2003–04 European Challenge Cup

2003–04 European Challenge Cup

2003-04 Parker Pen Challenge Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
France
Ireland
Italy
Romania
Scotland
Spain
Tournament format(s) Knockout
Date 5 December 2003 – 22 May 2004
Tournament statistics
Teams 28
Matches played 57
Attendance 225,213 (3,951 per match)
Tries scored 323 (5.67 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Olly Barkley (Bath)
(120 points)[1]
Top try scorer(s) Simon Danielli (Bath)
(6 tries)[2]
Final
Venue Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
Attendance 13,123
Champions NEC Harlequins (2nd title)
Runner-up Montferrand
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
2002–03 (Previous) (Next) 2004–05

The 2003–04 European Challenge Cup (known as the Parker Pen Challenge Cup for sponsorship reasons) was the 8th season of the European Challenge Cup, Europe's second tier club rugby union competition below the Heineken Cup. A total of 28 teams participated, representing seven different countries. This was the first year of the competition following the introduction of regional rugby union teams in Wales. With the reduction of Welsh teams from nine to five, and with all teams participating in the 2003-04 Heineken Cup, there were no Welsh teams in the 2003–04 Parker Pen Challenge Cup.

The competition began when Rotherham hosted Narbonne and Leonessa hosted Montferrand on 5 December 2003 and culminated in the final at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on 22 May 2004.

As in the previous season, the competition was organised in a knockout format. Teams played each other on a home and away basis, with the aggregate points winner proceeding to the next round. The final was a single leg. For the second time, a third tier tournament was held - the European Shield. This was contested between the first round losers from the European Challenge Cup.[3] As there were only 28 teams involved, the 2 "best" 1st Round losers were reprieved and proceeded to the 2nd Round.

The defending champions, England's London Wasps, did not have a chance to defend their crown because they qualified to play in the Heineken Cup. NEC Harlequins claimed the narrowest of victories over Montferrand in the final and picked up their second piece of European Club silverware.

Teams

The allocation of teams was as follows:

England: 6 teams — all teams from the Zurich Premiership that did not qualify for the 2003–04 Heineken Cup
France: 10 teams — all teams from the Top 16 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup
Ireland: 1 team — the Irish team from the Celtic League that did not play in the Heineken Cup
Italy: 8 teams — all the teams from the Super 10 that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup
Scotland: 1 team — the Scottish team from the Celtic League that did not play in the Heineken Cup
Spain: 2 teams — drawn from the División de Honor de Rugby
England France Ireland Italy Scotland Spain
Bath
NEC Harlequins
London Irish
Newcastle Falcons
Rotherham
Saracens
Béziers
Brive
Castres Olympique
Colomiers
Grenoble
Montauban
Montferrand
Montpellier
Narbonne
Pau
Connacht
Gran Parma
L'Aquila
Leonessa
Overmach Parma
Petrarca Padova
Rugby Roma
Rovigo
Viadana
Glasgow
El Salvador
Valladolid RAC

Matches

All kickoff times are local to the match location.[4]

Round 1

1st Leg

5 December 2003
19:45
Rotherham 10 – 17 Narbonne
Report
Millmoor
Attendance: 1,327
5 December 2003
20:00
Leonessa 0 – 55 Montferrand
Report
Campo Comunale di Rugby
Attendance: 500
6 December 2003
12:30
Valladolid RAC 10 – 71 Newcastle Falcons
Report
Estadio Pepe Rojo
Attendance: 3,000
6 December 2003
14:30
Rugby Roma 13 – 45 Saracens
Report
Stadio Tre Fontane
Attendance: 512
6 December 2003
15:00
Gran Parma 10 – 35 Grenoble
Report
Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium
Attendance: 800
6 December 2003
15:00
L'Aquila 11 – 75 Bath
Report
Stade Tommaso Fattori
Attendance: 2,000
6 December 2003
15:00
Rovigo 14 – 53 Castres Olympique
Report
6 December 2003
18:00
Colomiers 37 – 12 Petrarca Padova
Report
Stade Selery
Attendance: 2,500
6 December 2003
18:00
Montpellier 11 – 30 Glasgow
Report
Stade Sabathé
Attendance: 500
6 December 2003
19:30
Brive 39 – 3 Viadana
Report
Stade Amédée-Domenech
Attendance: 3,000
7 December 2003
12:30
El Salvador 18 – 31 NEC Harlequins
Report
Estadio Pepe Rojo
Attendance: 2,800
7 December 2003
13:30
Montauban 30 – 26 London Irish
Report
North Power Stadium[5]
Attendance: 1,600
7 December 2003
14:30
Overmach Parma 28 – 33 Pau
Report
Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium
Attendance: 350
7 December 2003
15:00
Béziers 10 – 18 Connacht
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 4,543

