Match Preview: Pau

Match Preview: Pau

​Edinburgh head into the final round of the EPCR Challenge Cup group stage knowing that the team’s fate in the competition is firmly in their own hands.

The European adventure has been a thriller, and the capital club will be hoping to continue their journey with a win against Section Paloise tomorrow night (Friday 8 April, kick-off 8pm).


THE STORY SO FAR

Edinburgh kicked off the Challenge Cup with one of their most famous European wins, toppling English heavyweights Saracens 21-18 on their own turf. The win was spearheaded by young fly-half Charlie Savala, who provided a magic moment with the boot to set up Ramiro Moyano for a stunning score.

The team showed immense grit to hold on for a tight win, inspired by WP Nel’s try and expert scrummaging to take the game away from Sarries, giving the side a dream start to the competition.

Another away trip in London followed suit, however it was the home side that managed to take a last gasp win despite tries from Adam McBurney and Moyano.

Edinburgh found the perfect remedy for defeat in their first home game of the tournament, running in an emphatic 10-try win against French side CA Brive. Freddie Owsley scored a scorching brace on debut, with Glen Young also scoring a memorable double on the way to a huge win at DAM Health Stadium.


POTENTIAL ROUND OF 16

Edinburgh have already secured their place in the knockout stages; however a win will secure a home advantage for the round of 16.

If they collect a bonus point vs Pau they will host Bath in the Round of 16, unless Toulon get zero points vs Biarritz in which case Edinburgh will be at home to Challenge Cup 9th seeds - Worcester, Benetton, Perpignan, Saracens or Brive.

THE VISITORS

Pau arrive at DAM Health Stadium with their hopes of progressing into the knockout stages still very much alive. The side from the Pyrénées have registered five points in the group stage, and ran both London Irish and CA Brive close in entertaining clashes.

The visitors sit in 10th in the Top14, but have picked up some impressive results against their French rivals, taking the scalps of Toulouse and Bordeaux in 2022.

They boast a number of internationalists, including Fijian internationals Jale Vatubua and Aminiasi Tuimaba, as well as exciting French back-rower Jordan Joseph.


KEY STATS

This will be the first European meeting between Edinburgh and Pau and the first time the TOP14 side have travelled to Scotland since October 2000 when they beat Glasgow 46-24 in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage.

Edinburgh are unbeaten in their last 17 home games in the pool stage of the EPCR Challenge Cup (W16 D1); Top 14 side Union Bordeaux-Bègles (16-16 draw in November 2019) are the only side to have avoided defeat in the Scottish capital during that that time.

Pau have lost eight of their last nine away games in the EPCR Challenge Cup (W1), with a 47-19 victory against Italy’s Rugby Calvisano the only exception in this run.

Only USAP (40%) have recorded less territory during this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup than Edinburgh (43%) and Pau (41%).

Cammy Hutchinson beat nine defenders in Round 4 of this season’s EPCR Challenge Cup, more than any other player; it was the third highest total for defenders beaten by a player in a single EPCR Challenge Cup match this season.

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