In the latest European news, Connacht keeps their chances alive and sends 14-man Bristol packing.
Andrew Smith, a player for Ireland’s Sevens team, assisted Connacht in maintaining their chance to compete in the Investec Champions Cup by defeating Bristol, who had 14 players, and eliminating them from the tournament.
In a 27-10 win at Dexcom Stadium, Smith scored the fourth goal, while Bolton, Aungier, and Blade had scored earlier to secure a bonus point. Caulfield’s red card for stamping on Bealham left Bristol with one less player for 67 minutes.
Connacht, in search of their initial victory of the season in their fourth match of Pool 1, began strongly with a try from wing Bolton after only seven minutes. Their momentum was further aided when Bristol’s lock Caulfield was given a red card six minutes later.
Fellow front-rower Aungier doubled the home side’s lead with 20 minutes gone and fly-half JJ Hanrahan added the conversion as the England prop Kyle Sinckler headed for the sin bin for an offence during the buildup. AJ MacGinty reduced the deficit with a penalty as Sinckler returned but the Irish province went in at the break leading 17-3 courtesy of scrum-half Blade’s jinking run.
Smith’s try in the early second half was disallowed due to his foot being out of bounds after a thorough review. However, he later redeemed himself and scored a try after receiving a pass from substitute fly-half Jack Carty, earning the team a bonus point.
Bristol earned a late consolation when Connacht collapsed a maul and conceded a penalty try.
Glasgow secured their spot in the last 16 of the competition with a 29-5 victory over Toulon, thanks to two tries each from Huw Jones and Kyle Rowe. Franco Smith’s team needed to win in order to advance from the pool stage, and they did so comfortably by scoring five tries.
Glasgow responded strongly after Toulon’s Gail Drean scored in the beginning of the second half, securing a comfortable victory.
Kyle Steyn and Jack Dempsey returned from injury for Glasgow, while Max Williamson made his first start in the second row. Toulon made several changes to their lineup, with scrum-half Ben White being rested and former Scotland player Cornell du Preez on the bench.
Jones, moved back to the center position after playing a few games on the wing, initiated the first try with a quick move past the opposing defense and then assisted Rowe in scoring in the corner. After a sluggish beginning, Glasgow found their momentum and quickly scored again. Jones played a crucial role, receiving a pass from center Sione Tuipulotu and sprinting over the try line. George Horne, who missed the conversion for Rowe’s try, successfully kicked the ball through the posts on his second attempt, giving Glasgow a 12-0 lead at halftime.
Toulon had not posed much of a threat in their attack, but they managed to score early in the second half. Steyn made a good effort to halt the initial attack, but the ball was passed to Jérémy Sinzelle who then sent Drean running for the try.
Glasgow’s control appeared to be at risk, but a third goal alleviated the tension at Scotstoun. Despite being a frequent scorer, Johnny Matthews decided to pass the ball out to McKay, who easily scored from a short distance. The team ensured their victory – and earned an extra point – with their fourth goal soon after. Dempsey set up Jones, who forcefully crossed into the corner, before Rowe scored the fifth goal just as time ran out.
Gloucester continued their streak of success in the EPCR Challenge Cup Pool 3 with a dominant 35-5 win against Castres at Kingsholm. Despite already securing a spot in the round of 16, the Cherry and Whites scored four tries to earn a bonus-point victory.
In the eighth minute, Seb Atkinson scored a try that was converted by Adam Hastings. Hastings also kicked a penalty, giving the home team a 10-5 lead at halftime. Josaia Raisuqe scored a try for the French side.
After halftime, the game was dominated by one team as Freddie Clarke, Hastings, and Albert Tuisue all scored tries, securing an easy victory for Gloucester. Hastings contributed 15 points with a try, two conversions, and two penalties, and Santiago Carreras added a conversion and penalty in the final minutes.
Edinburgh scored five times, bringing them close to securing a spot in the next round of the pool, with a 31-19 victory against Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets.
Ben Vellacott and WP Nel both scored in the opening six minutes, giving Scotland a 14-0 advantage. Scarlets’ Joe Roberts also crossed the try line, narrowing the gap. However, additional tries from Duhan van der Merwe and Hamish Watson secured the bonus point for Edinburgh by halftime.
Pierre Schoeman solidified the victory with a goal three minutes into the second half. In the 72nd minute, Edinburgh’s Grant Gilchrist was given a red card, and in the remaining time, Ryan Conbeer scored a try and a penalty was awarded to improve the home team’s score. Unfortunately, they have lost all four games and are now out of the competition.