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PREVIEW: Russians chasing French double

Wednesday 16th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

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Après être passés tout près de l'exploit sur la pelouse du CA Brive

Après être passés tout près de l'exploit sur la pelouse du CA Brive

Can lightning strike twice? Can Russian new boys Enisei-STM do the double over Brive and back up their historic 10-7 in Sochi with another victory at Stade Amedee-Dominech?

All the questions will be answered in what is likely to be a slightly warmer atmosphere than in round three. In fact, you’d expect the home side to turn their home venue into a white hot venue as they attempt to save face after defeat last weekend.

Connacht’s experience in the first round against last season’s shock qualifiers for the Challenge Cup proved they cannot be taken lightly and in the end a try from hooker Nazir Gasanov and five points from the boot of Iurii Kushnarev were enough to secure a first win for the Russians.

The red faces in the Brive camp at the end of the game will surely mean there will be a backlash in France in the return match. A third defeat in four games will virtually rule the Top 14 team out of the running for a quarter-final place in Pool 1.

Match Facts

  • Enisei-STM won their first Challenge Cup game against Brive last week, beating the French side 10-7.
  • However, the Russian side lost their only previous Challenge Cup away fixture, a 55-7 loss to Newcastle Falcons.
  • Six of Brive’s last eight Challenge Cup matches have been decided by a single-figure margin.
  • Brive’s last home fixture in the Challenge Cup was a 13-9 victory over Newcastle Falcons, and they have the opportunity to record consecutive home wins for the first time since January 2014.


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REPORT: Brive bounce back

Saturday 19th December 2015

12:00 am (GMT)

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Certainement vexé de son faux pas en Russie

Certainement vexé de son faux pas en Russie

Brive bounced back from their shock defeat at Enisei-STM to bank a bonus point in their 33-3 home win.

Both clubs went into the match with one win each but once Brive turned the screw in the later stages of the contest – and the Russian discipline let them down – there was always only going to see Brive walk off the winners.
Full back Romain Sola rounded matters off with try No 5 after it had taken Brive just two minutes to start exacting revenge in this Pool 1 basement battle clash at Stade Amédée-Domenech in the wake of the Russian new boys’ historic 10-7 in Sochi a week earlier.
Then Brive – the 1997 champions of Europe – were left shell-shocked when a try from hooker Nazir Gasanov and five points from the boot of Iurii Kushnarev were enough to secure a first win for the tournament debutants.
The business of salvaging some pride was kicked off by centre Atila Septar – who departed injured 20 minutes later – with fellow midfielder Thomas Laranjeira adding the conversion.
Kushnarev again got points on the board with a sixth minute penalty goal to open Enisei-STM’s account this time, though the outside half missed the chance of doubling that return 10 minutes later when he was off target with another three-point opportunity.
It took Brive another 36 minutes to add to their score – replacement centre Arnaud Mignardi getting their second try and Laranjeira again converting for an 11-points lead at the break.
Brive all but emptied their replacements bench at the restart and four minutes into the half Fijian No 8 Sisa Koyamaibole went over for their third try, Laranjeira adding the extra points for an 18-points advantage.
And the try bonus point was safely in the bank just three minutes later as winger Alfifeleti Mafi crossed as they turned the screw as Laranjeira made it four from four, the conversion his last bit of the action before he was also taken off with the salvage job done and dusted
Enisei-STM’s cause was not helped with prop Alexey Volkov shown the yellow card for 10 minutes in the bin – and Evgenii Pronenko followed him to leave them a man short for a quarter of the contest, Sola punishing them with the fifth and final try.

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