Challenge Cup – Gloucester nil Treviso despite pitch move

Cold conditions made the Stadio Comunale di Monigo pitch unplayable but, rather than postpone the fixture between Benetton Treviso and Gloucester, it was moved four kilometres to Treviso’s training ground with a delay in kick off time.

The late switch did not seem to bother Gloucester too much, however, as they ran out 41-0 winners for a bonus-point triumph.

Hooker Richard Hibbard crossed twice while James Hook, Matt Scott, David Halaifonua and Billy Twelvetrees also collected tries as the Cherry and Whites moved back to the top of Group One above La Rochelle.

Edinburgh ran out 23-18 winners against Harlequins at the Stoop to move top of pool 5 and take a step closer to the quarter-finals.

Both sides finished two tries a piece with Fraser McKensie and Allan Dell crossing for the visitors, while Mathew Luamanu and Joe Gray dotted down for Quins.

However, it was 13 points from the boot of Duncan Weir that saw the Scottish side to victory.

Cardiff Blues put themselves on course for a quarter-final spot with a 22-21 comeback win at Pau that kept them second in Pool Four, a point behind Bath.

Steven Shingler’s boot did most of the damage for Cardiff, with five successful penalties along with converting Willis Halaholo’s try.

Tries by Louis Dupichot and Julien Tomas put the hosts 14-6 up at the break before Halaholo crossed.

Pierre Dupouy’s late touchdown put Pau ahead again, only for Shingler to have the last word.

In the late Saturday kick-off, Brive beat Worcester 17-14.

Poutasi Luafutu and Guillaume Ribes scored tries for the hosts, with conversions by Benjamin Lapeyre and Gaetan Germain, who also scored a penalty, while Worcester touched down through Marco Mama and Val Rapava Ruskin. Connor Braid and Ryan Mills added the Warriors’ conversions.

Brive’s victory meant they held on to top spot in Pool Three, while Worcester remained bottom and unable to progress.

Fraser McKensive crosses for Edinburgh against Harlequins in the European Challenge Cup Getty Images

Bath scored eight tries as they blew away West Country rivals Bristol 57-22 at Ashton Gate on Friday to move closer to booking a place in the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals.

Despite Billy Searle kicking them into a third-minute lead, the hosts proved no match for their rampant opponents who had stormed into a 38-10 lead by half-time.

Kahn Fotuali’i crossed twice while Tom Dunn, Tom Homer, Robbie Fruean, George Ford, Semesa Rokoduguni and Chris Cook also all scored tries to bring an emphatic end to Bristol’s recent improvement.

Tom Varndell had dragged Bristol into double figures with the only home try before the break while further efforts from Rhodri Williams and Jack Tovey came when the game was already well out of reach.

The result takes Bath clear of rivals Cardiff Blues at the top of Pool Four ahead of their final group game at home to Pau later this month.

Newport Gwent Dragons pulled level with Pool Three leaders Brive after a convincing bonus-point win over Russian side Enisei-STM in south Wales.

Harri Keddie scored two tries and there was one each for T Rhys Thomas and Rhys Buckley as the visitors secured a 34-10 victory to boost their chances of returning to the knock-out stages.

But Newcastle Falcons suffered a blow to their hopes of progression as they fell to a last-gasp 31-27 defeat to Pool Two bottom club Grenoble in France.

The visitors held a 10-point lead early in the second half but the sin-binning of Calum Green proved crucial and late efforts from Etienne Fourcade and Fabrice Estebanez secured victory for the hosts.

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