2008–09 European Challenge Cup

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2008–09 European Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Romania
 Spain
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and Knockout
Date 9 October 2008 to 22 May 2009
Tournament statistics
Teams 20
Matches played 67
Top point scorer(s) Stephen Myler (Northampton)
(133 points)
Top try scorer(s) Chris Ashton (Northampton)
(7 tries)
Final
Venue Twickenham Stoop
Attendance 9,260
Champions England Northampton Saints (1st title)
Runner-up France Bourgoin
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
2007–08 (Previous) (Next) 2009–10

The 2008–09 European Challenge Cup was the 13th season of the European Challenge Cup, the annual rugby union European club competition for clubs from six nations in European rugby. It started in October 2008 and ended with the final at the Twickenham Stoop in London on 22 May 2009, in which Northampton Saints defeated Bourgoin 15–3. With the win, the Saints not only claimed the trophy, but also won a berth in the 2009–10 Heineken Cup.

Teams[edit]

Seven French teams competed instead of the normal eight, as a French team, Toulouse, progressed farther in the previous year's Heineken Cup than any English or Italian team.

Other nations had their usual number of participants: England six, Italy four, Ireland one, Spain one and Romania one.[1]

England England France France Ireland Ireland Italy Italy Romania Romania Spain Spain
Bristol
London Irish
Newcastle Falcons
Northampton Saints
Saracens
Worcester Warriors
Bayonne
Brive
Bourgoin
Montpellier
Toulon
Mont-de-Marsan
Dax
Connacht
Overmach Parma
Petrarca Padova
Rovigo
Viadana
Bucureşti Oaks
El Salvador

Pool stage[edit]

The draw for the pool stages took place on 23 June 2008. The draw was conducted using the ERC European Ranking system which was based on the qualified teams' performances and participation in the Heineken Cup and knock-out stages of the European Challenge Cup over the past four seasons.

Key to colours
     Winner of each pool, advance to quarterfinals. Seed # in parentheses
     Three highest-scoring second-place teams advance to quarterfinals. Seed # in parentheses

Pool 1[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England London Irish (1) 6 6 0 0 44 3 +41 300 34 +266 5 0 29
Ireland Connacht (7) 6 4 0 2 20 19 +1 159 140 +19 3 0 19
Italy Rovigo 6 1 0 5 7 25 −18 79 199 –120 0 1 5
France Dax 6 1 0 5 5 29 −24 55 220 –165 0 0 4


Pool 2[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Northampton Saints (2) 6 6 0 0 37 7 +30 278 69 +209 5 0 29
England Bristol 6 3 0 3 14 21 −7 140 168 −28 1 1 14
France Montpellier 6 2 0 4 10 18 −8 101 159 −58 0 1 9
France RC Toulon 6 1 0 5 7 22 −15 84 207 −123 0 1 5

Pool 3[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Worcester Warriors (4) 6 5 0 1 36 8 +28 255 94 +161 4 0 24
France Bourgoin (8) 6 3 0 3 18 11 +7 158 115 +43 1 2 15
Italy Petrarca Padova 6 3 0 3 11 28 −17 112 206 −94 0 1 13
Romania Bucureşti Oaks 6 1 0 5 8 26 −18 87 197 −110 0 1 5

Pool 4[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
France Brive (5) 6 5 0 1 33 8 +25 243 89 +154 3 1 24
England Newcastle Falcons (6) 6 4 0 2 24 8 +16 178 90 +88 2 1 19
Italy Overmach Parma 6 3 0 3 19 13 +6 165 120 +45 2 2 16
Spain El Salvador 6 0 0 6 5 52 −47 46 333 −287 0 0 0

Pool 5[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Saracens (3) 6 6 0 0 20 1 +19 200 43 +157 2 0 26
Italy Viadana 6 3 0 3 8 11 −3 120 126 −6 0 1 13
France Bayonne 6 3 0 3 9 11 −2 99 122 −23 0 0 12
France Mont-de-Marsan 6 0 0 0 4 18 −14 54 182 −128 0 1 1

Seeding and runners-up[edit]

