2003–04 European Challenge Cup

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2003-04 Parker Pen Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Romania
 Scotland
 Spain
Tournament format(s) Knockout
Date 5 December 2003 – 22 May 2004
Tournament statistics
Teams 28
Matches played 57
Attendance 225,213 (3,951 per match)
Tries scored 323 (5.67 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Olly Barkley (Bath)
(120 points)[1]
Top try scorer(s) Simon Danielli (Bath)
(6 tries)[2]
Final
Venue Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
Attendance 13,123
Champions England NEC Harlequins (2nd title)
Runner-up France Montferrand
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
2002–03 (Previous) (Next) 2004–05

The 2003–04 European Challenge Cup (known as the Parker Pen Challenge Cup for sponsorship reasons) was the 8th season of the European Challenge Cup, Europe's second tier club rugby union competition below the Heineken Cup. A total of 28 teams participated, representing seven different countries. This was the first year of the competition following the introduction of regional rugby union teams in Wales. With the reduction of Welsh teams from nine to five, and with all teams participating in the 2003-04 Heineken Cup, there were no Welsh teams in the 2003–04 Parker Pen Challenge Cup.

The competition began when Rotherham hosted Narbonne and Leonessa hosted Montferrand on 5 December 2003 and culminated in the final at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on 22 May 2004.

As in the previous season, the competition was organised in a knockout format. Teams played each other on a home and away basis, with the aggregate points winner proceeding to the next round. The final was a single leg. For the second time, a third tier tournament was held - the European Shield. This was contested between the first round losers from the European Challenge Cup.[3] As there were only 28 teams involved, the 2 "best" 1st Round losers were reprieved and proceeded to the 2nd Round.

The defending champions, England's London Wasps, did not have a chance to defend their crown because they qualified to play in the Heineken Cup. NEC Harlequins claimed the narrowest of victories over Montferrand in the final and picked up their second piece of European Club silverware.

Teams[edit]

The allocation of teams was as follows:

England: 6 teams — all teams from the Zurich Premiership that did not qualify for the 2003–04 Heineken Cup
France: 10 teams — all teams from the Top 16 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup
Ireland: 1 team — the Irish team from the Celtic League that did not play in the Heineken Cup
Italy: 8 teams — all the teams from the Super 10 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup
Scotland: 1 team — the Scottish team from the Celtic League that did not play in the Heineken Cup
Spain: 2 teams — drawn from the División de Honor de Rugby
England England France France Ireland Ireland Italy Italy Scotland Scotland Spain Spain
Bath
NEC Harlequins
London Irish
Newcastle Falcons
Rotherham
Saracens
Béziers
Brive
Castres Olympique
Colomiers
Grenoble
Montauban
Montferrand
Montpellier
Narbonne
Pau
Connacht
Gran Parma
L'Aquila
Leonessa
Overmach Parma
Petrarca Padova
Rugby Roma
Rovigo
Viadana
Glasgow
El Salvador
Valladolid RAC

Matches[edit]

All kickoff times are local to the match location.[4]

Round 1[edit]

1st Leg[edit]

5 December 2003
19:45
Rotherham England 10 – 17 France Narbonne
Report
Millmoor
Attendance: 1,327
5 December 2003
20:00
Leonessa Italy 0 – 55 France Montferrand
Report
Campo Comunale di Rugby
Attendance: 500
6 December 2003
12:30
Valladolid RAC Spain 10 – 71 England Newcastle Falcons
Report
Estadio Pepe Rojo
Attendance: 3,000
6 December 2003
14:30
Rugby Roma Italy 13 – 45 England Saracens
Report
Stadio Tre Fontane
Attendance: 512
6 December 2003
15:00
Gran Parma Italy 10 – 35 France Grenoble
Report
6 December 2003
15:00
L'Aquila Italy 11 – 75 England Bath
Report
Stade Tommaso Fattori
Attendance: 2,000
6 December 2003
15:00
Rovigo Italy 14 – 53 France Castres Olympique
Report
6 December 2003
18:00
Colomiers France 37 – 12 Italy Petrarca Padova
Report
Stade Selery
Attendance: 2,500
6 December 2003
18:00
Montpellier France 11 – 30 Scotland Glasgow
Report
Stade Sabathé
Attendance: 500
6 December 2003
19:30
Brive France 39 – 3 Italy Viadana
Report
Stade Amédée-Domenech
Attendance: 3,000
7 December 2003
12:30
El Salvador Spain 18 – 31 England NEC Harlequins
Report
Estadio Pepe Rojo
Attendance: 2,800
7 December 2003
13:30
Montauban France 30 – 26 England London Irish
Report
North Power Stadium[5]
Attendance: 1,600
7 December 2003
14:30
Overmach Parma Italy 28 – 33 France Pau
Report
7 December 2003
15:00
Béziers France 10 – 18 Ireland Connacht
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 4,543

