Bath's march through the European Challenge Cup continued as they scored in the first and last minutes of a 59-16 win over Albi.
Full-back Joe Maddock scored after barely a minute as Bath jogged to a fourth
straight win in Europe. Bath are romping away with Pool 1 of the Challenge Cup,
and wins over Auch and Overmach Rugby Parma in their final two pool matches
should guarantee a home quarter-final.
Albi were out of this match after only three minutes as the home side made a
blistering start. Full-back Maddock scored after barely 50 seconds, and the
applause had barely died down when inspirational flanker Jonny Faamatuainu
dotted down to secure a 12-0 lead.
Shaun Berne was over after 15 minutes, but Albi centre Tim Bowker silenced the
home fans as his try narrowed the margin to 19-10.
Flanker James Scaysbrook scored on the stroke of halftime to secure a try bonus
point, and although Albi winger Justin Mensah-Coker crossed, the French minnows
were never a threat. Bath cruised through the 50-point barrier as Berne
completed his double and Olly Barkley dotted down for two late tries.
Meanwhile, Rico Gear showed his class a stunning haul of four tries in
Worcester's 66-16 win over Rugby Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
Mike Ruddock's side made it four from four in the Challenge Cup, securing a try
bonus point in the first half. Former All Black Gear showed his pace with the
first, fourth, fifth and seven tries in an entertaining match.
The Warriors took an unassailable 31-9 lead into the halftime break, and were
soon cruising past last weekend's 50-0 scoreline against the same opposition.
Marcel Garvey completed a brace of tries just after the resumption, before Gear
dotted down for his fourth.
With Test star Gear showing what he can do in the opening hour, the Warriors'
two most exciting young backs - Chris Pennell and Mike Benjamin - chimed in
with late tries as their side repeated last weekend's 50-point win over their
On Friday night, Montauban and Montpellier won to stay in the race for one of
three "best runners-up" spots in the final eight. Montauban saw off the
Romanian challenge of Bucuresti in Pool 2 with a six-try, 34-6 win, and
Montpellier secured a 31-3 home victory over Petrarca Rugby.
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.