Match Page - Scoreboard
Match Page - Fixed Scoreboard
Match Centre - Preview - Current Standing A v B
Match Centre - Preview - H2H
Match Centre - Preview - Form Guide
Match Centre - Preview - Last Three Meetings
Season so far
Match Centre - Preview - Season So Far A v B
Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team A)
Match Centre - Preview - Tournament Record (Team B)
Harlequins know they’ll have to lay it all on the line against Stade Francais if they are to make it to the last eight of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Last season’s beaten finalists were shocked 18-23 by Edinburgh Rugby at home in Round 5, leaving them up against it to make the quarter-finals.
Their final Pool 5 meeting sees them visit French giants Stade knowing they need a bonus-point win to stand a chance of topping the group. That would move them ahead of Edinburgh but with the Scottish side hosting Timisoara Saracens, Duncan Hodge’s men are likely to take maximum points.
“We now have a massive task at Stade on Sunday,” admitted forward Dave Ward.
“We need to improve our away record, so why not do it in the Challenge Cup? Everything is there for us, but it will be a long hard week at training. We have to start getting the results right.
“We have to dust ourselves down and beat Stade. We have to put it all out there next Sunday.”
Harlequins were disappointed to lose to Edinburgh, but their salvaging of a late losing bonus point could yet prove to be crucial.
Win in Paris and John Kingston’s side could still qualify as either pool winners or one of the Challenge Cup’s best runners-up. Lose, and they’ll slip behind Stade and finish third.
“We want to go there and get a good result,” said promising Harlequins centre Joe Marchant.
“If we take the game to Stade then we’ll be able to do it. We just need to make sure we’re switched on from the first minute.”
Match Centre - Preview - Lineups
Stade Francais pinched the eighth and final quarter-final place in the Challenge Cup to set up a trip to Swansea to face the unbeaten Ospreys.
Harlequins, beaten finalists last season, arrived in Paris knowing they, too, could have gone on to reach the knock-out phase. But they never warmed to a game that had the kick-off delayed to ensure the pitch had been fully thawed out.
When the action eventually began 90 minutes later than scheduled it was the home side who got to grips with the task and built up a 17 point lead. Heineken Man of the Match Waisea Vuidarvuwalu raced to the posts for the first try and then French international wing Julien Arias skipped over for the second.
Jules Plisson converted them both and then added a penalty on the stroke of half-time. But just as the home fans were thinking about getting arm in the interval break, Danny Care took a quck tap penalty conceded at the re-start and gave No 8 Mat Luamanu the chance to show off his power with a storming run the length of the home 22 for a try.
If that score gave Harlequins a bit of hope, a 10 point burst in the opening 12 minutes of the second half from Stade put them firmly in control once again. Plisson kicked a penalty and then converted a try from replacement hooker Craig Burden.
That extended the lead to 22 points and seemed to have put Harlequins out of the game, but England wing Marland Yarde got over for a try that Tim Swiel converted to breathe new life into the visitors. Plisson was wide with another penalty before James Chisholm, on at No 8, barged his way over for a third Quins try with two minutes left to play.
Ruardih Jackson’s conversion hit the upright and it was a case of too little, too late for the Premiership side.
LIVE - TEST - Commentary