2nd Leg

12 December 2003
19:30
Glasgow 38 – 13 Montpellier
Report
Hughenden Stadium
Attendance: 1,622
12 December 2003
19:45
Narbonne 35 – 13 Rotherham
Report
13 December 2003
14:00
Connacht 11 – 13 Béziers
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 2,500
13 December 2003
14:15
Bath 50 – 0 L'Aquila
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 8,707
13 December 2003
15:00
NEC Harlequins 63 – 3 El Salvador
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 6,341
13 December 2003
15:00
Petrarca Padova 20 – 38 Colomiers
Report
Stadio Plebiscito
Attendance: 1,200
13 December 2003
17:00
Montferrand 58 – 3 Leonessa
Report
13 December 2003
18:00
Castres Olympique 75 – 10 Rovigo
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 2,500
13 December 2003
19:00
Pau 25 – 6 Overmach Parma
Report
Stade du Hameau
Attendance: 3,500
13 December 2003
19:30
Grenoble 41 – 6 Gran Parma
Report
Stade Lesdiguières
Attendance: 4,087
14 December 2003
13:00
Newcastle Falcons 66 – 27 Valladolid RAC
Report
Kingston Park
Attendance: 6,012
14 December 2003
14:30
Viadana 38 – 22 Brive
Report
Stradey Park[6]
Attendance: 1,000
14 December 2003
15:00
London Irish 36 – 24 Montauban
Report
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 5,265
14 December 2003
15:00
Saracens 82 – 5 Rugby Roma
Report
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 4,181

Aggregate Results

Key to colours
     14 winners and 2 best losers advance to 2nd Round.
     12 other teams to Shield.
Winners Match points Aggregate score Points margin Losers
Bath 4 – 0 125 – 11 114 L'Aquila
Montferrand 4 – 0 113 – 3 110 Leonessa
Saracens 4 – 0 127 – 18 109 Rugby Roma
Castres Olympique 4 – 0 128 – 24 104 Rovigo
Newcastle Falcons 4 – 0 137 – 37 100 Valladolid RAC
NEC Harlequins 4 – 0 94 – 21 73 El Salvador
Grenoble 4 – 0 76 – 16 60 Gran Parma
Glasgow 4 – 0 68 – 24 44 Montpellier
Colomiers 4 – 0 75 – 32 43 Petrarca Padova
Narbonne 4 – 0 52 – 23 29 Rotherham
Pau 4 – 0 58 – 34 24 Overmach Parma
Brive 2 – 2 61 – 41 20 Viadana
London Irish 2 – 2 62 – 54 8 Montauban
Connacht 2 – 2 29 – 23 6 Béziers

Round 2

1st Leg

10 January 2004
14:00
Connacht 29 – 7 Pau
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 2,000
10 January 2004
19:30
Montauban 8 – 43 NEC Harlequins
Report
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
Attendance: 3,000
11 January 2004
14:30
Newcastle Falcons 10 – 3 Montferrand
Report
Kingston Park
Attendance: 4,950
11 January 2004
15:00
Brive 30 – 17 Castres Olympique
Report
Stade Amédée-Domenech
Attendance: 4,000
11 January 2004
15:00
Colomiers 25 – 32 Bath
Report
Stade Selery
Attendance: 4,500
11 January 2004
15:00
Grenoble 15 – 19 Béziers
Report
Stade Lesdiguières
Attendance: 4,500
11 January 2004
15:00
London Irish 20 – 13 Narbonne
Report
Madejski Stadium
Attendance: 4,525
11 January 2004
15:00
Saracens 37 – 6 Glasgow
Report
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 3,653

