Emirates Lions And Toyota Cheetahs Still In With A Chance To Qualify For EPCR Playoffs


Only the Scarlets RFC and Benetton Rugby have qualified for the Top 6 playoffs in the EPCR Challenge Cup while only 8th placed Aviron Bayonnais can not qualify for the playoffs anymore.

The 9th and 10th placed in both Heineken Champions Cup pools will qualify to play in the EPCR Challenge Cup. The Heineken Cup qualifiers will play against the 3rd and 4th ranked clubs of each pool of the EPCR Challenge Clubs.

The Emirates Lions is currently placed 3rd on the EPCR Challenge Cup Pool B Division log, however, they will need a win from their weekend's up-and-coming fixture against Dragons RFC if they do not want to rely on other results to go their way.

The Toyota Cheetahs are currently placed 7th on the EPCR Challenge Cup Pool B Division log, however, they will have to beat Section Paloise on Sunday to secure their place in the final 6.

EPCR Challenge Cup Pool B high-flyers Emirates Lions were made to pay for their lack of discipline in the second half of their Round 3 tie at Stade Jean Bouin on Saturday when Stade Français Paris inflicted a 17-7 defeat on them, their first in the competition. The South African side, second before kick-off, controlled the first half, but only led 7-0 at the break after a converted try from No.8 Emmanuel Tshituka and that failure to turn possession into points came back to haunt them after the break as the yellow cards and penalties racked up. Stade Français fly-half Joris Segonds kicked two before being replaced by Arthur Coville, who also landed a brace, and those were supplemented by a try from replacement Laurent Panis.

A 64th-minute Leigh Halfpenny penalty was the deciding factor as Scarlets secured a 20-17 victory over Toyota Cheetahs in Pool B of the EPCR Challenge Cup on Friday night – earning a place in the Round of 16 in the process. Steff Evans crossed the whitewash in the first period for the hosts, who went into the interval leading 10-3, before Johnny McNicholl dotted down in the second half to level proceedings at 17-17. Toyota Cheetahs, who trailed at the break, did take the lead in the second half thanks to tries from Louis Westhuizen and Daniel Kapepula, but it was Halfpenny’s kick midway through the second period that decided the contest.

Other EPCR Challenge Cup Pool B Results

Dragons RFC took a hard-earned four points away from the south of France on Friday night as Ashton Hewitt and Max Clark crossed in a 21-15 victory at Section Paloise in the EPCR Challenge Cup. Will Reed was the talisman for the Welsh region as he contributed eight points with the boot – a conversion and two penalties coming from the Dragons’ fly-half. Pau, in response, notched a pair of tries themselves, Daniel Ikpefan and Vincent Pinto the names on the scoresheet – Thibault Debaes and Alex Desperes contributed five points from the tee.

Benetton Rugby ensured their qualification for the knockout stage of the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday with a comfortable 26-7 home victory over rock-bottom Aviron Bayonnais in Pool B. The Italian side jumped into second place thanks to three tries in seven first-half minutes, including a double from lock Niccolò Cannone, to open up a 19-7 half-time lead before taking their foot off the pedal in the second period.