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Strong start for the Welsh regions in European campaign

In what has already been an up and down season for the Welsh regions, with Covid causing on-going disruptions, the teams got their respective European campaigns underway on the weekend looking to book their place in Marseille for the 2021 finals.

Cardiff Blues kicked off the European campaign with a journey North on Friday night, to take on Newcastle Falcons, in the Challenge Cup.

The Blues took an early lead in the north after Amos finished after Sam Moore and Matthew Morgan linked but the hosts hit back with two soft but well finished tries of their own.

Despite trailing at the interval a gritty second half performance saw the Blues take a 20-33 victory in the North East.

It was a Saturday night clash for the Ospreys on their own turf at the Liberty Stadium. A brace of tries from hooker Sam Parry, on his 100th appearance, helped the Welsh side to a dominating victory over Castres Olympique.

The last play of the game was a fitting exclamation mark from the Ospreys; replacement scrumhalf Matthew Aubrey swung the ball left to Myler, who put a grubber kick wide to replacement winger, Luke Morgan. The speedster was off like a flash, beating his opposite man to the ball and grounding the ball for a final try. Myler converted the ball from near the touchline to end the game 39-15.

Dragons were forced to make late changes for their opening Heineken Champions Cup clash against Wasps, on Saturday, due to a number of their playing squad returning positive Covid test results.

Four changes to the starting line-up and a further four changes to the replacements bench resulted made for difficult circumstances for the side’s clash at Rodney Parade.

Dragons were overpowered by a strong Wasps side despite a battling effort and gritty display.

Scarlets dug deep to claim a Champions Cup nail-biter at The Rec, producing an incredible defensive effort in the final dramatic minutes to claim a 23-19 victory.

With the clock into the red, after a series of short-range drives at the Scarlets line, scrum-half Ben Spencer darted for the whitewash, but was denied by young replacement lock Morgan Jones. In a dramatic finale, referee Alexandre Ruiz went to the television match official, who ruled no try, to the huge delight and relief of the visitors.

Throughout a tense Pool A encounter, there was little between the two sides with Scarlets scoring a try in each half through scrum-halves Gareth Davies – on his 200th appearance – and Kieran Hardy.

Both teams had their chances to win, but in the end the spoils and the famous old rag doll were heading to West Wales.


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