BATH, ENGLAND – This weekend’s Amlin Cup Recap marks the fourth round of fixtures in the Amlin Challenge Cup, with all twenty sides in action. Bath remain the only side in the competition with a 100 percent record following their second successive demolition of Mogliano. The English outfit scored tries at will, winning by a final score of 63-0. Matt Banahan marked the occasion with four tries, while Peter Stringer became one of only three players to post 100 caps in European competition. George Ford continued his solid run with the boot, kicking thirteen points before a second half substitution. Bath’s next round will be their biggest test of the group stages, as they travel to Wales to face the Newport Gwent Dragons.t
The Dragons, fresh off their victory over Bordeaux at home, got smashed in the away fixture, 32-13. Nicolas Sanchez scored 22 points, and the Dragons let the opportunity to go top of Pool 2 go wanting. Two tries in the final 12 minutes spelled doom for the Welsh side, but Bordeaux proved more troublesome on home soil than they had away. The dynamics of the Challenge Cup mean that a very good Dragons side will likely be left out of the quarterfinals, languishing eight points behind Bath in the table.
Biarritz once again topped Worcester in their fixture, as the Warriors went into the half ahead for the second consecutive week, only to see victory slip out of their grasps. There has been an element of bad luck to Worcester’s winless season, but their inability to finish games out has long since become a troublesome trend. The Warriors were unable to break through against a 14-man Biarritz, as the French side actually mounted their comeback down a man.
Sale had the full complement of points wrapped up before the half, as they demolished Oyonnax 53-14 in Manchester. The Frenchmen continue to slay giants at home, yet remain minnows away. The Sharks were ahead 41-0 after 50 minutes, marking an embarrassing defeat for Oyonnax. Danny Cipriani continues to impress, with calls for his inclusion in England’s Six Nations side growing louder by the performance. With Owen Farrell’s grip on the fly-half slot tenuous, and Toby Flood seemingly heading for more lucrative pastures in France, the 26-year-old Cipriani may yet get another chance at life as an international.
Wasps remain top of Pool 4 after beating Grenoble 32-12 at Adams Park. Though the margin of victory was actually smaller at home than away, the Wasps will be in the driver’s seat come next round’s crunch fixture against Bayonne, which will likely determine the group winner. Tom Varndell returned to action for the London side, hauling in two tries as the consummate finisher looks to regain form without his partner in crime, Christian Wade.
Stade Francais rose to the challenge presented by London Irish, defeating their pesky opponents 32-14 in Paris. Though the result was settled far before the final whistle, a try three minutes from time gave the Parisians the bonus point they needed to regain control of the group. London Irish will take comfort in Andrew Fenby’s try, but it was not enough to secure the victory for an Irish side that looked exhausted from their exertions last weekend at home.
In other action, Brive scraped by Bucharest 20-9, while Cavalieri beat Lusitanos 30-19… Newcastle beat Calvisano in Italy 25-10, as Zack Kibirge crossed the whitewash twice… Bayonne destroyed Viadana 80-19, and another round of Amlin Cup action closed with plenty of tries, though few compelling scorelines.
That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd and Declan Yeats, respectively.