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Bayonne falls to Northampton, securing Northampton's advancement to the Champions Cup with a dominant nine-try performance.
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Bayonne falls to Northampton, securing Northampton’s advancement to the Champions Cup with a dominant nine-try performance.

Northampton registered nine tries as they thrashed Bayonne 61-14 at Franklin’s Gardens to secure a place in the Investec Champions Cup knockout stages.

Tom Pearson got three goals, Alex Waller scored twice, and Fin Smith made eight successful conversions as the top team in the Premiership dominated their opponents from France.

During the first half, Northampton scored six times, with the first one happening in the beginning when Tommy Freeman caught Rory Hutchinson’s chip and scored a point.

Pearson contributed to the scoring when Alex Coles intercepted a Bayonne lineout in the first 15 minutes. He then scored another point shortly after Tevita Tatafu’s sin-bin, and Courtney Lawes secured a bonus point in the 28th minute.

The hosts continued to dominate, scoring additional tries from Curtis Langdon and Waller, while Smith’s extra points brought the score to 42-0 by halftime.

In the second half, Pearson and Waller scored tries, maintaining the one-way traffic. In the 65th minute, Bayonne finally scored with Tom Spring’s crossing and Thomas Dolhagaray successfully converting.

Tom James scored the ninth goal for Northampton, and Aurelien Callandret responded with a late goal. This secured Saints’ qualification from Pool Three, as they won all three of their matches.

Ospreys secured a spot in the last 16 of the European Challenge Cup with a 25-3 victory over Perpignan, thanks to two tries from full-back Iestyn Hopkins.

The loss of Newcastle, 57-18, on their home turf against Benetton not only eliminated them from the competition, but also secured Ospreys’ advancement.

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Wing Keelan Giles, along with fly-half Dan Edwards who added 10 points, also contributed to the score for Ospreys. Unfortunately, the Welsh club suffered a loss when hooker Dewi Lake was injured only five minutes into the game.

In the first half, Newcastle’s Argentinian prop Eduardo Bello scored a try for the home team. The Falcons, who were hoping to break a 13-game losing streak in all competitions, gained an early 10-0 advantage over Benetton.

Unfortunately, the Italian team retaliated and gained a 22-13 lead at the end of the first half, with tries scored by Tomás Albornoz, Onisi Ratave, and Tommaso Menoncello.

Murray McCallum scored again for Newcastle in the second half, but Benetton, now at the top of Pool Two, scored more tries from Ratave, Ignacio Mendy, Menoncello, Alessandro Izekor, and Jacob Umaga to secure a dominant victory.

Source: theguardian.com