Semi Radradra was in unstoppable form as Bristol beat Scarlets in the Heineken Champions Cup this weekend.
The Fijian scored twice and was key in any number of attacking phases for the Bears, who seemed to have found some form in Europe, even when they’ve been struggling in the Gallagher Prem.
Radradra – when he’s in this form – is the best centre in the world.
“We can be serious contenders (in Europe) if we are more ruthless,” Bears boss Pat Lam said after the game. “We showed 20 minutes of being ruthless today. Everyone wants to do the off-loads and run with the ball, but it’s that work off the ball that is really appreciated.
“The goal we set for these last two weeks was to get us into the round of 16, and now we put that away.
“We have a bye in the Premiership next weekend, which is perfect timing, and the players get a chance to recover, and then we come back and we begin our climb up that table by improving our performance.
“If we can improve our performance, the table will take care of itself, and we will be a better team coming back in April, which is what I am excited about.”
Racing 92, Ulster Rugby and Stade Rochelais are already confirmed as qualifiers from Pool A, while Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Munster Rugby and Bristol Bears have also booked their places from Pool B.
The Round of 16 will be played over two legs – home and away – in early April with the four highest-ranked clubs in each pool securing home advantage in the second leg.
The durable Richard Wigglesworth – a three-time Heineken Champions Cup winner with Saracens – made his 95th tournament appearance when he started for Leicester Tigers in last weekend’s win over Connacht in Galway.
Wigglesworth is now in seventh place on the appearances list behind Ronan O’Gara (110), Gordon D’Arcy (104), John Hayes (101), Peter Stringer (101), Donncha O’Callaghan (97) and Clément Poitrenaud (96).