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ERC Final

Amlin Challenge Cup The Final 2012

Biarritz Olympique BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUEBiarritz win ACC Final 2012

Biarritz Olympique BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 21 - 18 TOULON Toulon

Twickenham Stoop - Friday 18th May 2012
KO: 20:00 BST/21:00 CET HT: 9-12 Att: 9,376

SINCE 2000, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque have always managed to qualify for the Heineken Cup, but this season dropped to the Amlin Challenge Cup in qualification for the knock out stages. They previously twice made it to the Heineken Cup Final in 2006 and 2010, but lost out to Munster and Stade Toulousain on both occasions. But Biarritz have not been devoid of silverware over the years, having won the Top 14 Championship in ‘02, ‘05 and ‘06. However this year, the Basque side came a paltry 9th in their domestic competition, and winning the Amlin Challenge Cup was the only means of reaching the Heineken Cup for 2012-13 season.

Toulon, on the other hand, are set for the play offs of the Top 14 this season having finished third in the league, but despite having all the money and attracting the biggest names in world rugby, have not won any trophies for 20 years. The last time was a similar battle against Biarritz Olympique, when Rugby Club Toulonnais (RCT) took the Basque side to task and won the Top 14 title in 1992.

In the big scheme of things, Biarritz had nothing to lose; this was the last game of their season, and could throw caution to the wind. Toulon had yet to battle Racing Métro 92 the following week in the hope of making the Top 14 semi finals in a fortnight. But the weather gods had no plans to allow this to be an open free-flowing game, and from the starting whistle, the rain came in and progressively worsened.

ACC Final 2012 Dimitri YachviliToulon spent the entire 80 minutes chasing the score, as Biarritz heaped on the pressure from the outset, forcing RCT to defend from deep within their own 22 from early on. It took Toulon just 4 minutes to hand over penalty no. #1 which took France and Biarritz scrum half, Dimitri Yachvili just a moment to open the scoring, but another 4 minutes passed and former Rugby World Cup-winning England fly half, Jonny Wilkinson, had equalised.

This match was to become purely a battle of the kickers in a tryless game, and it was a formidable one with two world-class players in the mix. 33 penalties were conceded, Biarritz gifting two more than RCT, but it was Yachvili’s boot that had 100% accuracy kicking 7 from 7, giving the Basque team the edge they needed in this final campaign for the Challenge Cup. Sadly for the inimitable Jonny, despite a trademark drop goal to boot, he managed only 5 of his 8 attempts at the uprights.

Unfortunately, any attempt by either side at building momentum was stifled by referee Wayne Barnes at every turn. Toulon were superior at the scrum, winning all five of their put-ins whilst Biarritz lost all theirs, but the Basque team were ahead of the game in the lineouts thanks mostly to captain Imanol Harinordoquy who hooked in many a throw-in with balletic class, stealing 5 of RCT’s 14, and losing only two of his own. By halftime, Biarritz were just ahead 12 points to 9.

Acc Final 2012 Toulon scrum

For a French match on English soil, the supporters did the occasion proud with over 9,000 braving the unseasonal cold and rain, both from over the Channel and home turf. And the Europeans brought with them their trademark brass band and drummers to rev up the atmosphere in true French style, which obviously had to be savoured in reality, since TV reports suggested an uninteresting match.

ACC Final 2012 Lawrence DallaglioDuring half time, Amlin Challenge Cup Ambassador, Lawrence Dallaglio made an appearance fresh from the Dallaglio/Flintoff CycleSlam which left the birthplace of the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece 22 days previously, and ended at the Olympic Park in London this afternoon. He thanked everyone who had contributed towards the £1.8million raised so far for the Dallaglio Foundation, the AF Foundation and Virgin Unite. Rugby World Cup-winning England & British Lion, Lawrence Dallaglio was joined on this 2012 CycleSlam by England cricketing legend, Andrew Flintoff, and together, with a team of over 200 stage riders, completed the 2,872km journey.

At the start of the second half, Biarritz replaced Yvan Watremez with Sylvain Marconnet at prop for his final professional rugby match, following an impressive 18-year professional career with 84 caps for France that began at Grenoble, spending 14 years at Stade Français before moving to Biarritz for his swansong. But the Basques wasted no time in handing over an early penalty, and Jonny quickly equalised. Exactly as the first half had started, no sooner had the score reached 12-all, Toulon returned the penalty favour & Yachvili bolted ahead by 3 again. The penalty arose from Carl Hayman dangerously tip-tackling Taku Ngwenya and driving him into the ground, for which Ref Barnes only saw fit to award a yellow card; any other ref would no doubt have made it a straight red.

ACC Final 2012 Steffon Armitage Top 14 Player of SeasonThe replacements began to filter onto the pitch, and Toulon finally began to gain some territory, but good defence prevented the advantage from amounting to anything. With Hayman still in the bin for another three minutes, Steffon Armitage then added to Toulon’s woes with a second yellow for blatantly infringing at the ruck in his own 22, and Yachvili added another 3-pointer, bringing the score to 18-12.

Heading into the final quarter, Jonny reduced the deficit to 3 again, and RCT were soon to return to their full complement of XV. And finally the Jonny magic came into play as he dropped a magnificent goal to equalise for the fifth time, and just 15 minutes left on the clock.

ACC Final 2012 Jonny Wilkinson tees upAfter a relentless bout of aerial football, Biarritz got a handle on the game and good hands took them some way forward until Jean-Pascal Barraque could not quite catch an offload and the ball found touch. Jonny took an enormous 50 metre punt which fell short, but with less than 10 minutes remaining, the match began to look as if extra time may be on the cards.

Toulon began to look dangerous just outside the Biarritz 22, but eventually play returned to the other half of the pitch, and a final penalty gave Yachvili the opportunity to kick the last points of the game...the score 21-18 with 7 minutes remaining.

Toulon were damned if there were about to let this go without a fight, and the final minutes were spent advancing on the Biarritz 22, but the winning side were careful not to concede anything with the spectre of Jonny looming in such close proximity ready for a penalty or drop goal opportunity. But at 2 minutes passed the 80 mark, it was Biarritz who won the penalty, and as the ball found touch, Biarritz and their fans erupted onto the pitch, whilst dejected Toulon wandered aimlessly.

ACC Final 2012 Imanol Harinordoquy Captain Biarritz OlympiqueBut more entertainment was yet to come with none of the security staff prepared for the onslaught of fans, who despite repeated protestations over the tannoy in both French and ever-weary English, would not remove themselves from the pitch, determined to celebrate with their team, serenading the winners with both drums and the brass band; there was to be no parting of the red (and white) sea to allow the dais to be erected for the formal presentation. The trophy was eventually handed over to captain Imanol Harinordoquy amongst the throng, and an hour after the final whistle, the pitch was still swamped with celebrating Basque fans.

Trophy Presentation ACC Final 2012

Toulon15 Benjamin Lapeyre 14 Alexis Palisson 13 Mathieu Bastareaud 12 Matt Giteau 11 David Smith 10 Jonny Wilkinson 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts 2 Sebastien Bruno 3 Carl Hayman 4 Christophe Samson 5 Kris Chesney 6 Pierrick Gunther 7 Steffon Armitage 8 Joe van Niekerk [capt] BENCH: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli 17 Laurent Emmanuelli 18 Davit Kubriashvili 19 Joe El Abd 20 Geoffroy Messina 21 Dean Schofield 22 Fabien Cibray 23 Jocelino Suta

SCORERS P: Yachvili (7)

Biarritz Olympique15 Iain Balshaw 14 Taku Ngwenya 13 Jean-Pascal Barraque 12 Damien Traille 11 Dane Haylett-Petty 10 Julien Peyrelongue 9 Dimitri Yachvili 1 Yvan Watremez 2 Arnaud Heguy 3 Eugène Van Staden 4 Jérôme Thion 5 Pelu Taele 6 Wenceslas Lauret 7 Benoit Guyot 8 Imanol Harinordoquy [capt] BENCH: 16 Benoit August 17 Sylvain Marconnet 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela 19 Erik Lund 20 Talalelei Gray 21 M Bosch 22 Charles Gimenez 23 Ilikena Bolakoro

SCORERS P: Wilkinson (5) DG: Wilkinson YC: Hayman, Armitage

Man of the Match: Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique)

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England) Asst. Referees: David Pearson, JP Doyle (England) TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)
Citing Commissioner: Denis Templeton (Ireland)

TV: Sky Sports 1 France 4 Sky Italia



ERC Semi Finals

Toulon v Stade Francais Biarritz v Brive

Toulon TOULON 32-29 STADE FRANÇAIS Stade Francais

STADE FÉLIX MAYOL - Friday 27th April 2012
KO: 20:55 HT: 11-19 Att: 12,404

Toulon Stade Francais Amlin Semi Final 2012THE ever-impressive Jonny Wilkinson squeezed Toulon through to the Amlin Challenge Cup Final with a trademark drop goal in the dying minutes against Stade Français. The match was tense throughout, both sides producing a determined and spirited performance, but the mighty Wilkinson delivered when called upon.

Toulon looked threatening from the off, beginning proceedings with a first minute try from a racing Steffon Armitage. Nothing could stop the juggernaut as he headed for line, crashing through defenders and handing off with huge force before planting the ball over the whitewash. However, Wilkinson was a little jittery during the opening stages and, combining this with gusty conditions, could not find his mark for the conversion.

Stade were flustered by this initial burst and, with George Smith playing out of position at 12, it seemed that their play would not match up to that of the homeside. However, Smith turned out to settle quite comfortably into his new role and certainly caused problems for Toulon as the game matured. A feature that did not improve over time, however, were the scrums which collapsed almost every time they were set. Both teams were offenders of not binding and supporters became bored of watching resets instead of proper competition from the forwards.

Toulon Stade Francais Amlin Semi Final 2012Stade soon had a chance to get their scoreboard ticking, with Jules Plisson teeing up for an ambitious long-range penalty. The distance was too much for the flyhalf though, the ball falling just short of its target. However, 2 minutes later, the visitors were celebrating as Hugo Bonneval touched down after running an excellent line to evade the clasps of the defence. Plisson added the extras and then a swift penalty to put Stade 5 points ahead. The game got heated and tempers frayed at times, but the referee was quick to have words and calm the situation. Meanwhile, Plisson was showing Wilkinson he was not the only one who had mastered the drop goal, pulling off a perfect one to extend the visitor’s lead.

Toulon were ill-disciplined when under pressure and quickly handed over more points to the boot of Plisson, before Wilkinson responded with one of his own. Both sides added another 3-pointer as the half drew to a close, although each had missed out try-scoring chances earlier on, leaving the tally 11-19 at the break.

At the restart, Toulon got to work on cutting the deficit as Wilkinson nailed a penalty and then began a charge into enemy territory. The fly-half dropped back into the pocket, everyone knew what was coming, a beautiful Jonny drop-goal to bring his side just 2 points adrift. The Toulon fans have a soft-spot for the Englishman, and they made this abundantly clear as a huge cheer echoed around the stadium when Wilkinson added a further 3 points to edge Toulon in front.

The penalties rained down on Toulon as Stade continually faltered at the scrum and ruck. Wilkinson did miss a few of these opportunities, but the home score continued to grow steadily none-the-less. However, suddenly the visitors turned on their driving abilities and created a brilliant scrum, from which Morgan Turinui was able to dash over the tryline. Plisson converted and Toulon were in arrears once more.

Toulon Stade Francais Amlin Semi Final 2012Luckily for the homeside, Stade’s discipline wavered and they were given a soft penalty to level the scores before another sent them on to the front foot. Plisson was not done with his stylish play just yet though, and slotted another drop goal gracefully to tie the game again.

The final quarter saw both teams battling ferociously for possession, although Stade were far sloppier in terms of handling, but neither could pierce the opposing defence. The clock ticked down and the Toulon fans were all looking to Wilkinson for some magic. He did not disappoint. As the final drop-goal sailed between the posts a roar erupted and Toulon were exultant in making it to the finals.

ToulonB Lapeyre, A Palisson, G Messina, M Giteau, D Smith, J Wilkinson, S Tillous-Borde, L Emmanuelli (E Lewis-Roberts 50), J Orioli (S Bruno 59), D Kubriashvili (C Hayman 50), C Samson, D Schofield (J Suta 59), P Gunther (J El Abd 79), S Armitage, J van Niekerk (C)

SCORERS T: S Armitage P: J Wilkinson (7) DG: J Wilkinson (2)

Stade Francais H Bonneval, P Sackey, M Turinui, G Smith, J Arias, J Plisson (J Danty 79), J Fillol (C) (J Dupuy 59), S Wright (O Milloud 54), A De Malmanche (L Sempere 51), D Attoub, T Palmer, A Flanquart, A Burban, P Rabadan (S Parisse 53), D Lyons (D Camara 74)

SCORERS T: H Bonneval, M Turinui C: J Plisson (2) P: J Plisson (3) DG: J Plisson (2) Yellow Card J Arias (70)

Man of the Match: Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)




Biarritz Olympique BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE 19 - 0 BRIVE Brive

PARC DE SPORTS AQUILÉRA - Saturday 28th April 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 13-0 Att: 8,927

IT was a turbulent but easy match for Biarritz Olympique against Brive, which saw them securing the their place in the final against Toulon.

Biarritz Brive Amlin Semi Final 2012In horrid conditions, Biarritz were dominant throughout, stealing lineouts, taking charge in the scrum and showing flair in open play. It was evident that the homeside were comfortable when Damien Traille tried an adventurous drop goal after just 5 minutes of play and, although it did not succeed, their intentions were made clear. Dimitri Yachvili was soon teeing up for his first shot at the posts, but the wind was playing havoc with kicks and the ball swerved off target.

Brive were struggling in all areas of play, but did well to hold back the flood of Biarritz players constantly battering their line. But it was not long until the penalty was forced and Yachvili made no mistake in slotting it. Brive had an opportunity to reply, after being taken in the air at a lineout, but Riaan Swanepoel missed his mark from distance.

A brilliant break by Iain Balshaw should have ended with more than a penalty but Yachvili hammered the ball home to extend the margin. The homeside had brought out some fancy play but nothing compared to their next move, which was mad and yet fruitful. Recognising that Brive were poor at dealing with high balls, one was shot into the air by Marcello Bosch and headed over the whitewash. As the ball was about to fall into the arms of Ronnie Cooke, a determined Traille leapt and snatch it. The TMO confirmed the ball had been grounded, although this was a tricky call, and Biarritz had somehow produced a try from what had seemed to be over-ambitious kicking. Yachvili converted and the Brive tried, with no success, to claim some points before the whistle. However, the break came and the score remained at 13-0.

Biarritz Brive Amlin Semi Final 2012The second half saw Brive put up more of a fight; their play had been extremely sloppy in the opening minutes but did improve after the restart. The visitors fended off numerous attacks from a strong Biarritz offence, but continued to be pushed about in the scrum. At one point the whole Brive front row were lifted into the air when the forceful homeside drove upwards instead of straight. This gave Swanepoel a chance to get his side on the scoreboard but his kicking, which had deteriorated over the course of the match, was horrific, leaving the visitors with no points to the name. However, Brive did awaken for the final half-an-hour, putting together some good open play and looking threatening at times.

The Biarritz defence was too sturdy for the visitors and this caused them frustration; multi-phase movements bore no fruit and the Brive pack became irritable. Yachvili added another 3 points and the final 10 minutes saw play disintegrate into scuffles and then brawls, causing the assistant referees to enter he field of play to keep players separate as order was restored.

Brive desperately searched for points but were left wanting and, as the game went into overtime, passions flared. Alexandre Barozzi was shown a red for punching at the breakdown. It was an ugly end to a disastrous match for Brive.

Biarritz OlympiqueI Balshaw, T Ngwenya, D Haylett-Petty (C Gimenez 66), D Traille (C), B Baby, M Bosch, D Yachvili (J Peyrelongue 72), S Marconnet (Y Watremez 52), A Heguy (B August 60), E Van Staden (F Gomez Kodela 52), J Thion, M Carizza (E Lund 30), B Guyot (M Lund 67), T Gray, R Lakafia

SCORERS T: D Traille C: D Yachvili P: D Yachvili (4)

BriveM Atayi, R Cooke, R Swanepoel, J Noon (C Gimenez 14-21), S Galala, M Belie (S Geraghty 14), A Figuerola, J Poirot (P Henn 62), I Natriashvili (V Lacombe 57), A Barozzi (P Barnard 57, A Barozzi 62), R Uys (J Le Devedec 52), O Caisso, S Azoulai (C), V Forgues (P Luafutu 52), A Claassen

Red Card A Barozzi (80)

Man of the Match: A Heguy (Biarritz Olympique)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)




ERC Quarter Finals

ACC QF Stade Francais v Exeter Chiefs ACC QF Toulon v Harlequins ACC QF London Wasps v Biarritz Olympique ACC QF Brive v Scarlets

Stade Francais STADE FRANÇAIS 22 - 17 EXETER CHIEFS Exeter Chiefs

Stade Charléty - Thursday 5th April 2012
KO: 20:45 HT: 6-9 Att: 4,693

IN a thrilling first encounter of the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals, Stade Français eventually trounced the Exeter Chiefs in the 78th minute to secure their semi final place in a match where the visitors were in the lead until half time.

The English tourists opened the scoring and finally took the lead at the start of the second quarter after denying the homeside even a sniff of the Chiefs’ 22 for a prolonged period. Possession swung in both directions, but it was Exeter that looked the more powerful, and wave upon wave of attack eventually led to Stade conceding a penalty for Ignacio Mieres to quickly knock over.

The frustration of little territory began to take its toll on Stade Français, and hot-blooded Latino, Felipe Contepomi snapped and threw a churlish punch, resting him for 10 minutes in the bin and allowing fellow Argentinean, Mieres to double the lead, having missed a second opportunity moments before.

Stade Francais Exeter Chiefs Baxter no tryBut as is so often the case, the visitors promptly returned the favour by handing over a penalty to the opposition, and the supremely accurate Julien Dupuy did not falter. To add to the misfortune, Rob Baxter hurled himself over the tryline just after the half hour mark, but referee Peter Fitzgibbon deferred the grounding to the TMO who ruled it inconclusive.

On the attack again, Stade were pinged for not rolling away and Exeter regained their 6-point lead with a third Mieres penalty kick.

Contepomi returned Stade to their full complement, and were it not for a huge effort from Bryan Rennie, they would have scored the first try of the match. But Exeter’s front row were next in the firing line for yet another penalty, and bang on 40 minutes, Dupuy reduced the deficit by 3, the game halting at the break 6-9.  

Stade Francais Exeter Chiefs Djibril CamaraWhatever Stade Français coach Michael Cheika said at half time in the changing room had the desired effect, and as play resumed on a cold night in Paris, excellent hands put Djibril Camara over in the corner. But referee Fitzgibbon continued to have little conviction in his decision -having allowed numerous offside infringements pass right under his nose- and deferred the obvious grounding to the TMO who confirmed what all watching already knew. No conversion was forthcoming, but Stade had edged ahead by 2 points just 3 minutes into the second half.

Dupuy added his third penalty from a great distance, but Azzurri captain Sergio Parisse’s offside incursion in his own 22 allowed Mieres to add a fourth though final penalty.

The Chiefs were rattled by now, and having missed another try-scoring opportunity, ill-discipline afforded Dupuy his fourth penalty which was thumped over with such accuracy from 50 metres out. The French side led 17-12 as the replacement benches began to be utilised en masse.

