We are taking a trip down memory lane as we look back at some of the most memorable matches in this season’s Challenge Cup, starting with the opening round of the competition back in November.
Leicester Tigers 41 Pau 20
Four tries from Welsh winger Jonah Holmes propelled Leicester Tigers to a 41-20 victory over Pau at Welford Road in their first ever European Rugby Challenge Cup encounter.
After an early exchange of penalties by George Ford and Tom Taylor, Leicester took a grip through a 13th-minute try from George Worth and two minutes later, Holmes got his first try of the afternoon after intercepting a loose Pau pass deep in their own territory.
Pau responded with scrum-half Thibault Daubagna going over from close range before Leicester re-established their 14-point advantage when Holmes added his second after a lovely offload from Ford unleashed the Welshman down the right wing.
Holmes completed his hat-trick five minutes after the break after a flowing back-line move, with Ford once again unerring from the tee. Thereafter, Leicester’s pack repelled several strong Pau attacks until lock Fabric Metz bundled over on 66 minutes.
Noel Reid’s boot added three points for the Tigers before Holmes racked up his fourth try following fine work in the build-up by Ben White and debutant Jaco Taute.
Scarlets 20 London Irish 16
Scarlets narrowly defeated London Irish 20-16 in what was a hotly-contested Challenge Cup Pool 2 clash.
London Irish’s Motu Matu’u dotted down for the visitors after 19 minutes before deft kicks from Scarlets fly-half Dan Jones helped wing Corey Baldwin and centre Steff Hughes grab tries either side of the interval.
London Irish fly-half Stephen Myler would add 11 points for the visitors while Jones slotted over 10 crucial points of his own.
🏉 UCHAFBWYNTIAU | HIGHLIGHTS 🏉
Dyma'r uchafbwyntiau wrth i @scarlets_rugby guro Gwyddelod Llundain ar Barc y Scarlets!
— S4C Chwaraeon 🏴 (@S4Cchwaraeon) November 16, 2019
Bordeaux-Begles 40 Wasps 30
Bordeaux-Begles secured all five points in a pulsating 40-30 win over Wasps in Challenge Cup Pool 3.
Fly-half Matthieu Jalibert put the hosts 6-0 up inside 10 minutes with two penalty kicks before Wasps’ No.10 Billy Searle repeated the trick, levelling up the scores on 20 minutes with two of his own.
It took until the final minute of the first half for the opening try as Cameron Woki ran down the right after a high ball before Seta Tamanivalu arrived in support and dotted down for the first score of the match. Jalibert would convert from a tight angle.
In a chaotic second half, six tries were equally shared between the two sides as Jack Willis, Tom Cruse, Dan Robson, Yann Lesgourges and Scott Higginbotham all got in on the act.
However, the crucial Bordeaux-Begles try came just two minutes from time as Romain Buros dotted down after some more excellent work from Jalibert to cut through the Wasps line, giving Bordeaux a try bonus point and denying Wasps a defensive bonus point.
Breakthrough for Bordeaux! 👊
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) November 16, 2019