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2015 European Rugby Champions Cup Final

The 2015 European Rugby Champions Cup Final was the final match in the first European Rugby Champions Cup, and the twentieth European club rugby final in general, as the competition replaces the Heineken Cup.

2015 European Rugby Champions Cup Final
Stade de Twickenham à Londres.jpg
Twickenham Stadium hosted the final
Event2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup
Date2 May 2015
VenueTwickenham Stadium, London
Man of the MatchAli Williams
RefereeNigel Owens (Wales)
Attendance56,622
2014
2016

The final was played between the French clubs Clermont and Toulon at Twickenham Stadium on 2 May 2015.

Toulon won the final, beating Clermont by 24 points to 18.[1] This was the third successive win by Toulon of the top European club rugby competition.[2][3]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

In the Heineken Cup (1995–2014), Toulon won twice, the two last editions of the tournament (2013 and 2014). The first of those finals was also Clermont's only final, and Toulon won 16–15 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.[4] In 2014, Toulon won 23–6 against England's Saracens at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.[5]

Venue and ticketingEdit

Following a competitive tendering process, the tournament organisers, European Professional Club Rugby, announced in August 2014 that the final would be held in the 82,000 capacity Twickenham Stadium, London on May 2, 2015.[6] The scheduling makes it the earliest in the season that the European final has been held since the 1999 Heineken Cup Final, and is two weeks after the semi-finals are held, providing limited opportunity for supporters of the two finalists to make arrangements to attend.[7] Around 8000 supporters of the two clubs involved in the final travelled to Twickenham, with part of their allocations being returned.[8]

Efforts were made to try and boost attendance by offering free tickets to the final to those that purchased tickets to the Aviva Premiership final that was to be held in the same venue later in the month. However, a technical issue meant that the requirement to purchase the Premiership final tickets was not initially enforced, meaning customers could order only the free ticket and pay just a booking fee.[9]

Route to FinalEdit

Note: In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first (H: home; A: away).

  Clermont Auvergne Round   Toulon
Opponent Result Pool stage Opponent Result
  Saracens 23–30 (A) Matchday 1   Scarlets 28–18 (H)
  Sale Sharks 35–3 (H) Matchday 2   Ulster 23–13 (A)
  Munster 16–9 (A) Matchday 3   Leicester Tigers 21–25 (A)
  Munster 26–19 (H) Matchday 4   Leicester Tigers 23–8 (H)
  Sale Sharks 22–13 (A) Matchday 5   Ulster 60–22 (H)
  Saracens 18–6 (H) Matchday 6   Scarlets 26–3 (A)
Pool 1 winner
Team P Pts
  Clermont 6 22
  Saracens 6 17
  Munster 6 15
  Sale Sharks 6 2
Final standings Pool 3 winner
Team P Pts
  Toulon 6 22
  Leicester Tigers 6 13
  Ulster 6 12
  Scarlets 6 8
Opponent Result Knock-out stage Opponent Result
  Northampton Saints 37–5 (H) Quarter-finals   Wasps 32–18 (H)
  Saracens 13–9 (H) Semi-finals   Leinster 25–20 (H)
(A.E.T.)

ClermontEdit

In the pool stages, third-seeds Clermont topped Pool 1, winning five of six games. Their only defeat was their first game, losing 30–23 away to Saracens at Allianz Park on 18 October 2014.[10] After that, they defeated Munster and Sale Sharks home and away, and concluded on 15 January 2015 with an 18–6 victory over Saracens at the Stade Marcel Michelin.[11]

On 4 April in the quarter-finals, Clermont hosted English champions Northampton Saints and won 37–5.[12] Fourteen days later in the semi-finals they hosted Saracens, who had defeated them in the previous season's Heineken Cup semi-finals, and won 13–9. Wesley Fofana scored the only try of the match for Clermont, converted by Brock James, who also scored both of their penalties.[13]

ToulonEdit

Seeded second, Toulon won Pool 3 with five victories and one defeat. Their one loss came away to Leicester Tigers on 7 December, 25–21.[14] In the quarter-finals, they triumphed 32–18 over Wasps at the Stade Mayol on 5 April, with tries by Mathieu Bastareaud and Ali Williams. Both were converted by Frédéric Michalak, who also scored all six of their penalties.[15] Two weeks later they won their semi-final 25–20 after extra time against Leinster at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. The game finished 12–12 after 80 minutes, and in extra time both teams scored tries: Bryan Habana's for Toulon was converted by Leigh Halfpenny, but Séan O'Brien scored a late try for Leinster.[16]