Stade Francais Exeter Chiefs Sireli Naqelevuki tryInto the final quarter and Exeter’s Matt Jess kicked a timely ball into the corner, but an unfortunate bounce lost another opportunity to score. But when Fijian powerhouse Sireli Naqelevuki was allowed onto the paddock, it took him only moments to find the space to charge for the whitewash, dragging defenders in his wake to score with vigour. Though Mieres’ conversion fell wide of the uprights, with only 10 minutes left on the clock, both sides were level pegging at 17-all.

Exeter tried hard to break the now impenetrable Stade defence, but Dupuy -deservedly awarded Man of the Match- continued to thump monster kicks in clearance. The last of these, however, ended up falling into the dead zone from his own 22, and play had to return into the danger zone for the homeside. Stade Francais Exeter Chiefs Julien DupuyKevin Barrett charged close to the tryline but was quickly shut down, and a drop goal attempt from Mieres fell wide, before Exeter’s defence appeared to crumble as Dupuy started the move allowing Paul Williams to run under the posts unhindered to score the winning try in the 78th minute.

Dupuy’s conversion did not find its mark, but from the restart, Exeter were unable to secure the ball and the scrum half definitively walloped the ball into touch to seal the win and semi final spot against Toulon.

Stade Francais D Camara, P Sackey, M Turinui, P Williams, J Arias (H Bonneval 73), F Contepomi (J Fillol 75), J Dupuy, R Roncero (O Milloud 51), D Szarzewski (L Sempere 44), R Slimani, A van Zyl, P Pape (A Flanquart 63), G Smith, A Burban (P Rabadan 63), S Parisse [C] (D Lyons 51)

SCORERS T: Camara, Williams P: Dupuy (4) Yellow Card Contepomi

Exeter ChiefsP Dollman, G Camacho, B Rennie (S Naqelevuki 61), J Shoemark, M Jess, I Mieres, H Thomas (K Barrett 63), H Tui (C Budgen 80), C Whitehead (N Clark 80), C Mitchell (B Moon 36), T Hayes [C], J Hanks (A Muldowney 61), T Johnson (B White 41), J Scaysbrook, R Baxter

SCORERS T: Naqelevuki P: Mieres (4)

Amlin Man of the Match: Julien Dupuy (Stade Français)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)




Toulon TOULON 37 - 8 HARLEQUINS Harlequins

Stade Félix-Mayol - Friday 6th April 2012
KO: 20:45 HT: 22-3 Att: 12,762

LAST year’s Amlin Challenge Cup champions, Harlequins arrived in Toulon without the two most significant of their players; England and Quins captain Chris Robshaw was forced to withdraw after Thursday’s team run , and Nick Evans injured his foot the previous week during the historic match against Saracens at Wembley. This did not dampen their resolve to run out as the Aviva Premiership leaders that they are, but Toulon brought them to their knees quickly and trampled over them from end to end.

Toulon Harlequins Jonny WilkinsonGeorge Robson took over the captain’s reins for the visitors, and Rory Clegg stepped into Evans’ shoes, a position he is becoming more comfortable in from week to week. But against the inimitable Jonny Wilkinson, he was simply no match. Quins seemed to forget that if there is one fly half on the planet that you do not gift penalties to, it is the world’s greatest, Wilko, and he contributed 17 of Toulon’s 37 points in penalties and a conversion, as Toulon steadily destroyed the mighty Quins 37-8.

The visitors were unable to find their rhythm in the first half and made several sloppy mistakes against the quick and driven homeside. Toulon made some brilliant runs from the off, causing Harlequins serious problems in defence. The Quins handed over numerous penalties for school-boy errors within the first 30 minutes, allowing Wilkinson to knock over 15 points with his spectacular kicking. The crowd obeyed the bright signs calling for quiet when the legendary fly-half stepped up to the tee; the same respect was not extended to Clegg, who responded with a singular penalty in the 10th minute.

Toulon Harlequins The initial 30 minutes set the tone for the match, Quins scrambling around the pitch with no structure or forethought. The visitors had a few bursts of interest but these soon fell apart as their discipline crumpled under pressure. Toulon had no such problems, only being denied by some last-ditch efforts from the Quins before finally, Sebastien Tillous-Borde was driven over the tryline. The homeside’s forwards were truly extraordinary, dominating in the scrum, lineout and in open play. Steffon Armitage produced some brilliant opportunities for his side throughout and was eventually named Man of the Match, although this accolade could have gone to many others. Wilkinson added the extras with no trouble and it was clear that Harlequins were out of their depth.

The English side failed to compose themselves and play deteriorated as the half trundled on. The scrum was continually reset and Clegg found touch with the restart at least twice, showing how ruffled the young fly-half was. Toulon are known for their fearsome support which leaves even the toughest of teams a little shaken, and the crowd took no prisoners, jeering Quins’ stutters. The break could not come quick enough for Quins players and supporters alike, and it was not going to be a pretty situation in the visitor’s changing room after the homeside had so far poured 22 points worth of scorn on the London team.

The restart saw a little more bite from the Quins, turning over balls swiftly and showing better control at the breakdown. There was a moment of hope for fans when Harlequins made a powerful break but Mike Brown failed to make a crucial offload and ended the spell of optimism. The TMO confirmed that a potential try was not worthy and their efforts fell to the wayside as Toulon got into their swing once more, throwing themselves towards the Quins line and drilling them backwards. The home coach was so confident in his team’s performance that Wilkinson was taken off to rest with half-an-hour left of the game. Matt Giteau took over kicking duties and topped up the already soaring Toulon tally with a penalty. Benjamin Lapeyre flew through the ranks to touchdown for a second converted try before Quins took a further blow when James Johnston was shown a yellow after a scuffle. This seemed to spark something in the limping visitors though, with Ugo Monye producing an excellent tap to keep the ball in play.

Toulon HarlequinsToulon looked to be in trouble briefly but they held their steel and Steffon Armitage grabbed a soft try to finish off the wounded Quins. The final moments saw Danny Care crash through and have his touchdown confirmed by the TMO, but it was barely consolatory. The Quins were a shadow of their former selves and left fans dumbfounded. Toulon could not have asked for an easier ride into the Semis.

ToulonB Lapeyre (L Rooney 71), A Palisson, M Bastareaud (F Cibray 67), M Giteau, D Smith, J Wilkinson (G Lovobalavu 46), S Tillous-Borde, E Lewis-Roberts (R Frou 71), S Bruno (J Orioli 61), C Hayman (D Kubriashvili 61), C Samson, D Schofield (J Suta 61), P Gunther (J El Abd 70), S Armitage, J van Niekerk [C]

SCORERS T: Tillous-Borde, Lapeyre, Armitage C: Wilkinson, Giteau P: Wilkinson (5), Giteau

HarlequinsM Brown, T Williams, M Hopper, J Turner-Hall (B Urdapilleta 65), U Monye, R Clegg, K Dickson (D Care 58), M Lambert (J Marler 50), R Buchanan (A Croall 50), J Johnston, T Vallejos, G Robson [C] (P Browne 74), T Guest (W Collier 53), L Wallace, N Easter (M Fa'asavalu 61)

SCORERS T: Care P: Clegg Yellow Card Johnston

Amlin Man of the Match: Steffon Armitage (Toulon)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)




London Wasps LONDON WASPS 23-26 BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE Biarritz Olympique

Adams Park, High Wycombe - Saturday 7th April 2012
KO: 12:30 HT: 9-17 Att: 4,308

London Wasps Biarritz Jack WallaceBIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE ground out a hard fought win against a young and inexperienced London Wasps who illustrated their potential and determination making a comeback from 9-23 down despite not having the best season marred with forced retirements and injuries, enough to make coach Dai young very proud of his youthful outfit.

The visitors began in disarray, and missed more than one try scoring opportunity, whilst Wasps’ Nicky Robinson began by racking up a 6-0 lead with penalties by the end of the first quarter. But for just a second, the homeside lapsed in concentration and former England fullback, Iain Balshaw snuck through to score the first try of the match. Captain and French international, Dimitri Yachvili was right on his game and added the extras to steal the lead.

Having taken Wasps by surprise, the homeside rattled and gave up a penalty at the breakdown, allowing Yachvili to increase the gap to 6-10. Following some aerial antics for the ball, this time it was Biarritz infringing at the breakdown, allowing Robinson to reduce the deficit to just 1 point with 2 minutes until half time.

Eugene van Staden collected the ball and charged for the corner to touch down almost on the 40 minute mark, and once the TMO confirmed none of his appendages had offended the touchline, Yachvili converted and Biarritz went into the break two scores clear at 17-9 up.

Sadly for Wasps, the little experience they did have on the field  began to evaporate as captain, Hugo Southwell was forced to retire from the match replaced by England U20 Jack Wallace, and 20 year old Welsh international Tom Prydie, on loan from Ospreys, came on for Richard Haughton. And as Wasps lost their experience, Biarritz gained more with Sylvain Marconnet and his 84 France caps stepping up for Yvan Watremez in the front row.

As the visitors added another two penalty scores to their tally at the start of the final quarter, something inspired Wasps to throw caution to the wind, and in play that resembled the new England with no fear, went on the attack keeping ball in hand; a neat chip through was picked up top try scorer in the Aviva Premiership, Christian Wade who touched down to score. Robinson dealt with the immense pressure, kept his cool and added the extras.

ACCQF London Wasps Biarritz Ryan Davis try And not two minutes later, from brilliant setpiece, the ball passed through excellent hands allowing Ryan Davis to run in under the posts, making the conversion simple, and bringing Wasps level on points with the opposition at 23-all and just 10 minutes left to play.

Both sides were determined to break the stalemate, and with 5 minutes to go, Wasps defended their tryline with a scrum on the 22, Robinson cleared the opposition back for an opposition lineout on half way, but the homeside handed over a penalty and Man of the Match Yachvili punished them with the 3 crucial points that would put them into the semi final in three weeks time.

Biarritz came close to consolidating their lead further with space, men over, territory and the opportunity, but a knock on ended that phase. Wasps fought desperately to get out of their 22, and made it to half way despite being tackled at every step, but finally a penalty went to Biarritz, and Marconnet kicked to touch.

London WaspsH Southwell (C) (J Wallace 43), R Haughton, E Daly, R Davis, C Wade, N Robinson, C Davies, Z Taulafo (T Payne 55), V Korshunov (N Morris 59), B Broster, J Cannon (R Filipo 75), R Birkett, J Launchbury, M Everard (J Harris 59), S Jones

SCORERS T: Wade, Davis C: Robinson (2) P: Robinson (3)

Biarritz OlympiqueI Balshaw, T Ngwenya (J Barraque 59), C Gimenez, D Haylett-Petty, B Baby, J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili (C), Y Watremez (S Marconnet 54), E Guinazu (R Terrain 41), E Van Staden (F Gomez Kodela 41), E Lund (J Roidot 57), P Taele, W Lauret (I Harinordoquy 33), B Guyot, R Lakafia

SCORERS T: Balshaw, van Staden C: Yachvili (2) P: Yachvili (4)

Amlin Man of the Match: Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)




Brive BRIVE 15 - 11 SCARLETS Scarlets

Stadium Municipal, Brive - Saturday 8th April 2012
KO: 20:15 HT: 6-6 Att: 7,850

ACCQF Brive Scarlets Liam WilliamsTHERE was little excitement in this fairly mediocre fixture, neither side showing any exceptional ability or flair. However, Brive held their nerve and, thanks to the kicking of Riaan Swanepoel, trundled into the Semis without expending much energy. The Scarlets crumpled in the set pieces, barely putting together a decent lineout and then losing their strength in the scrum after half time. The Brive pack made good use of these weaknesses and, although play was anything but pretty, the homeside were excellent at turnovers and defensively tough. Liam Williams provided the only try of the match when Brive were reduced to 14 men due to a sin bin.

Brive began as they meant to continue, with plenty of opportunity but a complete lack of handling accuracy. They tore through the Scarlets’ ranks and caused havoc at lineouts, but failed to finish any move with a touchdown. Against the run of play, Stephen Jones was handed a shot at the sticks but could not hit his mark. Brive were more adventurous and spurned the posts for a kick to touch, showing their intent from the off. However, Scarlets were holding their own in the scrum and did race into Brive territory a couple of times with a hint of danger. After 15 minutes of error-filled play, Swanepoel knocked over his first 3-pointer but swerved his attempt at doubling the score shortly after. Possession rocked back and forth and Jones evened the tallies with the easiest of penalties on the half-hour toll. Brive responded with an attack that nearly bears fruit but, unfortunately, Ronnie Cooke could not lay hands to it before it bounced into touch.

Swanepoel added another penalty and Scarlets battled to keep possession as their clumsy play crippled any hopeful opportunities. However, foolish behaviour from Brive at the scrum left Jones to level the scores at 6-all just before the break, unsatisfactory for Brive fans who had seen their side discard so many chances to be left wanting.

ACCQF Brive ScarletsA strange phenomenon occurred during the interval resulting in the Scarlets reappearing with a particularly shaky scrum. The visitors had been fairly confident in this piece before the whistle and had created some good play from this base, but come the second scrum of the half and their strength had disintegrated. The homeside smelled blood and went in for the kill, pushing the shabby Scarlets all over the pitch. Swanepoel smacked over a couple more penalties and a 6 point Brive advantage was established.

The tide turned though when Shane Geraghty felt the wrath of the referee and was sent marching to the sin bin for failing to wrap in the tackle. This was the moment Scarlets had been waiting for and, although they made hard work of it, eventually Liam Williams dived over to claim the match’s only try. The conversion was too tricky for Priestland whose attempt drifted wide, leaving Scarlets a point behind. Brive, to their merit, did not get flustered by this extra pressure and gritted themselves for a further 20 minutes against the Welsh side. Their discipline held true and Swanepoel capped the game with a final 3-pointer to seal the win. The Scarlets performance was disheartening, and the result was unimpressive to say the least.

Brive, on the other hand, will now face Biarritz Olympique at the Parc des Sports Aquiléra in the semi final, but will have to significantly up their game to reach the final at The Twickenham Stoop, which will be an all French affair.

BriveM Atayi (S Spedding 62), J Boussuge, R Cooke, R Swanepoel, S Galala, S Geraghty (A Mignardi 72), J Pejoine (A Figuerola 62), J Poirot (D Khinchagishvili 54), V Lacombe (C) (I Natriashvili 54), P Barnard (A Barozzi 54), J Le Devedec (R Uys 71), O Caisso, V Forgues (P Luafutu 56), A Bias, P Hauman

SCORERS P: Swanepoel (5) Yellow Card Geraghty

ScarletsL Williams, G North, G Maule (S Lamont 61), J Davies, A Fenby, S Jones (R Priestland 50), G Davies (R Williams 80), R Jones (P John 71), M Rees (C) (K Owens 50), P Edwards (S Gardiner 56), S Timani, D Welch (K Murphy 66), J Turnbull, J Edwards (M Gilbert 71), B Morgan

SCORERS T: L Williams P: S Jones (2)

Amlin Man of the Match: Liam Williams (Scarlets)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)




Amlin Fixtures Quarter Finals 2012






HC 8

HC 9

HC 10


Stade Francais Stade Français

Brive Brive


London WaspsWasps

Biarritz OlympiqueBiarritz



Exeter ChiefsExeter Chiefs




ERC Round 6

POOL 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 1

Stade FrancaisSTADE FRANÇAIS 33-10 WORCESTER WARRIORSWorcester Warriors

STADE CHARLÉTY - Saturday 21st January 2012
KO: 20:45 HT: 21-3 Att: 6,693

STADE FRANÇAIS had no problem in snatching a bonus point victory from the clutches of Worcester Warriors. The Warriors were hoping to steal first place in the pool but Stade had no intention of letting them anywhere near. Although the visitors saw an early lead, the French side racked up 5 tries, the first after just 8 minutes, and swiftly left Worcester trying to plug gaps in their defence. Andy Goode added to his earlier penalty for Worcester with a converted try in the second half but this was all he could muster. The homeside waltzed through this game and into the next round unbeaten.

Stade FrancaisP Warwick, P Sackey, M Turinui, P Williams, J Arias, J Plisson, J Dupuy, O Milloud, D Szarzewski, D Attoub, T Palmer, P Papé, A Chollon, D Lyons, S Parisse [C] Replacements: A De Malmanche , R Roncero, S Wright, G Mostert, P Rabadan, B Kelleher, D Camara, J Danty

SCORERS T: Warwick, Parisse, Turinui, Sackey, Kelleher C: Plisson (3), Warwick Yellow Card Papé

Worcester WarriorsE Claassens, M Garvey, A Grove, D Rasmussen, J Drauniniu, A Goode, S Perry [C], M Mullan, E Shervington, T Taumoepeau, J Percival, C Jones, S Betty, J Abbott, M Kvesic Replacements: A Lutui, G Porter, J Currie, C Gillies, B Gulliver, O Frost, J Carlisle, C Pennell

SCORERS T: Goode C: Goode P: Goode Yellow Card Grove

Match points: Stade Français 5pts, Worcester 0pts
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

Crociati RugbyCROCIATI 13 - 26 BUCHAREST WOLVESBucharest Wolves

STADIO XXV APRILE - Saturday 21st January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 0-21 Att: 250

BANCA MONTE CROCIATI found Bucharest Wolves too difficult to deal with as they went down 13-26 at home. The Wolves were quick off the mark with a try from Florin Surugiu after just 4 minutes of play. They followed this up with two more, another from Surugiu and one from Marian Apostol. This left the homeside lagging behind by a substantial margin at the interval. However, the Italians hit back in the second half, beginning with a penalty by Marco Gennari. But this was not going to stop Bucharest who stole the bonus point soon after thanks to Flavius Dobre. The homeside were not going to go down without one last surge though, pouring their hearts into the game and reaping some rewards. Crociati pulled two late tries out of the bag, livening up the final minutes, but it was all too late. Bucharest walked away with a victory they had sealed in the first half.

Crociati RugbyM Gennari, H En Naour (J Zucconi 65), B Vengoa, S Damiani, F Casalini, L Morisi, J Ireland [C], L Milani (D Goegan 65), C Festuccia, M Coletti (F Tripodi 52), M Van Vuren, F Pepoli, P Singh (G Sciacca 18), D Delnevo, E Ruffolo

SCORERS T: Casalini, Festuccia P: Gennari

Bucharest WolvesI Niacsu, G Catuna, C Gheara, C Dinis, M Apostol, F Vlaicu, F Surugiu (G Diaconescu 54), N Nere (P Zapan 64), A Radoi (E Capatana 65), A Ursache (F Dobre 54), M Danila (D Ianus 50), C Ratiu, A Mitu, V Lucaci (A Ion 64), M Macovei [C] (I Florea 70)

SCORERS T: Surugiu (2) , Apostol, Dobre C: Vlaicu (3) Yellow Card Ratiu

Match points: Crociati 0pts, Bucharest 4pts
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)



POOL 2Amlin Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 2

Petrarca RugbyPETRARCA RUGBY 6 - 50 TOULONToulon

STADIO PLEBISCITO - Saturday 21st January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 6-24 Att: 2,000

TOULON ventured to Italy to completely annihilate Petrarca Padova and sail through to the next stage of the tournament. The visitors managed an impressive 7 tries, including a penalty try, and 6 conversions, thanks to the combined kicking of Jonny Wilkinson and Julien Dumora. Wilkinson bagged Toulon 3 points after just 1 minute of play and from here on the match was completely dominated by the French side. All that Petrarca could muster in response were two penalties which were little consolation for the battering their defence took throughout the game. Toulon sweep into the final 8 confident of their abilities to cause havoc.

