Rugby: Euro Challenge Cup round-up

MARCO Wentzel and Lee Blackett scored two tries apiece to help Leeds Carnegie record their second win of the season as they crushed Crociati 55-6 in the Amlin Cup yesterday.

The victory was Leeds' first win at Headingley since they retained their place in the Aviva Premiership with a narrow victory over Worcester Warriors in April.

Ceiron Thomas, Leigh Hinton, Pete Wackett and Henry Fa'afili also touched down as Leeds converted a 13-6 half-time lead into a far more comprehensive final scoreline.

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Harlequins wrapped up a comfortable 20-9 victory over Connacht but still slipped to second in Pool One.

Tom Guest, who switched to number eight in the absent of the unwell Nick Easter, gave Quins an ideal start when he sliced through from 35 metres, and then made a key contribution to a second try for the team 10 minutes into the second half when he made a break before playing a long ball out for Mike Brown to supply the finish.

Miah Nikora kicked all of Connacht's points, whick Nick Evans booted two penalties and two conversions for Quins.

Bayonne are top of the pool on try count following a 65-7 victory over Italian side Cavalieri Prato which featured four tries for centre Sam Gerber.

On Saturday, Exeter kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals as they picked up maximum points against Newcastle with a 36-10 win.

Even though coach Rob Baxter made 12 changes to the side that beat Wasps last weekend, Exeter ran in three tries before the break to open up a 22-0 advantage.

That left the Chiefs with the goal of claiming one more try in the second half to match the bonus point that pool leaders Montpellier had gained in their 39-14 home win over Bourgoin the night before.

They managed two more to clinch the full five points and are now only three points behind Montpellier at the top of the table, who they face in France in Round Six next month.

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Ben Moon's try got things going, Michael Stupple added a second try and Ryan Davis kicked two conversions and a penalty as they assumed control.

Matt Jess went over for a third try, with the fourth and fifth scores coming from Chad Slade and Andrew Higgins.

Newcastle grabbed consolation tries from Mickey Youngs and Danny Williams.

Gloucester closed the gap on Pool 6 leaders La Rochelle with a hard-fought 13-6 victory to put their Amlin hopes back on track.

James Simpson-Daniel crossed for the only try of a scrappy affair on 25 minutes in freezing conditions on the west coast of France.

The result leaves Bryan Redpath's men just one point behind their rivals at the top of the table.

Benjamin Dambielle slotted La Rochelle's points, with Nicky Robinson kicking a conversion and Freddie Burns two penalties to make up Gloucester's score.

Stade Francais suffered a scare but maintained their 100 per cent record in Pool Four with a bonus-point 29-20 victory at Bucharest Oaks.