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The 2010–11 Amlin Challenge Cup was the 15th season of the European Challenge Cup, Europe's second tier club rugby union competition, and the second to be sponsored by the British insurance company Amlin. The tournament began on 7 October 2010, with the final played on 20 May 2011 at Cardiff City Stadium, the day before the 2011 Heineken Cup Final in the same city at Millennium Stadium. A total of 23 teams from six countries participated. The competition began with 20 teams; three more teams that began their seasons in the Heineken Cup parachuted into the knockout stage. Cardiff Blues did not defend their title, as by winning the 2009–10 cup, they qualified for the 2010–11 Heineken Cup, and did not parachute into the Challenge Cup.

2010–11 Amlin Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Romania
 Spain
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and Knockout
Date7 October 2010 to 20 May 2011
Tournament statistics
Teams23
Matches played67
Top point scorer(s)Julien Caminati (Brive)
(97 points)
Top try scorer(s)Tom Brady (Sale)
Sam Gerber (Bayonne)
Nicolas Jeanjean (Brive)
Nick Macleod (Sale)
Pierre Rabadan (Stade Français)
James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester)
Henry Trinder (Gloucester)
(5 tries)
Final
VenueCardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
ChampionsEngland Harlequins (3rd title)
Runners-upFrance Stade Français
← 2009–10 (Previous)
(Next) 2011–12 →

Harlequins claimed the title with a 19–18 win over Stade Français, becoming the first team to win the Challenge Cup three times.[1] The victory also sent Quins into the 2011–12 Heineken Cup.

Contents

TeamsEdit

The allocation of teams is as follows:

  • England: 6 teams — all teams from the Aviva Premiership that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup
  • France: 7 teams — all teams from the Top 14 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup. Normally 8 teams, but Toulouse's win in the 2009–10 Heineken Cup gave France an extra place in the 2010–11 Heineken Cup.
  • Italy: 4 teams — the top four teams from the 2009–10 Super 10 (now Top12) that did not move to the Celtic League for 2010–11
  • Ireland: 1 team — the Irish team that failed to qualify for the Heineken Cup through the Magners League
  • Spain: 1 team — the champion of the previous season's División de Honor
  • Romania: 1 team specially created for the competition
England France Ireland Italy Romania Spain

SeedingEdit

Teams that did not qualify for the 2010-11 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 2009–10 season.

Tier 1  Stade Français (8)  Gloucester (13)  Sale Sharks (18)  Bourgoin (20)  Harlequins (22)
Tier 2  Newcastle Falcons (25)  Brive (28)   Connacht (31)  Agen (33)  Crociati Parma (37)
Tier 3  Leeds Carnegie (38)  Montpellier (39)  Bayonne  Petrarca Padova  Rovigo
Tier 4  La Rochelle  Cavalieri Prato  Exeter Chiefs  Bucureşti Oaks  El Salvador

Pool stageEdit

The draw for the pool stage took place on 9 June 2010.

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

Pool 1Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  Harlequins (4) 6 5 0 1 21 6 +15 189 84 +105 3 1 24
  Connacht 6 3 0 3 19 8 +11 173 99 +74 1 2 15
  Bayonne 6 3 0 3 19 12 +7 163 116 +47 2 1 15
  Cavalieri Prato 6 1 0 5 8 41 −33 77 303 −226 0 0 4

Pool 2Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  Brive (2) 6 6 0 0 34 3 +31 257 54 +203 3 0 27
  Sale Sharks 6 4 0 2 39 4 +35 279 58 +221 4 1 21
  Petrarca Padova 6 1 0 5 10 26 −16 88 213 −125 1 1 6
  El Salvador 6 1 0 5 6 56 −50 69 368 −299 0 0 4

Pool 3Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  Montpellier (8) 6 5 0 1 10 11 −1 147 101 +46 1 0 21
  Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16 10 +6 154 113 +41 1 3 16
  Bourgoin 6 2 0 4 10 12 −2 119 130 −11 2 1 11
  Newcastle Falcons 6 2 0 4 7 10 −3 66 142 −76 0 1 9

Pool 4Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  Stade Français (1) 6 6 0 0 29 7 +22 216 73 +143 5 0 29
  Leeds Carnegie 6 4 0 2 24 6 +18 173 88 +85 3 0 19
  Bucureşti Oaks 6 1 0 5 4 17 −13 74 148 −74 0 1 5
  Crociati Parma 6 1 0 5 3 30 −27 70 224 −154 0 1 5

Pool 5Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  La Rochelle (3) 6 5 0 1 26 10 +16 197 91 +106 3 1 24
  Gloucester 6 4 0 2 35 7 +28 255 77 +178 3 2 21
  Agen 6 3 0 3 21 18 +3 167 158 +9 2 1 15
  Rugby Rovigo 6 0 0 6 6 53 −47 55 348 −293 0 0 0

Knock-out stagesEdit

SeedingEdit

Following the end of the pool stage, the 5 pool winners were seeded alongside the top 3 2010-11 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   Stade Français
2   Brive
3   La Rochelle
4   Harlequins
5 (HC)   London Wasps
6 (HC)   Clermont
7 (HC)   Munster
8   Montpellier

Quarter-finalsEdit

The quarter-finals were decided based on the above seeding. All game times are local.

