Heineken Cup round-up: Thomas Waldrom in as Tigers go for broke
Sunday 20 January 2013
A four-times winner of the Heineken Cup and the team who have won it for the past two seasons could both go out of this year's competition after a dramatic final day of pool matches today.
Defeat for Toulouse at Leicester in Pool One would end their campaign, while Leinster, the defending champions, must await the result of the two matches in Pool One to know whether they have done enough to reach the quarter-finals.
Leicester go into their make-or-break match at Welford Road today with Thomas Waldrom in the back row as the only change from their draw with Ospreys in their previous Pool Two match.
"We will come flying out of the blocks, and it is always easier to come out of the blocks when you are at home," said Ben Youngs, Tigers' England scrum-half.
In Pool One Saracens should have few problems beating the bottom club Edinburgh to secure top spot. The outcome of the other match, between Munster and Racing Métro, is less clear-cut, but home advantage gives a boost to the Irish side. Victory would not be enough, though; they need a bonus point if they are to leave Leinster out in the cold.
Ulster improved their chances of a home tie in the quarter-finals from Pool Four with a scrappy 9-8 victory over Castres at Stade Pierre-Antoine.
Although not at their best, they came from behind to win courtesy of three Ruan Pienaar penalties and now await results tomorrow to see if they will be at home in the last eight.
Montpellier ensured they would join the Pool Six winners Toulon in the quarter-finals, for the first time in their history, as they cruised to a 22-3 victory over their French rivals. Tries from Thomas Combezou and Benoît Paillaugue, who converted both and kicked three penalties, saw them home after Jonny Wilkinson had opened the scoring with an early penalty for Toulon.
Leigh Halfpenny kicked 16 points but Lloyd Williams was the star turn as Cardiff Blues beat Sale 26‑14 in the Pool Six match yesterday with only pride at stake. Scrum-half Williams scored an excellent chip-and-chase try from the base of a scrum and set up Michael Paterson for another to beat a Sale side for whom the front row forwards Tommy Taylor and Aston Croall scored tries, Rob Miller converting both.
Victory was the reward for the Blues fans who worked hard on Friday to clear snow off the Arms Park so that the game could go ahead.
Qualifiers for the quarter-finals
Plus: Saracens or Munster; Toulouse or Leicester
Best two runners-up
Montpellier; Leinster or Munster
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much'
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'