Sat 12 Jan 2019 | 01:40

French giants race into play-offs

French giants race into play-offs
Sat 12 Jan 2019 | 01:40
French giants race into play-offs
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CHALLENGE CUP WRAP: La Rochelle stunned Zebre with an exceptional second-half showing to book their place in the quarterfinals.

The Top 14 side were 12-6 down at the break but racked up 26 unanswered points after the interval to triumph 32-12.

La Rochelle can still be caught at the top of Pool Four by Bristol Bears, who face Enisei-STM twice, but their 20 points would be enough to at least guarantee one of three best runners-up spots to make the last eight.

Dany Priso, Arthur Retiere, Levani Botia and Hikairo Forbes all touched down to wrap up the crucial bonus-point victory.

Last year’s semifinalists Pau are out after a 14-35 loss to Stade Francais saw them slump to the foot of Pool Two, while Bordeaux-Begles – winners over Sale Sharks last time out – downed Perpignan 34-27 in Pool 3 to maintain their slim hopes of making the last eight.

Finally, the Dragons thrashed Timisoara Saracens 59-3 in Pool One to leave the Romanians still without a point.

Friday scores and scorers

Perpignan 27-34 Bordeaux-Begles

The scorers

For Perpignan
Tries: Ecochard, Duguivalu, Deligny
Cons: Jackson 3
Pens: Jackson 2

For Bordeaux-Begles
Tries: Lesgourgues, Woki, Tilsley, Plazy, Afa Amosa
Cons: Meret 2, Darly Domvo
Pen: Meret

Yellow cards: Alivereti Duguivalu (Perpignan, 24), Nicolas Lemaire (Perpignan, 62), Nicolas Plazy (Bordeaux-Begles, 73)

Teams

Perpignan: 15 Paddy Jackson, 14 Eroni Sau, 13 Tima Faingaanuku, 12 Alivereti Duguivalu, 11 Pierre Lucas, 10 David Mele, 9 Tom Ecochard (c), 8 Pierre Reynaud, 7 Edoardo Iachizzi, 6 Johan Van Heerden, 5 Yoann Vivalda, 4 Alban Roussel, 3 Gert Muller, 2 Cyril Deligny, 1 Quentin Walcker
Replacements: 16 Raphael Carbou, 17 Kevin Tougne, 18 Sylvain Charlet, 19 Nicolas Lemaire, 20 Karl Chateau, 21 Sadek Degmache, 22 Enzo Selponi, 23 Jean Bernard Pujol

Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Nicolas Plazy, 13 Seta Tamanivalu, 12 Ulupano Seuteni, 11 George Tilsley, 10 Lucas Meret, 9 Yann Lesgourgues (c), 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Cameron Woki, 6 Maxime Lamothe, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Cyril Cazeaux, 3 Lasha Tabidze, 2 Florian Dufour, 1 Laurent Delboubes
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Gaëtan Dominici, 18 Viliamu Afatia, 19 Alexandre Roumat, 20 Afa Amosa, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Julien Rey, 23 Lucas Lebraud

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Ian Tempest (England)

La Rochelle 32-12 Zebre

The scorers

For La Rochelle
Tries: Priso, Retiere, Veivuke, Forbes
Cons: West 2, Lafage
Pens: West 2

For Zebre:
Tries: Di Giulio, Mbanda
Con: Palazzani

Teams

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Arthur Retiere, 13 Brieuc Plessis-Couillaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Victor Vito (c), 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 4 Mathieu Tanguy, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Hikairo Forbes, 17 Mike Corbel, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Romain Sazy, 20 Botia Veivuke, 21 Jean-Victor Goillot, 22 Maxime Lafage, 23 Steve Barry

Zebre: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Paula Balekana, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Nicolas De Battista, 11 Gabriele Di Giulio, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 7 Giovanni Licata, 6 Maxime Mbanda, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Samuele Ortis, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Luhandre Luus, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau
Replacements: 16 Massimo Ceciliani, 17 Daniele Rimpelli, 18 Giosue’ Zilocchi, 19 Apisai Tauyavuca, 20 Johan Meyer, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Jamie Elliott, 23 Carlo Canna

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant referees: Adam Leal (England), Paul Dix (England)

Dragons 59-3 Timisoara Saracens

Scorers

For Dragons
Tries: Amos 2, Talbot-Davies 2, Davies 2, Screech, Williams
Cons: Tovey 7

For Timisoara Saracens
Pen: Samoa

Teams

Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Dafydd Howells, 13 Hallam Amos, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Will Talbot-Davies, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Rhodri Davies, 8 James Benjamin, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Ben Fry, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Chris Coleman, 2 Richard Hibbard (c), 1 Gerard Ellis
Replacements: 16 Rhys Lawrence, 17 Dan Suter, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Huw Taylor, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Jarryd Sage, 23 Gavin Henson

Timisoara Saracens: 15 Marius Simionescu, 14 Daniel Vladut Zaharia, 13 Tevita Manumua, 12 Florin Popa, 11 Stephen Shennan, 10 Luke Samoa, 9 Gabriel Conache (c), 8 Michael Stewart, 7 Vlad Neculau, 6 Thomas Whitehurst, 5 Marius Iftimiciuc, 4 Dorin Lazar, 3 Horatiu Pungea, 2 Eugen Capatina, 1 Sione Taupaki
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Gigi Militaru, 18 Sione Halalilo, 19 Ionut Muresan, 20 Vasile Rus, 21 Gabriel Rupanu, 22 Viliami Moala, 23 George Tatarus

Referee: Ludovic Cayre (France)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Dufort (France), Nicolas Datas (France)

Stade Francais 35-14 Pau

Scorers

For Stade Francais
Tries: Fickou, Ensor, Arias, Steyn, Arrate
Cons: Plisson 3, Steyn 2

For Pau
Tries: Hastoy, Penalty try
Cons: Hastoy, penalty try does not require a conversion

Yellow card: Siegfried Fisiihoi (Stade Francais, 40)

Teams

Stade Français: 15 Tony Ensor, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Julien Delbouis, 11 Lester Etien, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Clement Daguin, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Tala Gray, 5 Mathieu De Giovanni, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Laurent Panis, 1 Siegfried Fisiihoi
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempéré, 17 Giorgi Melikidze, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Charlie Francoz, 21 André Warner, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Alex Arrate

Pau: 15 Mathias Colombet, 14 Vincent Pinto, 13 Julien Fumat (c), 12 Atila Septar, 11 Marvin Lestremeau, 10 Antoine Hastoy, 9 Julien Blanc, 8 Antoine Erbani, 7 Pierrick Gunther, 6 Sean Dougall, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 Dave Foley, 3 Nicolas Corato, 2 Quentin Lespiaucq, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Ignacio Calles, 17 Geoffrey Moise, 18 Matthew Tierney, 19 Julien Delannoy, 20 Giovanni Habel Kuffner, 21 Clovis Lebail, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Florian Nicot

Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Dewi Phillips (Wales), Ben Breakspear (Wales)

PV: 530


French Giants Race Into Play-offs | Rugby365