NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 30 - 16 BATH RUGBY
Cardiff Arms Park - Friday 23 May 2014
KO: 20.00 BST HT: 6-13 Att: 12,483
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS added a third European trophy to their cabinet when they produced a storming second-half performance at Cardiff Arms Park to see off Bath Rugby and clinch the 2014 Amlin Challenge Cup title.
Winners of the Heineken Cup in 2000 and the Challenge Cup in 2009, Saints recovered from a seven-point half-time interval deficit to run out 30-16 winners and boost morale going into Saturday’s Premiership decider.
Tries by replacement, Phil Dowson, and Ben Foden, who was making a third successful Challenge Cup final appearance, turned the tide in Saints’ favour, however, a superb kicking performance by Stephen Myler really made the difference.
Following an impressive opening half by Bath’s playmaker, George Ford, it was his opposite number, Myler, who stepped into the breach from then on to guide Northampton to glory. Saints’ No 10 landed six penalties, converted Dowson’s try and also had a hand in creating Foden’s score to earn himself the Amlin Man of the Match award.
Up to the break, Bath had been in control thanks in the main to some precise kicking from the tee and out of hand by Ford. Anthony Watson’s breakaway try after 26 minutes was no more than the combative West Country outfit deserved, but a couple of missed penalties during the second half by Ford gave Saints the lifeline they needed.
HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...
Saints v Bath Evening peeps! Not long til KO for the 2013 & final Final live from Cardiff Arms Park...
Saints v Bath Saints are out wearing green & gold quartered shirts...& Bath in traditional dress
Saints 0-0 Bath Ref Jérôme Garcès blows the whistle & we're off as George Ford starts proceedings
Saints 0-3 Bath 1min Saints hand over a early penalty & Ford tees up from H/W in front of uprights & it's good
Saints 0-3 Bath 3mins As the first scrum is set, it's a Bath put in on own 22 but goes Saints' way...
Saints 0-3 Bath 5mins Saints have another go at the scrum but there's a lot of faffing & penalty Saints...
Saints 0-3 Bath 6mins Bath front row pinged while it's great to see Alex Corbisiero finally make a return
Saints 3-3 Bath 6mins Meanwhile, Stephen Myler tees up & equalises...
Saints 3-3 Bath 7mins From restart, it's Saints' defensive lineout & ball pumped deep into Bath territory
Saints 3-3 Bath 8mins Bath attack & monster kick puts Abendanon almost into Saints' 22 but Myler saves it
Saints 3-3 Bath 9mins Bath lineout fails them & Saints take advantage, Myler chipping a high ball over H/W
Saints 3-3 Bath 11mins But a penalty from Saints & Bath set up 5m lineout...better this team & heave...
Saints 3-3 Bath 12mins Ref link unhelpful as the officials chat in French discussing whether ball over tryline
Saints 3-3 Bath 12mins Replay shows it's clearly short but Bath have penalty so Ford tees up...
Saints 3-6 Bath 13mins ...& of course pops it over so Bath regain the lead
Saints 3-6 Bath 15mins Some great work from Bath & Ford wallops ball to Saints' 22; Saints throw in
Saints 3-6 Bath 16mins Saints having no hiccoughs with their lineout despite lack of captain Dylan Hartley
Saints 3-6 Bath 17mins Saints clear Bath back but Anthony Watson makes a break almost to 22...
Saints 3-6 Bath 18mins Bath lineout good & Ford kicks Saints back into own 22 as Coach Stu Lancaster observes
Saints 3-6 Bath 20mins Saints kick to touch fails to find touch again but they attack tryline...
Saints 3-6 Bath 21mins A miss-pass from Abendanon on ground straight into Saints hands but held up...
Saints 3-6 Bath 21mins Huge attacking scrum from Saints & Samu Manoa gets close but Francois Louw t/o
Saints 3-6 Bath 22mins First quarter done & Saints penalty 10m out...Myler opts for the kick so tees up
Saints 6-6 Bath 23mins It's over & Ford restarts as ping pong ensues til fumbles on both sides...
Saints 6-6 Bath 24mins Scrum to Bath inside Saints' 10m but massive drive from Saints & they're off...
Saints 6-6 Bath 25mins Saints deep into Bath territory and into 22 with all usual suspects entertaining
Saints 6-6 Bath 26mins But despite Foden, Burrell, Pisi etc's best efforts Watson picks up loose ball &...
Saints 6-11 Bath 26mins Watson runs half length of pitch with no opposition to score completely unfettered to score
Saints 6-13 Bath 27mins Conversion from Ford puts some space between the sides
Saints 6-13 Bath 29mins Good hands from Saints into 22 but Bath defence spot on as North thrown into touch
Saints 6-13 Bath 32mins Huge defensive 5m lineout for Bath & they clear Saints back to 10m for lineout
Saints 6-13 Bath 33mins Saints force play back into Bath 22 but Micky Young fast-steps it out of danger
Saints 6-13 Bath 35mins Saints forced into defensive position & kick to clear but Ford's accuracy is hot
Saints 6-13 Bath 36mins But back Saints come over H/W & try to outrun Bath's sharp defensive
Saints 6-13 Bath 38mins Bath charge into Saints' territory with space but Davey Wilson's pass goes forward
Saints 6-13 Bath 39mins However, ref checks with TMO & Tom Wood pinged for Ford to tee up...
Saints 6-13 Bath 40mins Ford misses his first kick & tho clock gone over 40, they play on
Saints 6-13 Bath 40mins Another kick from Bath & finally HT whistle goes
Saints 6-13 Bath HT P: Myler (2) | T: Watson C: Ford P: Ford (2)
Saints 6-13 Bath 41mins Bath's breakdown tactics are a bit bloody sharp...Louw nicks it again...
Saints 6-13 Bath 41mins Saints battling to get out of own half while Stuart Hooper's down on 22
Saints 9-13 Bath 42mins Alex Corbs was a naughty boy & got a yellow at 42mins
Saints 6-13 Bath 43mins Play back on; Hooper's fine & Ford tees up for a another penalty slightly wide on 22...
Saints 6-13 Bath 44mins Oh but Ford misses another as he pulls it wide! Hmmm...
Saints 6-13 Bath 45mins Despite that, Bath charge from deep in own 22 & offload in excellent fashion...
Saints 6-13 Bath 46mins ...thanks to Ollie Devoto's work, Hooper chases kick into 22 but kicked to touch
Saints 9-13 Bath 48minsNot all play going Bath's way tho as pen given & Myler doesn't falter at kicking tee
Saints 9-13 Bath 49mins Dear oh dear; Saints gift another penalty but Ford's missed it again. May not be so missed in NZ!
Saints 9-13 Bath 50mins Saints attempting to bulldoze their way thru the solid Bath defence but scrum...
Saints 9-13 Bath 52mins Bath's kicking may have gone down pan but scrum's just fine...but all ref chat's in French! #Rugby
Saints 9-13 Bath 52mins Despite replays nothing comes of it, but even ref's English sounds French!
Saints 9-13 Bath 55mins But he's back now & Saints back up to full complement as Myler tees up...
Saints 12-13 Bath 56mins Perfection for Myler & that almost comfortable Bath 7 point lead down to 1
Saints 12-13 Bath 57mins Meanwhile, Mercer, Stringer, Catt & Perenise for Young, Houston, Wilson & James
Saints 12-13 Bath 58mins Kahn Fotuali'i on for Lee Dickson while Bath panic into another penalty...
Saints 15-13 Bath 59mins And with Myler's boot not failing, Saints take lead again...
Saints 15-13 Bath 61mins Saints scrum on Bath 22 & their fans wake up to belt out their anthem
Saints 15-13 Bath 62mins Chip thru & chased almost under post; Watson gets there first & pelts away but...
Saints 18-13 Bath 63mins ...Bath infringed at scrum so Saints adv & back for penalty which Myler pumps over
Saints 18-13 Bath 64mins Hmmm...Gavin Henson's arrived & is really not that orange any more!
Saints 18-13 Bath 65mins Meanwhile, Saints immediately hand over penalty & captain Hooper holds trust with Ford
Saints 18-16 Bath 65mins Which Ford honours & he's back kicking on target...bit bloody tight!
Saints 18-16 Bath 65mins Elsewhere, Denman, Dowson, Waller & Day on for Mercey, Clark, Corbs & Manoa
Saints 18-16 Bath 66mins And, Henson, Agulla & Guiñazú on for Devoto, Watson & Dunn
Saints 18-16 Bath 68mins Just beautiful hands from Saints but a fumble from Waller & chance goes begging
Saints 18-16 Bath 69mins Ooh the Saints fans could taste that! But off they go again & this time...