2nd Leg[edit]

12 December 2003
19:30
Glasgow Scotland 38 – 13 France Montpellier
Report
Hughenden Stadium
Attendance: 1,622
12 December 2003
19:45
Narbonne France 35 – 13 England Rotherham
Report
13 December 2003
14:00
Connacht Ireland 11 – 13 France Béziers
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 2,500
13 December 2003
14:15
Bath England 50 – 0 Italy L'Aquila
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,707
13 December 2003
15:00
NEC Harlequins England 63 – 3 Spain El Salvador
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 6,341
13 December 2003
15:00
Petrarca Padova Italy 20 – 38 France Colomiers
Report
Stadio Plebiscito
Attendance: 1,200
13 December 2003
17:00
Montferrand France 58 – 3 Italy Leonessa
Report
13 December 2003
18:00
Castres Olympique France 75 – 10 Italy Rovigo
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 2,500
13 December 2003
19:00
Pau France 25 – 6 Italy Overmach Parma
Report
Stade du Hameau
Attendance: 3,500
13 December 2003
19:30
Grenoble France 41 – 6 Italy Gran Parma
Report
Stade Lesdiguières
Attendance: 4,087
14 December 2003
13:00
Newcastle Falcons England 66 – 27 Spain Valladolid RAC
Report
Kingston Park
Attendance: 6,012
14 December 2003
14:30
Viadana Italy 38 – 22 France Brive
Report
Stradey Park[6]
Attendance: 1,000
14 December 2003
15:00
London Irish England 36 – 24 France Montauban
Report
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 5,265
14 December 2003
15:00
Saracens England 82 – 5 Italy Rugby Roma
Report
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 4,181

Aggregate Results[edit]

Key to colours
     14 winners and 2 best losers advance to 2nd Round.
     12 other teams to Shield.
Winners Match points Aggregate score Points margin Losers
Bath England 4 – 0 125 – 11 114 Italy L'Aquila
Montferrand France 4 – 0 113 – 3 110 Italy Leonessa
Saracens England 4 – 0 127 – 18 109 Italy Rugby Roma
Castres Olympique France 4 – 0 128 – 24 104 Italy Rovigo
Newcastle Falcons England 4 – 0 137 – 37 100 Spain Valladolid RAC
NEC Harlequins England 4 – 0 94 – 21 73 Spain El Salvador
Grenoble France 4 – 0 76 – 16 60 Italy Gran Parma
Glasgow Scotland 4 – 0 68 – 24 44 France Montpellier
Colomiers France 4 – 0 75 – 32 43 Italy Petrarca Padova
Narbonne France 4 – 0 52 – 23 29 England Rotherham
Pau France 4 – 0 58 – 34 24 Italy Overmach Parma
Brive France 2 – 2 61 – 41 20 Italy Viadana
London Irish England 2 – 2 62 – 54 8 France Montauban
Connacht Ireland 2 – 2 29 – 23 6 France Béziers

Round 2[edit]

1st Leg[edit]

10 January 2004
14:00
Connacht Ireland 29 – 7 France Pau
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 2,000
10 January 2004
19:30
Montauban France 8 – 43 England NEC Harlequins
Report
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
Attendance: 3,000
11 January 2004
14:30
Newcastle Falcons England 10 – 3 France Montferrand
Report
Kingston Park
Attendance: 4,950
11 January 2004
15:00
Brive France 30 – 17 France Castres Olympique
Report
Stade Amédée-Domenech
Attendance: 4,000
11 January 2004
15:00
Colomiers France 25 – 32 England Bath
Report
Stade Selery
Attendance: 4,500
11 January 2004
15:00
Grenoble France 15 – 19 France Béziers
Report
Stade Lesdiguières
Attendance: 4,500
11 January 2004
15:00
London Irish England 20 – 13 France Narbonne
Report
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 4,525
11 January 2004
15:00
Saracens England 37 – 6 Scotland Glasgow
Report
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 3,653

