2011–12 European Challenge Cup

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2011–12 Amlin Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Italy
 Romania
 Spain
 Wales
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Date 10 November 2011 to 18 May 2012
Tournament statistics
Teams 23
Matches played 67
Attendance 344,547 (5,142 per match)
Tries scored 365 (5.45 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
(96 points)
Top try scorer(s) Morgan Turinui (Stade Français)
(6 tries)
Final
Venue Twickenham Stoop, London
Attendance 9,376
Champions France Biarritz (1st title)
Runner-up France Toulon
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
2010–11 (Previous) (Next) 2012–13

The 2011–12 Amlin Challenge Cup was the 16th season of the European Challenge Cup, Europe's second tier club rugby union competition. The tournament began with two matches on 10 November 2011 and ended with the final on 18 May 2012 at the Twickenham Stoop in London. A total of 23 teams from six countries participated—20 in the pool stage, plus three teams parachuting into the knockout stages from the Heineken Cup. In an all-French final, Biarritz claimed their first Challenge Cup, defeating Toulon 21–18. The Basque club claimed a place in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup, which will be their 13th consecutive appearance in Europe's top club competition.[1]

The defending Challenge Cup champions, England's Harlequins, did not initially have a chance to defend their crown because they had earned an automatic berth in the Heineken Cup. However, Quins parachuted into the knockout stage of this season's Challenge Cup, losing to Toulon in the quarter-finals. All four semi-finalists were from France, equalling the achievement of 1996–97 and 1998–99.

Teams[edit]

Teams that parachuted in from the Heineken Cup are in italics.

England France Italy Romania Spain Wales

Seeding[edit]

Teams that did not qualify for the 2011–12 Heineken Cup were ordered into four tiers according to the European Rugby Club Ranking. Five pools of four teams were drawn comprising one team from each tier.

The brackets show each team's European Rugby Club Ranking at the end of the 2010–11 season.[2]

Tier 1 France Stade Français (8) France Perpignan (9) England London Wasps (14) France Toulon (19) England Sale Sharks (22)
Tier 2 Wales Newport Gwent Dragons (26) France Brive (27) England Newcastle Falcons (28) England Worcester Warriors (29) France Bayonne
Tier 3 Italy Petrarca Padova Italy Crociati Parma Italy Rugby Rovigo France Agen England Exeter Chiefs
Tier 4 Italy Cavalieri Prato France Lyon France Bordeaux-Bègles Romania Bucharest Wolves Spain Club Rugby La Vila Comunidad Valencia

Pool stage[edit]

Key to colours
     Winner of each pool advances 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
France Stade Français (1) 6 6 0 0 33 5 +28 241 43 +198 5 0 29
England Worcester Warriors 6 4 0 2 30 9 +21 194 95 +99 4 0 20
Romania Bucureşti Wolves 6 2 0 4 12 27 −15 102 184 −82 2 0 10
Italy Crociati Parma 6 0 0 6 4 38 −34 36 251 −215 0 0 0

Pool 2[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
France Toulon (3) 6 5 0 1 26 5 +14 197 73 +124 3 1 25
England Newcastle Falcons 6 4 0 2 18 9 +9 133 82 +51 2 0 18
France Lyon 6 3 0 3 16 11 +5 143 114 +29 1 1 14
Italy Petrarca Padova 6 0 0 6 3 38 −28 50 254 −204 0 0 0

Pool 3[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England London Wasps (4) 6 5 0 1 21 7 +14 189 75 +114 4 0 24
France Bayonne 6 5 0 1 10 3 +7 197 61 +136 2 0 22
France Bordeaux Bègles 6 2 0 4 9 14 −5 82 132 −50 1 1 10
Italy Rovigo 6 0 0 6 5 21 −16 51 251 −200 0 1 1

Pool 4[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Exeter Chiefs (8) 6 5 0 1 22 4 +18 202 64 +121 2 1 23
France Perpignan 6 4 0 2 17 9 +8 153 112 +41 2 0 18
Wales Newport Gwent Dragons 6 3 0 3 16 7 +9 139 100 +10 2 1 15
Italy Cavalieri Prato 6 0 0 6 6 41 −35 62 280 −218 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
France Brive (2) 6 6 0 0 26 7 +19 209 79 +130 3 0 28
England Sale Sharks 6 4 0 2 31 8 +23 225 96 +129 4 0 20
France Agen 6 2 0 4 24 21 +3 168 166 +2 2 0 10
Spain La Vila 6 0 0 6 6 51 −45 64 325 −261 0 0 0

