Road to Marseille: Lyon

Road to Marseille: Lyon

With Lyon having reached their maiden European final by advancing to the EPCR Challenge Cup showpiece, we look back at how they secured their clash with RC Toulon at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on May 27.

Round 1: Lyon 19 Gloucester Rugby 13

Lyon kicked off their Pool B campaign with a home victory over Gloucester, 11 points from Jean-Marc Doussain and a Jordan Taufua try helping them on their way. The visitors crossed with 20 minutes left to bring them to within three points, but Jonathan Pelisse’s late penalty sealed the TOP 14 side’s win.

Round 2: Dragons 28 Lyon 41

A seven-try thriller followed in Round 2 as Lyon comfortably saw off the Dragons at Rodney Parade. Ethan Dumortier notched a brace of tries, while Leo Berdeu kicked 21 points – the fly-half’s second-half penalties proving crucial as Lyon held off the hosts despite having Thibault Regard and Mickael Ivaldi yellow-carded.

Round 3: USAP 6 Lyon 37

A clash with fellow TOP 14 side USAP came next and Lyon were convincing winners at Stade Aimé Giral as they ran in five tries. Having led by just four points at the break, Lyon crossed through Baptiste Couilloud, Davit Niniashvili, Clement Laporte and Yanis Charcosset to add to Roman Taofifenua’s first-half effort.


Round 4: Lyon 25 Benetton Rugby 10

Lyon made it four wins from four in Pool B to book their place in the Round of 16 as they eventually coasted to victory over Benetton at Matmut Stadium de Gerland. Tries from Hamza Kaabeche and Ethan Dumortier put them in control at half-time, though Benetton remained in striking distance until Lima Sopoaga slotted a penalty and Xavier Mignot dotted down for a third score.

Round of 16: Lyon 31 Worcester Warriors 17

Lyon booked a quarter-final berth as they overcame a plucky Worcester side at Matmut Stadium de Gerland. Tries from Baptiste Couilloud, Romain Taofifenua and Vivien Devisme saw Lyon race into a healthy lead, but Worcester battled back to within a converted score on 75 minutes. However, Vivien Pierre-Louis Barassi dotted down to wrap up the hosts’ victory.

Quarter-finals: Lyon 35 Glasgow Warriors 27

Glasgow were the first side to properly threaten Lyon’s EPCR Challenge Cup hopes as they powered into a 27-13 lead just after half-time. Teenage wing Davit Niniashvili was the hero, though, as he crossed twice for Lyon to add to scores from Baptiste Couilloud and Romain Taofifenua. Leo Berdeu also played an important role despite receiving a yellow card on 47 minutes, contributing 13 points.

Semi-finals: Lyon 20 Wasps 18

Lyon’s semi-final was even closer, but the TOP 14 side again reigned supreme to reach their first European final. Wasps were 8-3 up at the break, but two tries in seven minutes early in the second half from Leo Berdeu and Yanis Charcosset swung the match in Lyon’s favour, with Berdeu’s 64th minute penalty proving decisive when Wasps went over six minutes from time.


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