1996–97 European Challenge Cup

1996–97 European Challenge Cup

1996–97 European Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
France
Ireland
Italy
Romania
Scotland
Wales
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and knockout
Date 12 October 1996 – 26 January 1997
Tournament statistics
Teams 24
Matches played 66
Attendance 443 (7 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Alexandre Péclier (Bourgoin)
(113 points)[1]
Top try scorer(s) Laurent Leflamand (Bourgoin)
(7 tries)[2]
Final
Venue Stade de la Méditerranée, Béziers
Attendance 10,000
Champions Bourgoin (1st title)
Runner-up Castres Olympique
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
(Next) 1997–98

The 1996–97 European Challenge Cup (also called the 1996-97 European Shield) was the inaugural year of the European Challenge Cup, the second tier rugby union cup competition below the Heineken Cup. The tournament was held between October 1996 and January 1997 and was won by Bourgoin with an 18–9 victory over Castres in the final at the Stade de la Méditerranée in Béziers, France.[3] Twenty-four teams took part from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Scotland and Wales, divided into four groups of six. Each team played the other teams in the group once, meaning each had five matches with either two or three on their home ground. The quarter–finals saw seven of the eight clubs coming from France, with the only non-French club being Northampton Saints.

Teams

The qualifying teams were drawn from seven countries. Generally, these were teams from the top division of domestic rugby that did not qualify to play in the Heineken Cup:

England France Ireland Italy Romania Scotland Wales

Pool stage

Twenty four teams participated in the pool stage of the competition; they were divided into four pools of six teams each, with each team playing the other teams in their pool once only. Matches took place between 12 October and 2 November 1996 and teams were awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw. The winner and runner-up of each pool progressed to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Pool 1

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
Agen 5 5 0 0 20 9 +11 156 82 +74 10
Montferrand 5 4 0 1 30 8 +22 211 74 +137 8
Sale Sharks 5 3 0 2 18 14 +4 166 115 +51 6
Newport 5 2 0 3 14 19 −15 98 158 −60 4
Glasgow 5 1 0 4 15 30 −15 113 202 −89 2
Newbridge 5 0 0 5 16 33 −17 106 219 −113 0
Source : www.ercrugby.com

Pool 2

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
Castres Olympique 5 5 0 0 29 6 +23 207 71 +136 10
Narbonne 5 4 0 1 21 6 +15 161 90 +71 8
Dinamo-Bucureşti 5 2 1 2 12 32 −20 109 213 −104 5
Bridgend 4 1 1 2 10 14 −4 94 120 −26 3
Bristol Shoguns 5 1 0 4 11 12 −1 128 99 +29 2
Treorchy 4 0 0 4 10 23 −13 72 178 −106 0
Source : www.ercrugby.com

The Treorchy v Bridgend match was not played.[4]

Pool 3

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
Northampton Saints 5 5 0 0 28 12 +16 207 88 +119 10
Toulon 5 4 0 1 22 10 +12 164 102 +62 8
Orrell 5 2 0 3 18 22 −4 122 173 −51 4
Connacht 5 2 0 3 9 17 −8 94 131 −37 4
Dunvant 5 1 0 4 15 22 −7 106 169 −63 2
Petrarca 5 1 0 4 10 19 −9 118 148 −30 2
Source : www.ercrugby.com

Pool 4

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff Pts
Bourgoin 5 5 0 0 27 4 +23 196 66 +130 10
Bordeaux-Bègles 5 3 1 1 29 13 +16 195 99 +96 7
Swansea 5 3 1 1 28 19 +9 207 138 +69 7
Gloucester 5 2 0 3 17 17 0 119 123 −4 4
Ebbw Vale 5 1 0 4 6 36 −30 48 243 −195 2
London Irish 5 0 0 5 12 30 −18 90 186 −96 0
Source : www.ercrugby.com

Qualifiers

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/−
1 Castres Olympique 10 29 +136
2 Northampton Saints 10 28 +119
3 Bourgoin 10 27 +130
4 Agen 10 20 +74
Seed Runners-up Pts TF +/−
5 Montferrand 8 30 +137
6 Toulon 8 22 +62
7 Narbonne 8 21 +71
8 Bordeaux-Bègles 7 29 +96

Knockout stage

Quarter finals

16 November 1996
Bourgoin 17 – 15 Montferrand
Report
Stade Pierre Rajon
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)
16 November 1996
Castres Olympique 23 – 15 Toulon
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Daniel Gillet (France)
16 November 1996
Northampton Saints 22 – 23 Narbonne
Report
Franklin's Gardens
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Andrew Watson (England)
16 November 1996
Agen 20 – 15
a.e.t.[4]
Bordeaux-Bègles
Report
Stade Armandie
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Didier Mene (France)

Semi finals

5 January 1997
Bourgoin 29 – 6 Narbonne
Report
Stade Pierre Rajon
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Bernard Perez (France)
5 January 1997
Castres Olympique 23 – 6 Agen
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Joel Dumé (France)

Final

26 January 1997
Bourgoin 18 – 9 Castres Olympique
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Patrick Robin (France)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Points Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Try Scorers". European Rugby Cup. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Mick Cleary and John Griffiths, ed. (1997). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1997–98. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN . 
  4. ^ a b "European Challenge Cup 1996/7". BBC. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 21 August 2013.