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URC sides suffer three loses in Challenge Cup nightmare

By PA
Jonny May /Getty

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Gloucester kick-started their Challenge Cup campaign with a bonus-point 54-25 win against Benetton at Kingsholm.

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The Cherry and Whites lost their opening Pool B fixture 19-13 at Lyon last week, but bounced back with a fifth straight win against the Italian side which lifted them up to second in the table.

Tries from Jack Singleton, Ben Meehan and Jordy Reid put Gloucester 19-6 up in the first half before Benetton pulled it back to 19-18 at the interval after touch downs from Rhyno Smith and Seb Negri.

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But the Gallagher Premiership side pulled clear in the second period through tries from Matias Alemanno, a penalty try, Stephen Varney, Jonny May and Jack Clement.

The visitors responded through Luca Morisi’s converted second-half try, but were comfortably second best.

Gloucester fly-half Adam Hastings was successful with four conversions and Lloyd Evans landed two.

Dragons slipped to a sixth straight loss as they followed up their opening Challenge Cup defeat at Perpignan by losing 41-28 to Lyon at Rodney Parade.

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Ethan Dumortier (two), Alfred Parisie and Jonathan Pelissie scored Lyon’s tries and Leo Berdeu added 21 points with his boot.

Dragons also went over three times, through Mesake Doge, Aki Seiuli and Aaron Wainwright.

But they could not take advantage of playing with an extra man for a total of 20 minutes after Lyon pair Thibaut Regard and Mickael Ivaldi were both shown second-half yellow cards.

Dean Ryan’s Dragons have lost eight of their last nine matches this season in all competitions.

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Toulon made a winning start in Pool A, beating Zebre 28-14 at home in the two sides’ first meeting in Europe.

Forwards Emerick Setiano and Quinn Roux went over for Toulon in the first period and scrum-half Baptiste Serin added their third touch down after the break before the Top 14 side were awarded a penalty try.

Zebre pair Asaeli Tuivuaka and Iacopo Bianchi went over for the Italians’ two converted tries.

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