Amlin Challenge Cup: Perpignan 13-6 Worcester Warriors
Perpignan (13) 13
- Try: Haughton
- Con: Hook
- Pens: Hook 2
Worcester (3) 6
- Pens: Goode 2
James Hook kicked Perpignan to victory to end Worcester's unbeaten record in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Richard Haughton pounced on a Worcester mix-up to cross for the game's only try, Hook converting before adding two penalties to put the hosts 13-3 up.
Challenge Cup pool qualification
- If two teams are level at the top of a pool, it goes down to the games between them.
- In results terms, in Pool Two, Worcester and Perpignan have both won once each.
- But the next deciding factor is tries scored - and Perpignan have won that battle 3-1.
- The easy part of the equation: Worcester must now score four tries or more in both their final two matches to claim bonus-point wins against the two minnows - in Italy against Rovigo (who they beat 90-3 in the home leg) and against Spanish side Bizkaia Gernika, who lost 85-5 at home to the Warriors in the first pool game back in October.
- The hard part of the equation: They need Perpignan to slip up against both of the two much weaker teams. But the chances of a Catalan slip-up look highly unlikely. Perpignan ran in 10 tries to win 79-12 in Rovigo in October before scoring another 14 in a 90-12 win over Bizkaia Gernika a week later.
The second of two Andy Goode penalties 10 minutes into the second half got Worcester to within a converted score.
But, although the Warriors collected a losing bonus point, they are now second favourites to reach the quarter-finals.
The two sides are now level on 15 points at the top of Pool Two, with only the group winners progressing to the last eight.
But, due to Perpignan's superior try-scoring record in the two meetings between the top teams in the pool over the last week, the Catalan outfit now look on course to progress.
It might have been even worse for the Warriors, who nearly missed out on a bonus point. But Wales international Hook missed another kickable penalty in the closing stages.
Perpignan gained revenge for last weekend's narrow 22-21 defeat at Sixways, in which Goode registered all of Worcester's points.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Warriors coach Richard Hill told BBC Hereford & Worcester:
"We should have won that game, but we lost it in the first quarter of an hour when we we gave them some points and squandered some good scoring chances.
"But we still performed really well with a huge amount of heart and effort.
"There will the be teams like the Toulons and the Toulouses and the Montpelliers will all lose here."
Perpignan: Haughton; Sid, Mafi, Piukala, Plante; Hook, Cazenave; Taumalolo, Guirado, Mas, Vahaamhina, S. Taofifenua, Strokosch, Guiry, Tuilagi.
Replacements: Pulu for Mas (42), Terrain for Guirado (56), Schuster for Taumalolo (63), Mele for Cazenave (73).
Not Used: Tchale-Watchou, Narraway, Marty, Michel.
Worcester: Classens; Walker, Grove, Clarke, Short; Goode, Hodgson; Ceri Jones, Shervington, Murray, Schofield, Chris Jones, Best, Kvesic, Taulava.
Replacements: Gillies for Schofield (30), Arr for Hodgson (56), Andress for Shervington (56), Lutui for Murray (56), Betty for Taulava (56).
Not Used: Porter, Howard, Gray.
Referee: Ian Davies (WRFU).