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The excitement of festive European Rugby returned to Wales this weekend with three Welsh teams delivering home wins in front of their loyal supporters.

With home wins crucial to any European campaign; the Welsh teams held their own with the Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons and Ospreys all battling hard for victories on home soil to keep their campaigns very much alive going into round four of both the European Champions and Challenge Cups.

The Scarlets were the only team away from home this weekend and put up a brave battle without a crop of their senior players sidelined through injury – eventually falling to a strong Glasgow Warriors side with a 43-6 defeat in Scotland.

Cardiff Blues kicked off the action on Friday evening with a stunning win at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park bringing the crowd to their feet with a sensational comeback to secure a 37-27 win against Montpellier.

Head Coach Danny Wilson said he was ‘proud of this group of players’ after the French big-hitters stormed into a 20-7 lead after 20 minutes in the Welsh capital – despite Rhys Patchell’s first minute try opener.

But a thrilling fight-back saw Josh Navidi (2), Lloyd Williams and Alex Cuthbert cross the try line as the home side knocked up 27 unanswered points to claim a second European win of the season.

Wilson said: “I am proud of this group of players. For the second week on the bounce we have gone out and really dug in against very good opposition.

“We scored five tries and played some really good attacking rugby. Unfortunately we conceded a little bit and we need to look at that, but I’ve got to be positive after a result like that against a squad like that.

“I just hope that starts to build even more confidence and momentum for us.”

Wilson admitted the turning point of the game had been a try from Josh Navidi in first half stoppage time as Cardiff Blues turned down the kick to go for a driven lineout.

“In the second half the majority of the time we kept the ball well and played some good stuff. If you feed Montpellier they have got so many gifted strike runners across the field you can struggle to contain them. We had that bit of belief too,” he added. “We said at half-time we needed a big first 20 minutes after the break and then to believe in what we are capable of. We did just that.”

The Scarlets say they will be looking to right wrongs with an empathetic home win next up as they play Glasgow back at Parc y Scarlets next Saturday evening.

After their 43-6 defeat at Scotstoun Stadium Head Coach Wayne Pivac said his side would need to ensure a quick turnaround in the coming days to ensure that the Scarlets put in a performance to impress the supporters at Parc y Scarlets and to gather momentum ahead of the challenging Christmas derbies.

He said: “We’ve got to go away and lick our wounds, we’re not happy with that performance, we need to turn it around pretty quickly. We want to have a credible performance at home. We enjoy playing at home and we want to keep our record of wins at home going.”

Scarlets were still in the game at half time with Glasgow leading by only seven points, 10-3, but the visitor’s errors saw the Scots race away to score another four tries in the second forty.

Pivac added; “Up until the 50-minute mark we were still in the game at 10-6 and I thought we had an opportunity at 17-6 as well.

“We fell off too many tackles in the last half hour and they put us away. We compounded mistake after mistake as we tried to play catch up rugby. They punished us.

“We play them later on in the season in the PRO12 and that will be an important game, psychologically we need a good performance against them next Saturday. We want to go into Ospreys on the back of a good performance.”

Newport Gwent Dragons have a strong chance of making the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup once again after a comfortable 22-0 win over Pau. With two wins from three in a pool that includes Castres, Sale Sharks and Pau, the Newport Gwent Dragons scored two tries from Pretorius and Dorian Jones with four penalties from the outside half to boot.

Scrum-half Sarel Pretorius raced 80 metres for the opening try after Dorian Jones had kicked two penalties. Jones added two more shots before his solo, shorter-range dash to the line after the break at Rodney Parade. The two teams meet again in Pau next Saturday with the Dragons hoping to do the double ahead of their big Christmas derby campaign.

The Ospreys sit on equal points alongside Exeter Chiefs at the top of Pool Two after a hard-fought 19-16 win against Bordeaux-Begles at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The win keeps the Ospreys in a commanding position in Pool Two with 10 points from three matches. Dan Biggar scored all 19 points for his side after being floored by a Jean-Baptiste Dubié swinging arm, with the Bordeaux man seeing red. The French side never gave up, and pushed the Ospreys all the way despite having 13-men at one point.

The Ospreys got off to a perfect start with Biggar booting his side in-front after three minutes. But the visitors equalised almost immediately with a penalty of their own from Pierre Bernard. The two hitmen continued their kicking duel with a penalty apiece before Ospreys talisman Alun Wyn Jones allowed the French side an advantage.

The Wales lock entered a maul from the side and was shown yellow by JP Doyle. And Bordeaux did not waste time in making their man advantage count. Centre Le Bourhis spotted the overlap caused by Jones’ absence and ran an outside arc to score. Bernard converted to put the French side 13-6 up. But Biggar was on-hand to rein in the lead once more with his third penalty from three attempts.

The game turned with the Ospreys trailing by a point after the break. Biggar collected a high ball and chipped ahead before Dubié planted a late, swinging arm on the playmaker’s chin. Referee JP Doyle went to the TMO, and the officials agreed the challenge warranted a red card.

And Biggar picked himself up off the turf to spot a gap in the Bordeaux defence and dot down at the corner before nailing the touchline conversion. The Ospreys put in hard graft in the second-half and secured a tight but all-important 19-16 win.

Next weekend’s European matches for the four Welsh pro teams are:

  • Thurs 15th December KO 20.45 Montpellier v Cardiff Blues (away)
  • Sat 19th December KO 18.15 Bordeaux v Ospreys (away)
  • Sat 19th December KO 19:45 Scarlets v Glasgow Warriors (HOME)
  • Sat 19th December KO 20.45 Newport Gwent Dragons v Pau (away)