2nd Leg

16 January 2004
19:30
Glasgow 33 – 5 Saracens
Report
Hughenden Stadium
Attendance: 2,645
17 January 2004
14:15
Bath 26 – 17 Colomiers
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 9,980
17 January 2004
15:00
NEC Harlequins 36 – 17 Montauban
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 5,011
17 January 2004
19:00
Pau 10 – 6 Connacht
Report
Stade du Hameau
Attendance: 3,000
17 January 2004
19:30
Béziers 24 – 8 Grenoble
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 4,389
17 January 2004
19:30
Narbonne 29 – 10 London Irish
Report
18 January 2004
15:00
Montferrand 25 – 13 Newcastle Falcons
Report
18 January 2004
15:00
Castres Olympique 31 – 28 Brive
Report
Stade Pierre-Antoine
Attendance: 2,500

Aggregate Results

Proceed to Quarter-final Match points Aggregate score Points margin Eliminated from competition
NEC Harlequins 4 – 0 89 – 25 64 Montauban
Béziers 4 – 0 43 – 23 20 Grenoble
Bath 4 – 0 58 – 42 16 Colomiers
Connacht 2 – 2 35 – 17 18 Pau
Narbonne 2 – 2 42 – 30 12 London Irish
Brive 2 – 2 58 – 48 10 Castres Olympique
Montferrand 2 – 2 28 – 23 5 Newcastle Falcons
Saracens 2 – 2 42 – 39 3 Glasgow

Quarter finals

1st Leg

24 January 2004
15:00
NEC Harlequins 41 – 8 Brive
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 4,950
24 January 2004
19:30
Béziers 24 – 19 Bath
Report
Stade de la Méditerranée
Attendance: 2,553
24 January 2004
19:30
Narbonne 18 – 27 Connacht
Report
25 January 2004
15:00
Montferrand 26 – 10 Saracens
Report

2nd Leg

31 January 2004
14:00
Connacht 16 – 10 Narbonne
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 2,000
31 January 2004
14:15
Bath 26 – 7 Béziers
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 5,571
1 February 2004
15:00
Brive 36 – 20 NEC Harlequins
Report
Stade Amédée-Domenech
Attendance: 5,000
1 February 2004
15:00
Saracens 18 – 14 Montferrand
Report
Vicarage Road
Attendance: 4,058

Aggregate Results

Proceed to Semi-final Match points Aggregate score Points margin Eliminated from competition
Connacht 4 – 0 43 – 28 15 Narbonne
NEC Harlequins 2 – 2 61 – 44 17 Brive
Bath 2 – 2 45 – 31 14 Béziers
Montferrand 2 – 2 40 – 28 12 Saracens

Semi finals

1st Leg

10 April 2004
13:00
Bath 29 – 15 Montferrand
Report
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 7,700
11 April 2004
13:00
NEC Harlequins 31 – 22 Connacht
Report
The Stoop
Attendance: 6,573

2nd Leg

24 April 2004
14:00
Montferrand 38 – 22 Bath
Report
25 April 2004
13:00
Connacht 23 – 18 NEC Harlequins
Report
Galway Sportsgrounds
Attendance: 6,000

Aggregate Results

Proceed to Final Match points Aggregate score Points margin Eliminated from competition
NEC Harlequins 2 – 2 49 – 45 4 Connacht
Montferrand 2 – 2 53 – 51 2 Bath

Final

22 May 2004
12:00
Montferrand 26 – 27 NEC Harlequins
Try: Azam
Mignoni
Con: Floch (2)
Pen: Floch (3)
Drop: Merceron (1)
Report Try: Duffy
Keogh
Con: Dunne (1)
Pen: Burke (4)
Dunne (1)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Points Scorers". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Amlin Challenge Cup: Try Scorers". Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Challenge Cup European Champions". ERC. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Challenge Cup Fixtures". ERC. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  5. ^ According to the ERC web site. Montauban usually play at Stade Sapiac.
  6. ^ According to the ERC web site. Viadana usually play at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella.