Heineken CupAmlin Challenge CupRound 6 of the European Cup, which includes the Heineken Cup (Premier Competition) and Amlin Challenge Cup (secondary Qualification Competition) happened this past weekend and there was high drama and lots of action!

Sunday evening the full puzzle of who plays where in the Play-Off’s of both the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge cup was revealed.

In the Heineken Cup, Ulster will host Saracens, ASM Clermont Auvergne will host Leicester Tigers, whilst the defending champions Toulon will host Leinster and Munster will host Toulouse at Thomond Park. The Quarter-finals will take place on the weekend of 4 to 6 April.

In the Amlin Challenge Cup Northampton Saints, Harlequins and Gloucester have booked their spots in the Quarter-finals along with the amlin Challenge Cup Pool winners Bath, London Wasps, Stade Francais, Sale Sharks and Brive.

Bath will host Brive, London Wasps will host Gloucester, Stade Francais host Harlequins and Sale Sharks will host Northampton Saints.

The race to these Cup winners will be interrupted by the Six Nations tournament, which takes place from 1 February 2014.


Heineken Cup quarterfinal Qualifiers / Rankings:

  1. Ulster
  2. ASM Clermont Auvergne
  3. Toulon
  4. Munster
  5. Toulouse
  6. Leinster
  7. Leicester Tigers (best pool runner-up)
  8. Saracens (second best pool runner-up)


Heineken Cup quarterfinals (April 4-6):

  1. Ulster vs Saracens
  2. Clermont vs Leicester Tigers
  3. Toulon vs Leinster
  4. Munster vs Toulouse


Heineken Cup semifinals (April 25-27):

The draw for the tournament semifinals was made at Thomond Park, Limerick on Sunday.

The winner of the first named quarterfinal in each semifinal pairing will have home country advantage.

  • Semifinal 1: Ulster or Saracens vs ASM Clermont Auvergne or Leicester Tigers
  • Semifinal 2: Toulon or Leinster vs Munster or Toulouse


Amlin Challenge Cup quarterfinal Qualifiers / Rankings:

  1. Bath (first-ranked pool winner)
  2. London Wasps (second-ranked pool winner)
  3. Stade Francais (third-ranked pool winner)
  4. Sale Sharks (fourth-ranked pool winner)
  5. Northampton Saints (third-ranked European Cup pool runner-up)
  6. Harlequins (fourth-ranked European Cup pool runner-up)
  7. Gloucester (fifth-ranked European Cup pool runner-up)
  8. Brive (fifth-ranked pool winner)


Amlin Challenge Cup quarterfinals (April 4-6):

  1. Bath vs Brive
  2. London Wasps vs Gloucester
  3. Stade Francais vs Harlequins
  4. Sale Sharks vs Northampton Saints


Amlin Challenge Cup semifinals (April 25-27):

The draw for the tournament semifinals was made at Thomond Park, Limerick on Sunday.

The winner of the first named quarterfinal in each semifinal pairing will have home venue advantage.

  • Semifinal 1: London Wasps or Gloucester vs Bath or Brive
  • Semifinal 2: Sale Sharks or Northampton Saints vs Stade Francais or Harlequins

5 Responses to European Rugby: Play-Off’s for Heineken Cup & Amlin Challenge Cup revealed

  • 1

    I saw this article about the South African player participation.


    – Ruan Pienaar’s masterclass against Leicester ensured Ulster will play their quarter-final at Ravenhill. Pienaar scored all 22 of his team’s points, with a try, a conversion and five penalties, two of those from inside his own half. Former Bok lock Johann Muller captained the Irish club and loose forward Robbie Diack came off the bench in the 55th minute.

    – Flank Gerhard Vosloo scored a brace for Clermont, thumping Racing Métro 28-3. Lock Francois van der Merwe and prop Brian Mujati started for Racing.

