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Heineken CupIf the qualification picture for the European Cup quarterfinals is now significantly clearer following last weekend’s Round Five games, the closing series of pool matches in Europe’s premier club tournament retains its customary intrigue.

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While reigning champions, Toulon, along with Ulster, Toulouse, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Munster and Leicester Tigers have booked their places in the last eight, only Toulon, Clermont and Munster are confirmed as pool winners.

So, with the top four ranked clubs at the end of the pool stage set for money-spinning home quarterfinals in April, the coming weekend will have its share of drama and tension.

At the moment, Ulster are top seeds with 22 points, followed by Toulon on 20, with Toulouse and Clermont on 19, but when all the numbers are crunched by next Sunday, that order could well have changed.

In addition to the two quarterfinal places still on the line and the tussle for the top seedings, three spots in the Challenge Cup are up for grabs with the third, fourth and fifth best pool runners-up qualifying for a chance of prolonging their European season.

The clash of two former champions, Leicester and Ulster, on Saturday is arguably the match of the round. Confident in the knowledge that qualification is assured, the Welford Road stage could be set for a feast of attacking as both clubs chase a top-four seeding.

Armed with a two-point cushion at the top of the pool, Ulster will fancy their chances of doing the double following their 22-16 Round One victory at Ravenhill, but they will also know that Leicester haven’t lost a home European Cup pool match since 2006 when they were defeated 21-19 by Munster.

Meanwhile in Pool Two, Toulon will be looking to seal another home quarterfinal when they travel to Glasgow Warriors, but with Challenge Cup qualification in their sights, the home side will be focused on taking a major scalp. Cardiff Blues and Exeter Chiefs go head-to-head also with hopes of an Challenge Cup spot.

Saracens will be chasing a quarterfinal place when they host Connacht on Saturday, while Toulouse, who travel to Zebre, are favourites to top Pool Three.

Clermont will look to extend their 70-game unbeaten record at Stade Marcel-Michelin when they meet Racing Metro 92 in Pool Four. A win for last season’s finalists could earn them a home quarter, while Scarlets and Harlequins will be jousting for Challenge Cup qualification.

In Pool Six, Munster will need to pull out all the stops against Edinburgh at Thomond Park to have a chance of booking a home quarterfinal and their task will be made harder by the fact that the Scots are right in the mix for a place in the last eight of the Amlin.

The action will get underway on Friday with Leinster looking to see off Ospreys at the RDS and clinch Pool 1 honours. Northampton Saints, who host Castres Olympique, remain in contention for places in the knockout stages of both the European Cup and the Challenge Cup.

 

We look at all the Round 6 matches!

Friday 17 January

Leinster v Ospreys
(RDS – Kick-off: 20.00; 20.00 GMT)

Leinster’s 19-9 defeat of Ospreys earlier this season was the only previous European Cup meeting between the clubs.

Ospreys missed more than twice as many tackles (20) as Leinster (9) when the sides met in Round One.

Dan Biggar is the top points scorer after five rounds (62 points). The Ospreys out-half is yet to miss a shot at goal (20/20).

Justin Tipuric has won more turnovers (13) than any other player after five rounds.

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (captain), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17. Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Ben John, 11 Aisea Natoga, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 James King, 21 Morgan Allen, 22 Thomas Habberfield, 23 Matthew Morgan.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon (France), Eric Soulan (France)
TMO: Laurent Vain (France)

Final Score: Leinster 36/3 Ospreys

Northampton Saints v Castres Olympique
(Franklin’s Gardens – Kick-off: 20.00; 20.00 GMT)

Northampton have won all three of their home European Cup ties against Castres.

The last three matches between the clubs has seen the loser gain a bonus point (Castres W2 L1).

In their defeat by Castres in Found 1, Northampton spent 18 minutes 18 seconds in possession, compared to just 11 minutes 11 seconds for the victorious home side.

Courtney Lawes has stolen more opposition line-outs (6) than any other player this season. Teammate Tom Wood has won more line-outs (excluding steals) than any other player (23).

Teams:

Northampton Saints: 15 Fa’atoina Autagavaia, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Steve Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Ken Pisi.

Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Romain Cabannes (captain), 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Remi Grosso, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Piula Faasalele, 7 Jannie Bornman, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Saimone Taumoepeau, 17 Antonie Claassen, 18 Mihaita Lazar, 19 Benjamin Desroche, 20 Yannick Caballero, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Paul Bonnefond, 23 Pierre-Gilles Lakafia.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Final Score: Northampton Saints 13/3 Castres Olympique

Saturday 18 January

Saracens v Connacht
(Allianz Park – Kick-off: 13.35; 13.35 GMT)

Saracens defeated Connacht 23-17 in their only previous European Cup meeting.

Connacht have been defeated in all three of their previous European Cup games in England, losing to Harlequins twice and Gloucester once.

Chris Ashton has been involved in eight tries in the European Cup this season (scored 5 and 3 assists), more than any other player.

Teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Billy Vunipola, 5 George Kruis, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 James Johnston, 19 Alistair Hargreaves, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Chris Wyles.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Eoin Griffin, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Craig Clarke (captain), 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Sean Henry, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Paul O’Donohoe, 22 Darragh Leader, 23 Tiernan O’Halloran.BC

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referee: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)

 

Zebre v Toulouse
(Stadio XXV Aprile – Kick-off: 14.35; 13.35 GMT)

Toulouse defeated Zebre 38-5 in Round One, the only previous European Cup meeting between the clubs.

Zebre missed 31 tackles against Toulouse in October, while the four-time champions missed just eight.

Zebre have the lowest tackling success rate (82 percent) in the tournament this season.

Louis Picamoles has made the joint most carries (68 – same as Chris Robshaw of Harlequins) and also leads the way in defenders beaten (24).

Teams:

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samu Vunisa 7 Dries van Schalkwyk, 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 5 George Biagi, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (captain), 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso D’Apice , 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements:16 Luciano Leibson, 17 Andrea de Marchi, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Roberto Quartaroli.

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Jean-Marc Doussain, 9 Sebastian Bézy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Schalk Ferriera.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Yohan Montes, 19 Romain Millo-Chluski, 20 Yacouba Camara, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Clement Poitrenaud, 23 Timoci Matanavou.

Referee: Dudley Philipps (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan O’Connell (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

Cardiff Blues v Exeter Chiefs
(Cardiff Arms Park – Kick-off: 15.40; 15.40 GMT)

Exeter saw off Cardiff 44-29 in their only previous European Cup meeting in October.

Cardiff have won seven of their last nine home games in the competition.

Alex Cuthbert has the best average gain rate of any player who has made 20 + carries. He has an average of 10.9 metres per carry so far (33 carries).

Exeter have missed an average of 22 tackles per game – the worst rate in the tournament.

Teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Sam Hobbs (captain).
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Dan Fish, 23 Richard Smith.BC

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Fetu’u Vainikolo, 13 Sam Hill, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Alex Brown, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Carl Rimmer.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Ben White, 20 James Phillips, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Jason Shoemark.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Olly Hodges (Ireland)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

Glasgow Warriors v Toulon
(Scotstoun Stadium – Kick-off: 15.40; 15.40 GMT)

Toulon hammered Glasgow 51-28 in their only previous tournament meeting last October.

Glasgow gained more metres (501) than Toulon (453) in Round One, despite the home side spending over two minutes longer in possession.

Of the 15 players to successfully kick 15 + goals this season, Jonny Wilkinson has the worst success rate (73 percent).

On average, Glasgow have conceded more turnovers per game (19.6) than any other club in the European Cup.

Teams:

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Niko Matawalu, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Chris Fusaro (captain), 6 James Eddie, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Moray Low, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Richie Vernon.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson (captain), 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Joe van Niekerk, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 Rudi Wulf, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Konstantine Mikautadze.

Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Leicester Tigers v Ulster
(Welford Road – Kick-off: 18.00; 18.00 GMT)

All five European Cup meetings between the clubs have been won by the home side.

When Ulster defeated Leicester 22-16 in Round One, it was the first time in the history of this fixture that the losing side has secured a bonus point.

Roger Wilson has claimed five more restarts (13) than any other player this season.

Teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Louis Deacon, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 David Mélé, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Roger Wilson, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 David McIlwaine, 23 Michael Allen.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referee: Sean Brickell (Wales), Jon Mason (Wales)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

Montpellier v Benetton Treviso
(Stade Yves-du-Manoir – Kick-off: 19.00; 18.00 GMT)

Montpellier defeated Treviso 27-10 in their only previous meeting in Round One.

Treviso missed twice as many tackles (28) as Montpellier (14) in that match.

Montpellier have won an average of just 3.6 turnovers per game so far, fewer than any other club after five rounds.

Treviso have the lowest success rates at both the scrum (70 percent) and lineout (71 percent) this season.

Teams:

Montpellier: 15 Anthony Floch, 14 Rene Ranger, 13 Anthony Tuitavke, 12 Thomas Combezou, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc (captain), 9 Eric Escande, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Mickael Demarco, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Maximiliano Bustos, 18 Paea Fa’anunu, 19 Fred Quercy, 20 Thibaut Privat, 21 Ilian Perraux, 22 Pierre Berard, 23 Yoan Audrin.

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Andrea Pratichetti, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 James Ambrosini, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Marco Filippucci, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 6 Christian Loamanu, 5 Valerio Bernabo (captain), 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Ignacio Fernandez Rouyet, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Alessandro Zanni, 22 Fabio Semenzato, 23 Alberto Di Bernardo. 

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Sunday 19 January

Munster v Edinburgh
(Thomond Park – Kick-off: 12.45; 12.45 GMT)

This will be the fourth European Cup meeting between the clubs. Munster won both games in 2012/13, but Edinburgh beat the former champions 29-23 in October.

In that Round One victory, Edinburgh missed just four tackles.

