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Newport Gwent Dragons booked their place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Saturday with a thrilling away win against Newcastle Falcons on a great weekend for the two South East Wales regions.

Cardiff Blues also took one step into the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup when they posted a record breaking win against Italian opposition at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday evening that puts them in a great position to qualify next weekend.

Down West the Ospreys battled hard against a top-notch Northampton side at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday but couldn’t quite crack the Saints in their crunch European Rugby Challenge Cup fixture.

The Scarlets went down fighting as well when they faced the mammoth task of beating Leicester Tigers at their Welford Road fortress, which proved a bridge too far for the West Wales region.

Cardiff Blues 104 – Rovigo 12

Cardiff Blues posted a record European score and winning margin when they beat Rovigo at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday evening in Pool One of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The Blues notched up 16 tries in total, with touchdowns for Richard Smith (three), Lloyd Williams (two), Ellis Jenkins (two), Josh Turnbull , Rhys Patchell, Sam Hobbs, Cory Allen, Macauley Cook, Scott Andrews, Kristian Dacey, Gareth Davies and Lewis Jones. Gareth Anscombe scored 14 points with the boot through seven conversions, while his replacement Gareth Davies converted five tries.

Rhys Patchell made a successful comeback from injury in the match and was to the fore throughout the game, and his return will be a great boost for the Blues as they look to make their way through this competition.

The region will now look forward to next Saturday when victory over Grenoble away in France will guarantee them a spot in the last eight of the tournament.

Newcastle Falcons 29 – Newport Gwent Dragons 40

Newport Gwent Dragons were on fire in the chilly North East on Saturday as they ran in six tries to claim an emphatic win against Newcastle Falcons in a match that will live long in the memory for Dragons supporters.

The Men Of Gwent were dangerous with ball in hand throughout the enthralling contest, which produced ten tries in total, and in a blinding first half the visitors scored five tries to give themsleves a 35 – 3 lead at the midway point.

The Falcons produced a spirited fightback in the second half and managed four tries of their own but a brilliant try from Hal Amos in the second half regained some momentum and helped stabilise the Dragons, who held on to their lead for a crunch win.

After this great result the Dragons now host Stade Francais at Rodney Parade on Saturday in their final Pool One fixture as they look for a final win of their Challenge Cup qualifying campaign to secure a home draw in the quarter-finals.

Click here to watch highlights of the match.

Ospreys 9 – Northampton Saints 20

The Ospreys battled hard all evening against Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup at Liberty Stadium yesterday but fell just short in a defeat to the current English champions.

The home team put the Saints under pressure at various points throughout the game but were unable to make the most of their chances and could only manage three penalties from Dan Biggar to show for their efforts.

Saints grabbed two tries, including one through Wales wing George North, and fly half Stephen Myler also added ten points as the midlands based team grabbed an impressive away win.

After this tough defeat the Ospreys cannot qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and will now shift their focus for silverware this season back to the Guinness PRO12 league.

Click here to watch highlights of the match.

Leicester Tigers 40 – Scarlets 23

The Scarlets went out down fighting as they fell to defeat to a defeat away to Leicester Tigers on Friday evening that ends their Champions Cup hopes this season.

Two tries from Harry Robinson and one from Rob Evans combined with two Rhys Priestland penalties and a Steven Shingler conversion gave the Scarlets hope but it was not to be against a crack Leicester outfit.

The Tigers showed why they have been so successful in Europe with a quality performance and ran in six tries of their own, five of which were converted, to secure them a bonus point win in the historic rugby venue.

The West Wales region will be looking to finish the competition with a bang when they face Toulon at home on Saturday as they aim to re-build some form to carry into their pursuit for a play-off place in the Guinness PRO12, when league action resumes.

Click here to watch highlights of the match.

 

Next Home Fixtures

Get your tickets now for the next Newport Gwent Dragons home game versus Stade Francais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at Rodney Parade on Saturday 24th January (3pm kick off): http://www.newportgwentdragons.com/Tickets

Get your tickets now for the next Scarlets home match against Toulon in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Parc Y Scarlets on Sunday 24th January (5.30pm kick off): http://www.scarlets.co.uk/eng/fans/tickets/index.php