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Harlequins qualify, while Tigers are left to sweat and Saracens thrill

After yet another week of pulsating Heineken Cup action, four teams have wrapped up their qualification for the quarter finals a week early, with a further four to be confirmed next week.

Harlequins wrapped up their qualification with a sublime 47-8 victory over Connacht. The Premiership champions could still do with collecting as any points as possible against Biarritz next week though if they are to guarantee a home quarter final.

Biarritz themselves will be hoping to edge it in as one of the best second placed teams after a 32-6 win against Zebre. With just 14 points though they will need a lot of luck to come their way.

Northampton too are on 14 and looking unlikely to qualify despite beating Castres 18-12 and sitting just five points behind Ulster. Due to their superior head to head record though, Ulster will still go through even if they finish level with Saints. They won 23-6 against Glasgow to confirm their quarter final place.

Clermont too have confirmed their attendance in the quarter finals after a bonus point 46-3 win against Exeter left them on 23 points at the top of the group, leaving Leinster hoping for a strong final week to sneak into the quarter finals after beating the Scarlets 33-14.

Another French side, Toulon have guaranteed themselves a place in the quarters after a bonus point 45-25 victory against the Cardiff Blues. However with Montpellier beating Sale 27-6, Toulon could still be runners up to Montpellier if they are beaten by a bonus point when they play each other next week. The seaside team will still qualify as one of the best runners up though.

Pools one and two remain undecided and look set to go right down to the wire, though in Pool One, Saracens must be favourites to qualify after a stunning 37-28 win away at Racing Metro. That result leaves Saracens three points clear of second place Munster, while Racing are almost certainly out of it.

Saracens confidence will be further buoyed as they are playing Edinburgh in their final fixture. The Scots have yet to gather a single point so far, and lost again 26-17 against Munster on Sunday.

That result means that Munster are still in with a shout of qualification if they beat Racing Metro next week at Thomond Park.

Perhaps the most intriguingly balanced group of all though is Pool 2, where Leicester face Toulouse next week in a heavyweight knockout game for top spot.

Toulouse sit at the top of the group after beating Treviso 35-14, while Leicester are two points behind on 16 after they drew 15-15 away at the Ospreys. Defeat for Toulouse next week could still see them go through as a best placed runner up, but defeat for Leicester and they would be depending heavily on other results.

The drama of the Heineken Cup just keeps on intensifying!

Results:

Northampton 18-12 Castres

Sale 6-27 Montpellier

Ulster 23-6 Glasgow

Clermont Auvergne 46-3 Exeter

Harlequins 47-8 Connacht

Leinster 33-14 Scarlets

Racing Metro 92 28-37 Saracens

Toulon 45-25 Cardiff Blues

Zebre 6-32 Biarritz

Edinburgh 17-26 Munster

Ospreys 15-15 Leicester

Toulouse 35-14 Treviso

Tables:

Pool 1

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

Saracens

5

4

0

1

2

18

Munster

5

3

0

2

3

15

Racing Metro

5

3

0

2

0

12

Edinburgh

5

0

0

5

0

0

Pool 2

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

Toulouse

5

4

0

1

2

18

Leicester

5

3

1

1

2

16

Ospreys

5

2

1

2

1

11

Treviso

5

0

0

5

1

1

Pool 3

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

Harlequins (Q)

5

5

0

0

4

24

Biarritz

5

3

0

2

2

14

Connacht

5

2

0

3

0

8

Zebre

5

0

0

5

0

0

Pool 4

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

Ulster (Q)

5

4

0

1

3

19

Northampton

5

3

0

2

2

14

Castres

5

3

0

2

1

13

Glasgow

5

0

0

5

2

2

Pool 5

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

Clermont (Q)

5

5

0

0

3

23

Leinster

5

3

0

2

3

15

Exeter

5

2

0

3

1

9

Scarlets

5

0

0

5

2

2

Pool 6

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

Toulon (q)

5

5

0

0

3

23

Montpellier

5

4

0

1

2

18

Sale

5

1

0

4

0

4

Cardiff

5

0

0

5

2

2

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