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/-
1 England London Irish 29 44 +266
2 England Northampton Saints 29 37 +209
3 England Saracens 26 20 +157
4 England Worcester Warriors 24 36 +161
5 France Brive 24 33 +154
Seed Pool Runners-up Pts TF +/-
6 England Newcastle Falcons 19 24 +88
7 Ireland Connacht 19 20 +19
8 France Bourgoin 15 18 +43
- England Bristol 14 14 −28
- Italy Viadana 13 8 −6

Knockout stage[edit]

Unlike the Heineken Cup, the Challenge Cup did not conduct a semi-final draw at the time (such a draw would be instituted for the 2009–10 edition). The top half of the draw matched the 1 and 8 seeds in one quarter-final, and the 4 and 5 seeds in the other, and the bottom half matched 2 against 7 and 3 against 6; the higher (lower-numbered) seeds all play at home. The knockout stage was not reseeded after the quarter-finals. Home advantage for the semi-finals was awarded to the highest remaining seed in each half of the draw. Home advantage in the final went to the top remaining seed.

Quarter-finals[edit]

9 April 2009
19:30
London Irish England 30 – 32 France Bourgoin
Tries: Mapusua 56' c
S. Armitage 80+2' m
Con: D. Armitage (1/2)
Pen: D. Armitage (5/6) 11', 16', 31', 40', 71'
Drop: Kennedy (1/1) 79'
Report Tries: Forest 42' c
Nicolas 77' c
Con: Parra (2/2)
Pen: Parra (4/5) 6', 37', 59', 63'
Drop: Boyet (2/4) 28', 72'
Madejski Stadium, Reading
Attendance: 6,455
Referee: Peter Allen (Scotland)
11 April 2009
13:00
Worcester Warriors England 29 – 18 France Brive
Tries: Garvey (2) 11' c, 72' c
Sanderson 22' c
Grove 52' m
Con: Jones (3/4)
Pen: Jones (1/1) 9'
Report Tries: Cooke (2) 35' m, 44' c
Con: Palisson (1/2)
Pen: Goode (1/1) 17'
Palisson (1/1) 66'
Sixways Stadium, Worcester
Attendance: 4,323
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
11 April 2009
15:00
Northampton Saints England 42 – 13 IrelandConnacht
Tries: Best 71' c
Ansbro 74' m
Reihana 79' c
Mayor 80' m
Con: Myler (1/2)
Everitt (1/2)
Pen: Myler (6/6) 16', 24', 37', 45', 55', 65'
Report Try: Ofisa 52' c
Con: Keatley (1/1)
Pen: Keatley (1/1) 19'
Drop: Keatley (1/1) 29'
Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
Attendance: 9,119
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
12 April 2009
15:00
Saracens England 32 – 13 England Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Johnston 26' c
Barritt 30' c
Con: Jackson (2/2)
Pen: Jackson (5/5) 15', 23', 53', 65', 68'
Drop: Jackson (1/1) 38'
Report Tries: Williams 58' m
Dowson 79' m
Pen: May (1/1) 9'
Vicarage Road, Watford
Attendance: 7,711
Referee: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

Semi-finals[edit]

1 May 2009
19:45
Northampton Saints England 16 – 13 England Saracens
Try: Reihana 30' c
Con: Myler (1/1)
Pen: Myler (2/2) 7', 13'
Drop: Myler (1/1) 74'
Report Try: Penney 73' c
Con: Jackson (1/1)
Pen: Jackson (2/2) 5', 52'
Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
Attendance: 11,073
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
2 May 2009
13:30
Bourgoin France 22 – 11 England Worcester Warriors
Try: Levast 62' c
Con: Parra (1/1)
Pen: Parra (4/4) 10', 43', 52', 58'
Drop: Boyet (1/1) 60'
Report Try: Benjamin 78' m
Pen: Carlisle (2/2) 28', 35'
Stade Pierre Rajon, Bourgoin
Attendance: 8,200
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Final[edit]

22 May 2009
19:45
Northampton Saints England 15 – 3 France Bourgoin
Pen: Myler (5/5) 9', 20', 38', 48', 69'
Drop: Myler (0/2)
Report Pen: Parra (1/1) 33'
Drop: Boyet (0/1)
Twickenham Stoop, London
Attendance: 9,260
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "European Challenge Cup – Key Tournament Rules". European Rugby Cup. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 

External links[edit]