Leeds continued the English romp through the European Challenge Cup with a clinical 45-5 win over Italians Calvisano at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Sunday.
With three of the six pool rounds gone, Leeds, Bath, Worcester and Sale are all
top of their pools and seemingly assured of places in the quarter-finals. Only
Newcastle's shock loss in Connacht on Friday night prevented an English clean
Leeds ran in seven tries against Calvisano - including a hat-trick to full-back
Leigh Hinton - although their were glimpses of the visitors' potential and next
weekend's return match in Italy is likely to be closer.
Leeds winger Tom Biggs was over the try-line after only four minutes, and
Hinton's effort moments later prompted home fans to settle back for an
afternoon of one-sided rugby action.
Back-rower John Dunbar was the next player on to the score-sheet, and the boot
of former Italy A fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo was adding to the visitors'
woes as they went into the halftime break 19-0 down.
Calvisano winger Daniele Forcucci scored shortly after play resumed to keep the
match interesting, but lock Stuart Hooper's powerful touchdown and Hinton's
second try ended any faint hopes of an Italian comeback. Replacement hooker
Vili Ma'ami bagged Leeds' sixth try, and there was just time for Hinton to
complete his hat-trick.
In the final Challenge Cup match of the weekend, Brive spiced up Newcastle's
Pool 3 with a 71-0 victory over Centransa El Salvador at Stadium Municipal. The
bonus-point win gives Brive 10 points from the opening three rounds, the same
number as the Falcons and one ahead of Connacht.
Brive ran in 11 tries against the hapless Spanish club, with a hat-trick to
centre Fabrice Estebanez and doubles to Welsh full-back Barry Davies and
wingers Alexis Palisson and Farid Sid. Former England hooker Steve Thompson
also made it on to the score-sheet.