Petrarca RugbyW Spragg, S Bortolussi, M Neethling (J Sanchez 53), R Bertetti, L Innocenti, T Walsh (E Hickey 48), A Chillon (A Billot 65), M Alonso (F Damiano 56), O Gega (N Gatto 47), P Leso (L D'Agostino 47), A Cavalieri, M Sutto, N Bezzati [C], E Targa (F Giusti 51), D Kingi (M Barbini 18)

SCORERS P: Chilon, Walsh Yellow Card Sutto

ToulonL L Rooney, B Lapeyre (J Sinzelle 60), G Messina, G Lovobalavu, A Palisson, J Wilkinson (J Dumora 60), F Cibray (M Henjak 69), L Emmanuelli (M Ivaldi 54), J Orioli (E Lewis-Roberts 54), C Hayman (D Kubriashvili 54), K Chesney, D Schofield (C Samson 47), P Gunther (J El Abd 71), S Armitage, J van Niekerk [C]

SCORERS T: Lapeyre (3), Emmanuelli, Cibray, Palisson, Lovobalavu C: Wilkinson (3) Dumora (3) P: Wilkinson

Match points: Petrarca 0pts, Toulon 5pts
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)


Lyon Rugby LYON RUGBY 21 - 13 NEWCASTLE FALCONSNewcastle Falcons

STADE FELIX - Saturday 21st January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 7-10 Att: 7,115

LYON battled Newcastle Falcons at home to come out on top though it made no difference to their chances of reaching the next round. Lyon raced over for a try early on, but their lead did not last long as the Falcons made a fantastic break which saw Redford Pennycook dart over the tryline. This tit-for-tat playing was seen throughout the first half with both teams really giving the game their all.  Newcastle took the lead after Jimmy Gopperth knocked over a penalty at the end of 40 minutes and then added another 3 points after the interval to extend the gap. However, Lyon came back hard, applying pressure which forced a penalty try to edge them in front. Lyon finished the scoring with a third touchdown to give them a comfortable win.

Lyon RugbyR Lespinas (R Loursac 50), M Ratuvou (E Tomamichel 71), L Thomas, N Raffault, A Fatafehi, X Sadourny [C], M du Bruyn (R Januarie 50), A Tchougong Kamga (A Roux 63), A Testa (S Miro 71), A Guillamon (P Toleafoa 50), C Njewel, A Dorier, E Nzi, G Gambetta (L Tranier 63), N Bontinck

SCORERS T: Ratuvou, PT, Tranier C:Thomas, Loursac (2)

Newcastle FalconsJ Gopperth [C], J Pasqualin, L Eves, J Fitzpatrick, R Shortland, J Hodgson, C Pilgrim, A Wells (G Shiells 55), M Mayhew (J Graham 69), J Hall (E Murray 47), A Hogg, T Swinson, R Mayhew (W Welch 47), R Pennycook, M Wilson

SCORERS T: Pennycook C: Gopperth P: Gopperth

Match points: Lyons 4pts, Newcastle 0pts
Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)Top

POOL 3Amlin Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 3

London WaspsLONDON WASPS 36 - 31 BORDEAUX-BÉGLESBordeaux Bègles

ADAMS PARK - Sunday 22nd January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 13-7 Att: 4,809

LONDON WASPS managed to keep their top spot and reach the knock-out stages after grabbing a bonus point win over Bordeaux-Bégles. The Wasps did not begin on the front foot with Bordeaux grabbing the first try of the match thanks to Vunga Lilo, but it was not long until the homeside got going with Elliot Daly swooping over. This was all that Wasps needed to start the points rolling in, with a steady flow being provided by some superb kicking from Ryan Davis. Bordeaux were left behind by half time and it was clearly the homeside’s game in the second half. It was a steady point building exercise for Wasps and the bonus point was inevitably theirs.

London WaspsH Southwell, R Haughton, E Daly, D Waldouck, J Wallace, R Davis, J Simpson, T Payne (Z Taulafo 64), R Webber (T Lindsay 72), B Broster, R Birkett, M Wentzel [C], J Poff, M Everard, S Jones

SCORERS T: Daly, Everard, Penalty Try, Lindsay C: Davis (2) P: Davis (4)

Bordeaux BèglesL Ferreres [C], V Lilo, A Mailei (M Denetre 51), C Brousse, T Brana (R Carballo 60), C Lopez (J Seron 65), M Saubusse, F Labbe (H Forbes 61), F Rofes, P Toetu (R Davies 56), D Leo (H Chalmers 67), F Tisseau, C Ternisien, L Madaule, L Houston

SCORERS T: Lilo C: Lopez P: Lopez, Ferreres Yellow Card Chalmers

Match points: London Wasps 4pts, Bordeaux-Begles 0pts
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)

Bayonne BAYONNE 92 - 6 FEMI-CZ VEA ROVIGOFemi CZ Rugby Rovigo

STADE JEAN DAUGER - Sunday 22nd January 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 33-6 Att: 5,000

BAYONNE collected the biggest score of the tournament so far when they slaughtered Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo. The homeside scored a massive fourteen tries against the completely demolished visitors and handed them no more than two penalties. It was a sorry sight as the ruthless Bayonne side pounded their opponent’s ranks and Rovigo’s supporters could barely watch as they saw their side take a battering like no other. Bayonne may not have taken the top of the pool from Wasps but they certainly proved they were worthy of it.

BayonneC Heymans, J Rokocoko, T Lacroix, L Mazars, M O'Connor, C Otazo, C Garcia, A Iguiniz, D Roumieu, R Boyoud, R Linde, M Chisholm, G Bernad, D Haare, M Baget [C] Replacements: F Da Ros, V Manukula, N Tialata, F Carillo, S Lauaki, J Audy, M Phillips, C Lagain

SCORERS T: T Lacroix, M Phillips, J Audy, G Bernad, D Roumieu, D Haare, J Rokocoko, C Lagain, F Carillo (3) , M O'Connor, C Otazo, Penalty Try C: C Otazo (11)

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoD Duca, L Lubian, S Pace, R Pedrazzi, A Bacchetti, G Bustos, M Zanirato, A Ceglie, D Giazzon, O Lombardi, D Tumiati, T Reato [C], A Persico, A De Marchi, J Montauriol Replacements: L Mahoney, G Datola, M Ravalle, M Maran, M Wilson, E Lubian, R Pavan, M Merlo

SCORERS P: G Bustos (2)

Match points: Bayonne 5pts, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 0pts
Referee: James Jones (Wales)



POOL 4Amlin Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 4

Exeter Chiefs EXETER CHIEFS 31 - 14 PERPIGNAN Perpignan

SANDY PARK - Saturday 21st January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 16-14 Att: 7.966

EXETER CHIEFS claimed their place in the next stage of the tournament after a storming victory over Perpignan. There was everything to play for in this match with both sides in with a chance of making it to the final 8. It was the visitors who made the brightest start by far, touching down twice early in the first half. Fortunately for the homeside, Ignacio Mieres’ boot proved highly effective once again, keeping them in touching distance before Hayden Thomas could claim Exeter’s first try. This gave the home crowd hope but did not settle their nerves as they headed into the interval only 2 points up. However, after the break it was all about the Chiefs as they provided a water-tight defence and produced a further two tries to bag their place in the knock-out stages.

Exeter ChiefsL Arscott (P Dollman 70), G Camacho, N Sestaret, J Shoemark, M Jess, I Mieres (G Steenson 64), H Thomas (K Barrett 41), B Sturgess (H Tui 71), N Clark (S Alcott 65), J Andress (C Mitchell 58), T Hayes [C], A Muldowney (J Phillips 65), T Johnson (N Clark 79), J Scaysbrook (B White 75), R Baxter

SCORERS T: Thomas, Sturgess, Phillips C: Mieres, Steenson P: Mieres (4) Yellow Card Alcott

PerpignanJ Michel (J Porical 58), F Sid, D Marty [C], G Hume, A Plante, J Hook (N Laharrague 68), D Mele (F Cazenave 62), P Freshwater (J Schuster 55), C Geli (G Guirado 55), B Bourrust (K Pulu 41), R Taofifenua, R Tchale Watchou (M Tincu 71), G Britz, J Perez, R Bezian (O Olibeau 45)

SCORERS T: Geli, Michel C: Hook (2) Yellow Card Tchale-Watchou, Perez

Match points: Exeter 5pts, Perpignan 0pts
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)


Newport Gwent Dragons DRAGONS 45 - 16 I CAVALIERI PRATO I Cavalieri Prato

STADE AIME GIRAL - Saturday 21st January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 33-6 Att: 4,736

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS found I Cavalieri Prato wanting as they demolished the visitors with seven tries. The Dragons certainly leave the tournament in flames of glory as they produced a spectacular performance against the lack-lustre Italians. The telling signs were there from the off when it took Rhys Buckley only 4 minutes to find the tryline, and after this the scores flooded in. The bonus point had been collected before the half-time whistle and it was looking dismal for Cavalieri who had clung on to a couple of penalties. However, despite the hammering they were taking from the Dragons, the visitors made a name for themselves in the second half, managing two well-worked tries which brightened the match for their fans. But it was always going to be the Dragons’ match and one which they took with ease.

Newport Gwent DragonsM Thomas, W Harries (J Smith 38), A Hughes, A Tuilagi, A Brew (L Robling 66), J Tovey, J Bedford, P Price, R Buckley (S Jones 69), D Way (N Buck 66), A Jones (H Gustafson 66), R Sidoli, D Lydiate [C] (S Parry 14), L Evans, T Faletau

SCORERS T: Buckley, Hughes, Brew, Tuilagi, Tovey, Thomas, Robling C: Tovey (5)

I Cavalieri PratoD Berryman, A Lunardi (F Vezzosi 62), C Von Grumbkov, A Chiesa [C], N Tempestini, R Bocchino, C Callori di Vignale (P Patelli 46), N De Gregori (G Marino 56), A Lupetti (L Giovanchelli 46), T Ryan, U Kolo'ofai, F Cazzola (G Bernini 46), L Petillo, A Damiani (N Belardo 62), R Nifo Tautua

SCORERS T: Lunardi, von Grumbkow P: Bocchino (2) Yellow Card Berryman

Match points: Dragons 5pts, Cavalieri 0pts
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)


POOL 5Amlin Challenge Cup Round 6 Pool 5

Sale Sharks SALE SHARKS 9 - 19 BRIVE Brive

EDGELEY PARK - Thursday 19th January 2012
KO:  20:00 HT: 9-6 Att: 6,955

BRIVE crushed the hopes of Sale Sharks supporters as they snatched a victory to see them through to the final 8. The homeside had led 9-6 at the interval, thanks to Nick Macleod, but their inability to break through the Brive ranks left them frustrated and without further points in the final 40 minutes. Meanwhile, Brive awoke during the break with their captain, Antoine Claassen, crashing over for the try that would seal the match and their place in the knock-out stages. The home crowd were devastated as they saw their hopes slip away.

Sale SharksR Miller, T Brady, J Leota, L Burrell, J Tuculet, N MacLeod, D Peel, A Dickinson (L Imiolek 78), M Jones (J Ward 65), T Buckley (V Cobilas 53), F McKenzie (K Myall 60), A Ostrikov, J Gaskell (R Vernon 57), D Seymour [C], M Easter

SCORERS P: N MacLeod (3)

BriveC Marienval, J Boussuge, J Caminati, A Mignardi, G Namy, S Spedding (R Swanepoel 65), A Figuerola, D Khinchagishvili (P Henn 65), I Natriashvili (V Lacombe 52), A Barozzi (P Cardinali 52), T Dubarry (O Caisso 68), R Uys, P Luafutu (V Forgues 65), A Bias, A Claassen [C]

SCORERS T: A Claassen, C: J Caminati, P: J Caminati (4)

Match points: Sale Sharks 0pts, Brive 4pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)


Agen AGEN 62 - 7 RC LA VILA Club Rugby La Vila

BENIDORM STADIUM - Thursday 19th January 2012
KO: 20:45 HT: 35-7 Att: 2,169

AGEN took no mercy on a floundering RC La Vila, who were left dazed by the onslaught of the homeside. Agen crossed a staggering ten times as the Spanish side’s defence flailed about doing little to stop the attacks. The visitors had made a good start thanks to a 15 minute try from Jarrid Els, which Nick McCashin happily converted. But this was to be their only moment of brilliance in the match as they spent the rest of the time helplessly trying to plug holes and throw themselves at attackers. It was all too much for La Vila. 

AgenS Tian (R Edmond-Samuel 41), S Vaka, M Ahotaeiloa (J Pelesasa 53), M Avramovic, B Dulin, M Lamoulie, M Machenaud (S Dupuy 60), L Cabarry (J Narjissi 41), S Telefoni (J Schwalger 60), G Muller (B Sheklashvili 60), D Senekal, D Lagrange (P O'Connor 53), J Monribot, A Badenhorst [C] (A Springgay 60), M Giraud

SCORERS T: S Dupuy, J Narjissi, M Avramovic, S Vaka (3), M Giraud, B Dulin, S Telefoni (2) C: M Lamoulie, M Machenaud (5)

Club Rugby La VilaE Sorribes Ramirez, F Lopez Sanchez (H Quirelli 61), M Poggi, J Knight, J Quirante Carmona (B Coronel Densy 54), N McCashin, A Hebrard (G Carrion 29), N Martinez (D Vazquez Orrego 54), J Phipps (E Fuster 75), J Hutchinson (J Vasquez 70), P Martinez Manzano (K Hansen Ruiz 63), M Walker-Fitton, J Els, F Gonzales, M Cook [C]

SCORERS T: J Els C: N McCashin

Match points: Agen 5pts, CR La Vila 0pts
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy) 



ERC Round 5

POOL 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 1

Bucharest WolvesBUCHAREST 13 - 57 STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

ARCUL DE TRIUMF - Saturday 14th January 2012
KO: 14:00 HT: 8-17 Att: 1,074

STADE FRANÇAIS stormed to victory once again as they took down Bucharest Wolves to snatch an away win. Racking up a total of four tries the French side dominated from the early stages, running hard lines and causing huge problems for their Romanian opponents. Although the homeside took the lead briefly with an opening try from Alexandru Mitu, they could not keep their defence tight enough and Stade soon found the gaps. Djibril Camara crossed twice, but it was left to Alexander Rokobaro in the final minute of play to nail down the all-important bonus point.

Bucharest WolvesI Niacsu, F Surugiu (V Ivan 75), C Gheara, C Dinis, M Apostol, F Vlaicu, G Diaconescu (I Florea 52), N Nere (P Zapan 70), A Radoi (E Capatana 78), A Ursache (F Dobre 63), M Danila, C Ratiu (D Ianus 49), A Mitu, A Ion (V Lucaci 52), M Macovei [C]

SCORERS T: Mitu, Lucaci P: Vlaicu YC Alexandru Mitu

Stade FrancaisP Williams (A Rokokaro 64), F Fainifo, M Turinui, J Danty, D Camara, J Plisson (P Warwick 72), J Fillol (B Kelleher 44), R Slimani, D Szarzewski [C] (L Sempere 57), S Wright, T Palmer, A Flanquart, S Lavalla, A Chollon, P Rabadan (G Mostert 68)

SCORERS T: Turinui, Camara (2), Rokokaro C: Plisson (3), Rokokaro

Match points: Bucharest Wolves 0pts, Stade Français Paris 5pts
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)


Worcester WarriorsWORCESTER WARRIORS 55 - 10 CROCIATICrociati Rugby

SIXWAYS - Saturday 14th January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 26-0 Att: 4,531

WORCESTER WARRIORS swept aside Banca Monte Crociati with an impressive points haul. The Warriors put on a show for their elated homecrowd as they romped to victory with a staggering nine tries and five conversions. The visitors were left watching Worcester produce excellent open play and make the most of their weaknesses, the homeside certainly meant business. Crociati did manage to find a consolatory try, thanks to the referee, but this was of little consequence other than to bolster their damaged confidence.

Worcester WarriorsE Claassens, T Arscott, M Benjamin, A Grove (A Short 57), J Drauniniu, A Goode (D Gray 57), S Perry [C] (O Frost 57), B Douglas (G Porter 50), E Shervington (O Hayes 50), O Tomaszczyk (J Currie 53), B Gulliver, C Gillies, N Dacres (S Betty 58), J Abbott (M Kvesic 58), R Muagututia

SCORERS T: Claassens (2), Grove, Goode, Arscott, Drauniniu, Hayes, Gulliver, Benjamin C: Goode (4), Gray

Crociati RugbyF Casalini, L Carritiello (M Gennari 13), B Vengoa, S Damiani, G Alberghini, L Morisi (J Ireland 64), J Zucconi, F Pepoli, A Manici (D Goegan 66), M Coletti (F Tripodi 46), L Contini (C Festuccia 48), D Fletcher [C] (L Milani 34), E Ruffolo, D Delnevo, E Caffini

SCORERS T: Penalty Try C: Zucconi P: Zuccon YC D Delnevo

Match points: Worcester Warriors 5pts, Banca Monte Crociati 0pts
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)



POOL 2Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 2

Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS 43 - 0 PETRARCA RUGBY Petrarca Rugby

KINGSTON PARK - Sunday 15th January 2012
KO: 15:30 HT: 7-0 Att: 2,831

NEWCASTLE FALCONS kept their eye firmly set on the top spot of their pool, currently taken by Toulon, as they dispatched Petrarca Padova in a clinical fashion. The homeside began slowly, only finding a singular try in the first half from Tom Catterick. However, the Falcons certainly woke up during the break as the final 40 minutes add another 6 tries to their tally. This easily secured them the bonus point and meant they kept on the heels of Toulon. the Falcons new head coach, Gary Gold, has definitely made a good impression on the fans.

Newcastle FalconsT Catterick, L Fielden (J Fitzpatrick 20), L Eves, J Manning [C] (J Pasqualin 54), R Shortland, J Hodgson, C Pilgrim (W Chudley 67), A Wells, J Graham (M Mayhew 47), J Hall (D Fearn 65), T Tuifua (A Hogg 47), T Swinson, R Mayhew, R Pennycook, M Wilson

SCORERS T: Catterick, Fitzpatrick, Hodgson, Shortland (2), Pasqualin, Wells C: Manning (3), Hodgson

Petrarca RugbyE Hickey, S Bortolussi (R Bertetti 73), J Sanchez (F Faggiotto 47), M Neethling, A Morsellino, T Walsh, P Travagli (A Billot 63), C Caporello (L D'Agostino 44), F Damiano (N Gatto 41), P Leso (M Alonso 41), A Cavalieri [C], F Giusti (E Ghiraldini 51), M Barbini, S Palmer (M Tveraga 41), Z Ansell

Match points: Newcastle Falcons 5pts, Petrarca Rugby 0pts
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)


Toulon TOULON 29 - 10 LYON RUGBY Lyon Rugby

STADE FELIX - Sunday 15th January 2012
KO: 17:30 HT: 10-3 Att: 14,121

TOULON clinched the bonus point in the dying minutes to keep their top position in the pool against Lyon. Jonny Wilkinson was on fine form for the home team as he knocked over a penalty and three out of four conversions with ease whilst creating some fabulous play. Lyon almost managed to hold back the siege of their opponents in order to at least deprive them of the bonus point but, alas, they just could not pull it off. Toulon raced over for their third try with only six minutes of play left and so had to go on the full offensive to seek out the extra point. Luckily, Luke Rooney delivered just in time, planting the ball to alleviate the nerves of the home crowd.

