MATCH REPORT - Harlequins 19 Stade Francais Paris 18

Harlequins became the first club to win three Amlin Challenge Cup titles – and collect their passport into next season’s Heineken Cup in the process – when they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a dramatic and frenetic finish to the 15th tournament final at Cardiff City Stadium this evening.
The only try of a tight and full-blooded contest took 77 minutes in coming, wing Gonzalo Camacho collecting a kick ahead and diving over wide out.
It still needed former All Black outside half Nick Evans, the Amlin man-of-the-match, to show nerves of steel and land the angled conversion to seal the victory on a night of high drama.
Before Camacho’s try arrived the boot had dominated with Evans and opposite number Lionel Beauxis each landing four penalty goals, centre Mathieu Bastareaud and full back Martin Rodriguez landing second half drop goals to edge the French club six points clear.
But Quins, the 2001 and 2004 champions, regained their composure when it mattered most to make it that hat-trick of titles and wrap up their qualification for the 17th season of Heineken Cup action.
Stade Francais Paris can still harbour hopes of playing in the next Heineken Cup next season themselves but matters are out of their own hands.
However, if Northampton Saints make it an English double when they meet Leinster in the Heineken Cup final at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow then Paris will collect the 24th place as the highest placed team in the ERC European Rankings who has not qualified through their domestic tournament.
Harlequins: Try – G Camacho; Con – N Evans; Pens – N Evans 4
Stade Francais Paris: Pens – L Beauxis 4; Drop goals – M Bastareaud, M Rodriguez
Amlin man-of-the-match: Nick Evans (Harlequins)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Attendance: 12,236

Harlequins celebrate their Amlin Cup victory at the Cardiff City Stadium


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