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European Rugby Challenge Cup Round-up: Harlequins and Gloucester lead English charge

Harlequins hooker Dave Ward has called on his team to build on their European form after they and Gloucester made perfect starts to their Challenge Cup campaigns.

The two teams lead the Aviva Premiership Rugby charge in the tournament with two wins from as many games, as they both won on Thursday night.

Ward, playing out of position in the back row in Harlequins’ 32-20 win over Cardiff Blues, explained that they are desperate to win the tournament as they look to build on a strong start to the season.

"What a dream start to the competition for us, we had an unbelievably tough game last week and to come down here to get five points just shows who strong we are as a squad at the moment,” said Ward.

“We want to win this competition, make no bones about it. We're here for the long haul.

"We're looking to play with the sort of tempo we showed at the end there, we're looking to score from anywhere, whether that be our five metre line or theirs.

“You see guys like Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Tim Visser with the ball in-hand – if you give them 50 metres of space, you are not going to stop them. We see it every day on the training ground."

While Harlequins were beating the Blues, Gloucester saw off La Rochelle 33-20, to take charge of Pool 4.

Elsewhere Sale Sharks responded to last week’s loss to Newport Gwent Dragons with a 29-20 success against Pau

“I was just pleased with the win especially after last week. If you win your home games in this competition with a bonus point and win one away you can go through,” said Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond.

“That’s the route we have decided to take and I felt we did well to get the bonus point in the end.”

There was disappointment for the remaining English sides on Saturday though as Worcester went down 27-8 at Zebre, while London Irish conceded a late converted try to go down 27-20 at Grenoble.

It was better news on Sunday though with Newcastle picking up their first win of the season as they enjoyed themselves during a 55-7 win over Enisei STM.

Marcus Watson scored four tries, while Mark Wilson helped himself to a hat-trick and Zach Kibirige scored two for Falcons.

SCORERS

Cardiff Blues 20 Harlequins 32

Cardiff Blues
Tries: Penalty, Hobbs
Conversions: Evans 2
Penalties: Patchell 2

Harlequins
Tries: Visser, Lindsay-Hague, Walker, Care
Conversions: Botica 2, Swiel
Penalties: Botica 2

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz
Attendance: 5,249

La Rochelle 20 Gloucester Rugby 33

La Rochelle
Tries: Audy, Easton
Conversions: Fortassin 2
Penalties: Fortassin 2

Gloucester
Tries: Morgan, McColl, Sharples
Conversions: Laidlaw, Twelvetrees 2
Penalties: Laidlaw 4

Referee: Marius Mitrea
Attendance: 12,763

Zebre 27 Worcester Warriors 8

Zebre
Tries: Violi, Boni
Conversion: Canna
Penalties: Canna 4
Drop goal: Canna

Worcester
Try: Hammond
Penalty: Lamb

Referee: Tual Trainini
Attendance: 1,784

Sale Sharks 29 Pau 20

Sale Sharks
Tries: Mujati, Jennings, James, Fihaki
Conversions: Ford 3
Penalty: Ford

Pau
Tries: Lespiaucq 2
Conversions: Daubagna 2
Penalties: Daubagna 2

Referee: Ben Whitehouse
Attendance: 4,006

Grenoble 27 London Irish 20

Grenoble
Tries: Heguy, Alexandre, Gelin
Conversions: Bosch 2, Loustalot
Penalties: Bosch 2

London Irish
Tries: Williams, Sinclair
Conversions: Noakes, Brophy-Clews
Penalties: Brophy-Clews 2

Referee: Ian Davies
Attendance: 8,500

Newcastle 55 Enisei STM 7

Newcastle
Tries: Kibirige 2, Wilson 3, Watson 4
Conversions: Catterick 5

Enisei STM
Try: Simplikevich
Conversion: Kushnarev

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