Heineken Cup - Gloucester bag Challenge spot

PA Sport - Sun, 24 Jan 15:15:00 2010

Gloucester gained the consolation prize of a place the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after ending their Heineken Cup campaign with an emphatic 32-23 win over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Akapusi Qera - Gloucester - 0

Flanker Akapusi Qera (pictured) scored three tries for the visitors, but the all-important bonus point arrived courtesy of a 74th-minute penalty try.

It meant Gloucester finished as runners-up in Pool Two, progressing into the second-tier Challenge Cup, where they will be joined by five group winners of that competition and two other Heineken clubs.

Nicky Robinson chipped in with three conversions and two penalties as Gloucester produced a powerful second-half performance.

The Dragons, six points clear at the break, managed a Rhodri Gomer-Davies try and a late Ashley Smith touchdown, plus two penalties, a drop-goal and conversion from James Arlidge, and one Jason Tovey conversion.

But Gloucester were good value for the win, condemning the Dragons to a sixth successive defeat in all competitions.

In the other Pool 2 game, Biarritz clinched a home tie in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals following a second-half demolition of Glasgow Warriors helped them to a 41-20 victory.

The Scottish outfit led 20-11 early in the second half following scintillating tries from Thom Evans and Chris Cusiter.

But Biarritz rallied with 30 unanswered points, clinching the crucial bonus point 50 seconds from the final whistle to guarantee home advantage in the last eight.

Eduard Coetzee and Takudzwa Ngwenya crossed before Ilikena Bolakoro followed a penalty try to wrap up maximum points and inflict a fourth defeat on Glasgow.

Biarritz had already reserved their place in the quarter-finals after winning four of their previous pool games.

PA Sport

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