Saints 23-16 Bath 70mins A mother of a drive & over they go for the try from some time captain Phil Dowson
Saints 25-16 Bath 72mins Myler maintains his 100% kicking record & the game is slipping away from Bath...
Saints 25-16 Bath 74mins Ooh it's too busy! Perenise in bin, Dom Day on for Hooper & McMillan for Haywood
Saints 25-16 Bath 75mins OMFG the drama! Myler steal > Pisi > Burrell but goes down over tryline> Foden rips it...
Saints 25-16 Bath 75mins Can't see who grounded the ball - Foden? North? A Bath hand? Off to TMO
Saints 30-16 Bath 76mins Nothing beats an exciting final, eh?! It's a try..tho Myler fluffs for first time
Saints 30-16 Bath 77mins Try awarded to Foden as Saints run riot in this second half coming to an end...
Saints 30-16 Bath 79mins Bath playing for pride now after Myler is rightly awarded Man of the Match
Saints 30-16 Bath 80mins Great to see Saints win some silver for first time since 2009 in same tournament
Saints 30-16 Bath 80mins Myler kicks it out & it's all over. Phew! *shatteredjustwatching*
Congratulations to @SaintsRugby on winning the Amlin Challenge Cup 2013/14 in magnificent & exciting fashion!...but can they do the double?!
Ben Foden, Ken Pisi, George Pisi, Luther Burrell, George North, Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson, Alex Corbisiero, Mike Haywood, Tom Mercey, Samu Manoa, Courtney Lawes, Calum Clark, TOM WOOD (C), Sam Dickinson BENCH: Ross McMillan, Alex Waller, Gareth Denman, Chris Day, Phil Dowson, Kahn Fotuali'i, James Wilson, Tom Stephenson
SCORERS T: Dowson, Foden C: Myler P: Myler (6) Corbisiero
Nick Abendanon, Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Devoto, Anthony Watson, George Ford, Micky Young, Paul James, Tom Dunn, Dave Wilson, STUART HOOPER (C), Dave Attwood, Carl Fearns, Francois Louw, Leroy Houston BENCH: Eusebio Guiñazú, Nathan Catt, Anthony Perenise, Dominic Day, Guy Mercer, Peter Stringer, Gavin Henson, Horacio Agulla
SCORERS T: Watson C: Ford P: Ford (3) Perenise
Man of the Match: Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR) Asst Referees: Romain Poite (FFR), Pascal Gaüzère (FFR) TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR) Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (IRFU)
IT’S now down to two in the Amlin Challenge Cup with Bath Rugby and Northampton Saints set to contest a first all-English final since 2008 at the Cardiff Arms Park next month.
Both clubs have already lifted both the Heineken Cup and the Challenge Cup in their storied histories, so there will be plenty of European pedigree on display for the decider on Friday, 23 May which marks the first time that a major club final has been staged on an artificial pitch.
On the last occasion that two English clubs contested the Challenge Cup final six years ago, Bath got the better of Worcester Warriors at Kingsholm Stadium, so the portents are looking good for this season’s No 1 seeds from the pool stage.
The final in the Welsh capital will present an opportunity for the likes of Nick Abendanon and Matt Banahan – part of the Bath squad in 2008 – to win a second European title, while Ben Foden, Stephen Myler, Lee Dickson and Courtney Lawes, who were champions with Saints in 2009, are also on track for a second Challenge Cup medal.
The final which kicks off the 2014 Cardiff finals weekend will see Bath appearing in a record fourth Challenge Cup decider eclipsing the three appearances the West Country club held jointly with ASM Clermont Auvergne and Harlequins.
Bath came through a hugely entertaining semi-final against London Wasps at Adams Park where tries from the front row union of Rob Webber (2) and Anthony Perenise laid the platform for a 24-18 victory over the home side.
Meanwhile, Northampton held off a strong finish by Harlequins to come through 18-10 in the first of the semi-finals at Franklin’s Gardens where scrum-half, Kahn Fotuali’i put in an impressive individual performance.
Franklins Gardens - Friday 25 April 2014
KO: 20:00 BST HT: 11-3
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS became the first team through to a European final this weekend as they saw off fellow English outfit Harlequins to reach next month's Amlin Challenge Cup showpiece.
The 2009 tournament winners ended the hopes of a fourth title for the competition's most successful side thanks to a try in either half from wing Tom Collins and scrum half Kahn Fotuali’i at Franklin's Gardens.
The night began promisingly for the visitors as Jamie Elliott saw yellow for tackling Mike Brown in the air with just three minutes played but they failed to capitalise while the right wing was in the sin bin. Ben Botica fell short with a 50 metre penalty with 11 minutes played but it was the only time they really threatened the scoreboard while they enjoyed the early numerical advantage.
Stephen Myler eventually opened the scoring for Saints with 22 minutes gone courtesy of a 40-metre penalty from straight in front of the posts and it was the hosts who hit next, this time for the first try of the night.
Ross McMillan's powerful burst set the platform deep inside the Quins 22 before Fotuali’i produced a moment of magic to put Collins over in the corner. With a penalty already coming for offside, the Samoan star produced the cleverest of lofted chips ahead and Collins' diving catch supplied the appropriate finish.
Myler pulled the touchline extras narrowly wide of the near post but Northampton were eight points up with 27 minutes gone despite the blow of losing North.
Saints were buoyed by the change in scoreline and then went close again three minutes past the half hour as Tom Stephenson and Phil Dowson made inroads before Calum Clark lost control in contact.
Quins lost lock George Robson before Myler added insult to injury with a 35th minute penalty that pushed Saints 11 points in front.
The visitors threatened to respond in style in the closing stages of the first half after Tom Guest put them on the front foot and patient phase play left Saints in trouble. The chance went begging when Charlie Walker knocked on as they attempted to move the ball from right to left, but they did get off the mark when Saints were penalised at the resulting scrum and Botica sent over the close-range penalty seconds before the break. Saints led 11-3 at the interval.
England full back Brown failed to come out after the restart but Botica came within an inch or two of narrowing the gap further when he sent a 40-metre penalty just across the face of the posts.
Their mini revival was shortlived, though, as Fotuali’i sprinted home for Saints' second score with just five minutes gone in the second period. Fotuali’i cut a fine arcing line after picking up a loose ball at a midfield ruck and his pace took him around and then through the covering defence. Referee George Clancy called for the TMO amid suggestions that the Northampton No9 might have knocked on in the build up but Jim Yuille saw no clear and obvious reason to rub out the try, much to the delight of the Franklin's Gardens faithful.
Myler's well-struck conversion from 10 metres in from the left touchline left Harlequins with an 15-point deficit and it was a gap they did not initially look like coming close to bridging. That was until Easter burrowed over after replacement scrum half Karl Dickson had gone close a minute earlier. Botica quickly slotted the straightforward extras to bring Saints' lead down to eight but it was close as Conor O'Shea and co got to continuing their own journey to Cardiff.
James Wilson, Jamie Elliott, George Pisi, Tom Stephenson, George North, Steve Myler, Kahn Fotuali'i, Alex Waller, Ross McMillan, Salesi Ma'afu, Samu Manoa, James Craig, Calum Clark, PHIL DOWSON (C), Sam Dickinson BENCH: Mikey Haywood, Gareth Denman, Tom Mercey, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Ryan Glynn, Luther Burrell, Tom Collins
SCORERS T: Collins, Fotuali'i C: Myler P: Myler (2) Elliott
Mike Brown, Charlie Walker, Tim Molenaar, Jordan Turner-Hall, Sam Smith, Ben Botica, Danny Care, Joe Marler, Dave Ward, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Matthews, George Robson, Luke Wallace, CHRIS ROBSHAW (C), Nick Easter BENCH: Rob Buchanan, Mark Lambert, Paul Doran-Jones, Tom Guest, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Karl Dickson, Louis Grimoldby, Ollie Lindsay- Hague
SCORERS T: Easter C: Botica P: Botica
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU) Asst Referees: John Lacey (IRFU), Marius Mitrea (FIR) TMO: Jim Yuille (SRU) Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (IRFU)
Adams Park - Sunday 27 April 2014
KO: 13:00 BST HT: 13-10 Att: 6,010
HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE...
