7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
New Zealander Aaron Takarangi scored two first half tries that were enough for Ebbw Vale to win 20-16 at Eugene Cross Park against Montauban, but the Welsh club will have it all to do in the return match in France next weekend.
Ebbw Vale, with a 20-point half-time lead, allowed the French side back into the match to give them a major away challenge ahead.Mark Meenan converted both Takaragi's tries, and added two penalty goals, but against 14-man Montauban, who had flanker Alexandre Colome sent off, they will have hoped to have done better.
Olly Barkley gave Bath a flying start to their Parker Pen Challenge Cup bid when they crushed GR.A.N. Rugby Parma 40-3 with a six-try salvo.
England international Barkley scored the last of their tries and added five conversions as the 1998 Heineken Cup winners made sure they notched up an invaluable away win.
Andrew Beattie got them on the way with a try in the 23rd minute and Andy Lloyd added another before the break.Bath added four more tries in the second half as the Italians - who had centre Diego Sacca sin binned - were outgunned and outclassed.