ToulonL Rooney, B Lapeyre, M Bastareaud, G Lovobalavu, A Palisson, J Wilkinson [C], L Magnaval (F Cibray 48), E Lewis-Roberts (L Emmanuelli 66), M Ivaldi (J Orioli 59), D Kubriashvili (C Hayman 57), C Samson (D Schofield 32), K Chesney, P Gunther, J El Abd (S Armitage 73), L Senatore

SCORERS T: Senatore, Lapeyre, Gunther, Rooney C: Wilkinson (3) P: Wilkinson

Lyon RugbyR Lespinas, J Bailey (E Tomamichel 41), W Sukanaveita, N Raffault, M Ratuvou (T Regard 66), L Tranier, M du Bruyn (R Veniat 53), A Tchougong Kamga (S Petit 53), A Testa (S Miro 66), A Roux (G Kavtidze 49), C Short (C Njewel 54), A Marchois [C], E Nzi, A Dorier (J Leguizamon 49), N Bontinck

SCORERS T: Bontinck C: Lespinas P: de Bruyn YC J Leguizamon

Match points: Toulon 5pts, Lyon Rugby 0pts
Referee: James Jones (Wales)



POOL 3Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 3

Bordeaux BèglesBORDEAUX-BÈGLES 6 - 12 BAYONNE Bayonne

STADE ANDRE MOGA - Thursday 12th January 2012
KO: 20:15 HT: 3-6 Att: 2,900

IT was a kicking game for supporters of Bayonne and Bordeaux Bègles with the former coming out victorious. The match was not thrilling, that much can be said, but it was enough to keep Bayonne in contention for the final eight. Bayonne’s fly-half, Benjamin Boyet, showed his kicking prowess whilst Bordeaux’s failed to make an impression and was duly replaced. However, the damage had been done by this point and the homeside could not make up the deficit.

Bordeaux BèglesL Ferreres [C], V Lilo, C Brousse, M Denetre, D Domvo (B Connor 60), N Sanchez (M Saubusse 23), J Seron (R Carballo 64), F Labbe (R Davies 64), F Rofes, J Roux (P Toetu 57), A Chauveau (A Jaulhac 57), F Tisseau, C Ternisien, L Madaule, H Chalmers

SCORERS P: Saubusse (2) 

BayonneC Lagain, M O'Connor, T Lacroix (M Phillips 60), S Gerber, J Rokocoko, B Boyet, C Garcia (J Audy 64), V Manukula, F Da Ros, R Boyoud (C Baiocco 38), D Haare, T Flavell, J Marmouyet (F Carillo 51), J Puricelli, M Baget [C]

SCORERS P: Boyet (4)

Match points: Bordeaux-Begles 1pts, Bayonne 4pts
Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)


Femi CZ Rugby RovigoFEMI-CZ VEA ROVIGO 11 - 32 LONDON WASPS London Wasps

STADIO MARIO BATTAGLINI - Saturday 14th January 2012
KO: 15:00 HT: 6-12 Att: 1,200

LONDON WASPS made light work of Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo, walking away with the bonus point and holding their top position in their pool.   Although the Italian side stayed within touching distance in the first half, ending it only 6 points down, their luck stopped soon after the interval. Samuele Pace gifted Rovigo with their only try, but the points gap was soon to widen vastly as Wasps began their attack. The visitors thundered through the homeside’s defence picking up three further tries to add to their first half one. The last was scored by Richard Haughton, who sealed the bonus point for his side and finished the match perfectly for Wasps fans.

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoS Basson (L Lubian 41), S Pace, J Van Niekerk, R Pedrazzi, R Pavan (G Bustos 64), D Duca, M Merlo (M Wilson 75), A Ceglie (M Ravalle 46), L Mahoney [C] (D Giazzon 62), O Lombardi (G Datola 68), D Tumiati, J Montauriol, A Persico, E Lubian (A De Marchi 49), M Ferro (T Reato 50)

SCORERS T: Pace P: Duca (2) 

London WaspsH Southwell, R Haughton, E Daly (C Mayor 70), R Flutey, J Wallace, R Davis, N Berry (J Simpson 67), T Payne, R Webber, B Broster, J Burton, M Wentzel [C], J Harris (M Everard 58), J Poff, S Jones

SCORERS T: Jones, Daly, Davis, Haughton C: Davis (3) P: Davis (2)

Match points: Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 0pts, London Wasps 5pts
Referee: Laurent Cardona (France)



POOL 4Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 4

I Cavalieri Prato I CAVALIERI PRATO 10 - 50 EXETER CHIEFS Exeter Chiefs

STADIO LUNGOBISENZIO - Saturday 14th January 2012
KO: 14:30 HT: 3-17 Att: 1,050

EXETER CHIEFS left a decimated I Cavalieri Prato in their wake as they stacked up a stunning 50 points against the Italians. Exeter completely played on Cavalieri’s weak points, extracting two penalty tries from pressurising in the set pieces. The homeside struggled to deal with the power of their English opposition and were soon floundering hopelessly. The Chiefs produced 7 tries in total and showed off their range of talents kicking, pushing and dashing to victory. Nicola Belardo did save his teams blushes a little with a consolatory try, but it was clear that Cavalieri were out matched from the off.

I Cavalieri PratoR Wakarua (D Berryman 46), B Ngwaini (A Lunardi 54), C Von Grumbkov, A Chiesa [C], N Tempestini, R Bocchino, C Callori di Vignale (M Frati 68), N De Gregori (G Marino 41), L Giovanchelli (A Lupetti 71), T Ryan (A Borsi 69), R Nifo Tautua (F Cazzola 56), U Kolo'ofai (F Cazzola 51), L Petillo, A Damiani (N Belardo 46), A Saccardo

SCORERS T: Belardo C: Bocchino P: Wakarua YC L Petillo

Exeter ChiefsP Dollman, B Rennie, J Tatupu (I Mieres 70), M Dorrian, M Foster, G Steenson [C], K Barrett (P Phibbs 46), H Tui (L Cowan-Dickie 68), S Alcott (C Whitehead 51), J Andress (C Budgen 57), C Bentley, A Muldowney, D Ewers, B White, J Phillips (T Johnson 52)

SCORERS T: Penalty Try (2), Foster, Muldowney, Phibbs, Mieres C: Steenson (3) Dorrian, Mieres P: Steenson

Match points: I Cavalieri Prato 0pts, Exeter Chiefs 5pts
Referee: Cedric Marchat (France)


Perpignan PERPIGNAN 27 - 3 DRAGONS Newport Gwent Dragons

STADE AIME GIRAL - Saturday 14th January 2012
KO: 20:55 HT: 15-3 Att: 10,414

PERPIGNAN made a big impression in the first half to leave Newport Gwent Dragons unable to recover. Jérôme Porical gave the homeside their early advantage as he continually hit the mark with pin-point precision, producing 5 penalties in the initial 40 minutes. After the break, Dragons made a brilliant, but sadly brief, comeback as Aled Brew crossed just 2 minutes after the restart. But this was all to fall apart as Robert Sidoli was sent marching to the sinbin. This gave Perpignan the opportunity to claim their first try of two, and restored the deficit. Even when the French side went down to 13 men after two of the team felt the wrath of the referee for simultaneous dangerous tackles, Dragons failed to make the most of their chances and could only pull a penalty from the situation. The second, late try from Perpignan closed the match and put an end to the Dragons’ unsettled play.

PerpignanJ Porical (N Laharrague 57), F Sid (A Batlle 52), D Marty, M Mermoz, A Plante, G Hume, D Mele (F Cazenave 70), K Pulu (J Schuster 52), C Geli (M Tincu 74), B Bourrust (N Mas 52), G Britz, R Taofifenua (R Tchale Watchou 54), G Le Corvec (D Chouly 29), J Perez [C], O Tonita

SCORERS T: Geli, Tchali-Watchou C: Porical P: Porical (5) YC R Tchale Watchou, A Batlle

Newport Gwent DragonsM Thomas, W Harries, A Hughes, A Tuilagi (T Riley 75), A Brew, M Jones (S Jones 70), W Evans (J Evans 75), N Williams (P Price 70), S Jones (R Buckley 55), N Buck (D Way 61), A Jones (T Brown 75), R Sidoli, D Lydiate [C], L Evans, T Faletau

SCORERS T: Brew C: M Jones P: M Jones (2) YC R Sidoli

Match points: Perpignan 4pts, Newport Gwent Dragons 0pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)



POOL 5Amlin Challenge Cup Round 5 Pool 5

Brive BRIVE 50 - 13 AGEN Agen

STADE AMEDEE DOMENECH - Friday 13th January 2012
KO: 20:00 HT: 19-6 Att: 3,500

BRIVE remain unbeaten after hitting the 50 point mark against Agen at home. It was obvious from the outset that Brive would see little challenge from the visitors and were soon on the rampage against their less than impressive opposition. The homeside tallied a total of 7 tries and flooded the Agen defence from all directions. They reigned supreme in all aspects of play, as shown by the range of players scoring, from props to fullbacks. Although Agen mustered a lone try, thanks to Belisario Agulla, the team gave little resistance against the mighty Brive squad.

BriveJ Caminati (B Caminati 64), J Boussuge, R Cooke (C Marienval 41), R Swanepoel, G Namy, S Spedding, A Figuerola, D Khinchagishvili (J Poirot 66), V Lacombe [C] (I Natriashvili 41), A Barozzi (P Cardinali 70), T Dubarry, R Uys (O Caisso 54), V Forgues (A Claassen 60), S Azoulai (P Hauman 64), P Luafutu

SCORERS T: J Caminati, Namy, Lacombe, Barozzi, B Caminati, Marienval C: B Caminati (3) P: J Caminati (3)

AgenB Agulla, L Tagotago, M Avramovic, J Pelesasa [C], R Edmond-Samuel, M Lamoulie (V Courrent 54), S Dupuy (A Bales 54), J Schwalger (L Cabarry 41), S Telefoni, B Sheklashvili (M Scelzo 60), J Mondoulet (D Lagrange 50), P O'Connor, P Julien, A Erbani (J Monribot 74), M Giraud

SCORERS T: Agulla C: Lamoulie P: Lamoulie (2)

Match points: Brive 5pts, Agen 0pts
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)


Club Rugby La VilaRC LA VILA 10 - 69 SALE SHARKS Sale Sharks

BENIDORM STADIUM - Saturday 14th January 2012
KO: 16:00 HT: 10-31 Att: 2,000

SALE SHARKS grabbed the most points this week with an astounding 69 compared to RC La Vila’s lowly 10. The Sharks were up and running after just 10 minutes of play and from here a cascade of points was seen, coming in the form of 11 tries. The Spanish side could do nothing to stop the flow and, although they managed a try from their efforts, it was certainly a one-sided match.

Club Rugby La VilaE Sorribes Ramirez, M Poggi, J Knight, N Reid (T Evans 25), J Quirante Carmona (F Lopez Sanchez 45), N McCashin, H Quirelli (A Hebrard 62), R Martinez Sánchez (D Vazquez Orrego 58), J Phipps, J Hutchinson (E Fuster 72), T Cleary (H Davies 50), M Walker-Fitton, J Els (P Previtera 72), F Gonzales (P Martinez Manzano 50), M Cook [C]

SCORERS T: Evans C: McCashin P: McCashin

Sale SharksJ Tuculet, T Brady, L Burrell, J Davies, W Addison (W Cliff 41), R Miller (N Fowles 64), S Mathie, L Imiolek, J Ward (D Seymour 53), V Cobilas (T Buckley 45), A Ostrikov (R Harrison 64), K Myall (W Lewaravu 45), M Easter [C], T Taylor, R Vernon

SCORERS T: Brady (2), Tuculet, Ward, Miller (2), Vernon (2), Cliff, Mathie, Davies C: Miller (7)

Match points: CR La Vila 0pts, Sale Sharks 5pts
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)



ERC Round 4

POOL 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 1

Stade Francais STADE FRANÇAIS 45 - 3 CROCIATICrociati Rugby

STADE CHARLÉTY - Thursday 15 December 2011
KO: 20.30 HT: 12-3 Att: 2,500

Stade Francais CrociatiONCE again Banca Monte Crociati were crushed by the mighty force of Stade Français Paris. A lost and vulnerable Crociati side could do nothing to stop the rampage as the homeside romped over the tryline seven times. Although this was not as terrible as the last week when Crociati did not manage any points and watched nine tries be scored against them, the game was still pretty pitiful to watch. The visitors grabbed a consolatory penalty for their efforts and should be encouraged at their improvement, even if it still leaves them outstripped by a class side like Stade. A week was simply not enough to turn their performance around.

Stade FrancaisH Bonneval, P Sackey (A Rokokaro 69), M Turinui (J Danty 65), Q Valancon, D Camara, J Plisson, J Fillol (B Kelleher 65), O Milloud (R Slimani 54), L Sempere (A De Malmanche 41), S Wright, A Flanquart, P Papé, L Tomiki (A Burban 44), P Rabadan [C], D Lyons

SCORERS T: P Papé (2), P Rabadan, L Sempere, D Lyons, D Camara, A De Malmanche C: J Fillol (3), J Plisson (2)

Crociati RugbyF Magri (T Enodeh 27), L Carritiello, H En Naour (D Delnevo 68), G Alberghini (J Ireland 50), F Casalini, F Ruffolo (D Farolini 50), J Zucconi, P Singh, A Manici, M Coletti (L Milani 57), M Van Vuren, D Fletcher [C] (R Mandelli 57), E Ruffolo, G Sciacca, E Caffini (C Festuccia 70)

SCORERS P: F Ruffolo

Match points: Stade Français Paris 5pts, Banca Monte Crociati 0pts
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)


Worcester WarriorsWORCESTER 57 - 13 BUCHAREST WOLVESBucharest Wolves

SIXWAYS - Saturday 17 December 2011
KO: 15.00 HT: 24-6 Att: 6,700

WORCESTER WARRIORS built on their game from last week, making their second bout with Bucharest Wolves an easy one. The Warriors had clearly gone home and studied their game in the week because they really knew how to play on the Wolves’ weaknesses. The visitors did not respond well to the pressure, seeing four players being sent for spells in the sin bin, leaving the homeside with plenty of opportunity. The crumpling of Bucharest’s discipline helped tremendously in the homeside scoring their nine tries of the match, and the Romanians will be very disappointed with how badly they dealt with the situation. Although the Wolves produced a try, the rest of their play was uninspiring and unconvincing, much to the chagrin of their supporters. However, this just proves how much a team can improve if they analyse their game when having back-to-back matches. Worcester are now in a strong position for this tournament with only Stade Français Paris as true competition.

Worcester WarriorsC Pennell [C], M Garvey, A Grove (J Drauniniu 17), A Short, M Benjamin, J Carlisle (A Goode 41), S Perry (J Arr 41), B Douglas (G Porter 51), E Shervington (A Lutui 41), T Taumoepeau (O Tomaszczyk 58), J Percival (C Gillies 41), B Gulliver, N Dacres (C Jones 58), J Abbott, R Muagututia

SCORERS T: M Garvey (2), A Lutui, M Benjamin, C Pennell, J Abbott, J Drauniniu, N Dacres, Penalty Try C: A Goode (4), J Carlisle (2)

Bucharest WolvesF Vlaicu [C] (F Surugiu 28), I Niacsu, C Gheara, C Dinis, M Apostol, F Fantanaru (I Florea 41), G Diaconescu (V Ivan 41), A Ursache (F Dobre 41), E Capatana, R Boar (P Zapan 63), C Ratiu (V Popirlan 48), C Munteanu, A Mitu, A Ion (V Rus 48), B Petreanu

SCORERS T: V Popirlan C: I Florea P: F Vlaicu (2) YC A Mitu (12), C Munteanu (39), V Rus (54), P Zapan (80)

Match points: Worcester Warriors 5pts, Bucharest Wolves 0pts
Referee: Stefano Penne (Italy)Top


POOL 2Amlin Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 2

Petrarca Rugby PETRARCA PADOVA 3 - 43 LYON RUGBY Lyon Rugby

STADIO PLEBISCITO - Saturday 17 December 2011
KO: 15.00 HT: 3-33 Att: 1,000

LYON trampled over Petrarca Padova to clinch a victory before half time at Stadio Plebiscito. The French side completely dominated the initial 40 minutes, stacking up an impressive 31 points before the break. The homeside were caught napping as Waisele Sukanaveita stormed over after just 2 minutes, and from here on out it was one-way traffic. After working hard in the first half, Lyon relaxed after the restart, only adding another 10 points to keep their score ticking over. Meanwhile Petrarca could not add to the 3 points they had produced before half time, unable to break through the cast-iron defence of the homeside. Lyon were not taking chances this week, making sure they had a sure victory, and bonus point, with another half still to come.

Petrarca RugbyJ Sanchez, S Bortolussi, M Neethling, R Bertetti [C] (A Chillon 41), A Morsellino (F Faggiotto 41), E Hickey, P Travagli (A Chillon 41), M Alonso (A Furia 55), N Gatto (F Damiano 41), L D'Agostino (C Caporello 51), A Cavalieri (M Tveraga 55), E Targa, M Barbini, L Persico (Z Ansell 41), D Kingi


Lyon RugbyM van Gisbergen (R Loursac 52); A Fatafehi, T Regard, W Sukanaveita (L Thomas 52), M Ratuvou; X Sadourny [capt], M du Bruyn (R Januarie 58); G Kavtidze (S Petit 41), A Testa (J Bonrepaux 60), P Toleafoa (A Roux 49), C Short, C Basson, G Gambetta (A Marchois 65), J Sousa (E Nzi 28), N Bontinck

SCORERS T: M van Gisbergen, A Testa, A Fatafehi (2) , T Regard, W Sukanaveita (2) C: M van Gisbergen (4)

Match points: Petrarca Rugby 0pts, Lyon Rugby 5pts
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)


ToulonTOULON 36 - 10 NEWCASTLE FALCONSNewcastle Falcons

STADE FÉLIX MAYOL - Saturday 17 December 2011
KO: 20.45 HT: 22-3 Att: 13,264

Toulon NewcastleTOULON had certainly learnt their lesson from last week’s rather tedious game and, when facing Newcastle Falcons again, were determined to show what they could really do. The weekend after his international retirement announcement, it was Jonny Wilkinson who shone through for Toulon. Wilkinson grabbed 11 points out of his side’s 36 and was on top form as the French team cruised to victory. Newcastle were too slow off the mark as they allowed Toulon to claim three first half tries whilst they floundered, only producing a single penalty in retaliation. The game was lost by this point and Eifion Lewis-Roberts sealed it soon after the restart, plucking the try bonus point for Toulon. Newcastle just could not get to grips with the match and only scraped together one try in response to Toulon’s five.