Wasps v Bath Delayed KO as the Bath players coach got caught up in traffic! But we're all here now...
Wasps v Bath Bath out, & the wasps are buzzing in anticipation of the home team...
Wasps 0-0 Bath From KO, first scrum to Bath outside own 22...
Wasps 0-0 Bath But penalty to homeside & Andy Goode tees up from out wide...
Wasps 3-0 Bath 2mins Goode's obviously still got it...Wasps have first points on the board
Wasps 3-0 Bath 4mins Good defensive work from Bath forcing Wasps back over H/W & set up line out outside 22
Wasps 3-0 Bath 5mins Grubber kick from Nick Abendanon pops thru but Wasps quick on the defence; Bath 10m line out
Wasps 3-0 Bath 7mins Great hands from George Ford but offloads find touch not final man; Wasps 10m line out
Wasps 3-0 Bath 9mins Wasps over H/W but good defence from particularly Guy Mercer & Ford drills it for 22 line out
Wasps 3-0 Bath 10mins Wasps no option but to infringe to stop Bath so penalty for Ford to tee up
Wasps 3-3 Bath 11mins Ford is bang on target & It's all square at Adams Park
Wasps 3-3 Bath 12mins Weather clears up in the High Wycombe valley & sun pops out as Wasps bear down on Bath 22
Wasps 6-3 Bath 14mins Bath gift such a soft penalty to Wasps & Goode tees up from just outside 22 & doesn't falter
Wasps 6-3 Bath 15mins Bath's restart forces Wasps to clear them out from deep & Bath line out on H/W
Wasps 6-3 Bath 16mins Time off for Chris Bell concussed from Abendanon's shoulder hit; Charlie Hayter on
Wasps 6-3 Bath 17mins Bath 10m defensive line out but Joe Launchbury nicks it & Wasps momentarily on front foot
Wasps 6-3 Bath 18mins But a knock on allows Ford to whack it into touch for line out inside Wasps' 22
Wasps 6-3 Bath 19mins line out affords Bath another penalty & Ford tees up but he pulls it wide of the uprights
Wasps 6-3 Bath 21mins A mis-kick from Goode is too high for Varndell who knocks on & its Bath's defensive scrum
Wasps 6-3 Bath 21mins Had kick been good, Varndell was certainly in for the try with that much space...
Wasps 6-3 Bath 23mins Another good scrum for Bath & penalty goes their way; Ford finds touch for 5m line out
Wasps 6-8 Bath 23mins Excellent line out & massive drive from Bath for Anthony Perenise to score 1st try
Wasps 6-10 Bath 25mins Ford converts from same spot he missed from last time round...Bath have control
Wasps 6-10 Bath 27mins Wasps gather some momentum & pass out wide by ball hurtles into touch...
Wasps 6-10 Bath 28min Bit of a battle in the ruck & Matt Mullan gets attention before Bath scrum inside own 10m
Wasps 6-10 Bath 29mins Another scrum win for Bath & win pen; Ford kicks gives Bath 10m line out
Wasps 6-10 Bath 31mins Wasps find themselves in possession & kick but Abendanon collects & runs it...
Wasps 6-10 Bath 32mins Kyle Eastmond subtly bulldozes over a Wasp or 2 & have line out just over H/W
Wasps 6-10 Bath 33mins line out is good but passing out wide balls finds touch rather than last man & Wasps line out
Wasps 6-10 Bath 33mins Varndell plays volleyball with himself & knocks on in process giving Bath another scrum
Wasps 6-10 Bath 34mins An up & under fails for Wasps as Abendanon saves it & Ford sets up another 22 line out
Wasps 6-10 Bath 35mins Good line out puts Bath all over Wasps' T/L but opportunity lost as turnover gives Goode the clear
Wasps 6-10 Bath 37mins Wasps head into Bath 22 & a neat kick is chased by Andrea Masi but finds touch first
Wasps 6-10 Bath 38mins Bath line out & Peter Stringer goes to kick but charged down & over T/L but saved by Ford
Wasps 11-10 Bath 39mins But Wasps bounce back quickly with excellent sprint from Will Helu who scores behind posts
Wasps 13-10 Bath 40mins A perfect conversion from Andy Goode & Wasps go into break with noses just ahead...
Wasps 13-10 Bath HT T: Helu C: Goode P: Goode (2) | T: Perenise C: Ford P: Ford
Wasps 13-10 Bath 41mins Wasps on the rampage early on & determined to up their score early in 2nd half...
Wasps 13-10 Bath 43mins Poor defence & Kearnan Myall flies over for the try...but ref Poite goes to TMO
Wasps 13-10 Bath 44mins TMO comes back with forward pass call so no try. Fans not happy!
Wasps 13-10 Bath 46mins Wasps end up with defensive 5m line out but Carlo Festuccio's throw is appalling...
Wasps 13-15 Bath 46mins Former Wasps hooker Rob Webber steals the throw & dives over for superb Bath try
Wasps 13-17 Bath 47mins Ford converts & stepped-up captain James Haskell is fuming
Wasps 13-17 Bath 51mins Wasps try their damndest , but it's not going their way anymore...
Wasps 13-17 Bath 53mins A run from their own 22 & Abendanon charges over H/W, offloads to Semesa Rokoduguni...
Wasps 13-17 Bath 54mins Spectacular break almost makes it to T/L but Wasps defence finally wakes up & stops it
Wasps 13-32 Bath 57mins But you can't hold Bath back on a mission & a huge drive takes them over T/L
Wasps 13-24 Bath 58mins Webber cleans up with a second try...& a conversion from Ford seals it
Wasps 13-24 Bath 62mins Wasps not given up the fight yet tho & are pounding on the Bath T/L before pushed back
Wasps 13-24 Bath 63mins All a bit scrappy as Wasps attack again but time off for Charlie Hayter down
Wasps 13-24 Bath 64mins A head bash sees him off again & Joe Carlisle on...
Wasps 13-24 Bath 65mins A huge effort from the Wasps pack & it's try...but TMO'd...there's a surprise
Wasps 18-24 Bath 65mins Eventually TMO realises what we already knew the Johnson has scored for homeside
Wasps 18-24 Bath 66mins Conversion from way out wide doesn't get close from Goode, & Bath aren't having it...
Wasps 18-24 Bath 67mins ...immediately they hurtle for the T/L again & they're over...but off to the TMO...
Wasps 18-24 Bath 67mins Sadly for Bath the curse of the replay shows up a knock on & it's no try...
Wasps 18-24 Bath 70mins Wasps' intent is not backward but an intercept from Bath stops momentum...
Wasps 18-24 Bath 72mins But a knock on gives Wasps advantage, & they're almost off again but Garvey's down
Wasps 18-24 Bath 74mins Garvey off & Banahan replaced by Henson & Faosiliva...
Wasps 18-24 Bath 75mins But Bath down to 14 after tiny Eastmond tips a Wasp twice his side for a yellow
Wasps 18-24 Bath 77mins Huge defensive scrum from Bath is won & Wasps cleared out of 22....
Wasps 18-24 Bath 78mins Rob Webber is Man of the Match as Bath run rings round the Wasps...
Wasps 18-24 Bath FT Wasps tried damndest but it was just short of enough; Bath clean up to book a Cardiff spot
15 Andrea Masi 14 Will Helu 13 Elliot Daly 12 CHRIS BELL (C) 11 Tom Varndell 10 Andy Goode 9 Joe Simpson 1 Matt Mullan 2 Carlo Festuccia 3 Phil Swainston 4 Joe Launchbury 5 Kearnan Myall 6 Ashley Johnson 7 James Haskell 8 Nathan Hughes BENCH: 16 Tom Lindsay 17 Simon McIntyre 18 Taione Vea 19 Tom Palmer 20 Sam Jones 21 Charlie Davies 22 Joe Carlisle 23 Charlie Hayter
SCORERS T: Helu, Johnson C: Goode P: Goode (2)
15 Nick Abendanon 14 Semesa Rokoduguni 13 Jonathan Joseph 12 Kyle Eastmond 11 Matt Banahan 10 George Ford 9 Peter Stringer 1 Nathan Catt 2 Rob Webber 3 Anthony Perenise 4 STUART HOOPER (C) 5 Dominic Day 6 Matt Garvey 7 Guy Mercer 8 Leroy Houston BENCH: 16 Ross Batty 17 Paul James 18 David Wilson 19 Alafoti Fa’osiliva 20 Carl Fearns 21 Micky Young 22 Gavin Henson 23 Anthony Watson
SCORERS T: Perenise, Webber (2) C: Ford (3) P: Ford Eastmond
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR) Asst Referees: Jérôme Garcès (FFR), Pascal Gaüzère (FFR) TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR) Citing Commissioner: Yann Le Doré (FFR)
A quarter-final weekend marked by French frustration and English excellence has thrown up a last four line-up which will guarantee an all-English final of this season’s Amlin Challenge Cup.
