Final round of Heineken Cup pool matches, with four places still up for grabs

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Coach Logic

The final weekend of the group stage of the Heineken Cup starts this evening with four of the quarter final spots in Europe’s Premier Rugby competition still up for grabs.

Harlequins, Ulster and Clermont have all secured top spot in their groups, their main aim this weekend is to secure home quarter finals, something that Quins and Clermont should be particularly confident of given their already large points totals.

Toulon are the other side to have secured a quarter final spot, but could yet yield top spot to Montpellier, who they play away on Saturday afternoon. Toulon are guaranteed to go through though even if they finish second in Pool 6 as their points total is sufficient to see them through as one of the top runners up.

Sale and Cardiff also battle it out in Pool 6, but both are out of the running with the two French sides so far ahead.

Harlequins fate will be sealed tonight as they meet Biarritz in France, Biarritz are still in with a shout of a runners up spot if they beat Quins, but they could probably do with a bonus point as they are dependent on others results too. Connacht also meet Zebre in Pool 3 tonight.

`Tomorrow the competition really begins to crank up, with last years champions Leinster travelling to Exeter in Pool 5. Leinster have already conceded the Pool to Clermont, who travel to the Scarlets, but still have a chance of qualification. Nothing less than a win against the Chiefs will do though, and a bonus point would be very desirable for the Irishmen.

Northmapton find themselves in a similar position, with Ulster having already sealed up Pool 4, nothing less than a bonus point win against winless Glasgow will do for Saints, even then it may not be enough, with results elsewhere also key to their fortunes. Castres also have a slim chance but it seems unlikely that they will secure the necessary points against Ulster.

If you can only watch one day of the action though, we at Fifteen Rugby would suggest making it Sunday.

Pools 1 and 2 are both still undecided. All four of the games from their pools are on Sunday with the winner takes all clash between Leicester and Toulouse in Pool 2 the most exciting of the lot.

Just two points separate Toulouse from second place Leicester, whoever wins will qualify, while second is unlikely to be enough for Leicester and even Toulouse would struggle without a losing bonus point. The groups other game sees the Ospreys travel to Treviso.

Pool One is wide open, both Saracens and Munster stand a good chance of qualifying, while Racing Metro could sneak through via second place if they get lucky.

Saracens look to have the best chance, they welcome Edinburgh who are yet to win, or even gain a single point. Any win will see the London club top the group.

Munster meanwhile welcome Racing, a win for Munster will see them finish on 19 points, a bonus point will give them 20 which may just be enough.

It’s all set to be a fascinating weekend of rugby and one thing is for sure, the tables will not stop turning until the final whistle blows – the final weekend of the Heineken Cup Pools never lack for drama.

Fixtures (predictions in bold):

Friday:

Biarritz v Harlequins, Pool 3 – 20:00

Connacht v Zebre, Pool 3 – 20:00

Saturday:

Castres v Ulster, Pool 4 – 13.35

Glasgow v Northampton, Pool 4 – 13:35

Cardiff Blues v Sale, Pool 6 – 15:40

Montpellier v Toulon, Pool 6 – 15:40

Exeter v Leinster, Pool 5 – 18:00

Scarlets v Clermont Auvergne, Pool 5 – 18:00

Sunday:

Munster v Racing Metro 92, Pool 1 – 12:45

Saracens v Edinburgh, Pool 1 – 12:45

Treviso v Ospreys, Pool 2 – 15:00

Leicester v Toulouse, Pool 2 – 15:00

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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