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The 2011–12 Amlin Challenge Cup was the 16th season of the European Challenge Cup, Europe's second tier club rugby union competition. The tournament began with two matches on 10 November 2011 and ended with the final on 18 May 2012 at the Twickenham Stoop in London. A total of 23 teams from six countries participated—20 in the pool stage, plus three teams parachuting into the knockout stages from the Heineken Cup. In an all-French final, Biarritz claimed their first Challenge Cup, defeating Toulon 21–18. The Basque club claimed a place in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup, which will be their 13th consecutive appearance in Europe's top club competition.[1]

2011–12 Amlin Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Italy
 Romania
 Spain
 Wales
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and knockout
Date10 November 2011 to 18 May 2012
Tournament statistics
Teams23
Matches played67
Attendance344,547 (5,142 per match)
Tries scored365 (5.45 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
(96 points)
Top try scorer(s)Morgan Turinui (Stade Français)
(6 tries)
Final
VenueTwickenham Stoop, London
Attendance9,376
ChampionsFrance Biarritz (1st title)
Runners-upFrance Toulon
← 2010–11 (Previous)
(Next) 2012–13 →

The defending Challenge Cup champions, England's Harlequins, did not initially have a chance to defend their crown because they had earned an automatic berth in the Heineken Cup. However, Quins parachuted into the knockout stage of this season's Challenge Cup, losing to Toulon in the quarter-finals. All four semi-finalists were from France, equalling the achievement of 1996–97 and 1998–99.

TeamsEdit

SeedingEdit

Teams that did not qualify for the 2011–12 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 2010–11 season.[2]

Tier 1   Stade Français (8)   Perpignan (9)   London Wasps (14)   Toulon (19)   Sale Sharks (22)
Tier 2   Newport Gwent Dragons (26)   Brive (27)   Newcastle Falcons (28)   Worcester Warriors (29)   Bayonne
Tier 3   Petrarca Padova   Crociati Parma   Rugby Rovigo   Agen   Exeter Chiefs
Tier 4   Cavalieri Prato   Lyon   Bordeaux-Bègles   Bucharest Wolves   Club Rugby La Vila Comunidad Valencia

Pool stageEdit

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
  Stade Français (1) 6 6 0 0 33 5 +28 241 43 +198 5 0 29
  Worcester Warriors 6 4 0 2 30 9 +21 194 95 +99 4 0 20
  Bucureşti Wolves 6 2 0 4 12 27 −15 102 184 −82 2 0 10
  Crociati Parma 6 0 0 6 4 38 −34 36 251 −215 0 0 0

Pool 2Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  Toulon (3) 6 5 0 1 26 5 +14 197 73 +124 3 1 25
  Newcastle Falcons 6 4 0 2 18 9 +9 133 82 +51 2 0 18
  Lyon 6 3 0 3 16 11 +5 143 114 +29 1 1 14
  Petrarca Padova 6 0 0 6 3 38 −28 50 254 −204 0 0 0

Pool 3Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  London Wasps (4) 6 5 0 1 21 7 +14 189 75 +114 4 0 24
  Bayonne 6 5 0 1 10 3 +7 197 61 +136 2 0 22
  Bordeaux Bègles 6 2 0 4 9 14 −5 82 132 −50 1 1 10
  Rovigo 6 0 0 6 5 21 −16 51 251 −200 0 1 1

Pool 4Edit

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
  Exeter Chiefs (8) 6 5 0 1 22 4 +18 202 64 +121 2 1 23
  Perpignan 6 4 0 2 17 9 +8 153 112 +41 2 0 18
  Newport Gwent Dragons 6 3 0 3 16 7 +9 139 100 +10 2 1 15
  Cavalieri Prato 6 0 0 6 6 41 −35 62 280 −218 0 0 0

