Wainiqolo, Matthews top Challenge Cup try-scoring charts
Not only did wing Jiuta Wainiqolo’s try against Glasgow Warriors in the EPCR Challenge Cup final help RC Toulon lift the trophy for the first time, but it also saw him draw level with opposing hooker Johnny Matthews in the competition’s try-scoring charts, the leaders of which are listed below.
1 Jiuta Wainiqolo (RC Toulon), Johnny Matthews (Glasgow Warriors) 7
Fiji international Wainiqolo enjoyed a prosperous campaign for Toulon as he ended with seven tries in seven games, including a brace against Lyon in the Round of 16, with the semi-final win over Benetton Rugby the only match in which he didn’t manage to score.
Meanwhile, five of Matthews’ scores came in a single game as he became the ninth player – and first Scot – to score five tries or more in an EPCR Challenge Cup match when Glasgow drubbed Dragons in the Round of 16. He also crossed against USAP in Round 2 and against Scarlets in the semi-finals.
2 Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby), Steff Evans (Scarlets) 6
The two Wales internationals managed hauls of six tries as they helped their respective regions go deep into the knockout stage.
Evans went over in each of Scarlets’ pool stage games, including a double against Toyota Cheetahs, and also crossed in their semi-final defeat to Glasgow.
Adams managed more tries than appearances (five), notching braces against Newcastle Falcons in Round 2 and Sale Sharks in the Round of 16, as well as one apiece in the reverse fixture against Newcastle and against CA Brive in Round 1.
3 Rhyno Smith (Benetton Rugby) 5
The South African full-back was at the heart of Benetton’s historic run to the EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals, kicking off his campaign with two scores against Aviron Bayonnais in Round 2, before crossing in each of his side’s games prior to the last four.
4 Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Kevin Fabien (CA Brive), Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions), Finlay Bealham (Connacht Rugby) 4
Steyn’s second-half double in the EPCR Challenge Cup final proved a mere consolation, though he moved into the competition’s leading try-scorers.
Wing Van der Merwe enjoyed an impressive maiden campaign in EPCR competitions as Emirates Lions made their EPCR Challenge debut, while Bealam’s haul came across just two appearances.