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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Harlequins take the Amlin Challenge Cup final in dramatic fashion

Harlequins take the Amlin Challenge Cup final in dramatic fashion

The Heineken Cup final wasn't the only big game that took place in Cardiff on the weekend, as the Amlin Challenge Cup final produced a classic finish, with Harlequins snatching the silverware from counterparts Stade Francais.

Harlequins secured Heineken Cup qualification for next season with their come from behind 19-18 victory at Cardiff City Stadium. The Amlin Challenge Cup win ensures that seven English teams will take part in the next showpiece European tournament, which Leinster famously won on Saturday.

Despite having very little ball and Stade Francais controlling the game in the second half, Quins managed to manufacture a try with just 3 minutes left, brilliantly set up by the efforts of Nick Easter, Joe Marler, and Danny Care. Gonzalo Camacho gathered Cares kick ahead, leaving them a point behind before Nick Evans lined up his kick.

The former All Black, surely the obvious second choice as flyhalf for New Zealand this year, took the challenge head on, slotting the kick with aplomb. "All those times on the training pitch you dream of moments like that one. I was excited to have the kick - I wasn't nervous. That is what we live for as kickers," said Evans.

"Credit to the whole team. We never gave up, and I think we have shown that throughout the season. We got ourselves out of jail, got the win and got the silverware.

"Bloodgate was like a bomb going off in the club. Everything scattered and we had to start again, we had to rebuild. We had a lot of the same players but confidence had been knocked out of them. Everyone hated us and things like that, so it was hard.

"Hopefully now, we can push on and create a bit of a dynasty," he added.

On the flip-side, James Haskell admitted that he might have been at fault for allowing Harlequins to slip through for that final try as he shot out the line.

"I've got a feeling in my gut I lost us the game. I won't be sleeping well tonight."

It was a fantastic ending to a final, and tense throughout. Most of the points were via the boot, so this highlights clip focuses on a few of the kicks, and includes the try in its entirety, the celebrations, and then an interview with Evans as part of the playlist. Also, much requested, keep a lookout for fullback Mike Brown enjoying the festivities with the fans after the game.

Posted at 10:08 am | 45 comments

Viewing 45 comments

RD May 25, 2011 10:23 am

Enjoyed the video? Say thanks, and discuss in a positive manner! We don't need any more bickering on this one please. Cheers

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 10:32 am

Great win for stade francais. well deserved

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 10:34 am

ermm stade francais didnt win mate! it was harlequins that won! look at the score at the end and the people who are holding up the cup!

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 10:36 am

burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!!!!

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Max May 25, 2011 10:49 am

"The former All Black, surely the obvious second choice as flyhalf for New Zealand this year"

Nick made his choice when he left New Zealand. Colin Slade is the obvious second choice as flyhalf for New Zealand.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 11:00 am

So maybe not second choice, but somewhere in the mix? Because outside of clutch kicking, Evans is an awesome line breaker. Maybe, just maybe a back up option?

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Ian M May 25, 2011 11:05 am

Awesome. Couldn't believe some of those DGs and can't wait to see Marler have a go at the BaaBaas. We know he can run, and he's done the job in premiership scrums. Between him and Corbisiero England have two of the outstanding young props of the generation. Pity they're both looseheads really.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 11:06 am

Great vid RD......

Ref was appalling at the break down by the looks of it?? great try all the same!

What happened after the game with Stade and the Ref?

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 11:08 am

So brilliant to see mike brown celebrating with the fans like that, no sport even comes close to that sort of carmaraderie

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Colombes May 25, 2011 11:09 am

Not a very nice game to watch after an epic hcup final, but both teams played their season on the game, it can explain the lack of brilliance.

Both teams would have deserved to win but quins were more lethal despite not having the ball. SF are not the team they were few seasons ago. Laporte arrival will maybe change the spirit.

a word on the scrums, IRB have recommended to ref to not waste time on it. ok, but he doesn't mean to forget to manage it. u could see the difference between Poite who gave the advantage to the dominant scrum (Saints, in the 1st half, Leinster in the 2nd), and Clancy who simply forget it, while SF was clearly dominant...

This new rules are good for open-game but will always be interpretated from a ref to another. all the foul to SF players who simply didn't choose the good solution with Clancy :)

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Von May 25, 2011 11:09 am

Fair play to Haskell for owning up to his mistake in defence! I mean he did create a big old gap for Care to run through didn't he. Must be kicking himself, feel sorry for him.

Mike Brown's celebrations in the crowd represent another reason to love the game of rugby. Show me another professional sport where fans can hug the players and share beer.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 11:21 am

Lol wtf is up with the poor content being uploaded on this site. NH rugby and 7s lol wtf didnt even watch any of the clips so what sue me you cant make me Ill put mud in your mouth if I have to

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Colombes May 25, 2011 11:23 am

to Von,

totally agree, love his way to celebrate it like in a good east-end pub ;)

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 11:31 am

love to see good rugby winning the game instead of the ultranegative stade francais but to think Nick Evans deserves a spot in the ABs team is just ludacris

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Ulf May 25, 2011 11:38 am

Bastareaud ... dropkicks ?! Wtf : )

The last scene with the winning scrum, the fly-half begging for a penalty and the obtuse ref is kinda sad..

SF should have try a dropkick on this last action.

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Watson May 25, 2011 11:54 am

woooo 2 english winners in the last month!! quins and saints taking their respective trophies home. english rugby at its finest!!

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 11:57 am

bit confused as to how evans can even be considered as the number 2 Fly Half for New Zealand. Dont you have to play in New Zealand to play for the All Blacks.

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RD May 25, 2011 12:07 pm

Re. the Nick Evans comment, it was just a bit of a hint that rules can be broken if they're for the greater good.. Yes though, as it stands, he's ruled himself out by not playing in NZ.

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Alex May 25, 2011 12:09 pm

R.D if Nick Evans is the number 2 fly half in Nz who is the number one ?

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 12:20 pm

Wouldn't be surprised to see Matt Berquist get the back up spot. He's played well for the most part and will have a good understanding with SBW, who is an automatic choice for the 12 jersey.

As for number one - DC, the legend himself.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 12:22 pm

BUBBLLEEEEESSSSSS!!!!

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 12:24 pm

"Colin Slade is the obvious second choice as flyhalf for New Zealand."

He would be if he didn't have a broken jaw ruling him out.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 12:30 pm

english stoll the frenchs, as usuall

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Alexander May 25, 2011 12:33 pm

Haha Nice troll Watson, you sneaky non-Englishman!

Good, dramatic try there!!

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Tim May 25, 2011 2:01 pm

How the hell Easter didn't get penalised at about 2:48 I dunno. Pretty blatant really, was held, is isolated, doesn't release, has another go off the ground whilst waiting for support. School boy reffing.

Haskell coming out of the line wasn't as bad as I was expecting given the comments, the guy outside him was half asleep. Nicely taken try in the end to win it. Not a bad kick either.

Absolutely butchered last play tho.

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Sam May 25, 2011 2:11 pm

James Haskell what a tool! lol!

Honestly cannot stand that guy, however its nice to see an "English" team do well. Hopefully it can carry on into International leagues.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 2:42 pm

Mike Brown celebration!!!
it's a buffalo!!!!

:)

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 2:51 pm

Trust me on this guys Rodriguez is the new Hernandez.

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 2:55 pm

should have been a penalty to stade francais at 2:45 for holding on.

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maxime May 25, 2011 2:59 pm

@Von and other anon:
"Show me another professional sport where fans can hug the players and share beer."

You can also see that sort of things in pro soccer. Especially in germany .
http://theprawnsandwichbrigade.blogspot.com/2011/04/raul-class-wherever-he-plays.html

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Gareth May 25, 2011 3:23 pm

agree with comments above,
Easter should have been penalised, it was blatant. shame cause it led to the try.

