2013–14 European Challenge Cup

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2013–14 Amlin Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Italy
 Portugal
 Romania
 Wales
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Date 10 October 2013 – 23 May 2014
Tournament statistics
Teams 23
Matches played 67
Attendance 321,736 (4,802 per match)
Tries scored 383 (5.72 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Jérôme Porical (Stade Français)
(83 points)[1]
Top try scorer(s) William Helu (London Wasps)
(7 tries)[2]
Final
Venue Cardiff Arms Park
Attendance 12,483
Champions England Northampton Saints (2nd title)
Runner-up England Bath
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
2012–13 (Previous) (Next) 2014–15

The 2013–14 Amlin Challenge Cup was the 18th and final season of the European Challenge Cup, Europe's second tier club rugby union competition. A total of 23 teams participated: 20 in the pool stage, plus three teams parachuting into the knockout stages from the Heineken Cup.[3] The original 20 teams represented six different countries.

The pool stage began on 10 October 2013 and ran until 19 January 2014,[4] followed by the knockout stages. The final was originally to be held in France in May 2014,[5] however the Federation Française de Rugby subsequently announced that they had withdrawn their application to host due to uncertainty over the availability of Stade de France.[6] ERC invited the Heineken Cup participating countries to submit tenders for the right to host the Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup finals and three – England, Scotland and Wales – submitted bids.[7] Cardiff was selected with the Heineken Cup Final to be held in the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 24 May 2014 and the Challenge Cup Final to he held the previous day in the Cardiff Arms Park.[8]

The defending Challenge Cup champions, Ireland's Leinster, did not defend their crown because they earned an automatic berth in the Heineken Cup, and qualified for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup. In an all-English final, Northampton Saints defeated Bath 30–16 at the Cardiff Arms Park, to win the tournament for the second time.[9][10][11][12]

On 10 April 2014, following nearly two years of negotiations, an agreement for a new European club competition structure was reached. ERC will be wound up and replaced by a new Swiss-based organising body known as European Professional Club Rugby. The European Challenge Cup will undergo a minor name change to become the European Rugby Challenge Cup. It will remain a 20 team competition, though two of these teams will come from a new competition, featuring teams from nations who do not compete in the Six Nations. The Heineken Cup will be replaced by a new top-tier competition, the European Rugby Champions Cup, which will continue to involve clubs from all of the top six European nations, but will feature 20 clubs instead of the 24 in the Heineken Cup. The new third-tier competition, to be known as the Qualifying Competition, will feature clubs from second-tier European rugby nations, plus Italian clubs that do not play in the Pro12.[13]

Teams[edit]

The qualifying teams were

  • England: 6 teams from the Aviva Premiership that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup[14]
  • France: 7 teams from the Top 14 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup[15]
  • Wales: 1 team from the Pro 12 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup[16]
  • Italy: the 4 teams that finished in the top four places in the National Championship of Excellence
  • Portugal: one team formed to play in the Challenge Cup. ERC awarded the spot to Portugal after Olympus Rugby XV withdrew from the competition[17]
  • Romania: one team that is formed every season to play in the Challenge Cup, consisting of rugby players playing in the domestic Romanian leagues
England France Italy Portugal Romania Wales

Seeding[edit]

Teams that did not qualify for the 2013–14 Heineken Cup were ordered into four tiers according to the European Rugby Club Ranking.[18][d] 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 2013–14 season.

Tier 1 France Biarritz Olympique (5) France Stade Français (8) England London Wasps (16) England Bath (22) France Brive (24)
Tier 2 England London Irish (27) England Sale Sharks (30) Wales Newport Gwent Dragons (31) England Newcastle Falcons (32) Italy Viadana (36)
Tier 3 France Bayonne (37) Italy Cavalieri Prato (39) England Worcester Warriors (40) France Bordeaux-Bègles (41) Italy Calvisano (43)
Tier 4 France Grenoble (44) Italy Mogliano (42) France Oyonnax (46) Romania București Wolves (38) Portugal Lusitanos XV

Pool stage[edit]

The draw for the pool stage took place on 5 June 2013 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.[18] The dates and times of the first 4 rounds were announced on 27 July 2013.[19] Lusitanos XV replaced Olympus Madrid on 2 September 2013.[17]

Key to colours
     Winner of each pool advances to quarterfinals.
Seed # in parentheses.