If Stade Français and Brive failed to keep their country’s interest in the tournament alive, going down to Harlequins and Bath Rugby respectively, England’s representation in the semi-finals is one with strong European traditions.
Northampton Saints, London Wasps and Bath are the only three clubs to have completed the double of Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup titles since the start of European club rugby in 1995, while Harlequins are three-time winners of the Challenge Cup.
With that sort of pedigree, the semi-finals between Saints and Quins at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday, 25 April and between Wasps and Bath at Adams Park on Sunday, 27 April, are set to be highly competitive.
Northampton booked their place in the last four with a thoroughly convincing 28-14 win over Sale Sharks in the first of the quarter-finals at the AJ Bell Stadium. Four converted tries by the visitors during the first half effectively put paid to Sale’s hopes of adding to the club’s two previous Challenge Cup triumphs in 2005 and 2002.
Saints’ victory was followed by an impressive Harlequins performance at Stade Jean Bouin where Stade Français failed to fire during the second half. It finished 29-6 in Quins’ favour, and having landed the winning conversion in the 2011 Amlin Challenge Cup final between the clubs, Nick Evans was once again Stade’s tormentor-in-chief with a 100 per cent kicking record from his four penalties, a drop goal and a conversion.
Bath stayed right on track to repeat their 2008 Challenge Cup success with a comfortable 39-7 win over Brive at the Recreation Ground where wing Horacio Agulla helped himself to a hat-trick of tries. Ahead 25-0 at the interval, Bath were on cruise control thereafter.
The No 1 seeds from the pool stage will now take on Wasps in the last four in just under three weeks’ time. Wasps for their part were too strong for Gloucester Rugby running out 36-24 winners at Adams Park in their quarter-final.
SALE SHARKS vs NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
AJ Bell Stadium - Thursday 3rd April 2014
KO: 20:00 HT: 7-28 Att: 4,650
SALE SHARKS: Tom Arscott, Tom Brady, Andy Forsyth, Mark Jennings, Rob Miller, Nick MacLeod, Will Cliff, Ross Harrison, Tommy Taylor, Henry Thomas, Andrei Ostrikov, Kirill Kulemin, James Gaskell, Mark Easter, Viliami Fihaki BENCH: Marc Jones, Aston Croall, Tony Buckley, Jon Mills, Michael Paterson, Nathan Fowles, Joe Ford, Phil MacKenzie
SCORERS T: Thomas, Fihaki C: Macleod, Ford Thomas
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS: Ben Foden, Ken Pisi, James Wilson, Tom Stephenson, Fa'atoina Autagavaia, Will Hooley, Lee Dickson, Ethan Waller, Ross McMillan, Tom Mercey, Sam Dickinson, James Craig, Phil Dowson, Ben Nutley, Gerrit-Jan van Velze BENCH: Matt Williams, Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, Gareth Denman, Chris Day, Teimana Harrison, Kahn Fotuali'i, Dominic Waldouck, Jamie Elliott
SCORERS T: Nutley (2), Dickinson, Foden C: Hooley (4) Craig
Man of the Match: Ethan Waller (Northampton Saints)
Referee: Romain Poite
STADE FRANÇAIS vs HARLEQUINS
Stade Jean Bouin - Friday 4th April 2014
KO: 21:00 HT: 6-9 Att: 10,200
STADE FRANÇAIS: Peter Lydon, Richard Kingi, Paul Williams, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara, Morné Steyn, Clement Daguin, Zurabi Zhvania, Laurent Sempere, Davit Kubriashvili, Gerhard Mostert, Carl Wegner, Nicolas Garrault, Olivier Missoup, David Lyons BENCH: Michael Van Vuuren, Romain Frou, Rabah Slimani, Anton van Zyl, Pierre Rabadan, Vincent Mallet, Adrea Cocagi, Meyer Bosman
SCORERS P: Steyn (2)
HARLEQUINS: Mike Brown, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Tim Molenaar, Jordan Turner-Hall, Sam Smith, Nick Evans, Danny Care, Joe Marler, David Ward, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Matthews, George Robson, Luke Wallace, Chris Robshaw, Nick Easter BENCH: Rob Buchanan, Mark Lambert, Paul Doran-Jones, George Merrick, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, Paul Sackey
SCORERS T: Brown, Molenaar C: Evans, Botica P: Evans (4) DG: Evans
Man of the Match: Nick Evans (Harlequins)
Referee: Leighton Hodges
BATH RUGBY vs BRIVE
The Rec - Sunday 6th April 2014
KO: 14:00 HT: 25-0 Att: 9,331
BATH RUGBY: Nick Abendanon, Horacio Agulla, Matthew Banahan, Gavin Henson, Semesa Rokoduguni, George Ford, Micky Young, Nathan Catt, Ross Batty, Anthony Perenise, Dominic Day, Dave Attwood, Matthew Garvey, Guy Mercer, Carl Fearns BENCH: Tom Dunn, Paul James, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Stuart Hooper, Leroy Houston, Martin Roberts, Kyle Eastmond, Anthony Watson
SCORERS T: Agulla (3), Abendanon, Rokoduguni, Young C: Ford (3) P: Ford
BRIVE: Laurent Ferreres, Venione Voretamaya, Baptiste Delage, Thomas Laranjeira, Sevenaia Galala, Romain Sola, Thomas Sanchou, Damien Lavergne, Louis Acosta, Johan Coetzee, Julien Ledevedec, Simon Pinet, Api Naikatini, Fabien Laurent, Kieran Murphy BENCH: Goderdzi Shvelidze, Tamato Leupolu, Yusuf Tuncer, Victor Lebas, Hugues Briatte, Romain Kusiolek, Andrew Mailei, Anderson Neisen
SCORERS T: Murphy C: Larajeira Briatte
Man of the Match: Gavin Henson (Bath Rugby)
Referee: John Lacey
LONDON WASPS vs GLOUCESTER RUGBY
Adams Park - Sunday 6th April 2014
KO: 19:00 HT: 13-3 Att: 5,311
LONDON WASPS: Andrea Masi, James Short, Elliot Daly, Chris Bell, William Helu, Andy Goode, Joe Simpson, Matt Mullan, Carlo Festuccia, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Kearnan Myall, Sam Jones, James Haskell, Nathan Hughes BENCH: Tom Lindsay, Simon McIntyre, Phil Swainston, Tom Palmer, Guy Thompson, Charlie Davies, Joe Carlisle, Charlie Hayter
SCORERS T: Mullan, Festuccia, Helu C: Goode (3) P: Goode (4) DG: Goode Hughes
GLOUCESTER RUGBY: Rob Cook, Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May, Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan, Nick Wood, Daniel George, Shaun Knight, Elliot Stooke, James Hudson, Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan BENCH: Dan Murphy, Yann Thomas, Sila Puafisi, Will James, Gareth Evans, Tavis Knoyle, Thomas Young, Martyn Thomas
SCORERS T: May, Evans, Martin Thomas C: Cook (3) P: Cook
Man of the Match: Nathan Hughes (London Wasps)
Referee: Marius Mitrea
WITH six former tournament champions in the line-up, and with 14 European titles among the qualifiers, the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup promised an intriguing series of Anglo-French clashes as the road to the Cardiff final in May became clearer.
The pairings could not be confirmed until the dying minutes of the final Heineken Cup Round 6 game when Harlequins' late 22-20 victory at Parc y Scarlets booked them a place in the last eight along with the other Heineken Cup qualifiers, Northampton Saints and Gloucester Rugby.
With the five Amlin Challenge Cup pool winners set in stone, No 1 seeds, Bath Rugby, were pitted against Brive, London Wasps would meet Gloucester Rugby, Stade Francais Paris were up against Harlequins, and Sale Sharks would host English rivals, Northampton Saints in early April.
Sale pulled off the success of the Amlin weekend, when three Rob Miller penalties saw them through 9-7 in a tense shoot-out with Biarritz at Parc des Sports Aguilera. 2012 champions, Biarritz, looked at one stage to have secured a knockout spot, but Miller kept his composure to land the match-winning kick two minutes from time.
