Champions Cup quarter finals were up for grabs as the pool stages entered it’s closing stages. With four teams still to play, three of which could have a chance at qualification, it meant all was all to play for as Wasps took on Zebre and Toulouse faced Connacht.
FINAL DAY EQUATION
Toulouse beat Connacht to take their place as seed, 19-10. This meant they finished as the seventh seed. Wasps won 41-27 in a nine thriller out in Italy, meaning they also qualified ahead of Connacht with 22 points. Connacht finished on 18 points, two more points than Toulon had, but due to Champions Cup rules on only two teams maximum from a pool going through, they fell short.
Munster secured their spot in the week before, but a win over Racing gave them top spot in their group and a guaranteed home quarter final as they took the second seed. Elsewhere, Glasgow took their first ever win in England with a crushing 43-0 demolition of a poor Leicester side, giving them a seeding spot, the sixth seed.
This gave Munster the home draw to Toulouse and Glasgow will have to travel to the Allianz to play Saracens.
Pool three’s top spot hadn’t been fully decided going into round six, and with Saracens vs. Toulon being the final game, it would all come down to who won as to who went top. Saracens took out the game with a close win, topping the group and giving them home advantage. This pushed Toulon down the table, and they now have to look at the points difference to see that they would make it in over Montpellier. The other game in pool three was Sale vs. The Scarlets, a tie which saw Sale take their first win and first points of the pool stages. Neither of those teams could qualify for the Champions Cup quarter finals before the match so played for pride.
Saracens earned their home tie, but willface tricky opposition in Glasgow. Toulon, seeded eighth, now have to travel to Clermont Auvergne.
Leinster played Castres, knowing a win would put them as second seeds in the quarter finals. Montpellier faced Northampton, and they needed to win due to poor points difference due to heavy losses in the previous rounds. Leinster ended up drawing 24-24, but they took the top spot of the group, meaning they were the final team to grab a home tie and take the fourth seed. Montpellier had to get points and also take a bonus point if they wanted to have any chance of qualifying. They beat the Saints 26-17 on Friday, but they ended up missing out on the eighth seed, by points difference.
Leinster now have the privilege of hosting Wasps at the RDS.
Clermont took pool five and progressed to the Champions Cup quarter finals, by defeating the Exeter Chiefs 48-26. The victory meant that only they could get out of the group stages. The win meant they finished top of the group, and with 26 points, it also meant they finished as top seed. The other game in the group to end the pool matches was Ulster vs. Bordeaux, which the French team won 26-22. As there was no qualification hopes from either of these two pre-game it held no bearing on any quarter final slots.
Clermont’s top seeding meant they had the home tie against the eighth seed, Toulon.
— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) January 22, 2017
CHAMPIONS CUP QUARTER FINALS
Clermont vs. Toulon
Munster vs. Toulouse
Saracens vs. Glasgow
Leinster vs. Wasps
Matches are to be played over March 31/April 1-2 * venues to be confirmed
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