We are taking another trip down memory lane today as we look back at some of the most memorable matches in this season’s Challenge Cup Round 2.
RC Toulon 17 Scarlets 16
Anthony Belleau was RC Toulon’s hero as he kicked a last-gasp conversion to leave Scarlets with only a losing bonus point to show from a thrilling European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Despite being reduced to 14 men on the stroke of half-time after a red card for lock Tevita Ratuva, the Welsh region led 16-10 going into the dying seconds following a superb second-half display, which brought penalties for Ryan Lamb and Dan Jones, who also dropped a goal.
However, the pressure of being a man light eventually told in the eighth minute of stoppage time, when Toulon’s backs and forwards combined to maul their way over the line.
Sébastien Taofifénua was eventually credited with the try and up stepped centre Belleau to land the match-winning kick, albeit with the help of the post.
Zebre Rugby Club 12 Stade Français Paris 13
Stade Francais Paris edged a finely-balanced match against Zebre Rugby Club in Challenge Cup Pool 4 back in Round 2.
The crowd at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi saw Stade on the front foot from the off, with Gael Fickou crossing the line after three minutes and Nicolas Sanchez adding the conversion.
It was the boot of Sanchez that ultimately proved decisive as he added two penalties in the space of six minutes towards the end of the first half to stretch Stade’s lead.
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Zebre had put themselves within touching distance at half-time after a try from Charlie Walker, but a missed conversion from Carlo Canna meant they were always behind.
A late penalty try awarded to Zebre closed the gap further, but Stade clung on for the final seven minutes for the win, stretching their winning run against Italian opponents in European competition to 19 matches.
Cardiff Blues 11 Leicester Tigers 14
Leicester Tigers fly-half Tom Hardwick landed a dramatic penalty in the dying seconds to defeat Cardiff 14-11 and send his side top of Pool 5 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
The sides were locked at 11-11 after Hardwick had wiped out his side’s three-point half-time deficit from the kicking tee.
Both sides came close to stealing it with tries and Aled Summerhill was denied a late winner when he put a foot in touch after a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Tigers’ young replacement Sam Costelow but then up stepped Hardwick with the decisive blow when Cardiff were caught offside under pressure.