Meanwhile, it was desperately tight at the top of Pool 5 with Stade Francais and London Irish both finishing on 24 points, however, Stade qualified by virtue of a superior 5-4 match points total from the head-to-head games between the clubs.
Wasps, who like Bath went through the pool stage with six wins from six, saw off Viadana Rugby to take the No 2 seed spot and earn themselves that home tie against Gloucester who clinched a stunning bonus-point victory at Perpignan to qualify as one of the best Heineken Cup pool runners-up.
It seemed as if Harlequins had missed out on their chance of capturing more European silverware, but a Ben Botica penalty three minutes from the end saw them edge out Scarlets for the qualifying place.
WORCESTER WARRIORS 20 - 13 OYONNAX
Sixways Stadium - Saturday 18 January 2014
KO: 15:00 HT: 7-8 Att: 6,180
Warriors T: PT, Stelling C: Mieres (2) P: Mieres (2)
Oyonnax T: Tebani, Bousquet P: Bousquet du Preez
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 7 - 9 SALE SHARKS
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Saturday 18 January 2014
KO: 21:00 HT: 7-6 Att: tbc
Biarritz T: Ngwenya C: Peyrelongue
Sharks P: Miller (3) Taylor, Thomas
BATH RUGBY 54 - 13 BORDEAUX BÈGLES
Recreation Ground - Thursday 16 January 2014
KO: 19:45 HT: 21-6 Att: 10,679
Bath T: Biggs, Ford, Perenise, Joseph, Day, Rokoduguni (2), Eastmond C: Ford (6), Banahan Caldwell
Bordeaux T: Queheille C: Bernard P: Saubusse (2)
RUGBY MOGLIANO 12 - 24 DRAGONS
Stadio Maurizio Quaggia - Thursday 16 January 2014
KO: 20:45 HT: 9-3 Att: 1,000
Mogliano P: Fadalti (4) Halvorsen, Candiago
Dragons T: Wayne Evans, Wardle C: Burton P: Steffan Jones (3), Burton Buck
NEWCASTLE FALCONS 28 - 0 BUCUREŞTI
Kingston Park Stadium - Thursday 16 January 2014
KO: 19:30 HT: 18-0 Att: 2,511
Falcons T: Shortland, PT, Catterick C: Clegg, Godman P: Clegg (3)
București Kinikinilau, Pristavita
BRIVE 31 - 9 CAMMI RUGBY CALVISANO
Stade Amédée Domenech - Thursday 16 January 2014
KO: 20:30 HT: 17-9 Att: 4,000
Brive T: Mafi, Hireche, Sanchou, Delage, Mailei C: Sola (3) Murphy
Calvisano P: Marcello Viola (3) Cavalieri, Griffen
GRENOBLE 34 - 16 BAYONNE
Stade Lesdiguières - Friday 17 January 2014
KO: 19:30 HT: 8-13 Att: 6,190
Grenoble T: Roodt, Alexandre, Ratini, Nicolas, Campo C: Hart (2), Caminati P: Hart Vanderglas
Bayonne T: Monribot C: Brett P: Brett (3)
LONDON WASPS 64 - 17 VIADANA
Adams Park - Sunday 19 January 2014
KO: 14:00 HT: 31-5 Att: 3,029
Wasps T: Johnson, Daly (3), Varndell (2), Helu, Simpson, Vea, Carlisle C: Carlisle (7)
Viadana T: Sintich, Monfrino, Travagli C: Sanchez
LUSITANOS XV 15 - 48 STADE FRANÇAIS
Estadio Pepe Rojo - Thursday 16 January 2014
KO: 20:00 HT: 10-10 Att: 350
Lusitanos T: Bettencourt Avila, Miranda C: Penha e Costa P: Penha e Costa
Stade T: Nayacalevu, Porical, Zhvania, PT, Bonfils, Kingi, Burban C: Porical (5) P: Porical Bonfils
I CAVALIERI PRATO 0 - 49 LONDON IRISH
Stadio Enrico Chersoni - Saturday 18 January 2014
KO: 14:30 HT: 0-28 Att: 1,000
Irish T: Parr, Danaher, Fenby, Cowan (2), Evans, Lewington C: Geraghty (4), Dorian (3)
BATH RUGBY and London Wasps have booked their places in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals, but the six clubs who will accompany the English duo into the knockout stage and the top four seeds to determine who has the advantage of a home quarter-final will only be revealed after the Round 6 matches.
Last season’s beaten finalists, Stade Français, and Brive appear to be on course to join Bath and Wasps in the last eight from Pools 5 and 3 respectively, however, the identity of who will emerge from Pool 1 is nowhere near as apparent.
The 2012 champions, Biarritz Olympique, looked to be in control of the pool until their 28-24 defeat by Oyonnax, and following Sale Sharks’ win over Worcester Warriors, the English club now have the advantage as they go to the Basque country armed with a four-point lead.
It’s more clear-cut in Pool 2 where Bath are powering ahead and likewise for Wasps in Pool 4 who impressively got the better of Bayonne at Stade Jean Dauger.
With the road to the Cardiff finals next May in mind, the five pool winners will be joined in the quarter-finals by the third, fourth and fifth best Heineken Cup pool runners-up with the likes of Northampton Saints, Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Glasgow Warriors and Scarlets among the contenders to qualify.
SALE SHARKS 21 - 3 WORCESTER WARRIORS
Salford City Stadium - Friday 10 January 2014
KO: 20:00 HT: 11-3 Att: 3,027
Sharks T: Peel, Mills, Tuitupou P: Cipriani (2) Tuitupou
Warriors P: Warwick
OYONNAX 28 - 24 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE
Stade Charles-Mathon - Saturday 11 January 2014
KO: 15:30 HT: 18-10 Att: 6,654
Oyonnax T: Vullemin, Codjo, Paea, Hansell-Pune C: Bousquet P: Bousquet (2)
Biarritz T: Burotu, Pietersen, Thomas C: Peyrelongue (3) P: Peyrelongue
BORDEAUX BÈGLES 64 - 7 RUGBY MOGLIANO
Stade André Moga - Friday 10 January 2014
KO: 19:30 HT: 21-0 Att: 2,200
Bordeaux T: PT, Lacroix (2), Tauleigne, Gibouin, Toetu, Lilomaiava, Brousse, Tuculet (2) C: Serin (4), Lacroix, Saubusse (2) Lilomaiva
Mogliano T: Bacchin C: Cornwell
DRAGONS 13 - 30 BATH RUGBY
Rodney Parade - Saturday 11 January 2014
KO: 14:30 HT: 6-27 Att: 6,063
Dragons T: Cudd C: Steffan Jones P: Steffan Jones (2)
Bath T: Young, Biggs, Gilbert, Houston C: Heathcote (2) P: Heathcote (2)
NEWCASTLE FALCONS 7 - 9 BRIVE
Kingston Park Stadium - Thursday 09 January 2014
KO: 19:45 HT: 7-3 Att: 2,650
Falcons C: PT C: Hodgson
Brive P: Laranjeira (3) Naikatini, Murphy
CAMMI CALVISANO 11 - 23 BUCUREŞTI
Peroni Stadium - Saturday 11 January 2014
KO: 14:30 HT: 11-23 Att: 1,500
Calvisano T: de Jager P: Griffen (2) Cavalieri
București T: van Heerden, Lucaci C: Vlaicu (2) P: Vlaicu (3) Burcea
VIADANA 19 - 19 GRENOBLE
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella - Saturday 11 January 2014
KO: 14:00 HT: 12-5 Att: 750
Viadana T: Robertson, Amadasi, Monfrino C: Sanchez, John Apperley Moreschi
Grenoble T: Nicholas (2), Michallet C: Michallet (2) Loree, Bezy
BAYONNE 13 - 26 LONDON WASPS
Stade Jean Dauger - Saturday 11 January 2014
KO: 21:00 HT: 6-14 Att: 4,746
Bayonne T: Chisholm C: Bustos Moyano P: Bustos Moyano (2) Bustos Moyano
Wasps T: Davies, Launchbury, Varndell C: Carlisle P: Goode (3)
STADE FRANÇAIS 31 - 3 I CAVALIERI PRATO
Stade Jean Bouin - Thursday 09 January 2014
KO: 20:30 HT: 17-0 Att: 5,939
Stade T: Camara, Frou, Kingi, van Zyl C: Porical (4) P: Porical
Cavalieri P: Falsaperla Bernini
LONDON IRISH 79 - 3 LUSITANOS XV
Madejski Stadium - Saturday 11 January 2014
KO: 15:00 HT: 36-3 Att: 4,714
Irish T: Armitage (2), Fenby (3), PT, Fowlie (2), Sinclair, Evans, Low, Danaher, Homer C: Geraghty (3), Dorrian (4)
Lusitanos P: Pedro Leal
ALTHOUGH London Wasps and Bath Rugby lead the way as the two highest-ranked clubs following the Amlin Challenge Cup Round 3 and 4 back-to-back fixtures, a strong French presence remains as the tournament pauses before the final set of pool games in the New Year.