Pool 5Edit

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 26 7 +19 209 79 +130 3 0 28
  Sale Sharks 6 4 0 2 31 8 +23 225 96 +129 4 0 20
  Agen 6 2 0 4 24 21 +3 168 166 +2 2 0 10
  La Vila 6 0 0 6 6 51 −45 64 325 −261 0 0 0

[3]

Knock-out stagesEdit

SeedingEdit

Following the end of the pool stage, the 5 pool winners were seeded alongside the top 3 2011-12 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   Toulon
4   London Wasps
5 (HC)   Biarritz
6 (HC)   Harlequins
7 (HC)   Scarlets
8   Exeter Chiefs

Quarter-finalsEdit

To be played on the weekend of 5–8 April 2012.[4]

5 April 2012
20:45 CEST
Stade Français   22 – 17   Exeter Chiefs
Try: Camara 43' m
Williams 79' m
Pen: Dupuy (4/4) 29', 40', 47', 55'
Report[5] Try: Naqelevuki 68' m
Pen: Mieres (4/5) 21', 27', 36', 49'
Stade Charléty, Paris
Attendance: 4,693
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
6 April 2012
20:45 CEST
Toulon   37 – 8   Harlequins
Try: Tillous-Borde 34' c
Lapeyre 60' c
Armitage 73' m
Con: Wilkinson (1/1)
Giteau (1/2)
Pen: Wilkinson (5/5) 5', 8', 14', 18' 30'
Giteau (1/1) 52'
Report[6] Try: Care 70' m
Pen: Clegg (1/1) 11'
Stade Mayol, Toulon
Attendance: 12,762
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
7 April 2012
12:30 BST
London Wasps   23 – 26   Biarritz
Try: Wade 63' c
Davis 66' c
Con: Robinson (2/2)
Pen: Robinson (3/3) 12', 21', 39'
Report[7] Try: Balshaw 22' c
van Staden 40' c
Con: Yachvili (2/2)
Pen: Yachvili (4/4) 28', 54', 61', 75'
Adams Park, High Wycombe
Attendance: 4,308
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
8 April 2012
20:45 CEST
Brive   15 – 11   Scarlets
Pen: Swanepoel (5/8) 15', 36', 46', 50', 79'
Report[8] Try: Li. Williams 58' m
Pen: S. Jones (2/4) 30', 39'

Semi-finalsEdit

This is the fifth time that one country has supplied all four semi-finalists: they were all French in 1996–97 and 1998–99, and all English in the 2005–06 and 2007–08 seasons.

27 April 2012
20:55 CEST
Toulon   32 – 29   Stade Français
Try: Armitage 2' m
Pen: Wilkinson (7/11) 31', 40', 42', 50', 55', 63', 67'
Drop: Wilkinson (2/3) 46', 79'
Report[9] Try: Bonneval 12' c
Turinui 60' c
Con: Plisson (2/2)
Pen: Plisson (3/5) 15', 26', 37'
Drop: Plisson (2/2) 21', 68'
Stade Mayol, Toulon
Attendance: 12,404
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
28 April 2012
16:00 CEST
Biarritz   19 – 0   Brive
Try: Traille 29' c
Con: Yachvili (1/1)
Pen: Yachvili (4/5) 17', 23', 67', 71'
Report[10]

FinalEdit

18 May 2012
20:00 BST
Biarritz   21 – 18   Toulon
Pen: Yachvili (7/7) 4', 17', 24', 35', 46', 53', 73'
Report[11] Pen: Wilkinson (5/7) 11', 22', 31', 44', 59'
Drop: Wilkinson (1/1) 65'
Twickenham Stoop, London
Attendance: 9,376
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jenkins, Graham (18 May 2012). "Biarritz edge Toulon for euro glory". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Gwlad! Rugby Online Chat". Forum.gwladrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  3. ^ "ERC : Amlin Challenge Cup : Pools : Pool Tables". Ercrugby.com. 2012-01-19. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  4. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup Fixtures: Knock-out Stages". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  5. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Home". www.ercrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.