Heineken Cup – Six of the Eight decided but Pool One is all to play for

Six of the eight Heineken Cup Quarter Finalists were decided this weekend in a typically thrilling few days of European Cup Rugby.

Toulon, Clermont Auvergne, and Munster have secured outright qualification, while Toulouse, Ulster, and Leicester have at the very least secured qualification through one of the two best second placed teams slots. Ulster and Leicester are in the same Pool, Pool 5, and play each other at Welford Road next weekend for top spot but both know that they are guaranteed to qualify.

It means that Pool One is the only Pool left without any confirmed qualifiers. Leinster are likely to take that qualification spot, they are currently four points ahead of Northampton Saints.

Next weekend Leinster play the Ospreys and Northampton play Castres at Franklins Garden’s and for Saints to leapfrog Leinster the only realistic prospect is if they beat Castres with a bonus point while Leinster lose to the Ospresy without picking up a losing bonus, making Leinster the firm favourites.

The final qualification spot looks likely to go to Saracens, they lost to a brilliant Toulouse performance at the weekend, which saw Toulouse grab a minimum of a top second place qualification spot. Given that Toulouse play the hapless Zebre at the weekend it can be reasonably safely assumed that they will wrap up top spot, leaving Saracens to take second.

A win for Saracens of any sort will guarantee them that second place, and in Connacht it would be easy to think that they have the opposition that you would want. However Connacht have shocked many sides in the Heineken Cup, including Toulouse in Toulouse this time around, so Saracens will have to be wary of the Irish outfit, particularly as a win for Conancht could potentially see them sneak through to the quarters, though it is unlikely.

In terms of home quarter finals, a win for Ulster against Leicester would guarantee them a home quarter while a win for the Tigers would almost certainly secure them one.

Toulon are in a strong position for a home quarter, a bonus point win over Glasgow would guarantee that, though any win ought to be enough. Likewise Toulouse will expect a bonus point over Zebre, which would give them a strong chance of a home tie.

Muster and the winner of Pool One look likely to be the teams on the back foot when it comes to the home quarter finals.

It looks as though it will not be quite the nail-biting end to the Pool stages that we had last year, though if Connacht spring a surprise against Saracens it could very quickly become one, the chase for the home quarters could get very interesting though, as could the Leicester v Ulster battle for top spot in Pool Five.

How are you predicting the final Pool tables to shape up? Let us know via the comment box below, or via @FifteenRugbyXV

Results, Fixtures & Tables:

Pool One

Castres 22-29 Leinster

Ospreys 17-29 Northampton Saints

Friday – Leinster v Ospreys 20.00

Friday – Northampton Saints v Castres 20.00

Pool One

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Leinster

5

4

0

1

1

17

2

Northampton Saints

5

3

0

2

1

13

3

Castres

5

2

0

3

1

9

4

Ospreys

5

1

0

4

1

5

Pool Two

Exeter 10-15 Glasgow

Toulon 43-20 Cardiff Blues

Saturday – Cardiff Blues v Exeter Chiefs, 15.40

Saturday – Glasgow v Toulon, 15.40

Pool Two

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Toulon (Q)

5

4

0

1

4

20

2

Cardiff Blues

5

3

0

2

1

13

3

Glasgow Warriors

5

2

0

3

2

10

4

Exeter Chiefs

5

1

0

4

4

8

Pool Three

Connacht 20-3 Zebre

Toulouse 21-11 Saracens

Saturday – Saracens v Connacht, 13.35

Saturday – Zebre v Toulouse, 13.35

Pool Three

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Toulouse (q)

5

4

0

1

3

19

2

Saracens

5

3

0

2

3

15

3

Connacht

5

3

0

2

1

13

4

Zebre

5

0

0

5

0

0

Pool Four

Racing Metro 13-19 Scarlets

Harlequins 13-16 Clermont Auvergne

Sunday – Clermont Auvergne v Racing Metro 92, 15.00

Sunday – Scarlets v Harlequins, 15.00

Pool Four

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Clermont Auvergne (Q)

5

4

0

1

3

19

2

Harlequins

5

2

0

3

4

12

3

Scarlets

5

2

1

2

0

10

4

Racing Metro 92

5

1

1

3

1

7

Pool Five

Ulster 27-16 Montpellier

Trevsio 19-34 Leicester Tigers

Saturday – Leicester v Ulster, 18.00

Saturday – Montpellier v Treviso, 18.00

Pool Five

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Ulster (q)

5

5

0

0

2

22

2

Leicester Tigers (q)

5

4

0

1

4

20

3

Montpellier

5

1

0

4

2

6

4

Treviso

5

0

0

5

0

0

Pool Six

Edinburgh 27-16 Perpignan

Gloucester 7-20 Munster

Sunday – Munster v Edinburgh, 12.45

Sunday – Perpignan v Gloucester, 12.45

Pool Six

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Munster (Q)

5

4

0

1

2

18

2

Edinburgh

5

3

0

2

0

12

3

Gloucester

5

2

0

3

1

9

4

Perpignan

5

1

0

4

3

7

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