Match report: Stade Francais v Leeds Carnegie

Two sin-binnings and a ruthless spell from French superstars Stade Francais either side of half-time saw Leeds Carnegie's hopes in the Amlin Challenge Cup ended in Paris.

Leeds needed a victory by more than eight points to keep their quarter-final hopes alive and made the perfect start when a rampaging run by Henry Fa'afili earned his side a penalty in front of the posts.

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Ceiron Thomas stepped up to make it 3-0 after two minutes.

But Stade levelled within 90 seconds when Leeds were penalised at a maul and Lionel Beauxis stepped up to strike the ball between the resplendent pink posts to level the score.

Leeds were not daunted by their illustrious opponents and when powerful

French international Mathieu Bastareaud spilled the ball 35 metres from the visitors' line, Scott Mathie set up an immediate counter attack.

Thomas fed Tom Denton who made an impressive 30-metre break before having his pass back inside knocked down by a retreating defender.

But Stade edged in front after 13 minutes when Beauxis kicked his second penalty after Leeds were penalised for coming in from the side of the ruck.

And Leeds were reduced to 14 men at the end of the first quarter when Steve Thompson was shown a yellow card for deliberately slowing play down at a ruck.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Leeds did not go into their shell and props Juan Gomez and Mike MacDonald were particularly industrious in defence. However, what appeared to be a difficult task turned into a near impossible one after 29 minutes.

Phil Nilsen had come on as a front row replacement with Thompson off but the young hooker chased a high kick and took out the Stade player in mid air.

With just 13 players on the field, Leeds defended manfully but a clever crossfield kick from Beauxis capitalized on the space and Julien Arias knocked the kick back down into the grateful arms of Southwell to score. Beauxis added the conversion to make it 13-3 after 30 minutes.

Just as they had at Headingley Carnegie earlier this season, Stade then rode their luck for the next score. It appeared that Lee Blackett had snuffed out the danger when he knocked down the crucial last wide pass but the ball bounced straight into the path of Ollie Phillips and the former Newcastle man touched down for a simple score. Beauxis missed the touchline conversion attempt but his side led 18-3 after 34 minutes and that was how it remained until the break.

Leeds endured a nightmare start to the second half as Roncero took an inside pass and crashed over through a gap after just two minutes of the half.

And the hosts duly wrapped up all five points five minutes later when the video referee adjudged that number eight Pierre Rabadan had got the ball down despite the efforts of Hendre Fourie and Leigh Hinton.

Replays seemed to suggest a forward pass in the build up but it counted for nothing as Stade increased their lead to 32-3 with Beauxis converting twice.

Leeds did give their band of followers something to cheer when Daniel Browne was on hand to take a pass from near the Stade line and powered his way over. Thomas added an excellent touchline conversion to make it 32-10.

Warren Fury then made a dart down the blind side but Thomas knocked on as he attempted to take the pass and dive in at the corner in the same movement.

And Leeds were left to rue another missed chance as the game entered its final 10 minutes when Henry Fa'afili broke through in midfield before giving a great offload to Rhys Oakley.

The back rower had supported well but lacked the confidence to go for the line himself with three defenders converging on him and he was tackled a metre short as he looked to pass back inside.

There was a cruel blow for Leeds in the final minute of the game when Julien Arias cut in from the wing against some tired defenders to score between the posts. Replacement Martin Rodriguez converted to give the final scoreline an inflated look at 39-10.

Stade Francais: Southwell, Arias, Bastareaud, Tiesi, Phillips, Beauxis, Dupuy, Roncero,Sempere Arocena, Flanquart, Pape, Haskell, Leguizamon, Rabadan. Subs (all used): Bonfils, Gerber, Slimani, Palmer, Marchois, Plisson, Oelschig, Gurruchage,

Leeds Carnegie: Hinton, Blackett, Burrell, Barrow, Fa'afili, Thomas, Mathie, MacDonald, Thompson, Gomez, Denton, Wentzel, Myall, Fourie, Vaeluaga. Subs all used: Nilsen, Hardy, Swainston, Oakley, Browne, Fury, Lewis-Pratt, Tincknell.

Referee: John Lacey.

Attendance: 10,000.

Stuart Dallas. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

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