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Ospreys demolish Newcastle on European Rugby Challenge Cup debut

Ospreys marked their European Rugby Challenge Cup debut with a 45-0 demolition of Newcastle in Swansea.

The Welsh region had played in the premier European competition throughout their 13-year history but failed to qualify for it last season.

They blew Newcastle, who rested many first-choice players, away in the Pool Two clash at the Liberty Stadium.

Ospreys led 19-0 by half-time after tries from backs Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb and Ashley Beck. Scott Baldwin and Justin Tipuric scored within a minute of each other in the second period before Keelan Giles' brace. Biggar converted five of the seven tries.

In the other Pool Two clash, an all-French affair, Lyon also bagged a try-scoring bonus point with a 39-13 win at Grenoble, semi-finalists last season.

The first half at the Stade Lesdiguieres was much closer than the second with Lyon leading just 16-13 at the break.

Grenoble hooker Loick Jammes got an early try but opposite number Cameron Mapusua soon hit back with a converted score of his own and Lyon's Jacques-Louis Potgieter landed one more first-half penalty than fellow fly-half Gilles Bosch.

Lyon surged further ahead after the hour with tries from Thibaut Regard, Henry Clunies-Ross and Deon Fourie. Potgieter finished with 19 points from the boot to Bosch's eight.

Newport Gwent Dragons, semi-finalists in the last two campaigns, were another team to run away with it in the second half and bag a try-scoring bonus point.

The Dragons were level at 13-13 with Brive at half-time but ran out 37-16 winners in the Pool Three game in Newport.

Rynard Landman and Brive's Thomas Laranjeira exchanged first-half tries. Nick Macleod and Laranjeira converted, each also kicking two penalties to make it all-square at the break.

The Rodney Parade hosts secured an emphatic victory with four tries in 12 second-half minutes through Lewis Evans, Cory Hill, Hallam Amos and Adam Warren. Substitute Angus O'Brien kicked two conversions while Laranjeira added another penalty for the visitors.

Cardiff Blues also gained a four-try bonus point in their 33-20 win at Bristol in Pool Four, making it an excellent night for the Welsh sides.

The Blues held a 21-13 half-time advantage at Ashton Gate as Reynold Lee-lo and Josh Turnbull's tries cancelled out Max Crumpton's early touchdown.

Alex Cuthbert and Tom James added tries in the second period while Cardiff's Gareth Anscombe kicked 13 points to opposite fly-half Adrian Jarvis' eight. Joe Joyce scored a late consolation try, which Billy Searle converted.


From Belfast Telegraph