1996–97 European Challenge Cup

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1996–97 European Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Romania
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Date 12 October 1996 – 26 January 1997
Tournament statistics
Teams 24
Matches played 66
Attendance 443 (7 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Alexandre Péclier (Bourgoin)
(113 points)[1]
Top try scorer(s) Laurent Leflamand (Bourgoin)
(7 tries)[2]
Final
Venue Stade de la Méditerranée, Béziers
Attendance 10,000
Champions France Bourgoin (1st title)
Runner-up France Castres Olympique
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
(Next) 1997–98

The 1996–97 European Challenge Cup (also called the 1996-97 European Shield) was the inaugural year of the European Challenge Cup, the second tier rugby union cup competition below the Heineken Cup. The tournament was held between October 1996 and January 1997 and was won by Bourgoin with an 18–9 victory over Castres in the final at the Stade de la Méditerranée in Béziers, France.[3] Twenty-four teams took part from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Scotland and Wales, divided into four groups of six. Each team played the other teams in the group once, meaning each had five matches with either two or three on their home ground. The quarter–finals saw seven of the eight clubs coming from France, with the only non-French club being Northampton Saints.

Teams[edit]

The qualifying teams were drawn from seven countries. Generally, these were teams from the top division of domestic rugby that did not qualify to play in the Heineken Cup:

England France Ireland Italy Romania Scotland Wales

Pool stage[edit]

Twenty four teams participated in the pool stage of the competition; they were divided into four pools of six teams each, with each team playing the other teams in their pool once only. Matches took place between 12 October and 2 November 1996 and teams were awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw. The winner and runner-up of each pool progressed to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Pool 1[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
France Agen 5 5 0 0 20 9 +11 156 82 +74 10
France Montferrand 5 4 0 1 30 8 +22 211 74 +137 8
England Sale Sharks 5 3 0 2 18 14 +4 166 115 +51 6
Wales Newport 5 2 0 3 14 19 −15 98 158 −60 4
Scotland Glasgow 5 1 0 4 15 30 −15 113 202 −89 2
Wales Newbridge 5 0 0 5 16 33 −17 106 219 −113 0
Source : www.ercrugby.com

Pool 2[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
France Castres Olympique 5 5 0 0 29 6 +23 207 71 +136 10
France Narbonne 5 4 0 1 21 6 +15 161 90 +71 8
Romania Dinamo-Bucureşti 5 2 1 2 12 32 −20 109 213 −104 5
Wales Bridgend 4 1 1 2 10 14 −4 94 120 −26 3
England Bristol Shoguns 5 1 0 4 11 12 −1 128 99 +29 2
Wales Treorchy 4 0 0 4 10 23 −13 72 178 −106 0
Source : www.ercrugby.com

The Treorchy v Bridgend match was not played.[4]

Pool 3[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
England Northampton Saints 5 5 0 0 28 12 +16 207 88 +119 10
France Toulon 5 4 0 1 22 10 +12 164 102 +62 8
England Orrell 5 2 0 3 18 22 −4 122 173 −51 4
Ireland Connacht 5 2 0 3 9 17 −8 94 131 −37 4
Wales Dunvant 5 1 0 4 15 22 −7 106 169 −63 2
Italy Petrarca 5 1 0 4 10 19 −9 118 148 −30 2
Source : www.ercrugby.com

Pool 4[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
France Bourgoin 5 5 0 0 27 4 +23 196 66 +130 10
France Bordeaux-Bègles 5 3 1 1 29 13 +16 195 99 +96 7
Wales Swansea 5 3 1 1 28 19 +9 207 138 +69 7
England Gloucester 5 2 0 3 17 17 0 119 123 −4 4
Wales Ebbw Vale 5 1 0 4 6 36 −30 48 243 −195 2
England London Irish 5 0 0 5 12 30 −18 90 186 −96 0
Source : www.ercrugby.com

Qualifiers[edit]

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/−
1 France Castres Olympique 10 29 +136
2 England Northampton Saints 10 28 +119
3 France Bourgoin 10 27 +130
4 France Agen 10 20 +74
Seed Runners-up Pts TF +/−
5 France Montferrand 8 30 +137
6 France Toulon 8 22 +62
7 France Narbonne 8 21 +71
8 France Bordeaux-Bègles 7 29 +96

Knockout stage[edit]

Quarter finals[edit]

16 November 1996
Bourgoin France 17 – 15 France Montferrand
Report
Stade Pierre Rajon
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)
16 November 1996
Castres Olympique France 23 – 15 France Toulon
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Daniel Gillet (France)
16 November 1996
Northampton Saints England 22 – 23 France Narbonne
Report
Franklin's Gardens
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Andrew Watson (England)
16 November 1996
Agen France 20 – 15
a.e.t.[4]
France Bordeaux-Bègles
Report
Stade Armandie
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Didier Mene (France)

Semi finals[edit]

5 January 1997
Bourgoin France 29 – 6 France Narbonne
Report
Stade Pierre Rajon
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Bernard Perez (France)
5 January 1997
Castres Olympique France 23 – 6 France Agen
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Joel Dumé (France)

Final[edit]

26 January 1997
Bourgoin France 18 – 9 France Castres Olympique
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Points Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Try Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Mick Cleary and John Griffiths, ed. (1997). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1997–98. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0 7472 7732 X. 
  4. ^ a b "European Challenge Cup 1996/7". BBC. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 21 August 2013.