Challenge Cup: Newcastle rescued by late try, Benetton seal last-16 place while Biarritz and Gloucester also win

Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti touched down in the final minute to rescue Newcastle Falcons as they claimed a 25-22 triumph over Zebre Parma.

The English outfit had been behind for the majority of the match but briefly went ahead at the end of the first half and then, most crucially, as the game reached its final stages.

Zebre controlled the encounter for large parts and took advantage of the Falcons’ ill-discipline to go 9-0 in front thanks to three Antonio Rizzi penalties.

Newcastle finally got their act together to allow Trevor Davison to cross the whitewash before Rizzi kicked another three-pointer.

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A Luther Burrell try and a Brett Connon penalty took the hosts in front but, when Luca Andreani scored and Zebre’s fly-half was successful twice more off the tee, it seemed as though the match was slipping away from Dean Richards’ men.

However, George McGuigan went over to set up an exciting final quarter before Nordli-Kelemeti proved to be the hero late on.

Gloucester edge past the Dragons

Gloucester ended the Challenge Cup pool stages with a come from behind 26-21 triumph over the winless Dragons at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

Despite the visitors opening the match impressively and going 7-0 ahead thanks to Santiago Socino’s try, the Welsh region were fired up and responded with scores from Taine Basham and Jared Rosser.

Louis Rees-Zammit hit back for the Cherry and Whites but the hosts held a 21-12 advantage at the interval after Harri Keddie crossed the whitewash.

The Dragons had opportunities to extend their buffer at the start of the second period but Gloucester remained resilient and then took control via their trusty maul.

Socino duly went over twice in quick succession to complete his hat-trick and move the visitors in front.

Biarritz beat Toulon to seal home last-16 match

Biarritz beat fellow French side Toulon 20-17 to secure a home game in the last-16 of the Challenge Cup.

Despite residing in fourth position in the group going into the final match, they had already sealed their passage into the knockout stages. However, they still had plenty to play for and showed why with a blistering start.

Steeve Barry got the ball rolling before Henry Speight extended Biarritz’s lead, but the visitors refused to give in and were 17-12 ahead by the 50th minute thanks to Thomas Salles try and four Anthony Belleau penalties.

The hosts still had plenty of work to do but Tevita Kuridrani went over to level matters before Gilles Bosch’s three-pointer completed a big win.

Benetton beat Perpignan to secure qualification

Benetton claimed the spoils in the winner-takes-all clash against Perpignan to secure their place in the last-16 of the Challenge Cup following a 17-7 triumph in Treviso.

Both teams went into the clash on four points in Pool B and it proved to be a tense match. Giacomo Da Re’s fifth minute penalty was the only score in the opening half-hour before Edward Sawailau’s converted try gave the Frenchmen the lead at the break.

It would be their only score of the match as the Italians controlled matters in the second period, regaining their lead through Tomas Albornoz.

Corniel Els then crossed the whitewash, with Albornoz adding his second conversion, to complete a fine win.

READ MORE: Challenge Cup: Edinburgh and Saracens cruise past Pau and Brive

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