• European Rugby Challenge Cup
  • Friday, October 16th 2020
  • Stade Maurice David
Club Badge Bristol 32
Club Badge Toulon 19

Match Report

Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter reports from Stade Maurice David

Posted Saturday, October 17th 2020

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Report: RC Toulon 19-32 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears won their first European trophy as they beat Toulon 32-19 in an enthralling Challenge Cup final at Stade Maurice-David.

On an historic night for the club, Harry Randall's try after 15 seconds set Pat Lam’s on their way to their first major honour since 1983, before Toulon hit back to lead 16-10 at the break.

But Max Malins classy score on the hour and 22 points from the boot of Callum Sheedy saw the Bears storm clear in Aix-en-Provence to earn major silverware for the first time in 37 years.


What happened?

The Bears were out of the blocks in record time in the south of France, crossing for the opening score after just 15 seconds, as Radradra and Leiua combined straight from the kick off to send Randall over for the perfect start.

Sheedy’s opening penalty made it 10-0 three minutes later, but Toulon hit back with an opportunist try from Bryce Heem.

Thacker then saw his try disallowed for a knock-on as he attempted to ground at the tail of a driving lineout, before Louis Carbonel’s penalty levelled the scores.

The Bears had a second try disallowed on 26 minutes, when Joe Joyce’s sensational finish in the corner was ruled out for an adjudged forward pass in the build-up.

At the other end, Toulon quickly gained a foothold in a topsy-turvy encounter courtesy of two more Carbonel penalties to take six-point lead at the interval.

Sheedy closed the gap to three with his second penalty of the evening, before Carbonel cancelled it out.

But a quick-fire double from the faultless boot of Sheedy’s levelled things up once again, leaving the silky-smooth Malins to glide his way to a second Bears try and edge his side closer to the finish line.

A huge shove at scrum time earned Sheedy a fifth successful penalty – and the number ten put the icing on the Bears cake with his sixth, as the Bears sealed a maiden European title in typically stylish fashion.


Teams/scorers

Bristol Bears: Malins; Morahan, Radradra (O’Conor 61), S Piutau (c), Leiua; Sheedy, Randall (Kessell 78); Y Thomas, (Woolmore 56) Thacker, Sinckler (Afoa 56), Attwood, Joyce, Vui, D Thomas, Earl.

System players: Kloska, Woolmore, Afoa, Holmes, Heenan, Uren, O’Conor, Adeolokun.

RC Toulon: Cordin; Heem, Toeava, Paia’aua, Villiere; Carbonel, Serin; Gros, Etrillard (c), Gigashvili, Etzebeth, Taofifenua, Ollivon, Lakafia, Parisse.

Replacements: Soury, Fresia, Setiano, Alainu’uese, Rebbadj, Ory, Takalua, Dakuwaqa.

Bristol Bears: Tries: Randall 1, Malins 61. Cons: Sheedy 1, 61. Pens: Sheedy 4, 48, 55, 58, 74, 77

RC Toulon: Tries: Heem 12. Cons: Carbonel 12. Pens: Carbonel 21, 36, 40, 52


Key moment

Locked in at 19-19, the next score was always going to be crucial. 

Step up, Max Malins. Stepping, fending and gliding his way to the line - and the Challenge Cup trophy. 


Pat Lam reaction


Man of the match: Ben Earl

Another blockbuster, all action performance the back-row forward. 

Turnovers, carries, huge hits - Earl rose to the occasion in the number eight shirt to scoop the man of the match accolade.


Social media reaction


Bristol

Tries:
Malins, Randall
Conversions
Sheedy (2)
Penalties:
Sheedy (6)
Yellow Cards:

Toulon

Tries:
Heem
Conversions:
Carbonel
Penalties:
Carbonel (4)
Yellow Cards:
  • KO: 8PM
  • Att: 0
  • Venue: Stade Maurice David
  • Ref: Andrew Brace

Bristol

  • Max Malins
  • Luke Morahan
  • Semi Radradra
  • Siale Piutau
  • Alapati Leiua
  • Callum Sheedy
  • Harry Randall
  • Yann Thomas
  • Harry Thacker
  • Kyle Sinckler
  • Dave Attwood
  • Joe Joyce
  • Chris Vui
  • Daniel Thomas
  • Ben Earl

Substitutes

  • George Kloska
  • Jake Woolmore
  • John Afoa
  • Ed Holmes
  • Jake Heenan
  • Tom Kessell
  • Piers O'Conor
  • Niyi Adeolokun

Toulon

  • Gervais Cordin
  • Bryce Heem
  • Isaia Toeava
  • Duncan Paia'aua
  • Gabin Villiere
  • Louis Carbonel
  • Baptiste Serin
  • Jean-Baptiste Gros
  • Anthony Etrillard
  • Beka Gigashvili
  • Eben Etzebeth
  • Romain Taofifenua
  • Charles Ollivon
  • Raphael Lakafia
  • Sergio Parisse

Substitutes

  • Bastien Soury
  • Florian Fresia
  • Emerick Setiano
  • Brian Alainu'uese
  • Swan Rebbadj
  • Julien Ory
  • Sonatane Takulua
  • Masivesi Dakuwaqa

Match Overview

Scorers

Bristol

  • Malins
  • ,
  • Sheedy (6)
  • ,
  • Randall

Toulon

  • Heem
  • ,
  • Carbonel (4)

Line Up

Bristol

  • Malins
  • ,
  • Morahan
  • ,
  • Radradra
  • ,
  • Piutau
  • ,
  • Leiua
  • ,
  • Sheedy
  • ,
  • Randall
  • ,
  • Thomas
  • ,
  • Thacker
  • ,
  • Sinckler
  • ,
  • Attwood
  • ,
  • Joyce
  • ,
  • Vui
  • ,
  • Thomas
  • ,
  • Earl
  • ,
  • Kloska
  • ,
  • Woolmore
  • ,
  • Afoa
  • ,
  • Holmes
  • ,
  • Heenan
  • ,
  • Kessell
  • ,
  • O'Conor
  • ,
  • Adeolokun

Toulon

  • Cordin
  • ,
  • Heem
  • ,
  • Toeava
  • ,
  • Paia'aua
  • ,
  • Villiere
  • ,
  • Carbonel
  • ,
  • Serin
  • ,
  • Gros
  • ,
  • Etrillard
  • ,
  • Gigashvili
  • ,
  • Etzebeth
  • ,
  • Taofifenua
  • ,
  • Ollivon
  • ,
  • Lakafia
  • ,
  • Parisse
  • ,
  • Soury
  • ,
  • Fresia
  • ,
  • Setiano
  • ,
  • Alainu'uese
  • ,
  • Rebbadj
  • ,
  • Ory
  • ,
  • Dakuwaqa

Subs not used

  • Takulua