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From Bod’s hat-trick to Sexton’s drop-goal, no opponent has defined this Irish rugby century quite like France

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Challenge Cup: Scarlets and Benetton book home ties

By PA
On the comeback trail, Jonathan Davies will add to the Scarlets arsenal (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Scarlets finished top in Pool B of the Heineken Challenge Cup with an impressive 20-7 victory over Bayonne.

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Jonathan Davies, Joe Roberts and Steff Evans all scored tries, while Leigh Halfpenny struck a conversion and a penalty to ensure a fourth victory from four matches.

The Welsh side will now enjoy a home fixture in the round of 16, while Bayonne end a poor campaign without a single point.

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Benetton finished behind Scarlets but ensured a home tie in the next stage following a bonus-point 35-32 win against Stade Francais.

A brace from Mattia Bellini, and additional tries by Tommaso Menoncello and Rhyno Smith, paved the way for the Italian side to edge out their French opponents in a closely fought contest at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

Cardiff failed to take top spot in Pool A following a 37-24 defeat at Brive.

The Welsh side had already secured a place in the last 16 prior to Saturday’s fixture, but knew a bonus-point victory would see them move ahead of Toulon and Glasgow Warriors.

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However, Cardiff trailed 17-3 at the interval following tries from Motu Matu’u, Mathis Ferte and Kevin Fabien.

Arthur Bonneval extended Brive’s advantage in the second period, and despite James Botham, Jason Harries and Rhys Priestland responding, the visiting side were comprehensively beaten.

Newcastle ended their campaign with a 35-21 victory over Connacht at Kingston Park.

Following three straight defeats in Pool A, Michael Young, Matias Orlando, Mateo Carreras, Josh Barton and Pete Lucock all scored tries to help restore some pride.

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Connacht had already booked their spot in the knockout stages, but the defeat means they will miss out on home advantage in the round of 16.

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