Andy Saull grabbed a hat-trick to inspire Saracens to a 56-8 win over Rovigo in the European Challenge Cup, while Connacht won 66-0.

The Guinness Premiership side did all they could but were left waiting on the result of Toulon’s clash with Castres to see if they would progress to the quarter-finals.

It only took Saracens 23 minutes to secure the bonus point on a cold but sunny afternoon at the Stadio Mario Battaglini.

England Saxons flanker Saull opened the scoring after just two minutes, barging his way over to score beneath the posts after an Andy Melck break.

Derick Hougaard converted to give the visitors and early 7-0 lead in Northern Italy.

Sarries looked dangerous with the ball in hand, and a brilliant Hougaard pass put Richard Haughton clear. The wing put through a neat grubber kick through for Rodd Penney to collect and score.

Rovigo got on the scoreboard after 17 minutes when German Bustos booted home a penalty.

But Sarries hit back instantly when Hougaard cleverly switched the kick-off to Ernst Joubert who released Penney down the wing and Saull was on hand in support to crash over for his second of the game.

Moments later, England captain Steve Borthwick charged down a clearance to allow Mouritz Botha to drive over and claim the bonus point.

Saracens led 28-3 at the break and made wholesale changes but centre Michael Tagicakibau added a brace of tries.

Saull’s secured the treble and Jacobus Immelman’s grabbed a late consolation for Rovigo before Kevin Barrett rounded off the scoring.

Connacht finished as top seeds following a crushing, 10-try 66-0 win at Olympus Rugby.

Centre Keith Matthews and replacement hooker Adrian Flavin guarnateed the Irish province maximum points and a home draw in the last eight.

Parma beat Bucuresti 16-9 while Bayonne coasted to a comfortable 55-6 win over Roma.

Read the article on Ireland.com

Massive wins for Sarries and Connacht

Andy Saull grabbed a hat-trick to inspire Saracens to a 56-8 win over Rovigo in the European Challenge Cup, while Connacht won 66-0.

The Guinness Premiership side did all they could but were left waiting on the result of Toulon’s clash with Castres to see if they would progress to the quarter-finals.

It only took Saracens 23 minutes to secure the bonus point on a cold but sunny afternoon at the Stadio Mario Battaglini.

England Saxons flanker Saull opened the scoring after just two minutes, barging his way over to score beneath the posts after an Andy Melck break.

Derick Hougaard converted to give the visitors and early 7-0 lead in Northern Italy.

Sarries looked dangerous with the ball in hand, and a brilliant Hougaard pass put Richard Haughton clear. The wing put through a neat grubber kick through for Rodd Penney to collect and score.

Rovigo got on the scoreboard after 17 minutes when German Bustos booted home a penalty.

But Sarries hit back instantly when Hougaard cleverly switched the kick-off to Ernst Joubert who released Penney down the wing and Saull was on hand in support to crash over for his second of the game.

Moments later, England captain Steve Borthwick charged down a clearance to allow Mouritz Botha to drive over and claim the bonus point.

Saracens led 28-3 at the break and made wholesale changes but centre Michael Tagicakibau added a brace of tries.

Saull’s secured the treble and Jacobus Immelman’s grabbed a late consolation for Rovigo before Kevin Barrett rounded off the scoring.

Connacht finished as top seeds following a crushing, 10-try 66-0 win at Olympus Rugby.

Centre Keith Matthews and replacement hooker Adrian Flavin guarnateed the Irish province maximum points and a home draw in the last eight.

Parma beat Bucuresti 16-9 while Bayonne coasted to a comfortable 55-6 win over Roma.

Read the article on Ireland.com

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