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Stade seek long awaited success

Tuesday 8th October 2013

12:00 am (GMT)

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Stade Francais will be aiming to finally lift a piece of European silverware in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup. - 08/10/2013 10:41

Stade Francais will be aiming to finally lift a piece of European silverware in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup. - 08/10/2013 10:41

Stade Francais will be aiming to finally lift a piece of European silverware in this season’s Amlin Challenge Cup.

The French club have reached four finals but fallen short on each occasion, twice in the Heineken Cup and twice in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Their latest heartbreak came at the hands of European heavyweights Leinster last season. The Dublin-based outfit ran riot at the RDS and claimed an emphatic 34-13 victory.

But Stade will return to European action against a far less experienced team in Portuguese newcomers Lusitanos XV on Thursday night.

Drawn in Pool Five, alongside I Cavalieri Prato and London Irish, the Stade Jean Bouin clash will be one in which Stade will be targeting a maximum points haul, even though head coach Gonzalo Quesada has rested several key players including Jules Plisson, Julien Dupuy, Hugo Bonneval and Pascal Pape.

Despite the absentees the French club will still present Lusitanos with a colossal challenge. The combination team boast 14 Portuguese internationals in their side and both Vasco Uva and Joao Correia have experienced European action with Lisboa.

Head coach Frederico Sousa, also the top man of the national side, is under no illusions of the magnitude of the task facing Lusitanos, but he reckons it will be of huge benefit to the development of rugby in Portugal.

“We have to be realistic and have a good idea of the difficulties that lie ahead of us,” said Sousa.

“We will have to be objective in terms of performance and not in terms of results.

“Playing in the Amlin Challenge Cup will bring benefits to the game in Portugal in the medium and long term.”

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Stade start in style

Thursday 10th October 2013

12:00 am (GMT)

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Comme prévu

Comme prévu

Stade Francais marked their European return to Stade Jean Bouin with a rousing victory over Lusitanos.

Last year’s Amlin Challenge Cup runners-up looked in fine form once again with nine tries against their Portuguese opponents making their tournament debut.

Jerome Porical stole the show with 22 points including two tries in the space of six minutes before half-time.

However the full-back, who helped kick Stade to the final in May, narrowly missed out on completing his hat-trick despite taking his tally to 258 points in Europe.

Wing Julien Arias also continued his remarkable scoring run with the 28th and 29th tries of his European career as Stade galloped clear.

Fellow wing Andrea Cocagi opened the scoring inside four minutes before No 8 Nicolas Garrault finished a powerful drive by the Stade forwards.

Arias was then the benefactor of some good footwork by fly-half Peter Lydon on 21 minutes.

Porical converted all three tries before claiming two of his own in quick succession to claim a bonus point after half an hour.

Pedro Cabral had seen an earlier penalty sail wide when his second attempt rebounded in off the post to claim the distinction of scoring his team’s first points in Europe.

Leading 35-3 at half-time, lock Anton Van Zyl extended the difference within seconds of the second-half kicking off before Arias claimed a second.

Veteran Pierre Rabadan stepped off the bench to continue his club record for the most appearances and most tries in the Amlin Challenge Cup claiming his 10th score in his 28th game. Scrum-half Richard Kingi claimed Stade’s ninth on 66 minutes.

Yet despite the deficit, Lusitanos refused to yield and not only survived the final 15 minutes without any further tries but showed plenty of ambition of their own to the final whistle.

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