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If Gloucester fans are looking for a good omen ahead of Round 6 in the Challenge Cup then what about the fact that the last time the Cherry & Whites played Bayonne at home in the tournament they went on to lift the title.
That was back in 2006, when they beat the TOP 14 side 32-19 at Kingsholm to secure a home quarter-final against Brive. They won that one 46-13 before taking down Worcester Warriors in the semi-final and getting past London Irish in extra-time in the final.
With a quarter-final place already secured thanks to four wins out of their five games to date, Gloucester currently head the pool by a point from La Rochelle. But there is still work to be done for the Premiership side.
If both teams end up on the same number of match points then La Rochelle, who host Benetton Treviso in their final game, will win the pool on the head-to-head record between the two teams. Gloucester won 35-14 at Kingsholm (5 points to nil) and La Rochelle triumphed in the return 42-13 (5 point to nil) to give themselves the edge 56-48 on points difference over the two games.
The game will be Gloucester’s 30th Challenge Cup pool match at home and they have won 27 of them. They lost twice in the inaugural season of 1996/97, when both Begles-Bordeaux (17-10) and Bourgoin (24-9) left Kingsholm victorious.
Bayonne did Gloucester a favour in Round 5 as they stopped La Rochelle from picking up a bonus-point to lead the pool going into the last round. They eventually went down 24-14 – their fifth defeat in a row in the competition.
Gloucester kicked-off their current campaign with a 47-27 victory at Stade Jean Dauger that included six tries. James Hook also weighed in with 17 points with the boot.
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Gloucester Rugby thrashed Bayonne 64-19 at Kingsholm to set-up a home quarter-final in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
The Cherry and Whites were worthy winners as scrum-half Willi Heinz helped himself to three of his team’s 10 tries in what was a one-sided encounter.
David Humphreys’ men were totally dominant, but the English side saw five tries ruled out so the margin of victory could have been even greater.
Billy Burns booted six conversions and Billy Twelvetrees added another to leave Gloucester to face either Cardiff Blues, Harlequins or Stade Francais in the first knock-out round.
After winning away to Benetton Treviso in Round 5, Humphreys knew his team was already in a good position to continue their European odyssey.
And there was never any danger of them ending the pool stages with a defeat once Lewis Ludlow crossed in just the fourth minute.
Burns kicked the conversion on what was a decent day with the boot before Heinz crossed for two scores within 10 minutes. England wing Jonny May and Darren Dawidiuk also pounced for tries before the half-time whistle and Heinz completed his hat-trick just after the break.
As the second half progressed, Gloucester made changes with the game won but Andy Symons, Henry Purdy, Josh Hohneck, Callum Braley all scored in the second period.
Twelvetrees converted Hohneck’s effort and Burns booted the rest, but there was one Bayonne player who refused to give up on what was a night to forget for his team.
Right wing Martin Laveau had scored in both the 18th and 27th minutes to get the visitors on the board and he made it two trebles for the day in the 50th minute.
Lucas Meret kicked two conversions, but it wasn’t enough.