ToulonB Lapeyre, C Loamanu, M Bastareaud, G Messina, A Palisson, J Wilkinson [C], L Magnaval, E Lewis-Roberts, M Ivaldi, C Hayman, C Samson, K Chesney, L Senatore, P Gunther, S Armitage BENCH: J Orioli, L Emmanuelli, D Kubriashvili, J Tawake, J Dumora, D Smith, F Cibray, D Schofield

SCORERS T: E Lewis-Roberts, G Messina, D Smith, C Loamanu (2) C: J Wilkinson (4) P: J Wilkinson

Newcastle FalconsG Goosen, L Eves, C Uys, J Helleur, J Fitzpatrick, J Manning, J Pasqualin, G Shiells, J Graham, E Murray, J Hudson [C], A Van der Heijden, M Wilson, W Welch, M Mayhew BENCH: R Vickers, A Wells, D Frazier, T Swinson, A Hogg, C Pilgrim, T Catterick, L Fielden

SCORERS T: C Uys C: J Manning P: J Manning

Match points: Toulon 5pts, Newcastle Falcons 0pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)



POOL 3Amlin Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 3

Bordeaux BèglesBORDEAUX-BÈGLES 15 - 10 FEMI ROVIGOFemi CZ Rugby Rovigo

STADE ANDRE MOGA - Thursday 15 December 2011
KO: 19.00 HT: 5-10 Attendance: 2,000

FEMI-CZ VEA ROVIGO went down again, but not without a decent fight against Bordeaux-Bègles. Although Bordeaux were quick off the mark, bagging their first try within 10 minutes of play, Rovigo struck back with vigour and pulled themselves into a 5 point lead by the interval. The Italian side showed commitment and skill as they produced a converted try and a drop goal in the first half. However, Bordeaux seemed to shake themselves during the break and came back with menace in the final 40 minutes. Nicolas Sanchez worked his magic to secure all of the second half points personally and, although they made a superb effort, Rovigo simply could not keep the win in their grasp.

Bordeaux BèglesC Lopez (C Brousse 52), T Brana, J Rey (A Mailei 57), M Denetre, L Ferreres [C, N Sanchez, M Saubusse (H Adams 66), F Labbe (F Rofes 57), B Bethery (J Turini 19), P Toetu (A Neveu 57), A Chauveau, F Tisseau, H Chalmers (M Clarkin 59), L Madaule, L Houston

SCORERS T: N Sanchez, B Bethery C: N Sanchez P: N Sanchez

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoM Wilson (S Basson 43), R Pavan (S Basson 13), S Pace, G Bustos (J Van Niekerk 64), R Pedrazzi, D Duca, M Zanirato (M Merlo 69), N Quaglio (G Datola 69), D Giazzon (L Mahoney 52), G Boccalon (A Ceglie 56), D Tumiati (M Ferro 59), T Reato [C], E Lubian (A Persico 74), F Cristiano, H Scholtz

SCORERS T: R Pedrazzi C: S Pace, DG: D Duca

Match points: Bordeaux-Bègles 4pts, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 1pts
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)


London Wasps LONDON WASPS 25 - 11 BAYONNE Bayonne

ADAMS PARK - Thursday 15 December 2011
KO: 19.45 HT: 13-11 Attendance: 4,350

London Wasps BayonneAFTER the upset of last week, London Wasps managed to turn things around beating Bayonne with style. It was clear that the Wasps were focused this time round as they began with an early try and a brutal defence. This was enough to hold Bayonne back by a 2 point deficit at the break, although it should have been a greater margin if Riki Flutey had not have been sent marching to the sin bin. But thankfully, apart from this moment, the Wasps’ discipline was much improved on their previous matches and this stopped Bayonne from increasing their score after the break. Meanwhile, some precision kicking from Nick Robinson and one almighty boot from Elliot Daly nudged the Wasps’ score upwards. In the end the homeside were left elated and reflecting on what a difference a week, and good discipline, can make.

London WaspsH Southwell, R Haughton, E Daly, R Flutey, C Wade, N Robinson, J Simpson (C Davies 41), T Payne (Z Taulafo 60), R Webber, J Castex (B Baker 64), E O'Donoghue, M Wentzel, R Birkett, S Jones, J Hart [C] (J Burton 13)

SCORERS T: S Jones C: N Robinson P: N Robinson (5), E Daly Yellow Card R Flutey (28)

BayonneC Heymans, M O'Connor, T Lacroix, L Mazars (S Gerber 41), J Rokocoko, B Boyet, C Garcia, A Iguiniz (V Manukula 60), D Roumieu (F Da Ros 72), N Tialata (D Avril 60), R Linde [C] (T Flavell 56), A Boutaty, J Marmouyet (M Baget 60), J Puricelli, S Lauaki (F Da Ros 66)

SCORERS T: S Lauaki P: B Boyet (2) Yellow Card D Roumieu (61)

Match points: London Wasps 4pts, Bayonne 0pts
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)



POOL 4Amlin Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 4

I Cavalieri Prato I CAVALIERI PRATO 13 - 30 PERPIGNAN Perpignan

STADIO LUNGOBISENZIO - Saturday 17 December 2011
KO: 14.30 HT: 6-13 Att: 1,500

I Cavalieri Prato PerpignanI CAVALIERI PRATO tried courageously to fight off Perpignan once more but the second half saw them crumple eventually. It was a bright start for the Italians as Rima Wakarua knocked over two penalties in quick succession to give the homeside an early lead. But Perpignan were soon on the front foot, and created a gap by being awarded a penalty try. This was the beginning of the end for Cavalieri, who were just keeping in touch at half time. A further four tries, including a second penalty try, saw the French team clean up, whilst their opposition were left behind. It was a brave battle put up by the homeside and if they could have remained consistent, who knows, perhaps they could have pulled it back from the precipice.

I Cavalieri PratoD Berryman, B Ngwaini, C Von Grumbkov, A Chiesa [C], F Vezzosi (M Murgier 66), R Wakarua (N Tempestini 71), M Frati (C Callori di Vignale 57), G Marino (R Balboni 52), L Giovanchelli, T Ryan, G Bernini, F Cazzola, L Petillo, N Belardo (E Leonardi 52), R Nifo Tautua (A Saccardo 28)

SCORERS T: N Tempestini C: A Chiesa, P: R Wakarua (2) YC D Berryman (49)

Perpignan Porical, F Sid, D Marty [C], R Coetzee, A Plante (A Batlle 71), G Bosch (J Hook 41), K Boulogne (F Cazenave 57), J Schuster (P Freshwater 49), M Tincu (C Geli 50), B Bourrust (D Thiart 61), G Britz (R Taofifenua 63), R Tchale Watchou, B Guiry, D Chouly, H Tuilagi (K Pulu 75)

SCORERS T: H Tuilagi, F Cazenave, Penalty Try (2) C: J Porical (2) P: J Porical (2)

Match points: I Cavalieri Prato 0pts, Perpignan 4pts
Referee: James Jones (Wales)


Newport Gwent DragonsDRAGONS 19 - 23 EXETER CHIEFS Exeter Chiefs

RODNEY PARADE - Sunday 18 December 2011
KO: 17.45 HT: 16-6 Att: 5,137

EXETER CHIEFS pulled off a close win against the Newport Gwent Dragons with a continuing strong performance. It was the Dragons who were on top for the first half, with Toby Faletau making a stunning dash that outstripped the Exeter defence, and Jason Tovey collecting points with pin-point kicking. Exeter’s Ignacio Mieres put the visitors on the scoreboard but missed an opportunity in a rare show of inaccuracy. This was not the only problem for the Chiefs, who saw Simon Alcott be shown a yellow for a dangerous tackle. However, the second half brought promise and a fight-back. Exeter swapped an off-form Mieres for a miracle Gareth Steenson, who converted Alcott’s try and knocked over a penalty to put the Chiefs just 3 points behind. Then a moment of pure delight for Chiefs’ fans as, with 4 minutes of play left, James Phillips found the tryline to snatch the win. Steenson added the extras and the visitors rejoiced.

Newport Gwent DragonsM Thomas, T Chavhanga, A Hughes, A Tuilagi, A Brew (W Harries 57), J Tovey, W Evans, N Williams (P Price 65), L Burns (R Buckley 65), N Buck, A Jones, R Sidoli, D Lydiate, G Thomas [C], T Faletau

SCORERS T: T Faletau C: J Tovey P: J Tovey (4)

Exeter ChiefsL Arscott, N Sestaret, J Shoemark, P Dollman, M Jess, I Mieres (G Steenson 41), P Phibbs (K Barrett 48), B Sturgess (H Tui 58), S Alcott (N Clark 58), C Mitchell (J Andress 58), T Hayes [C], C Bentley (A Muldowney 58), B White (D Ewers 12), J Scaysbrook, J Phillips

SCORERS T: J Phillips, S Alcott C: G Steenson (2) P: I Mieres (2), G Steenson Yellow Card S Alcott (20)

Match points: Newport Gwent Dragons 1pts, Exeter Chiefs 4pts
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France) Top


POOL 5Amlin Challenge Cup Round 4 Pool 5

Brive BRIVE 38 - 13 CR LA VILA Club Rugby La Vila

STADE AMÉDÉE DOMENECH - Thursday 15 December 2011
KO: 20.00 HT: 33-3 Attendance: 3,500

CR LA VILA continued to flounder as they felt another pounding from Brive. The scoring was thick and fast as Brive began like a whirlwind. La Vila did not stand a chance as they braced themselves for a battering. Within 22 minutes the French side had claimed the bonus point and their opponents were scrabbling, although the visitors did manage to find a penalty. La Vila made a valiant start to the second half with a brilliant try by Nathan Reid but this was the beginning and end of their come-back attempt. It was an easy victory for Brive, leaving La Vila in their wake.

BriveS Spedding (R Swanepoel 41), C Marienval, S Galala, J Caminati, M Atayi, B Caminati, A Figuerola (M Belie 41), P Henn (J Poirot 41), L Acosta (A Barozzi 60), P Cardinali (P Barnard 41), J Le Devedec, O Caisso, vs Forgues (P Luafutu 41), A Bias (A Mela 60), S Azoulai [C]

SCORERS T: A Bias, M Belie, S Spedding, M Atayi, L Acosta, B Caminati C: B Caminati (4)

Club Rugby La VilaE Sorribes Ramirez (T Evans 76), J Quirante Carmona, M Poggi, N Reid, J Carrion Llorens, N McCashin, A Hebrard, R Martinez Sánchez (D Vazquez Orrego 51), J Phipps, J Hutchinson (E Fuster 74), T Cleary (K Hansen Ruiz 41), M Walker-Fitton, J Els, F Gonzales (J Vasquez Rodriguez 80), M Cook [C]

SCORERS T: N Reid C: N McCashin P: N McCashin (2) Yellow Card J Carrion Llorens (19), M Cook (76)

Match points: Brive 5pts, CR La Vila 0pts
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)


Sale Sharks SALE SHARKS vs AGEN Agen

EDGELEY PARK - Sunday 18 December 2011
KO: 15.00 HT: 20-9 Att: 4,915

Sale Sharks AgenSALE SHARKS showed they had consistence with another confident victory over Agen. The Sharks have got into their stride in this tournament and were soon exchanging penalties with the visitors. Agen were also doing well but were struck a blow when Damien Lagrange felt the wrath of the referee and was sent marching. Sale did not waste this opportunity, thanks to Tom Brady and David Seymour, grabbing two tries and claiming a comfortable lead to take into the interval. It was not long after the restart that another flurry of tries began and Sharks had put to bed another game and a bonus point. There was a late surge from the visiting French but it was all too late and, with Scott Mathie trooping over for Sale’s fifth, there was no way back for the visitors.

Sale SharksR Miller, T Brady, A Higgins, J Leota, L Burrell, N MacLeod (J Tuculet 64), C Willis (S Mathie 64), A Dickinson (L Imiolek 57), T Taylor, H Thomas (V Cobilas 57), F McKenzie, A Ostrikov, J Gaskell, D Seymour [C] (A Powell 57), R Vernon

SCORERS T: D Seymour, C Willis, S Mathie, T Brady (2) C: N MacLeod (4), R Miller P: N MacLeod (2)

AgenS Tian, B Agulla, M Avramovic, M Ahotaeiloa, S Dupuy, V Courrent (M Lamoulie 55), A Bales (J Robinson 65), S Telefoni (L Cabarry 41), J Janaudy, M Scelzo (B Sheklashvili 41), P O'Connor (D Senekal 60), D Lagrange, P Julien, J Mondoulet, A Erbani (O Fonua 55)

SCORERS T: J Robinson, D Senekal C: M Lamoulie P: V Courrent (3) YC D Lagrange (17)

Match points: Sale Sharks 5pts, Agen 0pts
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)Top


ERC Round 3

POOL 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 1

Crociati RugbyBANCA MONTE CROCIATI 0 - 57 STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

STADIO XV APRILE - Saturday 10th December 2011
KO: 16:00 HT: 0-17 Att: 1,000

Crociati Stade FrancaisA hugely disappointing game for Banca Monte Crociati saw them be decimated by Stade Français Paris. Crociati barely made it into enemy territory throughout the match as they flailed about trying to cease the relentless attacks. The visitors showed no mercy as they crossed an astounding nine times, much to the embarrassment of the scoreless homeside. Alexander Rokobaro was a huge problem for Crociati, causing havoc whenever he touched the ball and claiming a hat-trick for his efforts. Crociati were simply out-played and out-done.

Crociati RugbyM Gennari, B Vengoa (L Carritiello 49), T Enodeh, S Damiani, G Rubini, L Morisi (D Farolini 52), J Ireland [C] (J Zucconi 41), F Pepoli (M Coletti 25), C Festuccia, L Milani, M Van Vuren, R Mandelli, E Ruffolo, D Delnevo (D Fletcher 49), E Caffini

SCORERS Yellow Card L Milani (50), C Festuccia (61)

Stade FrancaisA Rokokaro, F Fainifo, M Turinui, J Danty, J Arias (D Camara 49), P Warwick (J Plisson 41), B Kelleher, R Slimani, D Szarzewski (R Bonfils 41), N Tetaz, T Palmer (A Flanquart 56), G Mostert, A Chollon, A Burban, S Parisse [C] (L Tomiki 56)

SCORERS T: S Parisse (2), J Arias, M Turinui, A Burban, D Camara, A Rokokaro (3) C: P Warwick, J Plisson (5) Yellow Card L Tomiki (79)

Match points: Banca Monte Crociati 0pts, Stade Français Paris 5pts
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)

Bucharest WolvesBUCHAREST WOLVES 13 - 24 WORCESTERWorcester Warriors

ARCUL DE TRIUMF - Sunday 11th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 6-12 Att: 2,000

BUCHAREST WOLVES were beaten late into the second half by Worcester Warriors. The homeside began the scoring with a penalty but were soon left trailing as Drauniniu found the line for a converted try. Jake Abbott then followed suit, although this time the conversion flew wide, but Bucharest were still in touching distance at the break thanks to a couple of penalties. It was soon after the interval that the homeside pulled in front with a converted try from Florin Surugiu. This left the Warriors a little worried as they had expected an easier match against the rebellious Romanians. But Worcester gritted their teeth and focused on the bonus point as Errie Claassens, followed in the last minute by James Currie, went over to claim the extra two tries and the victory.

Bucharest WolvesF Vlaicu, C Gheara, J Makapelu, C Dinis (I Niacsu 44), M Apostol, I Florea (F Fantanaru 56), F Surugiu, F Dobre (E Capatana 44), F Tasca (A Ursache 44), V Badalicescu (R Boar 50), C Ratiu (V Popirlan 52), C Munteanu, B Petreanu (A Mitu 57), A Ion, V Rus [C]

SCORERS T: F Surugiu C: F Vlaicu P: F Vlaicu (2) Yellow Card M Apostol (60)

Worcester WarriorsC Pennell [C], T Arscott, A Short, S Tu'ipulotu (E Claassens 56), J Drauniniu, D Gray (A Goode 41), J Arr (O Frost 66), B Douglas (G Porter 56), C Fortey (O Hayes 56), O Tomaszczyk (J Currie 66), J Percival, B Gulliver, S Betty (J Currie 33), J Abbott, C Jones (A Lutui 66)

SCORERS T: J Abbott, J Drauniniu, E Claassens, J Currie C: A Goode, D Gray Yellow Card O Tomaszczyk (35), B Gulliver (61)

Match points: Bucharest Wolves 0pts, Worcester Warriors 5pts
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)



POOL 2Amlin Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 2

Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS 6 - 3 TOULONToulon

KINGSTON PARK - Thursday 8th December 2011
KO: 19:45 HT: 0-0 Att: 5,579

Newcastle ToulonAN exceptionally low scoring game left Newcastle Falcons on top against Toulon but did not thrill the crowds much at Kingston Park. Neither side managed to make a dent in the scoreline by half time, although Jimmy Gopperth had a chance to pull ahead with a penalty. The weather was poor and the wind made kicking an art but, in truth, this game showed little promise of excitement. The second half allowed the homeside to pull ahead with Gopperth slotting over two penalties. Toulon struck back with one of their own by Julien Dumora but they could not find the rest leaving Falcons to claim the victory.

Newcastle FalconsG Goosen, L Eves, J Helleur, J Fitzpatrick, R Shortland (T Catterick 41), J Gopperth, J Pasqualin (W Chudley 51), G Shiells (A Wells 68), J Graham (D Frazier 80), E Murray, J Hudson [C] (A Hogg 75), A Van der Heijden, M Wilson, W Welch, R Mayhew (T Tuifua 51)

SCORERS P: J Gopperth (2)

ToulonL Rooney J Sinzelle, M Bastareaud, G Messina, B Lapeyre, J Dumora, L Magnaval, E Lewis-Roberts (X Chiocci 49), J Orioli (M Ivaldi 62), C Hayman, K Mikautadze (C Samson 58), D Schofield [C], P Gunther, A Faosiliva (S Armitage 62), S Rokobaro


Match points:
Newcastle Falcons 4pts, Toulon 1pts
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Lyon RugbyLYON RUGBY 31 - 16 PETRARCA PADOVAPetrarca Rugby

MATMUT STADIUM - Saturday 10th December 2011
KO: 17:00 HT: 18-10 Att: 6,169

LYON glided to victory over Petrarca Padova with an easy 31-16 win. The homeside made it clear they meant business, opening with an early try from Mosese Ratuvou, and quickly stamped their authority on the game. Nicolas Raffault soon extended their lead as he hurtled over the line, leaving Petrarca desperate for points. Luckily, Dion Kingi was there to take up the challenge and crossed for the visitors to reduce the deficit. The second half saw the kickers from both teams raking in the points but Lyon kept their grip in the game. The final blow was struck by Coenraad Basson, who swept over in the final minutes to seal the deal. Lyon will be very pleased with their first win of the tournament.

Lyon RugbyM van Gisbergen M Ratuvou (L Tranier 70), A Fatafehi (L Thomas 57), N Raffault, E Tomamichel R Lespinas, R Veniat (M du Bruyn 51) G Kavtidze (S Petit 57), J Bonrepaux (S Miro 70), J Facundo (A Roux 3), C Short, A Marchois [C] (C Basson 70), J Sousa, A Dorier (G Gambetta 45), N Bontinck

SCORERS T: N Raffault, C Basson, M Ratuvou C: M van Gisbergen (2) P: L Thomas, M van Gisbergen (3)

Petrarca RugbyE Hickey, S Bortolussi, A Chillon (J Sanchez 45), R Bertetti [C], W Spragg (N Sintich 60), T Walsh, P Travagli, M Alonso (A Furia 77), F Damiano (F Giuriatti 73), L D'Agostino (C Caporello 53), M Sutto (E Targa 23), A Cavalieri, Z Ansell (L Persico 57), M Barbini, D Kingi

T: D Kingi C: E Hickey P: E Hickey (3)

Match points: Lyon Rugby 4pts, Petrarca Padova 0pts
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)



POOL 3Amlin Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 1

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoFEMI-CZ VEA ROVIGO 7 - 31 BORDEAUX-BÈGLESBordeaux Bègles

STADIO MARIO BATTAGLINI - Saturday 10th December 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 0-10 Att: 800

FEMI CZ VEA ROVIGO found themselves well and truly under the thumb of Bordeaux-Bègles as they battled against the unstoppable French side. Bordeaux opened the scoring in style as Nicolas Sanchez walloped over a drop goal and put his mark on the match. Rovigo held their own for most of the first half, only allowing the visitors to slip through once, just before half time, for a score. The homeside even pulled off a try of their own after the break, with Riccardo Pavan flying over for a converted score. However, this strong performance was not to last and soon Bordeaux were racking up the points, sweeping in for three more tries and Sanchez converting everything he touched. The homeside’s game had evaporated and the visitors were happy to clean up.

