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London Irish and Pau battle to maintain unbeaten start

Saturday 19th December 2020

9:00 am (GMT)

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London Irish and Pau battle to maintain unbeaten start

Clovis Le Bail of Pau prepares to kick a conversion

London Irish and Pau Rugby do battle on Sunday afternoon, with both sides eager to maintain their unbeaten start to the European Rugby Challenge Cup. 

Irish produced a devastating display in France to knock-off Agen 34-8 to go top of the preliminary stage table, while their French opponents secured a last-gasp triumph over Worcester 24-20. 

Action at the Brentford Community Stadium kicks-off at 15:00 local time and is available to watch on ChallengeRugbyCup.com. 

Match facts:  

  • London Irish have won four of their five previous matches against Pau in the Challenge Cup, the last of which came in January 2006.   
  • London Irish have lost three of their last four home games against TOP 14 opposition in the Challenge Cup, having lost just one of their 20 such games previously (W18, D1). 
  • Pau have lost six of their last seven away games in the Challenge Cup, however their one victory in that spell came in their most recent such outing, a 47-19 win at Calvisano in January 2020.  
  • London Irish’s Albert Tuisue was one of just two players to score multiple tries in the opening round of this season’s Challenge Cup (also Sam Parry, Ospreys).  
  • Pau’s Lekima Tagitagivalu made 18 carries in Round 1 of the Challenge Cup, four more than any other player, including teammate Mathieu Ugena (14). 

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Stokes at the double as London Irish outlast Pau

Sunday 20th December 2020

4:55 pm (GMT)

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Stokes at the double as London Irish outlast Pau

Tom Parton of London Irish scores a try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup

A brace from wing James Stokes helped London Irish overcome Pau 26-17 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the Brentford Community Stadium.

The 29-year old opened the scoring for the English side in the 10th minute before doubling his tally five minutes before the interval – Phil Cokanasiga added a third first half try in the dying embers of the opening 40 minutes.

In response Pau mustered a try of their own through Atila Septar – Clovis Le Bail adding the conversion as they trailed 21-7 at the break.

After a Le Bail penalty closed the deficit to 11, Irish’s Tom Parton scored the bonus point try for the hosts.

The visitors went over for a 78th minute consolation try, Thibault Debaes touching down under the posts – Samuel Marquez kicking the conversion.

London Irish maintained their 100% record in the preliminary stage with the bonus point victory and face a trip to the Stade de Hameau in Round 3 in a rematch against their defeated opponents.

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