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Cardiff Rugby open their bid for a third EPCR Challenge Cup at home to CA Brive on Saturday, with both teams struggling for consistency this season.
The 2010 and 2018 champions will be looking to bounce back from a 45-9 thrashing at the hands of the Vodacom Bulls in their last United Rugby Championship outing, which left them seventh in the table after nine games.
Meanwhile, after 12 matches in the TOP 14, Brive find themselves bottom, having lost their last seven matches while shipping 236 points in the process. The French side haven’t lifted top-level silverware since the 1990s.
The match at Cardiff Arms Park kicks off at 17:30 (UK & Irish time) and will be broadcast on S4C, beIN SPORTS and FloRugby.
Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Rugby): “We’ve got a new competition now so we can refocus and concentrate on that. The international boys will be joining up with us, so that will be good. There’s still a lot to play for and we can still be positive.”
🗣 Dai Young puts Cardiff on European alert ahead of Brive test.
🎟 Tickets still available for a massive European Challenge Cup showdown against our old rivals!
— Cardiff Rugby (@Cardiff_Rugby) December 8, 2022
- In the Heineken Champions Cup last season, Cardiff had the lowest rate of tackle completion with 80%.
- Thomas Young and Josh Turnbull are top of the tackle charts in the URC, having made 129 and 105 respectively.
- Back-row duo James Botham and Young have won the two highest total turnovers in the URC so far this season (12 and 10).
- Brive’s tackle stats were disappointing in last season’s EPCR Challenge Cup as they finished with a tournament-low success rate of 82%.
- Brive are on a seven-match losing streak in the TOP 14. All but one of these defeats has been by a margin of more than 15 points.
- This will be the first fixture between Brive and Cardiff in the EPCR Challenge Cup.
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Cardiff Rugby laid down a statement of intent as they go in search of their third EPCR Challenge Cup title, with a resounding 36-0 win against CA Brive side in their opening game at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.
The home side got off to a flying start with a close-range try from Kristian Dacey after a kick to the corner, before adding a second try in mirror-image fashion, with Dacey the scorer once again.
And when Jarrod Evans broke through before floating a delightful pass out to Josh Adams for the finish, the away side looked beaten before half-time.
CA Brive fans look away now…😬
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 10, 2022
It only took Cardiff seven minutes to secure the bonus point after the break, Lloyd Williams going over on his 250th appearance to widen the gap to 24-0 after a wild Brive attempt to keep the ball in play.
After a long period of pressure near the Brive line, Teddy Williams crashed over as the gulf in power between the two packs showed once again.
And the win was rounded off by a simple finish in one corner for substitute Mason Grady, and one in the opposite corner from wing Theo Cabango.
Cardiff travel to Kingston Park to face Newcastle Falcons next, while Brive will be looking to banish the memories of what was a horrible afternoon, with a home match against Connacht Rugby.