7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
(First leg Montauban 27-24 Bath)
Bath progressed to the PARKEN PEN CHALLENGE CUP semi-final after a dramatic comeback by beating Montauban 24-18 at the Recreation ground.
Bath had trailed 15-6 down at the half, and were looking favourites to exit the tournament, but the introduction of England international Mike Catt after 55 minutes was the catalyst for the home victory.
His presence seemed to transform the fortunes his side. His first touch saw him surge through the visitors defence to score a try which Olly Barkley failed to convert, but the score pulled Bath back into the game.
The home side could only manage two penalty goals form Barkley in the first period, while Montauban scored tries in the 34th and 38th minute from Pierre Bondouy and Henry-Pierre Vermis, and would have gone into the break feeling confident they could hold on for victory.
But in the second period Bath hauled themselves back into the match.
Catt was the instigator again as he fed and Bath No.8 Nathan Thomas who powered over for Bath's second try which Barkley converted after 67 minutes.
A late penalty goal from Barkley - his fourth of the game - gave the Heineken Cup winners of 1998 an crucial advantage.
But there was more drama to come, a long penalty goal fom Sabastian Faque missed by a whisker, and there was plenty of nail biting from the home fans as the referee found eight minutes of extra time, but Montauban could not comeback and it was Bath's day as they secured a 48-45 aggregate victory.
Bath Rugby: I Balshaw; S Danielli, K Maggs, M Tindall/A Crockett, M Perry; O Barkley, G Cooper; S Emms, J Humphreys, A Galasso, S Borthwick, D Grewcock (capt), A Beattie, A Vander, N Thomas
Replacements: A Williams, L Mears, J Mallett, M Catt, A Crockett/T Voyce, G Thomas, J Scaysbrook
Montauban: P Bondouy; B Beyret, P-H Vermis, J Sieurac, S Durand; P Gordo, C Garcia; C Vancheri, N Grelon, P Martinez, G Jeannard, S Sergueev, A Colome, F Boukanoucha, F Soldan
Replacements: A Gaubert, B Mololo, M Benbouhout, F Marechal, S Fauque, J Faure, P Broncan
Bath Rugby 24 Montauban 18
HT: 6-15 Attendance: 6,200
Bath Rugby: Tries - M Catt, N Thomas; Con - O Barkley; Pens - O Barkley 4
Montauban: Tries - P Bondouy, H-P Vermis; Con - H-P Vermis; Pens - H-P Vermis 2
Bath Rugby qualify for semi-finals on + 3 points difference (48-45)
Montauban: 21/12 Lost Bourgoin 6-19(a).
Bath Rugby: 21/12 Beat London Wasps 20-17(a-Powergen Cup Rd 6); 28/12 Beat NEC Harlequins 23-9 (h-Zurich Prem). 04/01 Lost Wasp 20-7 (a) Zurich Prem)