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoS Basson, R Pavan, R Pedrazzi (C Bovolenta 75), J Van Niekerk (D Duca 46), L Lubian, G Bustos, M Zanirato (M Wilson 64), L Marsh (N Quaglio 47), L Mahoney [C] (D Giazzon 47), O Lombardi (G Boccalon 8), D Tumiati (M Barion 71), T Reato, A Persico, F Cristiano (E Lubian 61), H Scholtz

SCORERS T: R Pavan C: G Bustos

Bordeaux BèglesC Lopez V Lilo (T Brana 63), J Rey (A Mailei 51), M Denetre, L Ferreres [C], N Sanchez, J Seron (M Saubusse 51) L DelBoulbes (F Labbe 50), F Rofes (B Bethery 50), P Toetu (R Davies 69), C Treloar (A Chauveau 50), F Tisseau, C Ternisien (D Leo 64), L Madaule, H Chalmers

SCORERS T: V Lilo, F Tisseau, C Lopez, M Saubusse C: N Sancez (4) DG: N Sanchez

Match points: Bordeaux-Begles 5pts, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 0pts
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

BayonneBAYONNE 19 - 11 LONDON WASPSLondon Wasps

STADE JEAN DAUGER - Saturday 10th December 2011
KO: 20:45 HT: 13-6 Att: 11,876

Bayonne WaspsBAYONNE kept London Wasps at bay with a strong performance that the visitors just could not match. Wasps had the upper hand in the early stages thanks to some solid kicking from Nick Robinson which had pulled them in front. However, Yoann Huget soon ripped the lead away from the visiting side as he crossed for Bayonne’s only try. After this it was Bayonne’s game as Wasps found themselves without opportunity and giving away penalties. Elliot Daly managed to produce a consolatory try but this was not enough to put Wasps into the losing bonus point bracket. What had started so brightly for wasps had, once again, ended in disappointment.

BayonneC Heymans, Y Huget (T Lacroix 26), S Gerber, L Mazars, J Rokocoko, B Boyet (C Otazo 71), M Phillips (J Audy 73), V Manukula (A Iguiniz 63), F Da Ros, N Tialata (R Boyoud 56), R Linde, T Flavell (D Haare 60), J Marmouyet (D Roumieu 67), J Puricelli, M Baget [C] (S Lauaki 63)

SCORERS T: Y Huget C: B Boyet P: B Boyet (4) Yellow Card F Da Ros (65)

London WaspsH Southwell, T Varndell (E Daly 62), D Waldouck, R Flutey, C Wade, N Robinson, J Simpson (R Davis 73), T Payne (Z Taulafo 62), T Lindsay, B Broster (J Castex 62), E O'Donoghue, M Wentzel, S Jones, M Everard, J Hart [C] (J Burton 71)

SCORERS T: E Daly P: N Robinson (2) Yellow Card R Flutey, N Robinson

Match Points: Bayonne 4pts, London Wasps 0pts
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)



POOL 4Amlin Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 4

PerpignanPERPIGNAN 54 - 20 I CAVALIERI PRATOI Cavalieri Prato

STADE AIMÉ GIRAL - Friday 9th December 2011
KO: 19:00 HT: 17-3 Att: 5,160

Perpignan Cavalieri PratoAN emphatic win was seen for Perpignan against a struggling I Cavalieri Prato side. The homeside completely annihilated their opposition’s defence, going over six times and claiming two penalty tries. Although the Cavalieri tried to compete, with solid tries by Clemens Von Grumbkow and Dion Berryman, there was simply no way they could stem the flood. The Perpignan team were ruthless and mechanised as they found gaps in the visitor’s lines. The homeside found the bonus point with ease and left a wrecked Italian side in the wake.

PerpignanJ Michel (N Laharrague 60), A Batlle (A Plante 51), R Coetzee, G Hume, J Candelon, G Bosch, D Mele (K Boulogne 51), K Pulu (J Schuster 51), C Geli (M Tincu 51), D Thiart (B Bourrust 51), G Britz (Y Vivalda 51), R Taofifenua, G Le Corvec, J Perez [C] (D Chouly 55), H Tuilagi

SCORERS T: N Laharrague, J Candelon, A Plante, Y Vivalda, R Taofifenua (2), Penalty Try (2) C: G Bosch (7)

I Cavalieri PratoD Berryman (D Majstorovic 54), B Ngwaini, C Von Grumbkov (M Murgier 65), A Chiesa [C], R Wakarua, R Bocchino, P Patelli (M Frati 50), G Marino (R Balboni 41), L Giovanchelli (A Lupetti 60), T Ryan (D Stefani 71), G Bernini, F Cazzola, E Leonardi (N Belardo 61), A Saccardo, R Nifo Tautua (L Petillo 54)

SCORERS T: C Von Grumbkov, D Berryman C: R Wakarua (2) P: R Wakarua (2) Yellow Card R Bocchino (35)

Match points: Perpignan 5pts, I Cavalieri Prato 0pts
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Exeter ChiefsEXETER CHIEFS 18 - 6 DRAGONSNewport Gwent Dragons

STADIO LUNGOBISENZIO - Sunday 11th December 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 12-0 Att: 5,944

IT was all about the kicking when Exeter Chiefs took on Newport Gwent Dragons and Mieres’ boot came out on top. The homeside relied fully on their fly-half to seal the victory as neither side made it to the tryline. The Chiefs picked up most of their points in the first half after Mieres slotted 12 points whilst their opposition failed to get off the scoreboard before the interval. But, in the final 40 minutes, the Dragons hit back with a couple of penalties by Steffan Jones. These were soon cancelled out though as Mieres knocked over his final two penalties of the match and ended a rather tedious game.

Exeter ChiefsL Arscott, G Camacho (J Tatupu 65), N Sestaret, P Dollman, M Jess, I Mieres, H Thomas (P Phibbs 68), H Tui (C Budgen 65), S Alcott, C Mitchell (J Andress 58), T Hayes [C], C Bentley (A Muldowney 58), R Baxter, B White (D Ewers 68), J Phillips

SCORERS P: I Mieres (6)

Newport Gwent DragonsM Thomas, W Harries (A Brew 60), T Riley, A Tuilagi, A Hughes, S Jones (J Tovey 68), J Bedford (W Evans 43), P Price (N Williams 64), L Burns (R Buckley 71), N Buck (K Jenkins 64), A Jones, R Sidoli (S Morgan 64), D Lydiate, G Thomas [C], T Faletau

SCORERS P: S Jones Yellow Card J Bedford (34)

Match points: Exeter Chiefs 4pts, Newport Gwent Dragons 0pts
Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)



POOL 5Amlin Challenge Cup Round 3 Pool 5

AgenAGEN 14 - 29 SALE SHARKSSale Sharks

STADE ARMANDIE - Thursday 8th December 2011
KO: 20:30 HT: 7-29 Att: 3,117

Agen Sale SharksAGEN fell foul to an impressive Sale Sharks side, who bagged the try bonus point in their rampage before half-time. The Sharks began slowly with a neat penalty from Nick Macleod, before stepping it up a gear and flooding over the homeside’s line. The first try came from James Gaskell who was swiftly followed by Marc Jones. Richie Vernon then followed suit by crashing over and Luther Burrell stormed in to grab the bonus point. Amidst the battering, Agen miraculously claimed a try of their own thanks to Damien Lagrange, but they were clearly the lesser force and struggled to keep the visitors at bay for long. However, after the interval a different scene was set; the Sharks relaxed after their scoring frenzy and Agen hit back. The homeside knuckled down and showed grit as they fought to claim another try which came in the form of Pat O’Connor. Laurent Courrent converted to finish the scoring for the match, but this game had really ended before the whistle blew back in the initial 40 minutes.

AgenB Agulla, K Swiryn (S Dupuy 61), M Avramovic, J Robinson [C] (M Ahotaeiloa 53), S Vaka, V Courrent (M Lamoulie 63), A Bales, L Cabarry (J Schwalger 62), J Janaudy, B Sheklashvili (M Scelzo 66), P O'Connor, D Lagrange (D Senekal 61), P Julien, J Mondoulet, A Erbani (A Badenhorst 71)

SCORERS T:  D Lagrange, P O'Connor C: V Courrent (2)

Sale SharksM Cueto, L Burrell, A Higgins, S Tuitupou [C] (T Brady 74), J Tuculet, N Macleod (R Miller 74), C Willis (S Mathie 71), V Cobilas (A Dickinson 71), M Jones (T Taylor 66), T Buckley (H Thomas 61), A Ostrikov (F McKenzie 61), J Gaskell, R Vernon, D Seymour, A Powell

SCORERS T: M Jones, R Vernon, L Burrell, J Gaskell C: N Macleod (3) P: N Macleod

Match points: Agen 0pts, Sale Sharks 5pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)

Club Rugby La VilaRC LA VILA 18 - 47 BRIVEBrive

BELTRAMETTI - Saturday 10th December 2011
KO: 16:00 HT: 13-28 Att: 1,000

CR LA VILA struggled once again to find their feet in this tournament as Brive stormed to victory. Although La Vila made a valiant attempt to grapple the deficit back, the visitors were not to be denied, grabbing seven tries in total. Jacque Boussuge started the ball rolling after only 4 minutes with a wonderful try and then went on to tally up a hat-trick for Brive. La Vila replied with two of their own, one early in the first half and the second on the final whistle, and showed some great play in parts. However, Brive made easy work of the La Vila lines and these two glitches barely fazed them as they battened down the hatches and came away with the bonus point.

Club Rugby La VilaE Sorribes Ramirez, F Lopez Sanchez (J Quirante Carmona 54), M Poggi (B Coronel Densy 75), N Reid, J Carrion Llorens (T Evans 44), N McCashin (A Hebrard 51), H Quirelli (A Hebrard 59), D Vazquez Orrego, J Phipps (E Fuster 75), J Hutchinson (P Diez Samper 66), T Cleary, M Walker-Fitton, K Hansen Ruiz (H Davies 41), F Gonzales, M Cook [C]

SCORERS T: M Poggi, J Quirante Carmona C: N McCashin P: N McCashin (2) Yellow Card Beka Sheklashvili

BriveC Marienval (R Swanepoel 56), J Boussuge, R Cooke, G Namy (S Galala 41), M Atayi, B Caminati, J Pejoine, P Henn (J Poirot 41), L Acosta (P Barnard 60), A Barozzi (P Cardinali 41), J Le Devedec (T Dubarry 41), O Caisso, P Luafutu, V Forgues, A Claassen [C] (A Bias 41)

SCORERS T: J Boussuge (3), G Namy, L Acosta, S Galala (2) C: R Swanepoel, B Caminati (5) Yellow Card P Cardinali (75)

Match points: CR La Vila 0pts, Brive 5pts
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)



ERC Round 2

POOL 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 1

Stade FrancaisSTADE FRANÇAIS 49 - 3 BUCHARESTBucharest Wolves

STADE CHARLÉTY - Friday 18th November 2011
KO: 19:00 HT: 35-3 Att: 5,800

Stade Francais Paris BucarestSTADE FRANÇAIS PARIS annihilated Bucharest Wolves in the second week of the European competition with a seven try routing at the Stade Charléty to go top of the table. In less than half an hour, the French side had already secured the bonus point. Despite throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Stade, the Wolves could not penetrate the defence for the full 80 minutes, and a paltry 3 points was all they could come away with.

Stade FrancaisA Rokokaro, F Fainifo (H Bonneval 63), M Turinui, J Plisson, D Camara, B Kelleher, O Milloud (B Chabert 64), L Sempere (R Bonfils 64), R Slimani, A Flanquart, G Mostert, A Burban, P Rabadan [C] (S Lavalla 56), D Lyons (A Chollon 41)

SCORERS T: L Sempere, B Kelleher, M Turinui (2), A Burban, H Bonneval, F Fainifo, C: J Fillol (6), J Plisson

Bucharest WolvesF Vlaicu (C Gheara 70), I Niacsu, A Barbuliceanu, C Dinis, M Apostol, I Florea, G Diaconescu (F Surugiu 55), M Baraulea (A Ursache 41), A Radoi (E Capatana 64), N Nere (V Badalicescu 54), C Ratiu, M Danila (C Munteanu 41), M Macovei [C], V Lucaci, D Ianus (B Petreanu 51)


Match Points: Stade Français Paris 5pts, Bucharest Wolves 0pts
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)


Crociati RugbyCROCIATI 3 - 34 WORCESTER WARRIORSWorcester Warriors

STADIO XV APRILE - Saturday 19th November 2011
KO: 20:30 HT: 3-27 Att: 300

Crociati WorcesterTHE weather may have been atrocious but it was all smiles for Worcester Warriors as their visit to Italy gave forth a victory against Banca Monte Crociati. The homeside scrabbled together 3 points from the entire match leaving the game open for Worcester, who raced across the tryline five times. Captain Chris Pennell set the example by thundering over twice and encouraging his team to follow suit. In fact, the only real problem the Warriors faced was the fog, which descended thick and fast, stopping play for a period and making visibility shocking. But the Warriors soldiered on through the awful conditions to wrap up a try bonus point and a much deserved win before escaping to the warmth and clarity of the changing rooms.

Crociati RugbyG Rubini [C], H En Naour, B Vengoa, S Damiani, G Alberghini, L Morisi, J Zucconi, P Singh, A Manici, M Coletti, M Van Vuren, D Fletcher, R Mandelli, D Delnevo, G Cicchinelli BENH: G Sciacca, D Goegan, F Tripodi, L Contini, E Ruffolo, J Ireland, D Farolini, F Magri

SCORERS: P: Jacopo Zucconi

Worcester WarriorsC Pennell [C], T Arscott, A Short, S Tu'ipulotu, J Drauniniu, D Gray, J Arr, B Douglas, C Fortey, O Tomaszczyk, B Gulliver, C Gillies, S Betty, M Kvesic, A Balding BENCH: O Hayes, T Taumoepeau, J Currie, A Lutui, J Abbott, O Frost, A Goode, M Benjamin

SCORERS: T: Josh Drauniniu, Chris Pennell (2), Ben Gulliver, Tom Arscott, C: Andy Goode, Danny Gray (2), P: Danny Gray

Match Points: Banca Monte Crociati 0pts, Worcester Warriors 5pts
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)



POOL 2Amlin Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 2

Petrarca RugbyPETRARCA PADOVA 3 - 34 NEWCASTLENewcastle Falcons

STADIO PLEBISCITO - Saturday 19th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 0-14 Att: 1,900

NEWCASTLE FALCONS continued with their surprisingly good form in this tournament with a brilliant win over Petrarca Padova. The homeside only managed a single penalty from the boot of Eoghan Hickey, whilst the Falcons produced six impressive tries. This will delight their fans as Newcastle have had a very rough time this season so far and this confidence boost is certainly what the doctor ordered. The Italians showed little promise throughout the match and the Falcons made swift work of cutting through their defence. Although Jeremy Manning’s kicking was not point perfect, the Falcons snatched a well-deserved bonus point and showed they can be predatory in their deconstruction and overwhelming of the opposition. Many will be wondering if they can transfer this play back into their domestic tournament campaign.

Petrarca RugbyE Hickey, S Bortolussi, J Sanchez, M Neethling (F Faggiotto 57), A Morsellino (W Spragg 52), T Walsh, P Travagli (A Chillon 53), M Alonso (C Caporello 64), A Costa Repetto [C] (O Gega 64), P Leso (L D'Agostino 64), A Cavalieri, M Sutto, M Barbini, E Targa (O Gega 43), Z Ansell

SCORERS: P: E Hickey Yellow Card A Costa Repetto (44)

Newcastle FalconsG Goosen, A Tait, J Helleur, L Eves (J Fitzpatrick 56), R Shortland, J Manning (R Sheriffe 67), W Chudley (C Pilgrim 51), A Wells (G Shiells 71), M Mayhew (J Graham 51), E Murray (J Hall 51), J Hudson [C], A Van der Heijden (G Townson 63), T Swinson, R Pennycook (G Shiells 64), A Hogg

SCORERS: T: J Manning, T Swinson (2), J Graham, J Helleur, R Shortland, C: J Manning (2) Yellow Card J Hall (61)

Match Points:
Petrarca Rugby 0pts, Newcastle Falcons 5pts
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)


Lyon RugbyLYON RUGBY 19 - 26 TOULONToulon

STADE MUTMUT - Saturday 19th November 2011
KO: 20:55 HT: 9-16 Att: 7,615

Lyon Rugby ToulonLYON managed to salvage a losing bonus point from their battle against Toulon. The game was littered with penalties, allowing both sides to show off their accuracy between the posts. But it was Toulon who saw more opportunities come their way due to more errors from the homeside. It was not surprising when both Jonny Wilkinson and Julien Dumora started knocking over 3-pointers from all over the field for the visitors. Although Lyon’s Romain Loursac was also kicking perfectly, there was little he could do to keep up with Toulon as Gaby Lovobalavu crashed over after 27 minutes. The score line worsened in the final 40 minutes when Christian Loamanu bounded across the tryline and Lyon looked weak in defence. But, from the ashes rose Jean-Phillipe Bonrepaux who secured the homeside a consolatory bonus point in the final minute, and Loursac booted over the conversion. Lyon were fortunate to walk away with any points at all.

Lyon RugbyR Loursac, J Bailey, A Fatafehi, N Raffault, E Tomamichel, X Sadourny [C], R Januarie, A Tchougong Kamga, A Testa, P Toleafoa, A Marchois, C Basson, E Nzi, J Leguizamon, N Bontinck BENCH: J Bonrepaux, J Facundo, A Guillamon, C Short, J Sousa, R Veniat, R Lespinas, M van Gisbergen

SCORERS T: Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux, C: Romain Loursac, P: Romain Loursac (3), DG: Xavier Sadourny

ToulonB Lapeyre, C Loamanu, M Bastareaud, G Lovobalavu, J Sinzelle, J Dumora, F Cibray [C], E Lewis-Roberts, J Orioli, C Hayman, K Chesney, D Schofield, S Rokobaro, J El Abd, L Senatore BENCH: M Ivaldi, R Frou, D Kubriashvili, A Faosiliva, A Palisson, J Wilkinson, L Magnaval, C Samson

T: Gabi Lovobalavu (2), C: Jonny Wilkinson, Julien Dumora, P: Julien Dumora (3), Jonny Wilkinson, Yellow Card Christophe Samson

Match Points: Lyon Rugby 1pts, Toulon 4pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)



POOL 3Amlin Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 3

BayonneBAYONNE 20 - 3 BORDEAUX-BÈGLESBordeaux Bègles

STADE JEAN DAUGER - Friday 17th November 2011
KO: 20:30 HT: 13-0 Att: 10,300

BAYONNE continued their simple journey through the pool stages with a walk-over game against Bordeaux-Bègles. The homeside seemed to be in less than top gear for most of the match, keeping the scoreboard ticking over with two penalties and a penalty try to give them a 13-0 lead at the interval. Bordeaux were clearly finding their opponents hard to keep at bay and, although their defence was admirable, Bayonne could have probably pushed for more points. Camille Lopez finally got his side off nul-points with a penalty, but Dwayne Haare sealed the game with his try at the 56th minute and Bayonne swept to victory.