Points breakdown:

4 points for a win
2 points for a draw
1 bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match (TB)
1 bonus point for a loss by seven points or less (LB)

Source: www.ercrugby.com

Pool 1[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Sale Sharks (4) 6 5 0 1 155 65 +90 18 7 2 1 23
France Biarritz Olympique 6 3 0 3 119 116 +3 16 12 2 2 16
France Oyonnax 6 2 1 3 86 142 −56 9 17 1 1 12
England Worcester Warriors 6 1 1 4 87 124 −37 9 16 0 1 7

Pool 2[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Bath (1) 6 6 0 0 243 50 +193 34 4 4 0 28
Wales Newport Gwent Dragons 6 3 0 3 150 132 +18 17 13 2 0 14
France Bordeaux-Bègles 6 3 0 3 171 149 +22 21 17 2 0 14
Italy Mogliano 6 0 0 6 55 288 −233 5 43 0 0 0

Pool 3[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Brive (8) 6 5 1 0 121 74 +47 11 6 1 0 23
England Newcastle Falcons 6 4 0 2 126 69 +57 15 5 1 2 19
Romania București Wolves 6 2 0 4 94 105 −11 6 7 0 2 10
Italy Calvisano 6 0 1 5 80 173 −93 6 20 0 0 2

Pool 4[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England London Wasps (2) 6 6 0 0 285 76 +209 38 10 3 0 27
France Bayonne 6 3 0 3 219 118 +101 28 14 3 0 15
France Grenoble 6 2 1 3 118 158 −40 17 18 2 0 12
Italy Viadana 6 0 1 5 86 356 −270 13 54 0 0 2

Pool 5[edit]

Team P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Stade Français (3) 6 5 0 1 202 75 +127 27 6 4 0 24
England London Irish 6 5 0 1 293 65 +228 41 6 4 0 24
Italy Cavalieri Prato 6 2 0 4 100 198 −98 12 28 2 1 11
Portugal Lusitanos XV 6 0 0 6 68 325 −257 8 48 0 0 0

Seeding for knockout stage[edit]

Following the end of the pool stage, the five pool winners will be seeded alongside the three 2013–14 Heineken Cup pool runners-up who failed to qualify for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals – designated (HC). Teams are ranked by total number of Competition Points earned (4 for a win, 2 for a draw, etc.) in the pool stages. If this does not separate the teams, qualification/ranking will be based on:

(a) the number of tries scored in all Pool matches.
(b) aggregate points difference from all Pool matches.
(c) the Club with the fewest number of players sent off and / or suspended in all Pool matches.
(d) toss of a coin.[3]

Seeding as it stands

Seed Team Pts TF +/−
1 England Bath 28 34 +193
2 England London Wasps 27 38 +209
3 France Stade Français 24 27 +127
4 England Sale Sharks 23 18 +90
5 (HC) England Northampton Saints 17 11 +3
6 (HC) England Harlequins 16 12 +23
7 (HC) England Gloucester 14 13 −1
8 France Brive 23 11 +47
Quarter-final Pairings[3]
  • Seed 1 (ACC 1) v Seed 8 (ACC 5)
  • Seed 2 (ACC 2) v Seed 7 (Heineken Cup 3)
  • Seed 3 (ACC 3) v Seed 6 (Heineken Cup 2)
  • Seed 4 (ACC 4) v Seed 5 (Heineken Cup 1)

A draw determined the semi-finals pairings.

Knock-out stages[edit]

All kickoff times are local to the match location.

