Round-up: Delon Armitage surge for Toulon leaves Ulster with uphill task

 

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The Independent Online

Delon Armitage ran in an interception try with almost an hour gone to help Toulon to a 23-13 victory at Ulster that made it two wins in two games in Pool 3 of the European Champions Cup. Ulster fought back but defeat left them struggling to qualify. “It’s a long season and we’ll just have to keep digging in and we’ve got to pick ourselves up,” Nick Doak, Ulster’s coach, said. Bryan Habana’s try on the stroke of half-time gave the visitors a 16-3 lead. Armtiage, the England wing (above), intercepted Nick Williams’ pass after 58 minutes and ran most of the length of the field to score under the posts.

Leigh Halfpenny’s conversion — his second to go with three penalties — made it 23-6 and it was pretty much game over. Ulster reduced the arrears with Paddy Jackson landing a second penalty and converting Craig Gilroy’s late try but could not get the victory they needed to keep qualifying a realistic target.

Dacey turns tide for Blues

Cardiff Blues bounced back from an early setback to score five tries and claim a 33-18 victory over Rovigo in Italy that brought them a second successive bonus point success in Pool 1 of the European Challenge Cup.  

Rovigo’s fly-half Luciano Rodriguez gave Cardiff a shock after nine minutes when he went over for a try that Davide Farolini converted. However hooker Kristian Dacey led a pack-powered assault by the Blues by going over for their first try, to be followed by flanker Josh Turnbull and prop Gethin Jenkins (above) in the first half an hour. Rhys Patchell added two conversions to put Cardiff 19-10 ahead. The Blues remained in control and eased to victory with further tries from the No 8 Manoa Vosawai and the lock Macauley Cook.

Chudley sparks rout

Exeter Chiefs took command in the first half to run out 33‑13 winners over Connacht to move top of Pool 2  in the Challenge Cup. The Chiefs led 19-6 at half-time after tries from Will Chudley, Henry Slade and Damian Welch and then took complete control as Dave Ewers and Ben White also went over for tries.

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