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RC Toulon and Zebre Parma meet for the first time ever in the EPCR Challenge Cup on Friday night.
The two sides may have never met in Europe before – but the TOP 14 side are unbeaten in their nine games against teams from Italy in European competition, winning eight and drawing one.
They play at the Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon, kicking off at 8pm UK time.
Other key facts:
- RC Toulon have won 16 of their last 18 games in the pool stage of the EPCR Challenge Cup (losing two), including each of the most recent nine by an average margin of 20 points.
- Zebre have won their last two away games in the EPCR Challenge Cup, both in France against Top 14 teams (Stade Français Paris & CA Brive), as many wins as in their previous 13 games on the road in the competition (L11).
- Zebre made the most tackles (159) of any team last weekend in the EPCR Challenge Cup but they also missed the most tackles (31); they won 10 turnovers, only USAP (11) recorded a better tally.
- Liam Mitchell (Zebra Parma) made 21 successful tackles last weekend in the EPCR Challenge Cup, more than any other player during Round 1.
RC Toulon head coach Franck Azéma: “The first game is always tricky because, in this competition, every team gives 300%. There’s a high level of visibility, as people talk about it across Europe, so teams want to perform well. Zebre have a lot of internationals in their squad, which means that they’re capable of playing very well, and they’ll want to put in a big performance. For us and certainly for me, we’re already focusing on it, because it’ll be an important game.”
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RC Toulon beat Zebre Parma 28-14 at Stade Félix Mayol on Friday night, in their first game of this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup.
The three-time European champions led 14-7 at half time thanks to tries from prop Emerick Setiano and lock Quinn Roux, but Zebre were well in the game courtesy of Asaeli Tuivuaka’s score on 34 minutes.
Toulon started the second half well and were rewarded when scrum-half Baptiste Serin crossed for their third try of the evening on 44 minutes.
A hard-fought victory for @RCTofficiel 💪
And a great start to their Challenge Cup campaign 👏
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) December 17, 2021
A penalty try on 63 minutes secured the bonus point for the hosts, who now sit top of Pool A, but they would concede for a second time six minutes later as substitute Jacopo Bianchi dotted down for Zebre.
There would be no comeback for the Italian side however, who are now bottom of Pool A after two defeats in two games – they were beaten 26-13 by Biarritz Olympique last weekend.
Toulon travel to Worcester Warriors in Round 3, while Zebre aren’t in EPCR Challenge Cup action again until Round 4 when they host the Gallagher Premiership side.