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Worcester Warriors will pencil in a home Challenge Cup quarter-final if they can earn a bonus point victory against Stade Francais Paris on Saturday at Sixways.
- This will be the fourth meeting Worcester and Stade Francais. The TOP 14 side won both pool stage meetings in 2011/12 but Worcester recorded an impressive 38-27 away win in Round 1 this season.
- Worcester are unbeaten in seven home games in the Challenge Cup, a run which includes three wins against TOP 14 opposition.
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) January 16, 2019
- Stade have lost their last four away games in the Challenge Cup, however, their last victory on the road did come in England, a 26-20 win against London Irish in December 2017.
- Stade Francais are one of just two sides to still have a 100% scrum success rate after five rounds.
- Andrew Kitchener has made all 46 of his tackles in the Challenge Cup. No player has made more without missing one.
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Worcester made it five wins out of six in Pool 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup with a dramatic 36-31 victory over Stade Francais at the Sixways Stadium.
The French side looked to be on their way to a shock success when they reached the hour mark with a 14-point advantage but the Warriors had others ideas.
Forward Sam Lewis, centre Ollie Lawrence and winger Tom Howe all went over for tries as the home side took charge but Chris Pennell missed the final conversion and their chance of victory appeared to have gone with just three minute remaining.
⌛ Mi-temps à Worcester !
— Stade Français Paris (@SFParisRugby) January 19, 2019
But in the dying moments a kick to the corner by Ryan Mills created havoc and Hammond popped up to add the finishing touches to a great comeback.
Stade had led 28-14 at the break courtesy of tries by number eight Ryan Chapuis, hooker Laurent Sempere, scrum-half Arthur Coville and replacement Jonathan Danty all converted by fly-half Jules Plisson.
💥 TRY! 💥
WOW, WOW, WOW!
We do it again! pic.twitter.com/9jRMuGXGwR
— Worcester Warriors ⚔️ (@WorcsWarriors) January 19, 2019
Worcester’s first half response came from winger Howe’s first and prop Simon Kerrod both converted by Pennell but they were second best up to that point.
The visitors could only add a penalty from replacement Nicolas Sanchez after the break but they were powerless as Worcester came storming back to underline their superiority in the pool.
The Warriors were already assured of topping the pool but victory ensured they also clinch a home quarter-final in the last eight.