BayonneS Bouillon, S Gerber, T Lacroix (C Lagain 53), L Mazars, J Rokocoko, B Boyet (C Heymans 67), M Phillips (C Garcia 75), P Lafond (A Iguiniz 59), D Roumieu (V Manukula 72), R Boyoud (N Tialata 52), R Linde (T Flavell 53), A Boutaty, D Haare, J Puricelli, M Baget [C]

SCORERS T: D Haare, Penalty Try (1), C: S Bouillon (2), P: B Boyet, S Bouillon Yellow Card J Puricelli (62)

Bordeaux BèglesL Ferreres [C], T Brana, A Mailei (M Denetre 49), J Rey (N Sanchez 59), B Connor, C Lopez, H Adams (M Saubusse 41), H Forbes (J Turini 60), B Bethery (M Clarkin 65), A Neveu, A Chauveau (O Avei 65), F Tisseau, C Ternisien, L Madaule (A Jaulhac 56), H Chalmers

SCORERS P: C Lopez Yellow Card F Tisseau (53)

Match Points: Bayonne 4pts, Bordeaux-Begles 0pts
Referee: James Jones (Wales)


London WaspsLONDON WASPS 38 - 7 FEMI-CZ VEA ROVIGOFemi CZ Rugby Rovigo

ADAMS PARK - Sunday 20th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 17-7 Att: 4,225

London Wasps RovigoA fine win over Rovigo was in store for London Wasps this week, although the game got off to a jolty start. The Wasps very nearly scored within the first 2 minutes but unfortunately, fumbled and had to make do with a penalty. Whereas Rovigo seemed to have had all the luck when a kick bounced up perfectly and was offloaded to an unmarked Riccardo Pavan who dashed 30 metres to score. With the conversion added by Davide Duca, the Italian side were off to a superb start. But alas, these were to be their only points of the match. Wasps soon struck back with Hugo Southwell swooping in for the kill twice before the end of the first half, which Nick Robinson converted with style. The second half was much the same; Southwell claimed his hat-trick and Zak Taulafo grabbed the bonus point for the homeside. Although Matt Everard brought Wasps down to 14 men, it made little impact. The visitors were well and truly out of their depth and the barrage of attacks just kept coming. Richard Haughton struck the final blow with yet another try, and the perfect kicking of Robinson converted once more. What had started off so hopefully for Rovigo had become a breeze for Wasps.

London WaspsH Southwell, R Haughton, D Waldouck, C Bell, C Mayor, N Robinson, N Berry, Z Taulafo, T Lindsay, B Baker, R Filipo, M Wentzel, R Birkett, M Everard, J Hart [C] BENCH: R Webber, T Payne, B Broster, J Burton, S Jones, C Davies, R Davis, E Daly

SCORERS: T: Hugo Southwell (3), Zak Taulafo, Richard Haughton, C: Ryan Davis, Nicky Robinson (4), P: Nicky Robinson, Yellow Card Matt Everard

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoS Basson, R Pavan, R Pedrazzi, J Van Niekerk, A Bacchetti, D Duca, M Zanirato, L Marsh, D Giazzon, M Ravalle, D Tumiati, T Reato [C], A Persico, E Lubian, J Montauriol BENCH: L Mahoney, O Lombardi, N Quaglio, F Cristiano, M Wilson, A De Marchi, G Bustos, L Lubian

SCORERS: T: Riccardo Pavan, C: Davide Duca Yellow Card Roberto Pedrazzi

Match Points: London Wasps 5pts, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 0pts
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)



POOL 4Amlin Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 4

Newport Gwent DragonsDRAGONS 23 - 13 PERPIGNANPerpignan

RODNEY PARADE - Friday 17th November 2011
KO: 19:45 HT: 17-3 Att: 5,160

Dragons PerpignanPERPIGNAN took an unexpected blow after their excellent start last week when they fell to Newport Gwent Dragons this weekend. The Dragons kept their visitors supressed from the off with plenty of well-applied pressure forcing them back. Perpignan’s defence crumbled after 12 minutes of play and Lewis Evans took his chance to cross the tryline. It took two conversions and a penalty from Jason Tovey and another try from Adam Jones before Perpignan woke up. When finally the French side hit back it was with the boot of Welshman James Hook, but it was all too late. Tovey answered with two stunning drop goals, and a last minute try from Adrien Plante was never going to be enough to save Perpignan’s pride. The Dragons had unstoppable spirit and the lift of the homecrowd gave the wings need to glide through their visitors with ease.

Newport Gwent DragonsM Thomas, T Chavhanga, A Hughes, A Smith [C], A Brew, J Tovey, W Evans, N Williams (P Price 53), L Burns (R Buckley 72), D Way (N Buck 58), A Jones, R Sidoli (S Morgan 72), L Evans, G Thomas, T Faletau

SCORERS T: A Jones, L Evans, C: J Tovey (2), P: J Tovey, DG: J Tovey (2) Yellow Card G Thomas (71)

PerpignanJ Porical, A Plante, M Mermoz (R Coetzee 71), G Hume (N Laharrague 53), J Candelon, J Hook, F Cazenave (B Guiry 74), P Freshwater [C] (J Schuster 56), C Geli (G Guirado 48), B Bourrust (N Mas 48), O Olibeau, R Tchale Watchou, G Le Corvec (D Mele 66), J Perez, O Tonita (G Britz 51)

SCORERS T: A Plante, C: J Hook, P: J Hook (2) Yellow Card F Cazenave (64)

Match Points: Newport Gwent Dragons 4pts, Perpignan 0pts
Man of the Match: Lewis Evans (Dragons)
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)


Exeter ChiefsEXETER CHIEFS 68 - 0 I CAVALIERI PRATOI Cavalieri Prato

STADIO LUNGOBISENZIO - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 34-0 Att: 5,937

EXETER CHIEFS destroyed their lowly opponents, I Cavalieri Prato, with a phenomenal 68-0 whitewash. The homeside made the Italians look like complete amateurs as they flew to victory with 10 tries. The visitors could do nothing to stop the onslaught, barely moving out of their own half. Not only were the Chiefs able to cruise through the Italian defence, but a lack of discipline by Prato made life even easier for Exeter, racking up two yellow cards and giving away as many penalty tries. The game was not much for a spectator to watch; the constant hammering left no tension and even less hope that a competition would be seen. But that will not dampen the mood of the Exeter supporters, whose side provided a spectacular scoreline.

Exeter ChiefsJ Nowell, J Tatupu, N Sestaret, P Dollman (M Dorrian 60), M Foster, I Mieres (G Steenson 50), H Thomas [C] (K Barrett 50), B Moon (L Cowan-Dickie 48), S Alcott (N Clark 60), C Mitchell (J Andress 54), C Bentley, A Muldowney (T Johnson 75), D Ewers, B White (C Slade 60), J Phillips

SCORERS T: M Foster, B White, J Phillips (2), C Bentley, J Tatupu (2), J Nowell, Penalty Try (2), C: I Mieres (4) , G Steenson (2), P: I Mieres (2)

I Cavalieri PratoB Ngwaini, M Murgier, D Majstorovic, C Von Grumbkov, N Tempestini (A Lunardi 50), A Chiesa [C], C Callori di Vignale (P Patelli 60), T Ryan (A Borsi 66), L Giovanchelli (G Marino 60), C Garfagnoli (R Balboni 50), F Cazzola (G Bernini 22), U Kolo'ofai, E Leonardi (A Boscolo 45), N Belardo, A Saccardo

SCORERS Yellow Card E Leonardi (11), U Kolo'ofai (33)

Match Points: Exeter Chiefs 5pts, I Cavalieri Prato 0pts
Referee: Laurent Cardona (France)



POOL 5Amlin Challenge Cup Round 2 Pool 5

Sale SharksSALE SHARKS 59 - 6 CR LA VILAClub Rugby La Vila

EDGELEY PARK - Friday 18th November 2011
KO: 19:45 HT: 19-6 Att: 4,910

Sale La VilaLA VILA were left annihilated as Sale Sharks stormed over the tryline time and again. The homeside pulled off an impressive nine tries against the struggling Spanish side in a game that really stepped up in the second half. The visitors managed their two penalties, thanks to Nick McCashin, in the final throws of the initial 40 minutes. However, McCashin certainly did not bring all good news for his team; he landed himself a yellow for dangerous tackling after 15 minutes of play, which in turn led to the scrum that yielded a penalty try for the Sharks. This was their first of three within the first half, with Andy Powell and Andrew Higgins provided the rest. But it was in the second half that the Sharks really knuckled down, with Johnny Leota producing a hat-trick plus Luther Burrell, Cillian Willis and Richie Vernon all piling on the points. Outstanding kicking from Rob Miller converted seven out of nine times, and the Sharks left La Vila looking more than ragged.

Sale SharksW Addison, L Burrell, J Leota, J Davies, A Higgins, R Miller, C Willis (W Cliff 67), V Cobilas (L Imiolek 55), M Jones (T Taylor 33), T Buckley (H Thomas 64), F McKenzie, W Lewaravu, K Myall, R Vernon, A Powell [C]

SCORERS T: A Higgins, A Powell, C Willis, R Vernon, L Burrell, J Leota (3), Penalty Try (1), C: R Miller (7)

Club Rugby La VilaE Sorribes Ramirez, M Poggi (A Hebrard 61), J Knight, N Reid (T Evans 73), J Carrion Llorens, N McCashin, H Quirelli (J Quirante Carmona 68), D Vazquez Orrego (P Diez Samper 61), J Phipps, j Hutchinson, T Cleary, M Walker fitton, H Davies , J Els (K Hansen Ruiz 61), M Cook [C]

SCORERS: P: N McCashin (2) Yellow Card N McCashin (15), H Quirelli (59)

Match Points: Sale Sharks 5pts, CR La Vila 0pts
Referee: Alan Falzone (Italy)


AgenAGEN 8 - 29 BRIVEBrive

STADE ARMANDIE - Sunday 20th November 2011
KO: 18:00 HT: 19-6 Att: 5,500

AgenB Agulla, M Ahotaeiloa, M Avramovic, J Robinson, K Swiryn, V Courrent, A Bales, L Cabarry, J Janaudy, B Sheklashvili, P O'Connor, D Lagrange, J Monribot [C], A Erbani, A Springgay BENCH: J Narjissi, J Schwalger, M Scelzo, J Mondoulet, O Fonua, M Lamoulie, J Pelesasa, S Vaka

SCORERS T: Alexi Bales, P: Valentin Courrent, Yellow Card Beka Sheklashvili

BriveJ Caminati, M Atayi, G Namy, A Mignardi, C Marienval, R Swanepoel, A Figuerola, P Henn, L Acosta, A Barozzi, R Uys, O Caisso, P Luafutu, V Forgues, A Claassen [C] BENCH: I Natriashvili, D Kinchagishvili, P Barnard, A Mela, S Azoulai, P Hauman, B Caminati, M Belie

SCORERS T: Louis Acosta, Mathias Atayi, Penalty try, C: Benjamin Caminati, P: Mathieu Belie (4) Yellow Card Julien Caminati

Match Points: Agen 0pts, Brive 4pts
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)



ERC Round 1

Worcester Warriors v Stade FrancaisTHE Amlin Challenge Cup was set off at full tilt as all twenty teams began their campaigns to try and hit the top of their pool. Worcester Warriors got things started when they took on Stade Français Paris on Thursday night. What began as a brilliant, lightning points pick-up for the Warriors soon became a disappointment for the home crowd. After leading 14-0 and looking much the dominant side, Worcester saw victory slip through their fingers. Two tries from Chris Pennel and Marcel Garvey had given Worcester the perfect start and plenty of confidence. But Stade were not flustered and clamped down on the play, coolly taking a stranglehold on the game. Felipe Contepomi kicked six stunning penalties and set up the Stade’s only try by Paul Sackey, proving that the French side should never be considered down and out, much to the chagrin of the Worcester home crowd. 

Toulon stormed to success as they dispatched Petrarca Padova 53-22 thanks to a strong first half and clinical second. Although the Italian team put up a good fight, and even took an early lead, Toulon soon set about causing mayhem. The homeside scored three tries in 8 minutes, completely devastating the Petrarca defence. The visitors did well to stay close up until half time, with a deficit of only 5 points, but Toulon stepped up a gear in the last 40 minutes, crushing the Italians back into their own half and reigning supreme. It was all over long before the homeside hit the 50 points mark but the crowd bade for blood and so blood they got.

Perpignan Exeter ChiefsIt was a close call for Perpignan at home as Exeter Chiefs gave them a run for their money. The homeside were down for the first 50 minutes of the match, thanks to some great kicking by Gareth Steenson. Perpignan were handing over points due to ill-discipline, and it was not until they tightened this up and began to play structured rugby that they began to scrabble back. Exeter continued to play with strength and ability but were put at a disadvantage when James Scaysbrook saw a yellow for a high tackle. This left the French side with the opportunity to pull in front and keep the 3 point gap for the win. The Perpignan fans breathed a huge sigh of relief when the final whistle blew and the feisty Chiefs were left wanting.

Newport Gwent Dragons provided an emphatic win over I Cavalieri Prato completely destroying their Italian opposition at 33-3. The Dragons certainly meant business from the off with Aled Brew running over after just 3 minutes. Rima Wakarua answered this with his one and only successful penalty of the match before Cavalieri were pushed back into their own territory, where they remained for most of the game. The Welsh visitors then hammered the homeside with attack after attack; Robert Sidoli, Tonderai Chavhanga, Lewis Evans and Martyn Thomas all finding holes to take advantage of. Cavalieri poured out their bench in an attempt to stem the flood but it was to no avail and the Dragons tasted sweet victory.

Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo felt the full brunt of Bayonne’s force falling to a 10-43 defeat. The French side notched up six tries including two from Thibault Lacroix, two from Joseph Marmouyet, and one each from Cedric Heymans and All Black try scoring machine, Joe Rokocoko away in Northern Italy. The home side could muster only a converted try and a single penalty, leaving them floundering at the bottom of the pool table.

Newcastle Falcons Lyon RugbyNewcastle Falcons had yet another successful game at Kingston Park after pulling off a brilliant victory over Lyon Rugby. The Falcons started explosively, going 8-3 up after just 8 minutes due to a spectacular score from Tim Swinson. The French side hit back with Tomamichel firing off several penalties in quick succession but the Falcons were on fine form and Lyon just could not catch them. It would have probably helped the visitors considerably if they had spent more of the match with a full team on the pitch. Arnaud Dorier, Nicolas Bontinck and Alipate Fatafehi were all sent packing to the sin bin and Lyon’s discipline problems were a major reason for their defeat. However, although the Lyon pack had issues with staying on the pitch it should not detract from an excellent show of play from Newcastle, who claimed a well-deserved win.

RC Club La Vila were left damaged and deflated after Agen annihilated the homeside 10-50. Agen managed the 2 tries in 6 minutes and were clearly outstripping the Spanish side. However, it must be said that Vila put up a sterling battle and should be commended for their first endeavours into European rugby. They found themselves up against a huge far more experienced side, managed to put together some good phases, and even pulled off a try thanks to James Knight. The homeside were unlucky not to grab another try after being thwarted in the final throws. All in all, Agen had an easy ride, scoring several simple tries, but Vila were the underdogs who tried their best to bite back.

Sale Sharks had a tough time against Brive losing 26-18 after a disastrous string of problems on the pitch. The physical play from Brive was too much for Sale to handle, and, by 15 minutes in, the Sharks struggled to keep a grip on the match. Riaan Swanepoel punished the visitors for every error with his accurate kicking and things deteriorated as David Seymour left the pitch on a yellow. The further the match went, the more the Sale defence fell apart; the aggressive Brive style punching through and causing chaos. Then Sale felt another blow as Andy Powell was left nursing an arm injury; their match had started badly and getting worse by the second. But, in the end, Sale scrapped together some points and did well to get the scoreline they managed. Brive had everything Sale did not: guts, determination, aggression and flair.

Bordeaux-Bègles London WaspsA flurry of try scoring began the London Wasps against Bordeaux-Bègles with each side touching down with 10 minutes of play. However, the Bègles soon faded into the background as Wasps took control. Wade claimed his second try on the 10 minute mark, and his third soon followed leaving the homeside for dust. Waldouck soon took advantage of the gaps in the French side’s defence and the Wasps were in a comfortable position. However, the second half saw the English visitors’ discipline take its usual nose-dive, with Zak Taulafo and Ross Filipo incurring the wrath of the referee and being sent marching. But luckily, the Wasps were not rebuked as much as they could have been by Bordeaux, who only managed one more try. Wasps should be pleased with their efforts but once again it is troubling for supporters to see their lack of discipline causing problems; they may not be as fortunate next time.

Bucharest Wolves thrashed Banca Monte Crociati with an impressive 34-7 battering. The Romanian team left their Italian opponents floundering miserably after 6 minutes thanks to Marian Apostol’s fabulous try and a successful conversion by Florin Vlaicu. Apostol stormed over for a further two tries and Christian Munteanu finished off proceedings with a final touchdown. Vlaicu’s boot took no prisoners either, managing two penalties to compliment his perfect conversion kicking. Poor Crociati were left in stunned horror for most of the game, only pulling off singular single try when Mihai Macovei was sent to the sin bin and Carlo Festuccia was able to capitalise. The scoreboard often does not tell the story of the game but, unfortunately for the Italians, this time the points deficit does not lie.

