Harlequins produced a 30-minute horror show to concede seven second-half tries to Castres and suffer their biggest Heineken Cup defeat at Stade Pierre Antoine. Quins had only pride to play for in this fifth-round Pool Four match, but led 3-0 after 20 minutes and only trailed 11-8 going into the final half-hour.
Castres are now second in the group table on 16 points, but to have a serious chance of qualifying for the last eight for the second time in four seasons, they will need to beat Neath-Swansea Ospreys at the Gnoll next weekend.
After the London side had taken the lead with an Andy Dunne penalty, Castres edged ahead before the interval with two Laurent Marticorena penalties and a try from Uruguayan flanker Rodrigo Capo Ortega. Quins full-back Gavin Duffy then pulled the visitors within three points with a well-taken try early in the second half. But the Quins floodgates opened over the closing 30 minutes as Remi Vigneaux, Alexandre Albouy, Romain Froment (twice), Capo Ortega again, Guillaume Bernad and Ugo Mola all went over.
Treviso leapfrogged Bath into second place in Pool Two with a 40-29 home win over Bourgoin, and could become the first Italian side to reach the quarter-finals if they manage to beat Leinster in Dublin next weekend - admittedly, a tall order. Treviso's four tries came from Brendan Williams, Stuart Legg, Walter Pozzebon and Sergio Parisse while their South African full-back, Marius Goosen, landed four penalties and four conversions. David Venditti and Laurent Soucaze crossed for the French club while the boot of Alexandre Peclier supplied 19 points.
Austin Healey, sidelined for Leicester's last three matches, returns on the left wing in place of Tom Varndell for this afternoon's Pool One tie against leaders Biarritz at Welford Road. Will Johnson replaces Martin Corry, who dislocated an elbow last weekend, and Louis Deacon comes in at lock for Ben Kay.
Holders Wasps require a maximum, five-point haul against Calvisano in today's other second Pool One clash if they are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals. They have left half-backs Matt Dawson and Alex King on the bench - Harvey Biljon and James Brooks will start - while Josh Lewsey moves to centre, Tom Voyce switches to right wing and Michael Roberts comes in at left wing. The former All Blacks prop, Craig Dowd, returns at loosehead following a stomach bug and Tim Payne replaces Will Green at tighthead.
Northampton, two points behind Pool Three leaders Toulouse, are again without their New Zealand scrum-half Mark Robinson, due to a knee injury, so Johnny Howard continues to deputise for today's trip to Llanelli.
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