With both English clubs on four wins from four, and 18 match points, Wasps currently edge the verdict in the race to be the top seed going into the April 2014 quarter-finals with 25 tries to Bath's 22, however, Stade Français, Brive, Biarritz Olympique and Bayonne are still very much in the shake-up to reach the knockout stage.
With the tries flowing at an average of nearly six a game during the four rounds to date, Wasps are already looking ahead to their Round 5 trip to Bayonne in January which has all the makings of a Pool 4 decider. Boosted by last weekend's 32-12 win over Grenoble at Adams Park in which James Haskell and Tom Varndell crossed for tries, and Joe Carlisle added 19 points with the boot, Wasps have a three-point advantage over the Basque club who were comprehensive winners against Rugby Viadana.
Bath, who have never failed to qualify for the knockout stage in their previous five seasons in the Challenge Cup, eased past Rugby Mogliano at the Recreation Ground thanks in no small way to Matt Banahan's four-try haul, and armed with an eight-point lead over Newport Gwent Dragons in second place, they are in firm control of Pool 2. Their Round 5 clash with the Dragons at Rodney Parade could be decisive.
It is much tighter at the top of Pool 5 where Stade Français and London Irish both have 14 points. With games to follow against I Cavalieri Prato and Lusitanos XV, qualification could come down to match points from the back-to-back fixtures and Stade lead the way 5-4 courtesy of Antoine Burban's late try which secured a 32-14 bonus-point victory over Irish at Stade Jean Bouin.
In Pool 1, Biarritz survived a second-half red card for their prop, Thomas Synaeghel, to come through 33-25 against Worcester Warriors at Parc des Sports Aguilera with a bonus point. Wing Teddy Thomas made the difference with two second half tries for the French club who now trail Sale Sharks – comfortable winners against Oyonnax – by just one point with the possibility of a pool showdown between the two former champions in Round 6.
The business end of Pool 3 is also highly competitive with Brive and Newcastle Falcons both on 14 points after victories over Bucharest Wolves and Cammi Rugby Calvisano respectively. The two pace-setters are scheduled to meet at Kingston Park in Round 5 with the winners in a strong position to reach the quarter-finals.
Jerome Porical of Stade Francais has moved to the top of the tournament scoring charts with 66 points, while Wasps back row, Guy Thompson, is the leading try scorer with five.
SALE SHARKS 53 - 14 OYONNAX
Salford City Stadium - Friday 13 December 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 34-0 Att: tbc
Sharks T: Gaskell, Cipriani (2), Braid, Cueto, Miller, Paterson C: Cipriani (6) P: Cipriani (2)
Oyonnax T: Codjo, Hansell-Pune C: Vuillemin, Hansell-Pune
BIARRITZ 33 - 25 WORCESTER WARRIORS
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Thursday 12 December 2013
KO: 20:45 HT: 12-13 Att: tbc
Biarritz T: Lesgourgues (2), Thomas (2) C: Peyrelongue, Baby P: Lesgourgues, Baby (2) Synaeghel Synaeghel
Warriors T: Su'a, Stelling, Warwick C: Mieres, Warwick P: Mieres (2)
BORDEAUX BÈGLES 32 - 13 DRAGONS
Stade André Moga - Thursday 12 December 2013
KO: 19:30 HT: 19-13 Att: tbc
Bordeaux T: Sanchez, Lilomaiava, Poirot C: Sanchez P: Sanchez (5)
Dragons T: Faletau C: Tovey P: Tovey (2) Coombs, Lewis Evans, Sidoli
BATH RUGBY 63 - 0 RUGBY MOGLIANO
Recreation Ground - Saturday 14 December 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 29-0 Att: tbc
Bath T: Fearns (2), Banahan (4), Garvey, Ford, PT, Woodburn (2) C: Ford (4)
Mogliano Halvorsen, Ferrari
BRIVE 20 - 9 BUCHAREST WOLVES
Stade Amédée Domenech - Thursday 12 December 2013
KO: 19:30 HT: 3-9 Att: tbc
Brive T: Lebas, Mafi C: Laranjeira (2) P: Laranjeira (2)
Bucureşti P: Vlaicu (3)
CALVISANO 10 - 25 NEWCASTLE FALCONS
Peroni Stadium - Saturday 14 December 2013
KO: 14:30 HT: 3-20 Att: tbc
Calvisano T: Hehea C: Haimona P: Haimona Romano
Falcons T: Kibirige (2), Clegg C: Godman, Clegg P: Godman, Clegg Lawson, McKenzie
VIADANA 19 - 80 BAYONNE
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella - Saturday 14 December 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 12-40 Att: tbc
Viadana T: Padro, Yakopo, Amadasi C: Sanchez (2) Padro
Bayonne T: Rouet, Fuster, Fonua, Fa'aoso (2), Roumieu (2), Fernandez, Bustos Moyano (2), Ugalde, Rokocoko C: Bustos Moyano (6), Belie (4)
LONDON WASPS 32 - 12 GRENOBLE
Adams Park - Sunday 15 December 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 16-0 Att: tbc
Wasps T: Haskell, Varndell C: Carlisle (2) P: Carlisle (5), Daly
Grenoble T: Ratini (2) C: Bezy
LUSITANOS XV 19 - 30 I CAVALIERI PRATO
Estadio Pepe Rojo - Thursday 12 December 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 7-18 Att: tbc
Lusitanos T: Fragoso Mendes, Foro, Salgueiro C: Penha e Costa (2) Segurado
Cavalieri T: PT, Bernini (2), Cicchinelli C: Browne (2) P: Vezzosi, Browne
STADE FRANÇAIS 32 - 14 LONDON IRISH
Stade Jean Bouin - Saturday 14 December 2013
KO: 21:00 HT: 20-14 Att: tbc
Stade T: Plisson, van Vuuren, Porical, Burban C: Porical (3) P: Porical (2) Doumayrou
Irish T: Fenby P: Geraghty (3) Halavatau
LONDON IRISH, London Wasps and Bath Rugby are the only clubs with three wins apiece following the first series of back-to-back fixtures in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
On a weekend when French club Oyonnax registered a first victory in European competition, and when I Cavalieri Prato of Italy opened their account for the season, London Irish made a major statement in Pool 5 with a 24-13 success over last season’s beaten finalists, Stade Français, at the Madejski Stadium. Tries by wing Tom Fowlie and full-back Alex Lewington, plus 14 points from the boot of Shane Geraghty, propelled Irish to a valuable win which puts them five points clear of Stade at the top of the pool going into Saturday’s return match as Stade Jean Bouin.
There was also some serious intent from Wasps who registered a comprehensive 47-7 bonus point win over Grenoble in Pool 4 at Stade Lesdiguières. Powered by Amlin Challenge Cup Man of the Match, Joe Launchbury, Wasps ran in seven tries to bring their points total to 14, four in front of Bayonne who were comfortable 63-7 winners over Rugby Viadana.
Bath also remain on track for yet another quarter-final qualification on the back of their 55-8 win in Italy against Rugby Mogliano, however, the English club are being pursued closely in Pool 2 by Newport Gwent Dragons who were impressive bonus-point victors over Bordeaux Bègles at Rodney Parade where Toby Faletau was among the try scorers.
Meanwhile, it’s tight at the business end of Pool 1 where Biarritz Olympique’s dramatic last play win over Worcester Warriors at Sixways put them back in contention for a knockout spot just a single point behind leaders Sale Sharks. For their part, Sale lost out 16-10 to Oyonnax at Stade Charles Mathon, however, Joe Ford’s late drop goal which secured a losing bonus point could prove vital when the qualification places are decided.
