Amlin Challenge Cup round-up: Sale Sharks take control while Bath sink Dragons
Last Updated: 19/10/13 10:35pm
Former champions Sale Sharks seized control of Amlin Challenge Cup Pool One with a comfortable 29-15 victory over Worcester Warriors.
A second consecutive win for the Sharks sees them find daylight at the head of the pool, while Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan still awaits his first win of the season.
A week after having a win cruelly denied them with a late penalty in Oyonnax, Worcester were undone in a first half that ended 24-3 in favour of the visitors.
Sharks scored three tries in the opening half, Rob Miller burst through for the first from Danny Cipriani's pass before the scrum claimed a penalty try and Dwayne Peel scampered over on the stroke of half-time.
The Warriors rallied in the second half and tries from Alex Grove and Mike Williams raised the possibility of a grandstand finish, but Mark Easter's bonus-point try ensured Sharks left with all the spoils.
Meanwhile, Biarritz moved up to second in Pool One with a 26-6 win over Oyonnax but failed to pick up a bonus point.
In Pool Two, Mat Gilbert's try helped Bath maintain their winning start to the campaign with a 26-10 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons.
The replacement flanker touched down nine minutes from time to finally shrug off a stiff challenge by the Dragons at The Rec.
Rich Lane also crossed as Bath climbed to the top of Pool Two while Dragons coach Lyn Jones was left ruing a yellow card for back-row forward Lewis Evans midway through the second half.
The sin-binning handed Tom Heathcote his fourth penalty to open a nine-point lead and deny Dragons a losing point despite Toby Faletau's try.
Dragons remain second in Pool Two on try count, ahead of Bordeaux-Begles who picked up maximum points in their 32-20 victory in Italy over Mogliano.
In Pool Five, London Irish capitalised on Stade Francais' slip to go top of the group with a nine-try 67-7 win over Lusitanos in Portugal.
European rugby returned to Portugal for the first time in seven years and the Exiles lit up the occasion at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon, with their try-scorers including Marland Yarde and Jimmy Stevens who claimed two each.
That moved Irish top of the pool after Stade needed a last-minute conversion by Jerome Porical to win 17-16 at minnows Cavalieri Prato.
Newcastle Falcons' stuttering start in Pool 3 continued with a 23-16 defeat at Brive in Saturday's late game.
Tries by Scott Lawson and Ryan Shortland in either half helped the Newcastle cause but Phil Godman missed seven points with the boot as the visitors fell short.
Newcastle secured a losing bonus point but on the back of their narrow win in Bucharest they lost top spot to Brive.