2017–18 European Rugby Champions–Challenge Cup play-offs

The 2017–18 European Rugby Champions Cup-Challenge Cup play-off was the third play-off for entry into the top-level competition of European Club rugby union, the European Rugby Champions Cup.

2017–18 European Rugby Champions–Challenge Cup play-offs
EventEuropean Rugby Champions Cup Qualification Play-off
Date19–28 May 2017

FormatEdit

Following a break to ease fixture congestion caused by the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the three-team play-off held in 2015–16 was expanded, and a four-team format was announced.[1][2]

The play-off comprised 3 matches, contested by one team from the Premiership, one from the Top 14, and two from the Pro14.[citation needed]

The two Pro12 teams each played one of the Premiership or Top 14 sides in a single-leg semi-final, held at the home ground of the non-Pro12 side. The winners of these matches then contested a play-off final, with the winner of this match competing in the 2017–18 European Rugby Champions Cup. The three losing teams all competed in the 2017–18 European Rugby Challenge Cup.[citation needed]

TeamsEdit

Four teams competed in the play-off, having qualified as either the highest team from each league that did not already qualify for the Champions Cup, or as the winner of the 2016–17 European Rugby Challenge Cup.[3]

The following teams had qualified for the play-off:

League Team Coach Stadium
Aviva Premiership Northampton Saints   Jim Mallinder Franklin's Gardens
Guinness Pro12 Cardiff Blues   Danny Wilson Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht   Pat Lam Galway Sportsgrounds
Top 14 Stade Français   Gonzalo Quesada Stade Jean-Bouin

MatchesEdit

A draw was held on 15 March 2017 to determine the two semi-final matches.[2]

Semi-finalsEdit

19 May 2017
18:00 CEST
Stade Français   46–21   Cardiff Blues
Try: Nayacalevu 32' c
Melikidze 43' c
De Giovanni 51' c
Macalou (2) 60' m, 68' c
Panis 71' m
Daguin 76' m
Con: Steyn (4/6) 33', 44', 52', 69'
Plisson (0/1)
Pen: Steyn (1/1) 10'
Report Try: Cook (2) 21' c, 63' c
N. Williams 24' c
Con: Anscombe (3/3) 22', 25', 64'
Stade Jean-Bouin, Paris
Attendance: 4,767
Referee: Greg Garner (RFU)
FB 15   Jérémy Sinzelle
RW 14   Waisea Nayacalevu   61'
OC 13   Jonathan Danty
IC 12   Meyer Bosman
LW 11   Sekou Macalou
FH 10   Morné Steyn
SH 9   Julien Dupuy   63'
N8 8   Sergio Parisse (c)
OF 7   Matthieu Ugena   34'
BF 6   Antoine Burban
RL 5   Paul Gabrillagues   72'
LL 4   Willem Alberts   66'
TP 3   Paul Alo-Emile   25'
HK 2   Rémi Bonfils   67'
LP 1   Heinke van der Merwe   50'
Replacements:
HK 16   Laurent Panis   67'
PR 17   Rabah Slimani   50'
PR 18   Giorgi Melikidze   25'
LK 19   Mathieu De Giovanni   34'
FL 20   Raphaël Lakafia   66'
SH 21   Clément Daguin   63'
FH 22   Jules Plisson   61'
FL 23   Jono Ross   72'
Coach:
  Gonzalo Quesada
FB 15   Matthew Morgan
RW 14   Alex Cuthbert
OC 13   Rey Lee-Lo   7'
IC 12   Willis Halaholo   66'
LW 11   Rhun Williams   4'
FH 10   Gareth Anscombe
SH 9   Lloyd Williams
N8 8   Nick Williams
OF 7   Ellis Jenkins (c)
BF 6   Josh Navidi
RL 5   Macauley Cook
LL 4   Jarrad Hoeata
TP 3   Taufaʻao Filise   61'
HK 2   Matthew Rees   61'
LP 1   Rhys Gill   57'
Replacements:
HK 16   Kirby Myhill   61'   72'
PR 17   Corey Domachowski   57'
PR 18   Anton Peikrishvili   61'
LK 19   Seb Davies   72'
FL 20   Sion Bennett   66'
SH 21   Tomos Williams   52'
FH 22   Steven Shingler   7'   52'
CE 23   Garyn Smith   4'
Coach:
  Danny Wilson

