The European Challenge Cup Final takes place on Friday with Bristol Bears going up against Toulon, get BettingPro.com's best bests from the action this weekend.
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European Challenge Cup Final Predictions & Tips: Bristol Bears v Toulon (Friday 20:00 BST)
England take on France in the European Challenge Cup Final on Friday evening when the Bristol Bears go into battle against Toulon at the Stade Maurice-David.
Toulon may have won the Champions Cup on three separate occasions, but they have yet to win the Challenge Cup. They have reached this final twice in the past, losing to Cardiff Blues in 2010 and Biarritz in 2012.
This will be Bristol Bears’ first time appearing in the Challenge Cup Final, actually it is their first ever European Final of any kind, so they will be looking to make club history.
The Bears have been quite impressive in Europe this season, they topped Pool 4 with an unbeaten run of five wins and one draw from their six matches. That ensured they advanced to the quarter-finals with a 56-17 success over the Dragons.
Tries from Steve Luatua and Max Malins, along with 10 points from the boot of Callum Sheedy, saw the Bears take Bordeaux to extra-time after the game ended 20-20 after 80 minutes. The Bears were more clinical in the extra period with Malins grabbing his second try of the game, while Piers O’Connor also went over to secure a 37-20 victory.
Toulon also finished top of their group as they dominated Pool 1 with six wins from six matches – finishing nine points clear of second ranked Scarlets.
They were pushed all the way in their quarter-final tie against Scarlets as they recorded an 11-6 success, while they ran in four tries with Gabin Villiere grabbing two and Bryce Heem and Facundo Isa scoring one each in their 34-19 win over Leicester Tigers in the semi-finals.
The two have only met twice in their history, with the Bears coming out on top in both of those encounters. I believe it will be third time lucky for the French side, as I am backing them to win this one by 1-12 points and claim the Challenge Cup for the first time in their history.
I am expecting both teams to throw the ball around with plenty of tries and points being scored. Toulon are blessed with two quality wingers in Masivesi Dakuwaqa and Villiere. They have both scored three tries apiece in this year’s tournament and I am backing Dakuwaqa to score at any time during the 80 minutes.