Quarter-finals[edit]

3 April 2014
20:00
Sale Sharks England 14–28 England Northampton Saints
Try: Thomas 5' c
Fihaki 73' c
Con: Macleod (1/1)
Ford (1/1)
Report Try: Nutley (2) 17' c, 37' c
Dickinson 29' c
Foden 33' c
Con: Hooley (4/4)
AJ Bell Stadium
Attendance: 4,650
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR)

4 April 2014
21:00
Stade Français France 6–29 England Harlequins
Pen: Steyn (2/4) 18', 31'
Report Try: Brown 45' c
Molenaar 76' c
Con: Evans (1/1)
Botica (1/1)
Pen: Evans (4/4) 15', 22', 40', 56'
Drop: Evans (1/1) 73'
Stade Jean-Bouin
Attendance: 10,200
Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU)

6 April 2014
14:00
Bath England 39–7 France Brive
Try: Agulla (3) 9' m, 35' m, 49' c
Abendanon 28' c
Rokoduguni 32' m
Young 42' c
Con: Ford (3/6)
Pen: Ford (1/2) 20'
Report Try: Murphy 65' c
Con: Laranjeira (1/1)
Recreation Ground
Attendance: 9,331
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)

6 April 2014
19:00
London Wasps England 36–24 England Gloucester
Try: Mullan 30' c
Festuccia 43' c
Helu 76' c
Con: Goode (3/3)
Pen: Goode (4/6) 36', 51', 65', 71'
Drop: Goode (1/2) 13'
Report Try: May 55' c
Evans 61' c
M. Thomas 80' c
Con: Cook (3/3)
Pen: Cook (1/2) 33'
Adams Park
Attendance: 5,311
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)

Semi-finals[edit]

25 April 2014
20:00
Northampton Saints England 18–10 England Harlequins
Try: Collins 26' m
Fotuali'i 44' c
Con: Myler (1/2)
Pen: Myler (2/2) 20', 35'
Report Try: Easter 63' c
Con: Botica (1/1)
Pen: Botica (1/3) 39'
Franklin's Gardens
Attendance: 10,077
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

27 April 2014
13:00
London Wasps England 18–24 England Bath
Try: Helu 39' c
Johnson 64' m
Con: Goode (1/2)
Pen: Goode (2/2) 2', 14'
Report Try: Perenise 24' c
Webber (2) 46' c, 57' c
Con: Ford (3/3)
Pen: Ford (1/2) 11'
Adams Park
Attendance: 6,010
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR)

Final[edit]

23 May 2014
20:00
Bath England 16–30 England Northampton Saints
Try: Watson 26' c
Con: Ford (1/1)
Pen: Ford (3/6) 1', 13', 65'
Report Try: Dowson 70' c
Foden 75' m
Con: Myler (1/2)
Pen: Myler (6/6) 6', 23', 47', 56', 59', 63'
Cardiff Arms Park
Attendance: 12,483
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As 2012–13 RFU Championship winners, Newcastle Falcons have been promoted to the Aviva Premiership for 2013–14 and they will compete in the Challenge Cup.
  2. ^ As 2013 Rugby Pro D2 champions, Oyonnax have been automatically promoted to the Top 14 for 2013–14. As new Top 14 members, they will compete in the Challenge Cup.
  3. ^ Brive won the 2013 Rugby Pro D2 promotion playoff final, thereby earning promotion to the 2013–14 Top 14 and a place in the Challenge Cup.
  4. ^ Calvisano, Grenoble and Mogliano have equivalent ranking and appear to have been allocated to tiers in alphabetic order.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Points Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Try Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Rules". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Demanding draw for English clubs". European Rugby Cup. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Staging of 2014 Heineken and Amlin Cup finals awarded to France". www.guardian.co.uk. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "2014 Finals Announcement". European Rugby Cup. 8 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Three bids for ERC European Club Rugby Finals". European Rugby Cup. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "ERC 2014 finals set to return to Cardiff". European Rugby Cup. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Osborne, Chris (23 May 2014). "Bath 16-30 Northampton". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Northampton Saints beat Bath in Cardiff final". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 23 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bath 16 Northampton 30, Amlin Challenge Cup final: match report". Daily Telegraph. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Bath 16-30 Northampton". Daily Mail. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Future of European Rugby resolved" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "ERC : European Qualification : England". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "ERC : European Qualification : France". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "ERC : European Qualification : Celtic Countries". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Portuguese club to compete in Amlin Challenge Cup". European Rugby Cup. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Pool draws for 2013/14 ERC tournaments". European Rugby Cup. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Former champions to kick off new European season". European Rugby Cup. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 

External links[edit]