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Bath's Challenge Cup round of 16 hopes take another blow

By PA
Dan Biggar of Toulon during the Pool B Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and RC Toulon at Kingsholm Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Bath suffered a third successive European Challenge Cup defeat as Toulon triumphed 35-23 in their rearranged game at Kingsholm.

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The Pool A tie was switched to Gloucester on Sunday after flooding had left Bath’s Recreation Ground unplayable.

Toulon seized early command through a second-minute penalty try and another score from Thomas Salles.

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Bath reduced the gap to 15-8 with an Orlando Bailey penalty and a Matt Gallagher try before Cheslin Kolbe went over for the French visitors.

A second Gallagher try and a fine score from Ted Hill moved Bath to within five points.

But the boot of Wales fly-half Dan Biggar, who added 11 points to Adrien Warion’s bonus-point try, saw Toulon home and lifted them to second spot in Pool A.

Bath drop out of the top six and must win their final game in Glasgow on Friday to keep round of 16 hopes alive.

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Cardiff eased into the knockout stage by beating 14-man Newcastle 42-10 in front of the returning Warren Gatland.

The Wales head coach names his Guinness Six Nations squad on Tuesday, and was given plenty of food for thought at the Arms Park.

Owen Lane (2), Lloyd Williams, Rhys Carre, Josh Adams and Harri Millard crossed, with Rhys Priestland converting all six tries.

Newcastle were trailing 21-3 just before the break when Elliott Obatoyinbo was sent off for a high tackle.

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Cardiff are now top of Pool A and within a win of securing a home tie in the next knockout round.

Newcastle remain bottom of the section without a single point, yet could still progress by beating Connacht next week.

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