7 April 2011
20.45
La Rochelle   13 – 23   Clermont
Try: Goosen 63' c
Con: Goosen (1/1)
Pen: Goosen (2/4) 7', 17'
Report Try: Rougerie 13' c
Murimurivalu 71' c
Con: James (2/2)
Pen: James (3/6) 3', 28', 76'

8 April 2011
20.45
Stade Français   32 - 28   Montpellier
Try: Southwell 26' c
Rabadan 30' m
Penalty try 53' c
Burban 59' c
Con: Dupuy (1/2)
Beauxis (2/2)
Pen: Beauxis (2) 50', 67'
Report Try: Chkhaidze 9' c
Con: Paillaugue (1/1)
Pen: Paillaugue (3) 7', 12' 21'
Lagarde (4) 35', 48', 61', 63'
Stade Charléty, Paris
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

8 April 2011
19.45
Harlequins   32 - 22   London Wasps
Try: Care 1' c
Fa'asavalu 4' c
Con: Evans (2/2)
Pen: Evans (5/5) 28', 35', 40', 46', 59'
Drop: Evans 76'
Report Try: Jewell 11' c
Lindsay 51' c
Haughton 71' m
Con: Walder (2/3)
Drop: Walder 24'
Twickenham Stoop, London
Attendance: 8,565
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

9 April 2011
14.00
Brive   37 - 42   Munster
Try: Uys 17' c
Estebanez 20' c
Palisson 70' c
Perry 80' c
Con: Belie (4/4) 17',20',80',70'
Pen: Belie 10',36',45'
Report Try: Howlett (2) 1' c, 22' c
Earls (2) 4' c, 46' c
Stringer 50' c
Con: O'Gara (4/5)
Pen: O'Gara (3/3) 53', 66', 68'

Semi-finalsEdit

The draw for the semi-finals of both the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup took place after the Pool 6 Heinieken Cup match between London Wasps and Toulouse on 23 January 2011. The draw was conducted in the Sky Sports booth by Ieuan Evans and Jean-Pierre Lux, Chairman of ERC, at Adams Park, High Wycombe.

In last season's Challenge Cup, any semi-final that involved a club that started the season in the Challenge Cup and a club that started in the Heineken Cup would be hosted by the club that started in the Challenge Cup. This rule was abandoned for 2010–11; the home club in each semi-final is now determined strictly by the draw.

29 April 2011
20:45
Stade Français   29 – 25   Clermont
Try: Arias 21' c
Boussès 65' c
Con: Beauxis (2/2)
Pen: Beauxis (5/7) 12', 27', 32', 36', 56'
Report Try: Pisi 16' c
Russell 48' c
Cudmore 76' m
Con: Parra (2/3)
Pen: Parra (2/5) 14', 46'
Stade Charléty, Paris
Attendance: 6,712
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

30 April 2011
13:00
Munster   12 – 20   Harlequins
Try: Jones 40' c
Howlett 78' m
Con: O'Gara (1/2)
Report Try: Robson 9' c
Care 34' c
Con: Evans (1/1)
Care (1/1)
Pen: Clegg (2/2) 49', 59'
Thomond Park, Limerick
Attendance: 24,907
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

FinalEdit

The final of the Amlin Challenge Cup took place at Cardiff City Stadium on 20 May 2011. Harlequins won the trophy for the third time with a 19-18 victory over Stade Francais.[2][3]

20 May 2011
19.45
Harlequins   19 – 18   Stade Français
Try: Camacho 76' c
Con: Evans (1/1)
Pen: Evans (4/5) 6', 16', 27', 66'
Report Pen: Beauxis (4/5) 12', 32', 46', 57'
Drop: Bastareaud (1/1) 47'
Rodríguez (1/2) 72'
Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 12,236
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Individual statisticsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Harlequins 19-18 Stade Francais". BBC Sport. 20 May 2011. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  2. ^ "Quins claim Challenge Cup glory". espnscrum. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Harlequins 19 Stade Francais 18". Daily Telegraph. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Points Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  5. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Try Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 2011-05-20.