    – Hooker Schalk Brits scored one of Saracens’ 11 tries, as they thrashed Connacht 64-6. No 8 Ernst Joubert also started for Sarries, with scrumhalf Neil de Kock coming on in the 50th minute and lock Alistair Hargreaves in the 58th.

    – Leinster outclassed the Ospreys 36-3 to reach the last eight, with Bok and ex-Bulls fullback Zane Kirchner coming on for the victors in the 46th minute.

    – Don Armand scored Exeter’s only try of the match, as they produced the upset of the weekend, beating the Cardiff Blues 19-13.

    – Rory Kockott came on in the 51st minute and kicked a penalty, Castres’ only points of the match, as they went down 13-3 to the Northampton Saints.

    – Toulon beat Glasgow 15-8, with former Bok loose forwards Joe van Niekerk and Juan Smith, lock Bakkies Botha and ex-Sharks hooker Craig Burden starting for the defending champions.

    – Toulouse edged Zebre 16-6, with hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and prop Schalk Ferreira in their starting XV. Jano Vermaak came off the bench in the 52nd minute.

    – Montpellier beat Treviso 24-6, who had scrumhalf Tobias Botes in their run-on team. Neither of the teams qualified for the quarter-finals.

    – Lock Johan Snyman and prop Jacobie Adriaanse both came off the bench for the Scarlets in the 55th and 77th minute respectively, losing 22-20 to Harlequins in the dying moments of the match.

    – Munster defeated Edinburgh 38-6 to reach the quarter-finals for the 15th time in their history. While prop BJ Botha came on as a substitute for the winners in the 58th minute, locks Cornell du Preez and Izak van der Westhuizen and prop WP Nel started for losing side.


    – Lock Hendrik Roodt scored Grenoble’s first try as they cruised past French rivals Bayonne 34-16.

    – Brive overcame Calvisano 31-9 with prop Kevin Buys starting for the French club and fullback Ben de Jager for the Italians.

    – Lock Anton van Zyl captained Stade Français to a convincing 48-15 win over Portuguese club Lusitanos, with lock Carl Wegner and hooker Michael van Vuuren also starting for the Parisian side.

    – Bok flank Francois Louw was part of Bath’s run-on XV, who walloped Bordeaux 54-13.

  • 2

    Former England flyhalf Stuart Barnes says Ruan Pienaar can steer Ulster to European Cup glory this season.

    On Saturday, the Springbok scrumhalf scored all of Ulster’s points against Leicester with a try, conversion and five penalties as they won 22-19 away from home to set up a quarter-final meeting with Saracens.

    ‘There is one obvious reason Ulster are contenders for this year’s European Cup. His name is Ruan Pienaar,’ wrote Barnes in The Sunday Times of London. ‘The Natal-born scrumhalf gave a 24-carat display in steering Ulster to victory at Welford Road with a supreme show of goal-kicking, tactical acumen and persistent pressure without the ball.’

    Barnes said Pienaar’s kicking out of hand was particularly impressive.

    ‘Pienaar, like all good Springbok scrumhalves, has a brilliant box-kicking game and he has a willing set of chasers. He also has the vision and heft to strike 70m diagonals at will … When Pienaar puts the ball in the air his team generally have a 50% chance of regaining it.’

    Barnes believes the Irish club can go all the way this season.

    ‘Ulster are not the prettiest team but in Pienaar they have a world-class player at the peak of his game, and what they lack in beauty they make up in intellect and spirit. Saracens should beware.’

  • 3

    Firstly Pienaar was born in Bloem, not KZN.
    Secondly, why is he so great for Ulster yet so dog shit for the Boks?

  • 4

    @ Loosehead:
    I’ve watched his last 2 games, and can only conclude that the Heineken Cup is possibly a half a second slower that Super Rugby and International Rugby.

    He certainly does nothing different for Ulster to what he does for SA, but the opposition just seem to be slower in getting to him.

    What else can it be?

  • 5

    @ Scrumdown:
    The Micks love him and rate him. To me he is always just a little slow and his pass isn’t that great.


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