POOL 1Amlin Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 1

Worcester WarriorsWORCESTER 14 - 23 STADE FRANÇAISStade Francais

SIXWAYS - Thursday 10th November 2011
KO: 19:45 HT: 14-6 Att: 8,121

Worcester WarriorsC Pennell, M Garvey (E Claassens 74), A Grove, D Rasmussen [C] (A Goode 60), T Arscott, J Carlisle, S Perry (O Frost 74), M Mullan (G Porter 70), A Lutui (E Shervington 60), O Tomaszczyk (T Taumoepeau 55), J Percival, C Gillies (A Balding 70), N Best (S Betty 60), M Kvesic, C Jones

SCORERS T:  C Pennel, M Garvey C: J Carlisle (2)

Stade FrancaisP Williams, P Sackey, F Contepomi, G Tiesi (F Fainifo 62), D Camara, P Warwick, J Fillol, R Roncero (O Milloud 73), A De Malmanche (L Sempere 56), S Wright, T Palmer (G Mostert 71), P Papé, L Tomiki (A Burban 39), D Lyons, S Parisse [C]

SCORERS T: P Sackey P: F Contepomi (6) Yellow Card Rodrigo Roncero

Match Points: Worcester Warriors 0pts, Stade Français Paris 4pts
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)


Bucharest WolvesBUCHAREST WOLVES 34 - 7 CROCIATICrociati Rugby

ARCUL DE TRIUMF - Sunday 13th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 17-7 Att: 997

Bucharest WolvesF Vlaicu, I Niacsu, C Gal (A Barbuliceanu 66), C Dinis, M Apostol, I Dimofte, G Diaconescu (F Surugiu 62), M Baraulea (A Ursache 51), A Radoi (E Capatana 75), N Nere (V Badalicescu 62), C Ratiu (C Munteanu 70), M Danila, M Macovei [C], V Lucaci, D Ianus (B Petreanu 66)

SCORERS: T: M Apostol (3), C Munteanu C: F Vlaicu (4)  P: F Vlaicu (2) Yellow Card M Macovei (30)

Crociati RugbyG Rubini [C], L Carritiello (F Magri 41), H En Naour (F Casalini 73), S Damiani, G Alberghini, D Farolini (M Gennari 73), J Zucconi, F Pepoli (L Milani 67), C Festuccia (A Manici 67), M Coletti (P Singh 50), L Contini (E Ruffolo 67), D Fletcher (G Sciacca 50), M Van Vuren, D Delnevo, G Cicchinelli

SCORERS: T: C Festuccia, C: J Zucconi Yellow Card D Delnevo (57)

Match Points: Bucharest Wolves 5pts, Banca Monte Crociati 0pts
Referee: Cedric Marchat (France)



POOL 2Amlin Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 2

ToulonTOULON 53 - 22 PETRARCA PADOVAPetrarca Rugby

STADE PIERRE RAJON - Thursday 10th November 2011
KO: 20:30 HT: 22-17 Att: 1,095

ToulonB Lapeyre, C Loamanu, B Bonnet, G Lovobalavu, A Palisson (J Sinzelle 64), J Dumora, L Magnaval (M Henjak 59), R Frou, M Ivaldi [C] (J Orioli 50), L Chilachava (D Kubriashvili 48), K Chesney, K Mikautadze (C Samson 58), P Gunther, A Faosiliva (X Chiocci 37), S Rokobaro

SCORERS: T: C Loamanu, R Frou, B Lapeyre, B Bonnet, L Chilachava, X Chiocci, A Faosiliva, Penalty Try (1) C: J Dumora (5), P: J Dumora Yellow Card R Frou (29)

Petrarca RugbyE Hickey, A Morsellino, J Sanchez, M Neethling, W Spragg, T Walsh (S Bortolussi 55), A Chillon (P Travagli 71), A Furia (O Gega 45), A Costa Repetto [C] (F Damiano 61), L D'Agostino (P Leso 32), A Cavalieri (M Sutto 52), M Tveraga, L Persico (E Ghiraldini 64), S Palmer, Z Ansell

SCORERS: T: S Palmer, A Cavalieri, P: E Hickey (4)

Match Points: Toulon 5pts, Petrarca Rugby 0pts
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)


Newcastle FalconsNEWCASTLE FALCONS 27 - 19 LYON RUGBYLyon Rugby

KINGSTON PARK - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 16-9 Att: 3,533

Newcastle FalconsA Tait, R Sheriffe, C Uys (J Fitzpatrick 15), L Eves, R Shortland (G Goosen 72), J Manning, J Pasqualin (W Chudley 65), A Wells (G Shiells 58), M Mayhew (J Graham 53), E Murray (J Hall 72), J Hudson [capt] (G Townson 72), T Swinson, W Welch, R Pennycook (A Hogg 55), M Wilson

SCORERS T: T Swinson (2), J Pasqualin, P: J Manning (4)

Lyon RugbyE Tomamichel, J Bailey, A Fatafehi, W Sukanaveita, M Ratuvou, L Tranier (R Lespinas 69), R Veniat [capt], S Petit (J Facundo 47), J Bonrepaux (A Testa 56), A Roux (A Guillamon 47), C Short, A Dorier (A Marchois 59), J Leguizamon, J Sousa (E Nzi 65), N Bontinck

N Bontinck, C: E Tomamichel, P: R Loursac, E Tomamichel (3) Yellow Card A Dorier (27), A Fatafehi (72), N Bontinck (77)

Match Points: Newcastle Falcons 4pts, Lyon Rugby 0pts
Referee: James Jones (Wales)



POOL 3Amlin Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 3

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoFEMI-CZ VEA ROGIVO 10 - 43 BAYONNEBayonne

STADIO MARIO BATTAGLINI - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 15:00 HT: 3-17 Att: 900

Femi CZ Rugby RovigoS Basson, S Pace, J Van Niekerk, R Pedrazzi (L Lubian 68), A Bacchetti, G Bustos (D Duca 56), M Wilson (M Zanirato 52), O Lombardi (L Marsh 41), L Mahoney [C] (D Giazzon 56), A Ceglie (M Ravalle 41), T Reato, J Montauriol, A Persico, F Cristiano (E Lubian 52), J Barry (D Tumiati 42)

SCORERS T: T Reato, C: G Bustos, P: G Bustos

BayonneC Heymans (S Bouillon 50), M O'Connor (D Roumieu 68), T Lacroix (S Gerber 64), M Ugalde, J Rokocoko, B Boyet [C] (C Garcia 56), J Audy, A Iguiniz (P Lafond 68), V Manukula, N Tialata (W Desmaison 56), R Linde, T Flavell, F Carillo, J Marmouyet, S Lauaki (D Haare 61)

SCORERS T: T Lacroix (2), C Heymans, J Rokocoko, J Marmouyet (2), C: B Boyet (4), C Garcia, P: B Boyet Yellow Card M Ugalde (39)

Match Points: Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 0pts, Bayonne 5pts
Referee: Andrew Macpherson (Scotland)


Bordeaux BèglesBORDEAUX-BÈGLES 14 - 47 LONDON WASPSLondon Wasps

STADE DELMAS - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 20:45 HT: 7-27 Att: 16,953

Bordeaux BèglesL Ferreres [C], T Brana, F Le Bourhis, M Denetre, R Carballo, N Sanchez, J Seron, R Davies, F Rofes, P Toetu, F Tisseau, A Jaulhac, L Madaule, H Chalmers, L Houston BENCH: B Bethery, A Neveu, D Leo, M Clarkin, M Saubusse, C Lopez, V Lilo, J Turini

SCORERS: T: F Le Bourhis, T Brana C: N Sanchez (2)

London WaspsR Haughton, T Varndell, C Mayor, R Flutey, C Wade, N Robinson, J Simpson, Z Taulafo, T Lindsay, B Broster, R Filipo, M Wentzel, R Birkett, J Poff, J Hart [C] BENCH: N Morris, J Castex, B Baker, J Burton, M Everard, N Berry, R Davis, D Waldouck

SCORERS: T: Wade (3), Waldouck, Varndell, Berry C: Robinson (4) P: Robinson (3) Yellow Card Zak Taulafo, Ross Filipo

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)



POOL 4Amlin Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 4

PerpignanPERPIGNAN 15 - 12 EXETER CHIEFSExeter Chiefs

STADE AIMÉ GIRAL - Friday 11th November 2011
KO: 19:00 HT: 9-12 Att: 11,336

PerpignanJ Michel, A Plante, D Marty, G Hume, J Candelon, J Hook, F Cazenave (K Boulogne 68), J Schuster (K Pulu 55), G Guirado (C Geli 64), N Mas [C], Y Vivalda (O Olibeau 47), R Tchale Watchou (R Taofifenua 74), G Le Corvec, B Guiry, H Tuilagi (O Tonita 60)

SCORERS P: J Hook (5)

Exeter ChiefsL Arscott (P Dollman 44), G Camacho, J Tatupu, J Shoemark, M Jess, G Steenson, P Phibbs (K Barrett 63), B Sturgess (B Moon 63), N Clark, H Tui (C Mitchell 45), T Hayes [C], J Hanks (J Phillips 57), B White (T Johnson 54), J Scaysbrook, R Baxter

SCORERS P: G Steenson (4) Yellow Card J Scaysbrook (45)

Match Points: Perpignan 4pts, Exeter Chiefs 1pts
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)


I Cavalieri PratoI CAVALIERI PRATO 3 - 33 DRAGONSNewport Gwent Dragons

STADIO LUNGOBISENZIO - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 14:30 HT: 3-14 Att: 2,000

I Cavalieri PratoD Berryman (M Murgier 57), R Wakarua, D Majstorovic, A Chiesa [C] (C Von Grumbkov 41), B Ngwaini, R Bocchino, P Patelli (M Frati 59), B Young (G Marino 61), L Giovanchelli (A Lupetti 61), T Ryan (C Garfagnoli 71), F Cazzola (G Bernini 56), U Kolo'ofai, L Petillo, A Boscolo, R Nifo Tautua (E Leonardi 48)

SCORERS P: R Wakarua Yellow Card A Boscolo (47)

Newport Gwent DragonsM Thomas, T Chavhanga, A Hughes, A Smith [C] (L Robling 66), A Brew, J Tovey (S Jones 63), W Evans (J Bedford 66), N Williams (H Gustafson 64), R Buckley (L Burns 55), D Way (N Buck 62), R Sidoli, S Morgan, D Lydiate (L Evans 24), G Thomas, T Faletau (A Coombs 59)

SCORERS T: R Sidoli, A Brew, M Thomas, L Evans, T Chavhanga, C: J Tovey (4)

Match Points: I Cavalieri Prato 0pts, Newport Gwent Dragons 5pts
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)



POOL 5Amlin Challenge Cup Round 1 Pool 5

Club Rugby La VilaCR LA VILA 10 - 50 AGENAgen

BENIDORM STADIUM - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 16:00 HT: 3-24 Att: 2,500

Club Rugby La VilaE Sorribes Ramirez, J Carrion Llorens, M Poggi, J Knight, J Quirante Carmona (A Hebrard 72), N McCashin, N Chivers (H Quirelli 40), N Martinez (R Martinez Sánchez 45), J Phipps (P Previtera 46), j Hutchinson (D Vazquez Orrego 67), T Cleary (H Davies 62), M Walker fitton, J Els, P Martinez Manzano [C] (F Gonzales 67), M Cook

SCORERS: T: J Knight, C: N McCashin, P: N McCashin

AgenB Dulin, L Tagotago (K Swiryn 24), M Ahotaeiloa (B Petre 44), J Robinson, S Tian, V Courrent, M Machenaud (M Lamoulie 48), J Garcia (J Schwalger 22), J Narjissi (J Janaudy 62), G Muller (B Sheklashvili 62), D Senekal (A Erbani 65), L Fa'aoso, J Monribot, A Springgay, A Badenhorst [C] (P O'Connor 40)

SCORERS: T: J Narjissi, L Fa'aoso, K Swiryn, D Senekal, S Tian (3), L Tagotago, C: V Courrent (5)

Match Points: CR La Vila 0pts, Agen 5pts
Referee: Stefano Penne (Italy)


BriveBRIVE 26 - 18 SALE SHARKSSale Sharks

STADE AMEDEE DOMENECH - Saturday 12th November 2011
KO: 18:30 HT: 19-6 Att: 5,500

BriveS Spedding, J Boussuge, G Namy, J Noon, M Atayi (J Caminati 56), R Swanepoel, A Figuerola (J Pejoine 50), P Henn (V Kakovin 57), I Natriashvili (L Acosta 49), P Barnard (A Barozzi 57), T Dubarry [C] (J Le Devedec 58), O Caisso, P Luafutu, V Forgues (S Azoulai 54), P Hauman

SCORERS T: S Spedding, M Atayi, C: R Swanepoel (2), P: R Swanepoel (4)

Sale SharksR Miller, T Brady, J Leota, S Tuitupou [C], W Addison, N MacLeod, W Cliff (C Willis 57), A Dickinson, T Taylor (M Jones 49), T Buckley (H Thomas 49), F McKenzie, J Gaskell (K Myall 67), M Easter (R Vernon 61), D Seymour, A Powell

SCORERS T: J Leota, T Brady, C: N MacLeod, P: N MacLeod (2) Yellow Card D Seymour (39), F McKenzie (45)

Match Points: Brive 4pts, Sale Sharks 0pts
Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)



ERC PoolsAmlin Challenge Cup 2012 Pools





by Emily Ruscoe

EUROPEAN RUGBY is about to kick off again and this season the Amlin Challenge will not disappoint with the additions of some exciting new teams and plenty of old rivalries too. The tournament starts off with five pools each with four clubs of varying ability in them. Once the leaders of these pools have been found, it is then onward and upward to the knock-out stages. Here the five pool-winners are joined by three runners-up from the Heineken Cup and paired off to battle it out all the way through to the final. Harlequins were last year’s champions but will not be seen this year unless they do not continue their good form and are runners-up in their Heineken pool. So the title is completely open to a new holder, but who are this year’s ones to watch and who are the scrappy underdogs?


Stade Français Paris, Worcester Warriors, Banca Monte Crociati and Bucharest Wolves make up the first pool. This should be an easy ride for Stade as they were just pipped to the title in last year’s competition. However, the French side is currently in 7th position on the Top 14 table after a poor start to the season which leaves some worries about how they will fair. Their play has been unpredictable at times and has left them relying on Julien Dupuy’s kicking abilities far too often. If they are to make it through the pool stages unscathed, Stade will need to focus and stay in control, adding some much needed try-scoring to their game plan. If any team need to prove themselves it will be Bucharest Wolves who are going to find the competition tough, as per usual. They have never made it past the pool stages and this year looks to show little hope for them again. In fact, Stade Français’ only real problem will be Worcester Warriors, but having only just moved up into the Aviva Premiership, the Warriors have had a troublesome season. Although there are many promising points to their play, they often get flustered, and jumping back into the European arena may prove too much for them.  


Toulon are most likely to reign supreme in Pool 2 with Newcastle Falcons, Petrarca Rugby and Lyon Rugby standing in their way. Petrarca have been doing well in the Italian Eccellenza, currently ranked 4th, whilst Newcastle and Lyon are struggling domestically. The weakest link, the Falcons, have only won a singular match out of eight in the Aviva Premiership. Although they have come close to victory numerous times, their play tends to fall apart quickly and this has kept them pinned to the bottom of the table. Toulon have had a good beginning in the Top 14 with plenty of strong performances, and Jonny Wilkinson back on form after his questionable kicking in the World Cup. Lyon are an unknown factor in this competition –this being their debut as a club– but they have not made an overwhelming impression on the Top 14 table, where they currently dwell in the lower ranks. So the closest fought games, and probably the most interesting, are likely to be the deciders for who is resigned to bottom of the points tally.


Pool 3 is possibly the most equally weighted with London Wasps, Bayonne, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo and Bordeaux Bègles all being at a similar level in terms of form. Rovigo are currently 3rd in the Eccellenza, having won half their games so far and drawn one, and have worked hard to produce some solid rugby.  Bayonne, however, have been big movers and shakers in the transfers market and have built on a sound base team with some key additions, including Mike Phillips. Phillips will make his debut for the club in their first Amlin match and hopes that “the team will get the results they are after”.  London Wasps have had moments of greatness in the Aviva Premiership, but their discipline has let them down too many times. If they can form a united front and keep their heads in times of pressure, then they could surprise their opponents and give their fans the glory they are hungry for. This grouping will probably see some of the toughest fought matches of the pool stages, with every team having to step up and prove themselves.


None of the sides in Pool 4, bar I Cavalieri Prato, have had a particularly good time this year, all showing glimmers of hope before falling back into mediocrity. Perpignan, Newport Gwent Dragons and Exeter Chiefs all have to rise to the challenge if they want to do well in this tournament. In regards to who will top this pool, it is tempting to say that Cavalieri will be heading up this group but, in reality, it is anyone’s to play for. Although Cavalieri are 2nd in the Eccellenza and have pulled off some huge wins without gaining any losses so far, it seems that the others may have several tricks up their sleeves. Whoever does make it through from this pool may well be saying goodbye to the tournament pretty swiftly if they do not pull something magical out of the bag. The other pools have some ferocious competitors and, at the moment, none of these teams are convincing in their abilities to perform against the higher echelons of Amlin opponents.  


CR La Vila join Lyon in being newcomers to the competition. The Spanish side are not very experienced in the world of higher division rugby and have worked extremely hard to claim their spot in Pool 5. Compared to their opponents, Sale Sharks, Brive and Agen, the team are complete underdogs, having never played in an international tournament and consisting of only 12 fully professional players. However, their spirit and commitment makes them a welcome addition, and their performances are eagerly awaited. The rest of the sides are, again, comparatively similar in their abilities, all sitting around the middle of their domestic tables. Agen are often hard to pin down when analysed, as they tend to have periods of brilliance and disaster, but if they can hold it together then they may well be seeing the knock-outs.

Once again the Amlin Challenge has given everyone plenty to think about and numerous possible outcomes. Although a couple of the pools seem to have their obvious winners, one of the amazing things about the Amlin is that often things do not pan out the way they should. Italian rugby is certainly something to watch out for at the moment and it would not be surprising if a few upsets are caused by the plucky Azzurri sides. Meanwhile, it will be very interesting to see how the Romanian and Spanish entrants fair against their more established opponents. And, if all that does not tickle your fancy, there is always some good old Anglo-Franco rivalry to be had too.





ROUND 1 - 10/11/12/13 November 2011
ROUND 2 - 17/18/19/20 November 2011
ROUND 3 - 8/9/10/11 December 2011
ROUND 4 - 15/16/17/18 December 2011
ROUND 5 - 12/13/14/15 January 2012
ROUND 6 - 19/20/21/22 January 2012

QUARTER-FINALS - 6/7/8 April 2012

SEMI-FINALS - 27/28/29 April 2012

16th Amlin Challenge Cup Final | 18th May 2012 | The Twickenham Stoop KO 8pm BST

JONNY Wilkinson will be heading home to Newcastle next season after the Pool draw for the 2011 /12 Amlin Challenge Cup paired his French club, Toulon, with the Falcons in Pool 2.

Wilkinson, who scored 2,005 points in 180 appearances for the Falcons in a 12 year stint in the north-east of England, helped Toulon reach the quarter-finals in their first foray into the Heineken Cup last season having steered them into the Amlin Challenge Cup final in 2010.

The Italian champions, Petrarca Padova, and French Top 14 and tournament newcomers, Lyon Rugby, make up the rest of Pool 2.

London Wasps, the 2003 Amlin Challenge Cup champions, have been drawn in Pool 3 and will face the challenge of two French clubs, Bayonne and Bordeaux-Bègles. The Italian club, Femi-CZ Rovigo join them.

The draw for the 16th tournament was made in Dublin today and Stade Français Paris, the 2011 finalists, were paired with English Championship winners Worcester Warriors, Crociati Parma and Bucharest Wolves of Romania in Pool 1.

Spain's representative, Club de Rugby La Vila, who will join Lyon in making their debut in the competition, find themselves in Pool 5 along with two times Amlin Challenge Cup winners Sale Sharks, 1997 Heineken Cup winners Brive and Agen.

The five Pool winners will progress into the quarter-finals where they will be joined by three Pool runners-up from the Heineken Cup. Harlequins, who won the Amlin Challenge Cup for a record third time last season, gained promotion into the Heineken Cup as a result of their victory.

The draw was overseen by IRB Legal Counsel, Ben Rutherford.


Pool 1: Stade Français, Worcester Warriors, Crociati Parma, Bucharest Wolves
Pool 2: Toulon, Newcastle Falcons, Petrarca Padova, Lyon Rugby
Pool 3: London Wasps, Bayonne, Femi-CZ Rovigo, Bordeaux-Bègles
Pool 4: Perpignan, Newport Gwent Dragons, Exeter Chiefs, Cavalieri Prato
Pool 5: Sale Sharks, Brive, Agen, Club de Rugby La Vila