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Giant prop seals fourth straight win for Leicester Tigers

Nephi Leatigaga

Leicester made it four straight European Challenge Cup wins after they held out to defeat Calvisano 20-13.

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Teenager Freddie Steward had given the English side a flying start in their Pool Five match at Pata Stadium with a try in the opening minute.

The Italians, thrashed 59-7 a week earlier, responded through a penalty from Paolo Pescetto to trail 8-3 at the break.

After Tigers prop Greg Bateman had been sin-binned, Calvisano had lock Davide Zanetti shown a red card on the hour following an incident at the ruck.

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Andy Forsyth crossed to give a much-changed Leicester some breathing space before Nephi Leatigaga’s late try made sure of the win, with Calvisano gaining a bonus-point score through Anibal Panceyra-Garrido late on.

Pau made the most of their rescheduled match against Cardiff to win 34-29 at the Stade du Hameau.

Friday’s fixture had been put back on health and safety grounds following persistent, heavy rain.

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After going behind early on, the hosts made up for lost time with three first-half tries to lead 24-7.

Although the Welsh side fought back as Owen Lane completed a hat-trick, it was not enough – but at least the bonus points keeps alive some hope of progress.

In Pool Four, leaders Bristol scored a late try through Harry Thacker to fight back and win 18-16 at Stade Francais.

The hosts had been 10-8 in front at the break after Nicolas Sanchez’s penalty added to a converted try from Waisea Nayacalev.

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The bears kept themselves in touch through the boot of Callum Sheedy, with Thacker’s converted score following a rolling maul after 77 minutes proving crucial.

Edinburgh boosted their qualification chances for the knockout stage with a 9-7 win at Wasps following Jaco Van Der Walt’s late penalty.

The Scottish side are now one point behind Pool Three leaders Bordeaux ahead of their round five showdown at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

Nizaam Carr’s converted try had seen the English side ahead 7-3 at the break.

Edinburgh capitalised on a yellow card for Josh Bassett as South African Van Der Walt held his nerve with two decisive kicks to seal a hard-earned win, which finished Wasps’ slim chances of progress.

Bordeaux had earlier maintained their unbeaten record with a commanding 33-6 victory over strugglers Agen, scoring five tries.

Saturday’s late match in Pool Two saw Scarlets run in six tries to sweep aside Bayonne 46-5 in testing conditions at Llanelli.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny added two penalties to his successful conversions – which included from his own late try for a match tally of 21 points.

The comfortable win puts the Welsh club four points behind leaders Toulon, who had earlier won 26-20 at London Irish – a result which all but ended the home side’s hopes of qualifying as one of the best runners-up.

Following a try from Irish number eight Albert Tuisue, the French side made the most of some poor discipline as Anthony Belleau kicked four penalties.

London Irish captain Ruan Botha and Terrence Heptema were both sent to the sin bin during the first half.

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Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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J
Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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