2nd Leg[edit]

16 January 2004
19:30
Glasgow Scotland 33 – 5 England Saracens
Report
Hughenden Stadium
Attendance: 2,645
17 January 2004
14:15
Bath England 26 – 17 France Colomiers
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 9,980
17 January 2004
15:00
NEC Harlequins England 36 – 17 France Montauban
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 5,011
17 January 2004
19:00
Pau France 10 – 6 Ireland Connacht
Report
Stade du Hameau
Attendance: 3,000
17 January 2004
19:30
Béziers France 24 – 8 France Grenoble
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 4,389
17 January 2004
19:30
Narbonne France 29 – 10 England London Irish
Report
18 January 2004
15:00
Montferrand France 25 – 13 England Newcastle Falcons
Report
18 January 2004
15:00
Castres Olympique France 31 – 28 France Brive
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 2,500

Aggregate Results[edit]

Proceed to Quarter-final Match points Aggregate score Points margin Eliminated from competition
NEC Harlequins England 4 – 0 89 – 25 64 France Montauban
Béziers France 4 – 0 43 – 23 20 France Grenoble
Bath England 4 – 0 58 – 42 16 France Colomiers
Connacht Ireland 2 – 2 35 – 17 18 France Pau
Narbonne France 2 – 2 42 – 30 12 England London Irish
Brive France 2 – 2 58 – 48 10 France Castres Olympique
Montferrand France 2 – 2 28 – 23 5 England Newcastle Falcons
Saracens England 2 – 2 42 – 39 3 Scotland Glasgow

Quarter finals[edit]

1st Leg[edit]

24 January 2004
15:00
NEC Harlequins England 41 – 8 France Brive
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 4,950
24 January 2004
19:30
Béziers France 24 – 19 England Bath
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 2,553
24 January 2004
19:30
Narbonne France 18 – 27 Ireland Connacht
Report
25 January 2004
15:00
Montferrand France 26 – 10 England Saracens
Report

2nd Leg[edit]

31 January 2004
14:00
Connacht Ireland 16 – 10 France Narbonne
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 2,000
31 January 2004
14:15
Bath England 26 – 7 France Béziers
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 5,571
1 February 2004
15:00
Brive France 36 – 20 England NEC Harlequins
Report
Stade Amédée-Domenech
Attendance: 5,000
1 February 2004
15:00
Saracens England 18 – 14 France Montferrand
Report
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 4,058

Aggregate Results[edit]

Proceed to Semi-final Match points Aggregate score Points margin Eliminated from competition
Connacht Ireland 4 – 0 43 – 28 15 France Narbonne
NEC Harlequins England 2 – 2 61 – 44 17 France Brive
Bath England 2 – 2 45 – 31 14 France Béziers
Montferrand France 2 – 2 40 – 28 12 England Saracens

Semi finals[edit]

1st Leg[edit]

10 April 2004
13:00
Bath England 29 – 15 France Montferrand
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 7,700
11 April 2004
13:00
NEC Harlequins England 31 – 22 Ireland Connacht
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 6,573

2nd Leg[edit]

24 April 2004
14:00
Montferrand France 38 – 22 England Bath
Report
25 April 2004
13:00
Connacht Ireland 23 – 18 England NEC Harlequins
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 6,000

Aggregate Results[edit]

Proceed to Final Match points Aggregate score Points margin Eliminated from competition
NEC Harlequins England 2 – 2 49 – 45 4 Ireland Connacht
Montferrand France 2 – 2 53 – 51 2 England Bath

Final[edit]

22 May 2004
12:00
Montferrand France 26 – 27 England NEC Harlequins
Try: Azam
Mignoni
Con: Floch (2)
Pen: Floch (3)
Drop: Merceron (1)
Report Try: Duffy
Keogh
Con: Dunne (1)
Pen: Burke (4)
Dunne (1)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Points Scorers". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Try Scorers". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Challenge Cup European Champions". ERC. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Challenge Cup Fixtures". ERC. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  5. ^ According to the ERC web site. Montauban usually play at Stade Sapiac.
  6. ^ According to the ERC web site. Viadana usually play at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella.