European Challenge Cup: Worcester Warriors 36-31 Stade Francais

Sam Lewis scores one of Worcester's six tries against Stade Francais
Sam Lewis scored one of Worcester's four second-half tries against Stade Francais
European Challenge Cup
Worcester (14) 36
Tries: Howe 2, Kerrod, Lewis, Lawrence, Hammond Cons: Pennell 2
Stade Francais (28) 31
Tries: Chapuis, Sempere, Coville, Danty Cons: Plisson 4 Pen: Sanchez

Worcester secured a home European Challenge Cup quarter-final after they grabbed a late win over Stade Francais.

Warriors had winger Dean Hammond to thank for securing victory in added time when he crossed for their sixth try of a thrilling match at Sixways.

Stade earlier led 28-14 at half-time with four tries of their own, but could only add a penalty after the break.

A brace from Tom Howe plus tries from Sam Lewis, Simon Kerrod and Ollie Lawrence set up Worcester's victory.

Warriors had already won the pool to make sure of qualification for the quarter-finals, but victory ensured they finish among the top seeds for the last eight.

They will now face fellow Premiership club Harlequins at Sixways in the quarter-final, in the last weekend in March.

The winners of that would then face a semi-final against the winners of the Clermont Auvergne-Northampton quarter-final.

European Challenge Cup quarter-final draw
La Rochelle v Bristol Bears
Clermont-Auvergne v Northampton
Worcester v Harlequins
Sale v Connacht
Kick-off times TBC. Matches to be played weekend of 29-31 March

Victory over Stade looked unlikely when the visitors reached the hour mark with a 14-point lead courtesy of first-half touchdowns by number eight Ryan Chapuis, hooker Laurent Sempere, scrum-half Arthur Coville and winger Jonathan Danty. But scores from Lewis, Lawrence and Howe made it 31-31 with three minutes to play.

It looked like Worcester's chance to win might have gone when Chris Pennell missed the conversion to winger Howe's second try. But there was still time though to snatch it after the clock went red. Ryan Mills kicked to the corner for a line-out which eventually led to Hammond's match-winning try.

Warriors: Pennell; Howe, Lawrence, Te'o, Hammond; Mills, Arr; Waller, Singleton, Kerrod, Kitchener, Fatialofa, Mama, Lewis, van Velze (capt).

Replacements: Miller, Cosgrove, Morris, Barry, Cox, Heaney, Butler, David.

Stade Francais: Hamdaoui; Arias, Delbouis, Arrate, Camara; Steyn, Coville; El Ansari, Sempere, Herrera, De Giovanni, Stassen, Francoz, Nicolas, Chapuis.

Replacements: Bonfils, Fisi'ihoi, Melikidze, Revert, Richard, Van Zyl, Sanchez, Danty.

Referee: Paul Thomas (Wal).

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