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Ospreys and Edinburgh book places in Challenge Cup last eight

By PA
Sam Skinner of Edinburgh Rugby celebrates after teammate Ben Vellacott (not pictured) scores the team's fourth try during the EPCR Challenge Cup Round Of 16 match between Edinburgh Rugby and Aviron Bayonnais at Murrayfield Stadium on April 06, 2024 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ospreys roared into the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup with a gritty 23-15 victory over Sale Sharks.

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Tries from Morgan Morris, Keelan Giles and Reuben Morgan-Williams were enough to send the hosts through, with Owen Williams kicking a conversion and two penalties.

Sale responded with second-half tries by Tom O’Flaherty and Ben Curry as well as the boot of Robert du Preez, who landed a conversion and a penalty.

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Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson gives the kind of injury update no team wants

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Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson gives the kind of injury update no team wants

But Ospreys held on to book a last-eight showdown with Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday.

Edinburgh joined them in the quarter-finals with a 33-15 win against Bayonne at Murrayfield.

The French side struck first through Tom Spring’s converted try before Edinburgh hit back when Hamish Watson crossed the whitewash to leave the hosts trailing by two at half-time.

Matt Currie edged Edinburgh ahead but Spring hit back with another to keep Bayonne in the tie.

But Ben Vellacott crossed twice and a further try from Duhan van der Merwe completed the scoring for the Scots, who will play Sharks or Zebre next.

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ASM Clermont Auvergne held off a fightback from the Cheetahs to win 27-22.

Tries from Joris Jurand, Bautista Delguy, Etienne Fourcade and Baptiste Jauneau put the hosts 27-3 up but a Sibabalo Qoma brace and a solo effort from Tapiwa Mafura set up a tense finish.

Benetton are also through after beating the Lions 27-17 in Treviso.

Thomas Gallo, Onisi Ratave and Bautista Bernasconi scored the tries, all of which were converted by Jacob Umaga.

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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