[3]

Knock-out stages[edit]

Seeding[edit]

Following the end of the pool stage, the 5 pool winners were seeded alongside the top 3 2011-12 Heineken Cup pool runners-up who failed to qualify for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

(HC) Means a team has entered the competition from the Heineken Cup

Seed Team
1 France Stade Français
2 France Brive
3 France Toulon
4 England London Wasps
5 (HC) France Biarritz
6 (HC) England Harlequins
7 (HC) Wales Scarlets
8 England Exeter Chiefs

Quarter-finals[edit]

To be played on the weekend of 5–8 April 2012.[4]

5 April 2012
20:45 CEST
Stade Français France 22 – 17 England Exeter Chiefs
Try: Camara 43' m
Williams 79' m
Pen: Dupuy (4/4) 29', 40', 47', 55'
Report Try: Naqelevuki 68' m
Pen: Mieres (4/5) 21', 27', 36', 49'
Stade Charléty, Paris
Attendance: 4,693
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
6 April 2012
20:45 CEST
Toulon France 37 – 8 England Harlequins
Try: Tillous-Borde 34' c
Lapeyre 60' c
Armitage 73' m
Con: Wilkinson (1/1)
Giteau (1/2)
Pen: Wilkinson (5/5) 5', 8', 14', 18' 30'
Giteau (1/1) 52'
Report Try: Care 70' m
Pen: Clegg (1/1) 11'
Stade Mayol, Toulon
Attendance: 12,762
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
7 April 2012
12:30 BST
London Wasps England 23 – 26 France Biarritz
Try: Wade 63' c
Davis 66' c
Con: Robinson (2/2)
Pen: Robinson (3/3) 12', 21', 39'
Report Try: Balshaw 22' c
van Staden 40' c
Con: Yachvili (2/2)
Pen: Yachvili (4/4) 28', 54', 61', 75'
Adams Park, High Wycombe
Attendance: 4,308
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
8 April 2012
20:45 CEST
Brive France 15 – 11 Wales Scarlets
Pen: Swanepoel (5/8) 15', 36', 46', 50', 79'
Report Try: Li. Williams 58' m
Pen: S. Jones (2/4) 30', 39'

Semi-finals[edit]

This is the fifth time that one country has supplied all four semi-finalists: they were all French in 1996–97 and 1998–99, and all English in the 2005–06 and 2007–08 seasons.

27 April 2012
20:55 CEST
Toulon France 32 – 29 France Stade Français
Try: Armitage 2' m
Pen: Wilkinson (7/11) 31', 40', 42', 50', 55', 63', 67'
Drop: Wilkinson (2/3) 46', 79'
Report Try: Bonneval 12' c
Turinui 60' c
Con: Plisson (2/2)
Pen: Plisson (3/5) 15', 26', 37'
Drop: Plisson (2/2) 21', 68'
Stade Mayol, Toulon
Attendance: 12,404
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
28 April 2012
16:00 CEST
Biarritz France 19 – 0 France Brive
Try: Traille 29' c
Con: Yachvili (1/1)
Pen: Yachvili (4/5) 17', 23', 67', 71'
Report

Final[edit]

18 May 2012
20:00 BST
Biarritz France 21 – 18 France Toulon
Pen: Yachvili (7/7) 4', 17', 24', 35', 46', 53', 73'
Report Pen: Wilkinson (5/7) 11', 22', 31', 44', 59'
Drop: Wilkinson (1/1) 65'
Twickenham Stoop, London
Attendance: 9,376
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jenkins, Graham (18 May 2012). "Biarritz edge Toulon for euro glory". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  2. ^ 01:19 PM. "Gwlad! Rugby Online Chat". Forum.gwladrugby.com. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  3. ^ "ERC : Amlin Challenge Cup : Pools : Pool Tables". Ercrugby.com. 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  4. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup Fixtures: Knock-out Stages". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 24 January 2012.