The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Stade Francais had lost four previous European finals – two in the Champions Cup, two in the Challenge Cup – but they were in no danger at Murrayfield after they shook off an early 10-0 deficit. Greig Laidlaw could do nothing about the Frenchmen’s forward dominance and barely got out of their own half for much of the second 40 minutes until it was much too late. kick close to the posts with men outside, but lock Hugh Pyle got above Heinz to knock it back and Parisse simply swept up the loose ball and fell over the line for the easiest try he’ll ever score.
Plisson converted and there were more troubles for Gloucester when their captain Heinz took out Bonneval with a late challenge leading with a forearm and was shown a yellow card.
Tempers boiled over when Lewis Ludlow charged Genia at a ruck and started a scrap on the touchline but no cards were shown and the scores stayed tied at half-time.
Laidlaw replaced Heinz at the end of the sin-bin period but Gloucester were making too many errors and were pinned inside their 22.
Plisson missed a long but makeable penalty and Camara couldn’t hold a poor pass from Danty as Stade piled on the pressure.
In an effort to get a foothold in the game Gloucester did raise the siege and full-back Tom Marshall just couldn’t get the ball won before it ran in goal. Then the English contrived to lose a near carbon copy of the half.
They were making ground up the right but Scott’s pass was intercepted by Camara, and the French swiftly moved it from the wing to Bonneval to Danty, the centre racing the last 50 metres for a counter-attack try which went unconverted.
Stade threw on experienced hands in former Springboks Morne Steyn and Willem Alberts but it was Doumayrou who had the decisive intervention with nine minutes left as the French continued to turn the screw.
The centre took the ball going backwards outside the Gloucester 22 but stepped away from Mark Atkinson’s tackle and weaved his way through a fractured defensive line for a solo try converted by Steyn.
The stand-off made it a gap of two converted tries with a long penalty with five minutes left.
And even though Lions back row Ross Moriarty went through for Gloucester’s second try with two minutes remaining and Burns converted, it was scant consolation. try they scored in the first