20 May 2017
16:00 BST
Northampton Saints   21–15   Connacht
Try: Mallinder 1' c
Groom 56' m
Con: Mallinder (1/2) 2'
Pen: Mallinder (3/3) 15', 23', 70'
Report Try: Adeolokun 4' c
Heffernan 61' m
Con: Ronaldson (1/2) 4'
Pen: Ronaldson (1/1) 28'
FB 15   Ahsee Tuala   78'
RW 14   Ben Foden
OC 13   Nafi Tuitavake
IC 12   Luther Burrell   23'
LW 11   George North
FH 10   Harry Mallinder
SH 9   Nic Groom   67'
N8 8   Louis Picamoles
OF 7   Teimana Harrison   58'
BF 6   Jamie Gibson   78' to 80'
RL 5   Christian Day   64'
LL 4   Courtney Lawes
TP 3   Kieran Brookes   62'
HK 2   Dylan Hartley (c)   59'
LP 1   Alex Waller   62'
Replacements:
HK 16   Mike Haywood   78'
PR 17   Campese Ma'afu   62'
PR 18   Gareth Denman   62'
LK 19   Api Ratuniyarawa   64'
FL 20   Tom Wood   58'
SH 21   Lee Dickson   67'
FH 22   Sam Olver
CE 23   Rory Hutchinson   23'
Coach:
  Jim Mallinder
FB 15   Tiernan O'Halloran
RW 14   Niyi Adeolokun
OC 13   Danie Poolman
IC 12   Craig Ronaldson
LW 11   Cian Kelleher   3'
FH 10   Jack Carty
SH 9   Kieran Marmion   66'
N8 8   John Muldoon (c)
OF 7   Jake Heenan   56'
BF 6   Seán O'Brien
RL 5   James Cannon   51'
LL 4   Quinn Roux
TP 3   Finlay Bealham   68'
HK 2   Dave Heffernan
LP 1   Denis Buckley
Replacements:
HK 16   Shane Delahunt
PR 17   JP Cooney
PR 18   Conor Carey   68'
LK 19   Ultan Dillane   51'
FL 20   Naulia Dawai   56'
SH 21   Caolin Blade
SH 22   John Cooney   66'
WG 23   Matt Healy   3'
Coach:
  Pat Lam

Play-off finalEdit

The draw for the semi-finals was also used to decide that the winner of the second semi-final would have home advantage in the play-off final.[2]

26 May 2017
19:45 BST
Northampton Saints   23–22   Stade Français
Try: Foden 45' c
Tuala 71' c
Con: Mallinder (2/2) 45', 73'
Pen: Mallinder (3/5) 19', 29', 38'
Report Try: Nayacalevu 3' c
Sinzelle 22' m
Camara 34' c
Con: Plisson (2/3) 4', 35'
Pen: Plisson (1/1) 10'
Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
Attendance: 10,273
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
FB 15   Ahsee Tuala   75'
RW 14   Ben Foden
OC 13   Nafi Tuitavake   53'
IC 12   Luther Burrell
LW 11   George North
FH 10   Harry Mallinder
SH 9   Nic Groom   66'
N8 8   Louis Picamoles   53'
OF 7   Tom Wood (c)   63'
BF 6   Teimana Harrison
RL 5   Christian Day   60'
LL 4   Courtney Lawes
TP 3   Kieran Brookes   60'
HK 2   Dylan Hartley   66'
LP 1   Alex Waller   66'
Replacements:
HK 16   Mike Haywood   66'
PR 17   Campese Ma'afu   66'
PR 18   Gareth Denman   60'
LK 19   Api Ratuniyarawa   60'
FL 20   Jamie Gibson   53'
SH 21   Lee Dickson   66'
FH 22   Sam Olver   75'
CE 23   Rory Hutchinson   62' to 72'   53'
Coach:
  Jim Mallinder
FB 15   Djibril Camara   65'
RW 14   Waisea Nayacalevu
OC 13   Geoffrey Doumayrou
IC 12   Jonathan Danty   22'
LW 11   Jérémy Sinzelle
FH 10   Jules Plisson
SH 9   Will Genia   76'
N8 8   Jono Ross
OF 7   Raphaël Lakafia
BF 6   Antoine Burban   44'
RL 5   Paul Gabrillagues (c)   60'
LL 4   Willem Alberts
TP 3   Paul Alo-Emile
HK 2   Rémi Bonfils   42' to 52'   74'
LP 1   Zurab Zhvania   51'
Replacements:
HK 16   Craig Burden   44'   53'
PR 17   Rabah Slimani   51'
PR 18   Giorgi Melikidze   74'
LK 19   Mathieu De Giovanni   60'
N8 20   Sergio Parisse   53'
SH 21   Clément Daguin   76'
FH 22   Morné Steyn   65'
CE 23   Meyer Bosman   22'
Coach:
  Gonzalo Quesada

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Revised play-off format agreed for 2015/16 Champions Cup". epcrugby.com.
  2. ^ a b c "Champions Cup play-offs". epcrugby.com.
  3. ^ "Champions Cup qualification 2017/18 and play-offs". epcrugby.com.