Fixtures - Top Bar

Rugby Challenge Cup round-up: Smith salutes unsung hero Dorrian

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith admitted he was taken aback by Myles Dorrian’s kicking display after the fly-half converted all ten Exiles tries in their 70-14 victory over Rovigo.

Topsy Ojo grabbed a hat-trick of scores, while Eoin Griffin, Dan Leo, Kieran Low, Leo Halavatu, Tom Guest, James Short Dorrian also crossed over against the Italian outfit.

And it was Dorrian who impressed the boss more than anyone else, with his unerring accuracy off the tee and his ability to control proceedings, as Irish made the perfect start to their European Rugby Challenge Cup campaign.

“Every try seemed to be scored in a corner. He had one easy kick, everything else was from out wide,” said Smith

“I am so happy for him that he nailed the last conversion because ten from ten is as good a kicking performance as you are going to get.

“He is one of the unsung heroes of the club. He goes about his work without any fuss. He runs water for the starting team every week and is the ultimate club man.”

Saturday brought no joy to the Aviva Premiership Rugby contingent of London Welsh and Exeter Chiefs as both suffered first round defeats away from home.

Welsh found themselves behind early on against Lyon in their Pool 4 clash but tries from Chris Elder and James Lewis meant the Exiles were only trailing 21-15 at the break.

But when Seb Stegmann was shown a yellow card, the Welsh defence succumbed to the pressure and Seru Sukanaveita touched down for the hosts who ran out 28-18 winners.

The Chiefs meanwhile took on another French side in the form of Bayonne and started well with Adam Hughes going over early to put the visitors in control.

Opeti Fonua and Pierre Sayerse hit back for Bayonne to hand them a 17-16 half-time lead, but a Carl Rimmer score had the Chiefs back ahead.

Rob Baxter’s men looked good for the win but with just two minutes remaining Tonga international Lisiate Fa’aoso went over to seal a 30-24 win for the hosts.

Baxter said afterwards: “I know the players are frustrated because they put a lot of physical effort into it and I know they will be frustrated by the direction of some of the things they did. “But I am not going to sit here and say it should be perfect from players that haven’t been playing together.

“As frustrating as it is for me and as frustrating as it is for the players, sometimes you just have to take it on the chin.

“A win here would have been a great achievement, but we have come up a bit short and not achieved our goal of winning, which we came here to do.”

Friday night saw Newcastle Falcons get their campaign off to a winning start at the expense of Bucharest Wolves – collecting their third straight win in all competitions in the process.

After Aviva Premiership Rugby wins over Exeter Chiefs and London Welsh, The Falcons ran out 43-19 winners against the Romanian outfit on Friday.

Will Witty dotted down in the very first minute, while Lee Smith had his side’s second score just three minutes later in what was a frantic start.

And the hosts never looked back as Chris Harris, Mark Wilson, David Nelson and Tom Penny (2) all crossed in the seven-try win.

And on Thursday Gloucester Rugby signalled their intent in the competition with a thumping 55-0 defeat of Brive at Kingsholm.

Charlie Sharples starred on his 150th appearance for the Cherry and Whites, scoring a hat-trick of tries with James Hook, Darren Dawidiuk and Dan Robson all crossing.    

And wing Jonny May insists everybody got what they deserved from the match, saving special praise for Sharples on his landmark evening.

“I’m just delighted because we have worked really hard this season and we are coming together,” said May.

“I am really happy for Charlie. He is a loyal servant to the club, a great player and a great teammate and he got what he deserved for him.

“They have been scoring over 20 points a game in their league and they are a great attacking side so credit to our side to nil them.”

London Irish 70 Rovigo 14
London Irish
Tries: Ojo 3, Dorrian, Griffin, Halavatu, Low, Guest, Leo, Short
Conversions: Dorrian 10
Tries: Mahoney, De Marchi
Conversions: Farolini, Basson
Referee: Vlad Iordescu
Attendance: 4,219
Bayonne 30 Exeter Chiefs 24

Tries: Fonua, Sayerse, Fa'aoso
Conversions: Loustalot 3
Penalties: Loustalot 3

Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Hughes, Rimmer
Conversions: Sweeney
Penalties: Sweeney 3, Arnott

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon
Attendance: 8,206

Lyon 28 London Welsh 18

Tries: Januarie, Estebanez, Romanet, Sukanaveita
Conversions: Porical 4

London Welsh
Tries: Elder, Lewis
Conversions: Roberts
Penalties: Roberts 2
Referee: Claudio Blessano
Attendance: 8,455
Newcastle Falcons 43 Bucharest Wolves 19

Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Witty, Smith, Harris, Wilson, Penny 2, Nelson
Conversions: Clegg 3, Smith

Bucharest Wolves
Tries: Ionita, Botezatu 2
Conversions: Samoa 2

Referee: David Wilkinson
Attendance: 3,053
Gloucester Rugby 55 Brive 0

Gloucester Rugby
Tries: Sharples 3, Hook, Dawidiuk, Robson, Penalty
Conversions: Laidlaw 3, Hook, Cook 2, Robson
Penalties: Laidlaw 2
Referee: Ian Davies
Attendance: 9,793 

Latest News

George North gets first 2017 tour try in dramatic British & Irish Lions draw

The British & Irish Lions concluded their midweek fixture list in New Zealand with a thrilling 31-31 draw against the…

Newcastle Falcons can’t wait for trip to Philadelphia

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes that the second Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season match in America can…

Dean Richards

Mark Reddish retires from rugby

Harlequins second row Mark Reddish has today (Tuesday 27th June) announced that he will retire from the game due to…

Mark Reddish

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…


Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches