Challenge Cup round-up: Bath crush Bristol at Ashton Gate
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 13/01/17 10:40pm
Bath scored eight tries as they blew away West Country rivals Bristol 57-22 at Ashton Gate to move closer to booking a place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
Despite Billy Searle kicking them into a third-minute lead, the hosts proved no match for their rampant opponents who had stormed into a 38-10 lead by half-time.
Kahn Fotuali'i crossed twice while Tom Dunn, Tom Homer, Robbie Fruean, George Ford, Semesa Rokoduguni and Chris Cook also all scored tries to bring an emphatic end to Bristol's recent improvement.
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Tom Varndell had dragged Bristol into double figures with the only home try before the break while further efforts from Rhodri Williams and Jack Tovey came when the game was already well out of reach.
The result takes Bath clear of rivals Cardiff Blues at the top of Pool Four ahead of their final group game at home to Pau on January 21.
Newport Gwent Dragons pulled level with Pool Three leaders Brive after a convincing bonus-point win over Russian side Enisei-STM.
Harri Keddie scored two tries and there was one each for T Rhys Thomas and Rhys Buckley as the visitors secured a 34-10 victory to boost their chances of returning to the knockout stages.
But Newcastle Falcons suffered a blow to their hopes of progression as they fell to a last-gasp 31-27 defeat to Pool Two bottom club Grenoble in France.
The visitors held a 10-point lead early in the second half but the sin-binning of Calum Green proved crucial and late efforts from Etienne Fourcade and Fabrice Estebanez secured victory for the hosts.