Bucharest Wolves, who are having a strong season to date, were edged out at home 18-13 by Brive. The French are at the top of Pool 3 along with Newcastle Falcons who saw off the challenge of Cammi Rugby Calvisano 37-15 at Kingston Park.
The Brive fly half, Thomas Laranjeira, leads the points scorers after three rounds on 43 with Myles Dorrian of London Irish next on 40, while London Wasps’ flanker, Guy Thompson, is the tournament’s leading try scorer with five.
“A fully professional Premiership side should win home and away in games like these against a semi-pro Italian team, but there are two things you always look for. Firstly, you want a bonus point and the second is no injuries. On those two scores, it was mission accomplished and we can now look forward to doing the same thing at home in Round 4. It was also good for us to be able to give some meaningful game time to players coming back from injury.”
Mike Ford, Bath Rugby Head Coach (Rugby Mogliano 8 Bath Rugby 55)
“It was a great game that we should have edged. We're just disappointed that we couldn't close those last five minutes out. Two or three sparkling moments isn't enough so we have to keep challenging ourselves to get better. We need to keep being accountable for our actions and we will keep improving defensively.”
Dean Ryan, Worcester DoR (Worcester Warriors 15 Biarritz Olympique 19)
“I’m pleased with the result, but I’m even more pleased with the way in which the youngsters played – I thought they played their hearts out. You look at George McGuigan, Scott Wilson and Grant Shiells in the front row and they don’t hold back at all, and they give it their all. Technically there are some issues with their game but we’ll look at that, and it’s all part and parcel of their development.”
Dean Richards, Falcons DoR (Newcastle Falcons 37 Cammi Rugby Calvisano 15)
“We were outstanding tonight. I certainly wouldn’t have put money on us coming out here and beating them by 40 points. They are hard to beat at home but we were on top all night. The pack were outstanding early doors and the backs really spread the ball really well and stretched them.”
Dai Young, London Wasps DoR (Grenoble 7 London Wasps 47)
* * * * * * *
WORCESTER WARRIORS 15 - 19 BIARRITZ
Sixways Stadium - Thursday 05 December 2013
KO: 19:45 HT: 13-7 Att: 4,615
Warriors T: Figuerola C: Urdapilleta P: Urdapilleta (2), Vuillemin
Biarritz T: MacKenzie C: Macleod DG: Ford
OYONNAX 16 - 10 SALE SHARKS
Stade Charles-Mathon - Thursday 05 December 2013
KO: 20:45 HT: 12-7 Att: 5,000
Oyonnax T: Hammond, Grove C: Pennell P: Pennell Fainga'anuku
Sharks T: Ngwenya, Lesgourgues, Molcard C: Peyrelongue (2) Barcella
DRAGONS 40 - 24 BORDEAUX BÈGLES
Rodney Parade - Friday 06 December 2013
KO: 19:15 HT: 22-10 Att: 4,083
Dragons T: Leach, Pewtner, Amos, Faletau, Smith C: Tovey (3) P: Tovey (3)
Bordeaux T: Poirot, PT, Lamotte C: Saubusse (2), Lonca P: Saubusse
RUGBY MOGLIANO 8 - 55 BATH RUGBY
Stadio Maurizio Quaggia - Saturday 07 December 2013
KO: 14:00 HT: 3-26 Att: 2,000
Mogliano T: Andrea Ceccato P: Cornwell
Bath T: Day (2), Fearns, Lane (3), Eastmond, PT, Biggs C: Heathcote (5)
BUCHAREST WOLVES 13 - 18 BRIVE
Arcul de Triumf - Saturday 07 December 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 6-9 Att: 1,200
Wolves T: Poparlan C: Vlaicu P: Vlaicu (2) Sasu
Brive P: Laranjeira (5) DG: Ferreres Pinet
NEWCASTLE FALCONS 37 - 15 CALVISANO
Kingston Park Stadium - Sunday 08 December 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 20-8 Att: tbc
Falcons T: Kilbirige, Cato (2), PT, York C: Clegg (3) P: Clegg (2) Welch, Hodgson
Calvisano T: Visentin, Steyn C: Haimona P: Haimona Castello, Mbanda, Piccone, Romano
BAYONNE 63 - 7 VIADANA
Stade Jean Dauger - Friday 06 December 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 42-7 Att: 2,022
Bayonne T: Bernad, Rouet (2), Gerber (2), Ahotaeiloa (2), Bustos Moyano, Fuster C: Brett (9) Muller
Viadana P: PT C: Fenner
GRENOBLE 7 - 47 LONDON WASPS
Stade Lesdiguières - Saturday 07 December 2013
KO: 21:00 HT: 0-14 Att: 6,800
Grenoble T: Beal C: Caminati
Wasps T: Helu, Thompson (2), Hayter (2), Moates, Bassett C: Carlisle (3), Tommy Bell (3)
I CAVALIERI PRATO 40 - 22 LUSITANOS XV
Stadio Enrico Chersoni - Saturday 07 December 2013
KO: 14:00 HT: 26-10 Att: 600
Cavalieri T: PT, Majstorovic, Tempestini, Vezzosi, von Grumbkow, Souare C: Browne (5)
Lusitanos T: Cunha, Fragoso Mendes (2) C: Covas, Penha e Costa P: Covas Almeida
LONDON IRISH 24 - 13 STADE FRANÇAIS
Madejski Stadium - Sunday 08 December 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 14-3 Att: tbc
Irish T: Fowlie, Lewington C: Geraghty P: Geraghty (4) Mulchrone, Rouse, Mayhew
Stade T: Missoup C: Porical P: Porical (2) Camara, Sempere
LONDON IRISH are the only club in European competition with maximum points after the opening two rounds of the 2013/14 season.
Following last weekend’s conclusive 67-6 Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Portuguese newcomers, Lusitanos XV, in Lisbon, London Irish sit on top of Pool 5 with 10 points.
Sale Sharks, Bath Rugby, London Wasps and Stade Français have also registered two wins to date ahead of December’s key series of back-to-back fixtures in Rounds 3 and 4.
The highlight of last weekend’s matches was the performance of I Cavalieri Prato who came within two agonising minutes of recording an historic upset before losing out 16-17 at Stade Enrico Chersoni to last season’s beaten finalists, Stade Français.
Despite having Giacomo Bernini sent off by referee David Wilkinson during the first half for allegedly striking an opponent with his head, and then having two more players yellow carded in the final quarter, Prato led 16-10 with 10 minutes remaining. It seemed as if the Italians would hold out for what would have been the shock result of the round when back row, Nicolas Garrault, scored a try in the 78th minute which was converted by Jerome Porical to complete an escape act for the Paris club.
Elsewhere, there were important wins for Pool 4 leaders, Wasps, over Bayonne, and for Biarritz, who bounced back after their Round 1 defeat at Sale to defeat Oyonnax 26-6 at Parc des Sports Aguilera.
Bath Rugby continue to blaze an unbeaten pool trail in the tournament following their 26-10 success over Newport Gwent Dragons in front of an Amlin Challenge Cup attendance record for the Recreation Ground of 11,862, while Bucharest Wolves enhanced their reputation as a force at home by defeating Cammi Rugby Calvisano 37-15 at Stadium Arcul de Triumf.
The winners’ inside centre, Florin Vlaicu, set a new club record for a European game with an impressive personal tally of 27 points from a try, six penalties and two conversions.
In-form Sale remain on course for qualification for the knockout stage after a 29-15 win over Worcester Warriors at Sixways, while Newcastle Falcons came away from Brive in Pool 3 with a losing bonus point after a 23-16 defeat.
