Bourgoin to meet the Saints

02nd May 2009, 15:57

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French Test: Bourgoin will face the Saints in the final of the European Challenge Cup

French Test: Bourgoin will face the Saints in the final of the European Challenge Cup

Bourgoin booked a date with Northampton in the final of the European Cup after they recorded a controlled 22-11 victory over Worcester in France on Saturday.

Bourgoin booked a date with Northampton Saints in the final of the European Cup after they recorded a controlled 22-11 victory over Worcester Warriors at Stade Pierre Rajon on Saturday.

Worcester wing Miles Benjamin scored a late try but French scrum-half Morgan Parra booted 17 points to add to Coenraad Basson's second-half try and deny Mike Ruddock's men the prospect of an all-English final.

The French side caused a shock in the quarter-final by beating tournament favourites London Irish and the 1997 champions produced another excellent performance at a sun-kissed Stade Pierre Rajon.

Worcester welcomed back skipper Pat Sanderson along with Greg Rawlinson, Dale Rasmussen and Ryan Powell.

Bourgoin dominated the early possession and held a clear edge in the scrum. And that front-five power at the set-piece laid the platform for scrum-half Parra to convert a ninth-minute penalty.

The hosts nearly extended their slender lead in the 11th minute when Benjamin Boyet's kick through hit the corner flag but the television official spotted that full-back Florian Denos failed to ground the ball.

Bourgoin continued to pile on the pressure in a competitive contest but last year's finalists Worcester came closest to breaking the deadlock at the end of the opening quarter.

Netani Talei secured excellent line-out ball and after the Fijian number eight and Callum Black probed for the try line, hooker Aleki Lutui was held up by Parra and Boyet.

Worcester levelled the tie in the 28th minute through Joe Carlisle's close-range penalty after Irish official Peter Fitzgibbon deemed the home side to be offside.

Then Mike Ruddock's men, with the wind at their backs, took the lead six minutes later through Carlisle's second penalty from just inside his own half.

Worcester lost Rawlinson through injury after 36 minutes but wasted a rare chance to attack a minute later when New Zealand international Rico Gear fumbled the ball following Talei's rampaging run.

But the Guinness Premiership outfit weathered another period of Bourgoin danger in the final few minutes of the half to gain a narrow 6-3 advantage at the break.

Parra handed Bourgoin the perfect riposte two minutes after the restart with a 40-metre penalty before he claimed a hat-trick of penalty goals in the 51st minute to regain the lead for the hosts.

The French side inched further ahead with Parra's fourth successful penalty in the 57th minute before Boyet added a superb 47-metre drop goal.

Bourgoin sealed victory when lock Basson touched down in the left corner after excellent approach play by Rudi Coetzee while Parra added the conversion.

Benjamin grabbed a late consolation for Worcester but the damage had already been done by the French side's 19 unanswered points in 21 second-half minutes.

The scorers:

For Bourgoin:
Try: Basson
Cons: Parra
Pens: Parra 4
Drop: Boyet

For Worcester Warriors:
Try: Benjamin
Pens: Carlisle 2

The teams:

Bourgoin: 15 Florian Denos, 14 David Janin, 13 Matias Viazzo, 12 Yann David, 11 Rudi Coetzee, 10 Benjamin Boyet, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Yann Labrit, 7 Wessel Jooste, 6 Julien Frier (capt), 5 Camille Levast, 4 Coenraad Basson, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Jean-Phillipe Genevois, 1 Arnaud Tchougong.
Replacements: 16 Rémy Vigneaux, 17 Pablo Cardinali, 18 Thomas Genevois, 19 Matthieu Nicolas, 20 Mickaël Forest, 21 Anthony Forest, 22 Sebastien Laloo.

Worcester Worriors: 15 Rico Gear, 14 Charlie Fellows, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Pat Sanderson (capt), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Darren Morris, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Ruwers, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Will Bowley, 19 James Collins, 20 Matt Powell, 21 Greg King, 22 Michael Penn.