Champions Cup – Archie Vanes Debut Hat-trick Gives Leicester Tigers Victory Over Stade Francais Paris


The Gallagher English Premiership side sent a much-changed starting XV down to the French capital, but 22-year-old Archie Vanes led the way on his Investec Champions Cup debut as the visitors stunned the Stade Francis Paris with a 27-24 win.

Vanes scored two tries in the first period, bookending the half as his side went in with a 14-10 lead.

His first came seven minutes into the game, with his second five minutes into added time as Jamie Shillcock converted both.

In between those scores, Stade Francais Paris picked up their sole first-half try with No. 8 Mathieu Hirigoyen eventually getting over, fly-half Joris Segonds converting and adding a penalty before Vanes re-gained the lead for the visitors.

Stade Francais Paris could be disappointed with the half-time score having failed to go over whilst having a one-man advantage when full-back Charlie Atkinson was sent to the sin-bin.

But they wasted no time getting their scoring underway in the second 40, Charles Laloi crossing in the 41st minute with Segonds converting again to hand the hosts a 17-14 lead.

As with the first half, the match was dominated by the clashing of the forward packs at set pieces and breakdowns.

It was fitting, then, that a forward was the game’s star try-scorer, as Vanes forced himself over for his third in the 53rd minute.

Shillcock added the extras, and minutes later three more from under the posts as Leicester Tigers looked to be coming out on top of the bitterly fought contest.

But then a momentum of brilliance from full-back Leo Barre burst out of the forward-dominated contest. He kicked the ball over the Leicester Tigers defensive line, collected it himself and raced home to score, Segonds bringing parity to the scoreboard from the tee, the contest tied up at 24-24.

Shillcock’s second penalty of the game then put the visitors back in the lead, and they proved the decisive three points.

As Stade Francais Paris pushed and pushed, a late Mike Brown yellow for a deliberate knock-on gave the hosts a final opportunity to take the win – but try as they might the English side held on for a famous victory in the French capital.

The Parisian side will now face Leinster Rugby away from home in Round 3, while Leicester Tigers will once more travel to France in January – this time against the holders Stade Rochelais.

Stade Francais Paris: Tries: Mathieu Hirigoyen, Charles Laloi, Leo Barre. Conversions: Joris Segonds (2). Penalty: Joris Segonds.
Leicester Tigers: Tries: Archie Vanes (3). Conversions: Jamie Shillcock (3). Penalties: Jamie Shillcock (2)

Stade Francais Paris: 15 Leo Barre, 14 Kylan Hamdaoui, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Charles Laloi, 10 Joris Segonds, 9 Hugo Zabalza, 8 Mathieu Hirigoyen, 7 Romain Briatte, 6 Sekou Macalou, 5 Baptiste Pesenti, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Clement Castets. Replacements: 16 Lucas Peyresblanques, 17 Moses Alo-Emile, 18 Francisco Gomez-Kodela, 19 Pierre-Henri Azagoh, 20 Stephane Ahmed, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Ryan Chapuis, 23 JJ van der Mescht.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Solomone Kata, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Tom Whiteley, 8 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Matt Rogerson, 6 Hanro Liebenberg (captain), 5 Sam Carter, 4 George Martin, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Archie Vanes, 1 James Cronin. Replacements: 16 Finn Theobold-Thomas, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Will Hurd, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Emeka Ilione, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Harry Simmons.