Fercu, 14 Fonovai Tangimana, 13 Brian Sefanaia, 12 Jack Umaga, 11 Stephen Shennan, 10 Jody Rose, 9 Valentin Calafeteanu, 8 Sandu Stelian Burcea, 7 Vasile Rus, 6 Daniel Ianus, 5 Marian Drenceanu, 4 Valentin Poparlan, 3 Horatiu Pungea, 2 Eugen Capatina, 1 Gigi Militaru.
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Edmund Aholelei, 18 Samuel Maris, 19 Ionut Muresan, 20 Randall Morrison, 21 Gabriel Conache, 22 Tevita Manumua, 23 Daniel Vladut Zaharia.
Edinburgh: 15 Rory Scholes, 14 Alexander Northam, 13 Sasa Tofilau, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 John Hardie, 6 Viliame Mata, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Stuart McInally1 Allan Dell.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Jack Cosgrove, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Vili Fihaki, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Blair Kinghorn, 23 Glenn Bryce.
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)