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 26 - 6 OYONNAX
Parc des Sports Aguilera - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 14-3
Biarritz T: Furno, Taele-Pavihi, Burotu, van Staden C: Yachvili (3)
Oyonnax P: Vuillemin, Bousquet Jenneker
WORCESTER WARRIORS 15 - 29 SALE SHARKS
Sixways Stadium - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 3-24
Warriors T: Grove, Williams C: Warwick P: Warwick Galarza
Sharks T: Miller, PT, Peel, Easter C: Cipriani (3) P: Cipriani Tuitupou
RUGBY MOGLIANO 20 - 32 BORDEAUX BÈGLES
Stadio Maurizio Quaggia - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 14:00 HT: 3-13
Mogliano T: Cornwell, Boni C: Fadalti (2) P: Fadalti (2)
Bordeaux T: Graham, Lilomaiava, PT, Lonca C: Sanchez (3) P: Sanchez (2) Tu'ifua
BATH RUGBY 26 - 10 DRAGONS
Recreation Ground - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 10-10
Bath T: Lane, Gilbert C: Heathcote (2) P: Heathcote (4)
Dragons T: Faletau C: Tovey P: Tovey Lewis Evans
BUCHAREST WOLVES 37 - 15 CALVISANO
Arcul de Triumf - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 17-12
Bucareşti T: Vlaicu, Kinikinilau, Poparlan C: Vlaicu (2) P: Vlaicu (6) Lucaci
Calvisano P: Haimona (5)
BRIVE 23 - 16 NEWCASTLE FALCONS
Stade Amédée Domenech - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 21:00 HT: 13-5
Brive T: Laranjeira, Voretamaya C: Laranjeira (2) P: Laranjeira (3) Pinet, Laurent
Falcons T: Lawson, Shortland P: Godman (2) Tomaszczyk
LONDON WASPS 26 - 10 BAYONNE
Adams Park - Thursday 17 October 2013
KO: 19:45 HT: 6-10
WASPS T: Jackson, Bassett C: Goode (2) P: Goode (4)
BAYONNE T: Gerber C: Brett P: Brett Bernad, Boutaty
GRENOBLE 40 - 7 VIADANA
Stade Lesdiguières - Friday 18 October 2013
KO: 19:30 HT: 40-7
GRENOBLE T: Beal (2), Michallet (2), Kilioni (2) C: Bezy (5) Hulme
VIADANA T: Yakopo C: Apperley Minari
I CAVALIERI PRATO 16 - 17 STADE FRANÇAIS
Stadio Enrico Chersoni - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 14:00 HT: 3-0
Cavalieri T: Souare C: Browne P: Browne (2) DG: Majstorovic Boscolo, Patelli, Tempestini RC Bernini
Stade T: PT, Garrault C: Porical (2) P: Porical Pape, Slimani
LUSITANOS XV 6 - 67 LONDON IRISH
Estadio Pepe Rojo - Saturday 19 October 2013
KO: 17:00 HT: 6-20
Lusitanos P: Cabral (2) Segurado, D'Orey, Correia
Irish T: Tagicakibau, Cowan, Yarde (2), Stevens (2), Lewington, Treviranus, Allinson C: Dorrian (7), Allinson P: Dorrian (2) Yarde
FROM Sale Sharks’ dominant performance against Biarritz Olympique to Bath Rugby’s impressive away victory over Bordeaux-Bègles, Round 1 of the Amlin Challenge Cup produced its share of prized wins, battling draws, records and tries galore.
With a grand total of 56 tries from the 10 fixtures, there were also some outstanding displays on the statistics charts with Bayonne centre, Bastien Fuster, making 164 metres from a first-round high of 22 carries in his side’s home win over Grenoble, while Bath No 8, Carl Fearns, topped the tackle list with 20 at Stade Chaban-Delmas.
Tournament debutants, Oyonnax, salvaged a 9-9 draw with Worcester Warriors at Stade Charles-Mathon in Pool 1 where Conrad Barnard’s late penalty earned last season’s Pro D2 champions a share of the points, and there was another even more striking draw for Cammi Rugby Calvisano whose chance of glory against Brive in Pool 3 was spoiled by a last-gasp Lucas Lyons try which gave the French club a 20-20 reprieve.
There were victories on the road for Bath for whom George Ford landed five penalties in the 15-9 success in Bordeaux in front of a 15,542 attendance, and for Newcastle Falcons who edged out Bucharest Wolves 13-12 at Stadium Arcul de Triumf. The Wolves were on the verge of a famous win when Newcastle full-back, Tom Catterick, stepped up to kick the vital penalty four minutes from time.
London Wasps travelled to Rugby Viadana and broke a host of Amlin Challenge Cup records for the club in the process as they strolled to a 90-17 win. It was Wasps’ record points total, their record winning margin, and their 14 tries was also a new high in the tournament. Joe Carlisle’s 10 conversions set another record for Dai Young’s side.
Newport Gwent Dragons also got their campaign off to winning ways with a 50-8 bonus-point verdict over Italian champions, Rugby Mogliano, and the Welsh region’s clash with Bath at the Recreation Ground on Saturday will be one of the highlights of Round 2.
Sale’s 33-10 home win over the 2012 champions, Biarritz, was an ideal start Steve Diamond’s squad, but they will need to continue their recent good form when they travel to Sixways on Saturday to face Worcester in a highly-competitive Pool 1.
In Pool 5, there was a maximum five points for last season’s beaten finalists, Stade Français, who got the better of European newcomers, Lusitanos XV, 61-3 at Stade Jean Bouin, while London Irish eased past I Cavalieri Prato 60-11 at home.
SALE SHARKS 33 - 10 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE
Salford City Stadium - Thursday 10 October 2013
KO: 19:45 HT: 16-3
SALE T: PT (2), Ostrikov C: Ford (2), Cipriani P: Ford (3) DG: Ford
BIARRITZ T: van Staaden C: Peyrelongue P: Peyrelongue Gomez Kodela
OYONNAX 9 - 9 WORCESTER WARRIORS
Stade Charles - Mathon - Saturday 12 October 2013
KO: 18:30 HT: 3-9
OYANNAX P: Barnard
WARRIORS P: Warwick (3)
DRAGONS 50 - 8 RUGBY MOGLIANO
Rodney Parade - Friday 11 October 2013
KO: 19:15 HT: 31-3
DRAGONS T: Wardle, Tetaz Chaparro, Jonathan Evans, Harries (2), Ieuan Jones, Hughes C: Burton (6) P: Burton Cudd, Adam Jones
MOGLIANO T: Boni P: Fadalti Endrizzi
BORDEAUX BÈGLES 6 - 15 BATH RUGBY
Stade Chaban - Delmas - Saturday 12 October 2013
KO: 21:00 HT: 3-9
BORDEAUX P: Saubusse (2) le Bourhis
BATH P: Ford (5) Spencer, James
BUCUREŞTI 12 - 13 NEWCASTLE FALCONS
Arcul de Triumf - Saturday 12 October 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 12-10
BUCUREŞTI P: Calafeteanu (4) Hihetah
FALCONS T: Powell C: Hodgson P: Hodgson, Catterick
CAMMI RUGBY CALVISANO 20 - 20 BRIVE
Peroni Stadium - Saturday 12 October 2013
KO: 19:30 HT: 13-10
CALVISANO T: de Jager, Visentin C: Haimona P: Haimona Drissi RC Drissi
BRIVE T: Pinet, Lyons C: Laranjeira (2) P: Laranjeira (2) Laurent, Uanivi
BAYONNE 37 - 6 GRENOBLE
Stade Jean Dauger - Thursday 10 October 2013
KO: 20:45 HT: 23-6
BAYONNE T: Arganese, Gerber, Ugalde, Fonua C: Bustos Moyano (3), Brett P: Bustos Moyano (3)
GRENOBLE P: Bezy (2)
VIADANA 17 - 90 LONDON WASPS
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella - Saturday 12 October 2013
KO: 15:00 HT: 10-56
VIADANA T: Barbieri, Fenner C: Fenner (2) P: Fenner Yakopo
WASPS T: Helu (3), PT, Myall, Thompson (3), Tommy Bell, McIntyre, Moates (2), Hayter, Simpson C: Carlisle (10)
STADE FRANÇAIS 61 - 3 LUSITANOS XV
Stade Jean Bouin - Thursday 10 October 2013
KO: 20:45 HT: 35-3
STADE T: Cocagi, Garrault, Arias (2), Porical (2), van Zyl, Rabadan, Kingi C: Porical (6), Lydon, Mallet
LUSITANOS P: Cabral
LONDON IRISH 60 - 11 I CAVALIERI PRATO
Madejski Stadium - Friday 11 October 2013
KO: 20:00 HT: 27-3
IRISH T: Stevens, Dorrian, Fenby, Tagicakibau, Mulchrone (2), Lewington, Allinson, Halavatau C: Dorrain (5), Allinson P: Dorrain Halavatau
CAVALIERI T: de Gregori P: Browne (2) Gerosa
10/11/12/13 October 2013
17/18/19/20 October 2013
5/6/7/8 December 2013
12/13/14/15 December 2013
9/10/11/12 January 2014
16/17/18/19 January 2014
3/4/5/6 April 2014
25/26/27 April 2014
AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP FINAL
Cardiff Arms Park - Friday, 23 May 2014
KO: 20.00 BST