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Heineken Cup – Quarter Finals Decided, epic Toulon v Leinster clash tops the bill

After a weekend of highly intense and competitive Heineken Cup action, the quart final draw has been decided.

As expected, Leinster and Saracens snaffled up the final two qualification spots, with Leinster wrapping up Pool One with a commanding 36-3 over the Ospreys, while Saracens put in a magnificent display to beat Connacht 64-6, securing the final best runner up spot behind Toulouse in Pool Three.

Both are rewarded with some very tricky quarter finals though, Leinster face an away trip to the Champions Toulon, and Saracens travel to Ulster after the Irish province defeated Leicester 22-19 in one of the most exciting games of the weekend, becoming the only side to emerge from the Pools unbeaten in the process.

That defeat left Leicester with an away draw against this season’s Heineken Cup favourites Clermont Auvergne. They face probably the toughest assignment of all the quarter finals as Clermont have not lost at home for an incredible 70 games in all competitions.

The good news for the other quarter finalists though is that Clermont will be away from home for their semi final, should they beat Tigers, with the winner of Ulster v Saracens hosting that tie.

The other semi final will be between the winners of that blockbuster Toulon v Leinster match, and the final quarter final, which is between Munster and Toulouse.

That line up means that once again the Heineken Cup quarter finals are dominated by Ireland and France, with each having three representative, while England have two, Saracens and Leicester.

It was bad news in the Amlin Cup too for Wales, Scotland, and Italy, with that tournament’s quarter finals not featuring any of their sides either. Indeed the Amlin quarter finals only feature side from France and England, with the Aviva Premiership contributing six of the sides

Of those six, all three of the sides to drop down from the Heineken Cup are included. Gloucester face an away tie with Wasps after the Cherry and White’s demolition of Perpignan yesterday saw them do well enough to drop down from the Heineken.

Likewise Harlequins’ victory over Scarlets sees them garner enough points to drop down, they face a tricky tie against their old foes Stade Francais.

The final side to drop down is Northampton Saints, who sneaked past Castres on Friday night to secure them enough points for an away quarter against Sale Sharks.

What do you think of the quarter final draw? Will Clermont Auvergne secure their long awaited Heineken Cup dream, or could Toulon make it back to back titles? Maybe Brian O’Driscoll will end his career with a fourth Heineken Cup title, or is an English side ready for glory? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or through the comment box below.

Heineken Cup Quarter Finals:

Ulster v Saracens

Clermont Auvergne v Leicester Tigers

Toulon v Leinster

Munster v Toulouse

Amlin Cup Quarter Finals:

Bath v Brive

Wasps v Gloucester

Stade Francais v Harlequins

Sale v Northampton

Heineken Cup Final Pool Results & Standings:

Pool One

Leinster 36-3 Ospreys

Northampton Saints 13-3 Castres

Pool One

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Leinster (Q)

6

5

0

1

2

22

2

Northampton Saints (A)

6

4

0

2

1

17

3

Castres

6

2

0

4

1

9

4

Ospreys

6

1

0

5

1

5

Pool Two

Cardiff Blues 13-19 Exeter Chiefs

Glasgow 8-15 Toulon

Pool Two

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Toulon (Q)

6

5

0

1

4

24

2

Cardiff Blues

6

3

0

3

2

14

3

Exeter Chiefs

6

2

0

4

4

12

4

Glasgow

6

2

0

4

3

11

Pool Three

Saracens 64-6 Connacht

Zebre 6-16 Toulouse

Pool Three

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Toulouse (Q)

6

5

0

1

3

23

2

Saracens (q)

6

4

0

2

4

20

3

Connacht

6

3

0

3

1

13

4

Zebre

6

0

0

6

0

0

Pool Four

Clermont Auvergne 28-3 Racing Metro 92

Scarlets 20-22 Harlequins

Pool Four

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Clermont Auvergne (Q)

6

5

0

1

4

24

2

Harlequins (A)

6

3

0

3

4

16

3

Scarlets

6

2

1

3

1

11

4

Racing Metro 92

6

1

1

4

1

7

Pool Five

Leicester 19-22 Ulster

Montpellier 24-6 Treviso

Pool Five

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Ulster (Q)

6

6

0

0

2

26

2

Leicester Tigers (q)

6

4

0

2

5

21

3

Montpellier

6

2

0

4

3

11

4

Treviso

6

0

0

6

0

0

Pool Six

Munster 38-6 Edinburgh

Perpignan 18-36 Gloucester

Pool Six

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

Bonus

Points

1

Munster (Q)

6

5

0

1

3

23

2

Gloucester (A)

6

3

0

3

2

14

3

Edinburgh

6

3

0

3

0

12

4

Perpignan

6

1

0

5

3

7

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