Amlin Challenge Cup review: Bath and London Wasps secure quarter-final berths
Last Updated: 16/01/14 9:56pm
Tom Biggs: on the scoresheet for Bath
Bath powered their way into the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup with a bonus-point triumph over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Four first-half tries meant Bath were well on their way to a double over their Welsh rivals in Pool Two and they ended up with a 30-13 victory that made it five wins in a row in the tournament.
The Dragons were hampered by a series of injuries to key players in a blistering first half that saw Micky Young launch Bath's scoring sequence with a sixth-minute try.
Tom Biggs followed suit and then Mat Gilbert and Leroy Houston brought up the bonus point in 31 minutes.
The home side could only muster two penalties from replacement outside-half Steffan Jones in the first half as they trailed 27-6 at the break.
They grabbed a consolation try in the second half through Nic Cudd, which Jones converted.
Andrew Fenby ran in a first-half hat-trick of tries as London Irish went on the rampage in their Pool Five clash with Portuguese outfit Lusitanos. The Exiles were 36-3 ahead at the break and ended up 79-3 winners.
There were 13 tries in all, with Tom Fowlie and Guy Armitage both grabbing two, and seven conversions. Qualification for the quarter-finals will go down to the final round of matches, but Irish will have to hope Stade Francais Paris trip up against Lusitanos.
The Exiles travel to Stadion Enrico Chersoni to tackle I Cavalieri Prato in round six but Stade will qualify for the quarters if they and Irish finish level on points at the end of the group stages, courtesy of the fact that they picked up more match points in their head-to-head encounters.
Oyonnax dented Biarritz's hopes of winning Pool One as they notched a bonus point win on home soil, 28-24.
That win gave pool leaders Sale Sharks a massive boost in their quest to reach the last eight.
Sale have to travel to Biarritz in round six and will make the trip armed with a four-point cushion. They beat Biarritz at home in round one.
Wasps booked their place in the quarter-finals with an excellent 26-13 win at Bayonne.
Tries from Charlie Davies, Joe Launchbury and Tom Varndell maintained a 100 percent record and secured their qualification as Pool Four winners.
Outside-half Andy Goode and Bayonne wing Martin Bustos Moyano exchanged two penalties each early on before Goode edged Wasps back in front with his third.
Davies scored Wasps' first try just before half-time but Goode missed the conversion and then two penalties within 10 minutes of the second half beginning.
It looked costly as Bayonne got their first try through flanker Mark Chisholm, with Bustos Moyano adding the conversion.
Goode missed a third penalty before Launchbury scored Wasps' second try, with replacement Joe Carlisle slotting the conversion.
Varndell secured the win nine minutes from the end after excellent work by replacement scrum-half Joe Simpson.