SF can moan and be sour, but they should have killed the game before quins and clancy did it

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 3:45 pm

"Rodriguez is the new Hernandez". I hope not, what has Hernandez done, other than kick a few pretty drop goals at the wrong time and be injured 80% of the other time and playing for like 4-5 teams? I would hope this Rodriguez guy can last longer than Hernandez

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martin-offload May 25, 2011 3:47 pm

Thank you RD for a brilliant site and I think that it is a blessing and the people who complain forget that no where else offers such broad and detailed coverage. On the common themes of argument: Rugby in the NH is coached very differently to that in the SH. The focus of coaching in the NH is to do with contact and running into things, which leaves the handling and spacial skills behind. Hopefully this will improve in future. Every country has thuggish players, no one is better or worse than any other so I don't see why everyone has to blame and claim?! Rugby is also subjective and the ruck area is one of the most subjective areas. People should respect each other's views and give reasonable responses rather than just shouting at each other!!!!

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Guy May 25, 2011 4:40 pm

Thanks RD!

Not the most brilliant in ball handling and try scoring, I guess.

But thrilling till the end with only 1 point in it an the losing team attacking in the winning half in the very last minute.

Wow!

PS Can't wait for the revamped site!!!!

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 4:50 pm

Totally agree for Easter...
NZ POV though

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SmellyNerfherder May 25, 2011 6:12 pm

Awesome! Mike Brown, what a lad!

Basteraud and all the Quins boys promise to be interesting in the England v BaaBaas game this Sunday!

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SmellyNerfherder May 25, 2011 6:16 pm

@Sam: what do you mean an 'English' Team? Quins constantly field the MOST EQPs (England-qualified players) in the Premiership. They are the most English team in England!

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Anonymous May 25, 2011 6:55 pm

I love it how even the props at stade francais kick drop goals!

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Colin May 25, 2011 7:25 pm

Haha dropgoal reminded me of Matt Dunning
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jx6PdqBTVnE
Although at least that one was intentional ;)

View Video

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Flipje May 25, 2011 7:37 pm

Harlequins was very realistic on this one.

SF should take their opportunities earlier in the game even if Mr. Clancy made a meal of this game..

Probably one of the best game this year for the SF but as already mentioned what a gap with the Hcup final....

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mise May 25, 2011 11:42 pm

having spent almost all my time on this site being positive and interactive i feel completely allowed to ask:

Should Quins even be in the tournament?

Its obviously match related, as they have won a European Cup, and now are back in the HC, you know that place where.....

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Chipotle May 26, 2011 1:15 am

Regarding the match, why is Julien Dupuy even playing rugby? He is perpetually in a Christ the Redeemer pose, shouting at the referee, even when it's going to be a penalty in Stade's favor.

At any given scrum, the opposing no. 9 puts the ball in, and immediately, Dupuy's arms go out, demanding a penalty.

What a turd.

Also, I was disappointed to see players like Bastareaud and Beauxis left out of the WC squad named by Lievremont. Anyone know how official the squad that's been named is? Can they change it up if some players are injured/look out of form?

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Anonymous May 26, 2011 2:43 am

nah chipotle (away) dupuy has just been told to keep his hands where the ref can see them....dont want anymore long bans to boost french conspiracy theorists...

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Anonymous May 26, 2011 5:51 am

The squad for France is absolutely official even though there is a "hidden list" in case of injuries.
If you had watched Stade Francais's season, you'd know that Bastareaud has been complete trash 3/4 of the time. He doesn't deserve to even be a sub for France. And I must say Iam a fan of Stade Francais so it's really an objective statement. Beauxis and Dupuy certainly are on this hidden list.
And Dupuy has been one of the best and most regular players (and a leader) this year. He talks a lot to the ref and complains but that's what good 9s do, especially that it's kind of a tradition in SF...

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Anonymous May 28, 2011 5:24 am

Great player Martn Rodrguez Gurruchaga!!!

Amazing Drop Goal VS Leeds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39UoKRJsdzs

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