Clermont Auvergne went out of the Heineken Cup after their 26-17 defeat by Sale at Edgeley Park yesterday.
The team from the Massif Centrale needed a win with a four-try bonus point if they were to stay in contention for a quarter-final place. They were 17-13 up at half-time, thanks to tries by Thomas Combezou and Napolioni Nalaga and two conversions and a penalty from Seremaia Bai. The Spanish wing Oriol Ripol had scored the first try of the match for Sale; the former All Black centre Luke McAlister kicked the conversion and a penalty.
Sale dominated the second period and Dwayne Peel, the scrum-half who was dropped by Wales in midweek, and the No 8 David Tait scored tries. McAlister kicked another penalty. Sale, thanks to three previous defeats, were out before the match began.
The other match in Pool One, Montauban against Munster, was called off thanks to high winds in the French town. It will be played this afternoon. Munster need to win with a bonus point to boost their case for a home quarter-final.
The Cardiff Blues, the tournament's only unbeaten side who secured the top seeding for the last eight with a 62-20 win against Calvisano on Friday, will decide whether to move their quarter-final from the Arms Park to the Millennium Stadium after today's matches have decided the draw.
In Paris, in Pool Four, Stade Français beat Ulster 24-19. Juan Manuel Leguizamon and Mark Gasnier scored Stade's tries; Paul Steinmetz and Nigel Brady scored for Ulster. In Italy, in Pool Three, Perpignan beat Benetton Treviso 48-16. The result at the Liberty Stadium meant the Catalans' efforts were in vain. They are out.
London Irish wrapped up Pool One of the European Challenge Cup with a 23-9 win in Rovigo. Kieran Roche, Dominic Shabbo and Adam Thompstone scored the Exiles' tries; Shane Geraghty kicked eight points.
In Pool Two, at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton strolled past Toulon. The Saints won 52-11 and progress to the last eight as pool winners. Mark Easter, Soane Tonga'uiha and Chris Ashton scored two tries each and Steven Myler scored one, Myler kicking 13 points and Barry Everitt four. Mafileo Kefu scored a try for Toulon.
At Sixways, Worcester thumped Petrarca Padova 68-17. The Warriors go through as winners of Pool Three. Joe Carlisle, Rico Gear, Toby Fellows, Will Bowley, Kai Horstmann, Graham Kitchener (twice) and Dale Rasmussen scored their tries, and they were also awarded two penalty tries. Carlisle kicked eight conversions and Loki Crichton one. Ludovic Mercier, Gonzalo Padro and Warren Spragg scored tries for the Italian side.
Victories for Brive and Saracens in midweek wrapped up Pools Four and Five. Connacht, second to Irish in Pool One, will be one of the three best runners-up. Newcastle will join them if – or, given the opposition, when – they beat Cetransa El Salvador in Spain this lunchtime. Bristol are at home to Montpellier this afternoon; their prospects of qualifying depended on the outcome of last night's late Pool Five match between Viadana and Bayonne.Reuse content