Edinburgh and Gloucester clinch quarterfinal spots

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 08:53
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EURO CHALLENGE CUP WRAP: Solomoni Rasolea's dramatic 77th-minute try helped Edinburgh clinch a place in the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals with a stunning 34-33 victory over Stade Francais.

Stade needed a win to keep their chances of stealing top spot in Pool 4 alive, but Rasolea denied them at the death, extending the hosts' 100 percent record in the competition and guaranteeing a home match in the next stage.

Four penalties from Sam Hidalgo-Clyne gave Edinburgh a 12-6 half-time advantage, but Sekou Macalou, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu and Giorgi Melikidze all crossed as the lead changed hands repeatedly in an enthralling second half.

Hamish Watson and Jaco van der Walt kept Richard Cockerill's men in the fight before Rasolea had the final say.

Stade must now hope to qualify as one of the best second-placed teams, though one of those is guaranteed to come from Pool Three following Gloucester's 45-24 thumping of Agen.

The Premiership side moved onto 21 points, meaning they will advance even if they lose a shootout for top spot against Pau at Kingsholm next week.

Henry Purdy crossed twice inside the opening 10 minutes and Owen Williams kicked a perfect 15 points from the tee as Gloucester came out on top in a 10-try match.

Scorers and scorers

Agen 24-45 Gloucester

The scorers:

For Agen:
Tries:
Kotze, Sadie, Qera, Jegerlehner
Cons: Verdu, Russell

For Gloucester:
Tries:
Purdy 2, Braley, Woodward, Atkinson, Slater
Cons: Williams 6
Pen: Williams

Teams:

Agen: 15 Valentin Saurs, 14 Lucas Tolot, 13 Alban Conduche, 12 Pierre Fouyssac, 11 Branden Holder, 10 Hugo Verdu, 9 Paul Abadie, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Jesse Jegerlehner, 6 Marco Kotze, 5 Corentin Braendlin (captain), 4 Denis Marchois, 3 Vakhtangi Akhobadze, 2 Marc Barthomeuf, 1 Morgan Phelipponneau.
Replacements: 16 Clement Martinez, 17 Giorgi Tetrashvili, 18 Corentin Chabeaudie, 19 Christie van der Merwe, 20 Pio Muarua, 21 Ricky Januarie, 22 Jeremy Russell, 23 Johann Sadie.

Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Freddie Clarke, 7 Jake Polledri, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Ed Slater (captain), 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Cameron Orr.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Tom Marshall.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffkin (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)

Edinburgh 34-33 Stade Français

The scorers:

For Edinburgh:
Tries:
Watson, Van der Walt, Rasolea
Cons: Hidalgo-Clyne, Kinghorn
Pens: Hidalgo-Clyne 4, Van der Walt

For Stade Français:
Tries:
Macalou, Nayacalevu, Melikidze
Cons: Plisson 3
Pens: Plisson 4

Yellow card: Jonathan Danty (Stade Francais, 25)

Teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Matt Shields, 18 Kevin Bryce, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Darcy Graham, 23 James Johnstone.

Stade Français: 15 Tony Ensor, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Sekou Macalou, 7 Matthieu Ugena, 6 Mathieu De Giovanni, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Laurent Panis, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Giorgi Melikidze, 19 Steevy Cerqueira, 20 Bakary Meïte, 21 Clement Daguin, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jimmy Yobo.

Referee: Tom Foley (England)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Simon McConnell (England)

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