MatchEdit

DetailsEdit

2 May 2015
17:00 BST (UTC+01)
Clermont   18–24   Toulon
Try: Fofana 24' m
Abendanon 62' c
Con: Lopez (1/2) 62'
Pen: Lopez (2/2) 7', 12'
Report[17] Try: Bastareaud 40' c
Mitchell 69' m
Con: Halfpenny (1/2) 40+2'
Pen: Halfpenny (4/5) 16', 28', 32', 51'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 56,622
Referee:   Nigel Owens (Wales)
FB 15   Nick Abendanon
RW 14   Noa Nakaitaci   67'
OC 13   Jonathan Davies
IC 12   Wesley Fofana
LW 11   Napolioni Nalaga   54'
FH 10   Camille Lopez
SH 9   Morgan Parra   56'
N8 8   Fritz Lee   54'
OF 7   Damien Chouly (c)
BF 6   Julien Bonnaire
RL 5   Sebastien Vahaamahina   67'
LL 4   Jamie Cudmore   10'   16'   57' to 65'
TP 3   Davit Zirakashvili   66'
HK 2   Benjamin Kayser   63'
LP 1   Vincent Debaty   47'
Substitutions:
HK 16   John Ulugia   63'
PR 17   Thomas Domingo   47'
PR 18   Clément Ric   66'
LK 19   Julien Pierre   10'   16'   57'   65'   67'
FL 20   Julien Bardy   54'
SH 21   Ludovic Radosavljevic   56'
FH 22   Mike Delany   67'
CE 23   Aurélien Rougerie   54'
Coach:
  Franck Azéma
FB 15   Leigh Halfpenny
RW 14   Drew Mitchell
OC 13   Mathieu Bastareaud
IC 12   Juan Martin Hernandez   66'
LW 11   Bryan Habana
FH 10   Matt Giteau
SH 9   Sébastien Tillous-Borde
N8 8   Chris Masoe
OF 7   Steffon Armitage
BF 6   Juan Smith   58'
RL 5   Ali Williams
LL 4   Bakkies Botha   47'
TP 3   Carl Hayman (c)   63'   76'
HK 2   Guilhem Guirado   63'
LP 1   Xavier Chiocci   48'
Substitutions:
HK 16   Jean-Charles Orioli   63'
PR 17   Alexandre Menini   48'
PR 18   Levan Chilachava   63'   76'
LK 19   Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe   58'
FL 20   Virgile Bruni
CE 21   Rudi Wulf   66'
SH 22   Frédéric Michalak
LK 23   Romain Taofifenua   47'
Coach:
  Bernard Laporte

Man of the Match:
  Ali Williams (Toulon)

Touch judges:
  George Clancy (Ireland)
  Wayne Barnes (England)
Television match official:
  Graham Hughes (England)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Mitchell stunner ensures Toulon complete historic treble". ESPN. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Toulon beat Clermont Auvergne to win first European Rugby Champions Cup". Guardian. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Toulon secure hat-trick". BBC Sport. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Heineken Cup final: Clermont Auvergne 15 Toulon 16: match report". Daily Telegraph. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Champions of Europe". European Professional Club Rugby. Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Twickenham to host inaugural European Champions Cup final". The Irish Times. 12 August 2014.
  7. ^ James, Steve (25 April 2015). "European Champions Cup final too soon, admits EPCR chief". The Telegraph.
  8. ^ Kitson, Robert (20 April 2015). "European Champions Cup organisers fear half-empty Twickenham final". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Thomas, Simon (28 April 2015). "Has rugby's new European Champions Cup worked? Simon Thomas investigates amid thrilling rugby and a ticket fiasco". Wales Online.
  10. ^ Standley, James (18 October 2014). "European Rugby Champions Cup: Saracens beat Clermont Auvergne". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  11. ^ Aylwin, Michael (18 January 2015). "Saracens through after defeat by Clermont but tough away day awaits". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  12. ^ "European Champions Cup: Clermont 37-5 Northampton". BBC Sport. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  13. ^ Standley, James (18 April 2015). "European Champions Cup: Clermont Auvergne 13-9 Saracens". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  14. ^ Standley, James (7 December 2014). "European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon 23-8 Leicester". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  15. ^ Standley, James (5 April 2015). "European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon 32-18 Wasps". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  16. ^ Standley, James (19 April 2015). "European Champions Cup: Toulon 25-20 Leinster (aet)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  17. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2017.