Cornell du Preez is top of the tackle charts after five rounds with 71 tackles in his 400 minutes of action.

Edinburgh have the best tackle success rate (91 percent) of any side this season.

Teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Dave Foley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Damian Varley, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Duncan Casey, 17 James Cronin, 18 BJ Botha, 19 Donncha O’Callaghan, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Simon Zebo.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Dave Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Al Dickinson.

Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Carl Bezuidenhout, 23 Joaquin Dominguez

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Roy Maybank (England)
TMO: Sean Davey (England)

Perpignan v Gloucester
(Stade Aimé Giral – Kick-off: 13.45; 12.45 GMT)

Each of the three European Cup meetings between the clubs have been won by the side with home advantage.

James Hook (77) was the leading metre maker in the Round One game.

Gloucester have missed just 10.2 tackles per game so far this season, fewer than any other side.

Their tackling success rate (91 percent) is the second best.

Perpignan have won a competition high 90 percent of their own line-outs so far this season.

Teams:

Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 David Marty (captain), 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Sofiane Guitoune, 9 Tom Ecochard, 8 Karl Chateau 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Justin Purll, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Dan Leo, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Delonca, 17 George Jgenti, 18 Sona Taumalolo, 19 Jean-Pierre Perez, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Lifeimi Mafi, 22 Jens Torfs, 23 Alasdair Strokosch.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Jonny May, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (captain), 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Gareth Evans 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Matt Cox, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliot Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Daniel George, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Sione Kalafamoni, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Martyn Thomas, 23 Steph Reynolds.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ireland)

Scarlets v Harlequins
(Parc y Scarlets – Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)

All three European Cup meetings between the clubs have been won by a margin of seven points or fewer.

Harlequins had six minutes five seconds longer in possession than Scarlets at The Stoop in Round One, as well as 58 percent of territory.

Harlequins have made fewer tackles per game (80.4) than any other side this season.

No player has made more carries than Chris Robshaw in this campaign (68).

Teams:

Scarlets: 15 Aled Thomas, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (captain), 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Jake Ball, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Johan Snyman, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Adam Warren, 23 Gareth Owen.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Tom Williams.

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Patrick Péchambert (France), Maxime Chalon (France)
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau (France)

Clermont Auvergne v Racing Métro 92
(Stade Marcel-Michelin – Kick-off: 16.00; 15.00 GMT)

All three European Cup meetings between the clubs have been won by the home team.

In their two defeats by Racing, Clermont scored less than 10 points and failed to score a try.

Racing had nine minutes of possession in the Round One match while Clermont had 22 minutes 28 seconds. Clermont completed 36/40 tackles compared to 161/187 for Racing.

Sitiveni Sivivatu has made more metres (490) and offloads (18) than any other player in this season’s tournament.

Teams:

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Aurélien Rougerie (captain), 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Gerhard Vosloo, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Julien Pierre, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Benson Stanley, 23 Jean-Marcellin Buttin.

Racing Métro: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Fabrice Estebanez, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 7 Camille Gerondeau, 6 Bernard Le Roux, 5 Karim Ghezal, 4 Francois van der Merwe, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (captain), 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Davit Khinchagishvili, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Jacques Cronje, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Laurent Magnaval, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Alexandre Dumoulin.

Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Darren Gamage (England), Nigel Carrick (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England

73 Responses to Heineken Cup: Pool stages – Round 6 preview

  • 51

    Phweeeew, Munster 38 / 6 Edinburgh, final score!

  • 52

    51 @ grootblousmile:
    This is really disappointing GBS, while it may have been a bit much to ask for Edinburgh to win this one, would have thought going into the game that it wasn’t completely beyond them and at the very least they would have lost by a narrow margin. Edinburgh defence has gradually improved as the season has gone on so wonder what happened today again to concede 6 tries. Seems that behind the scenes there is some talk of some folk not being very happy with proceedings there, although from what I can tell the mood of their fans has lifted quite a bit lately.

  • 53

    Final Score- Perpignan 18/36 Gloucester – 5 tries for Gloucester, this bonus point win means that Gloucester make it through to the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals

  • 54

    Heineken Cup quarter finals: all 8 teams confirmed – Ulster, Toulon, Toulouse, Leinster, Clermont, Munster, Leicester and Saracens
    Ulster (top seed) play Saracens at home; Toulon and Munster have also secured home quarter finals while Clermont who face Racing Metro in a bit are still in the run to host a quarter final.

  • 55

    Amlin Challenge quarter finalists so far confirmed : Northampton and Gloucester (from Heineken Cup) with the Amlin pool winners, Bath, Wasps, Stade Francais, Sale and Brive.
    Harlequins, Scarlets and Cardiff are all three vying for the last spot with Harlequins and Scarlets playing each other in a bit

  • 56

    Clermont & Racing Metro playing now.

    Clermont already with their 2nd try after 23 minutes (Vosloo)

    Clermont 14 / 0 Racing Metro

    Weather conditions is wet and slippery, yet some great running rugby and great handling shown so far

  • 57

    Clermont 14 / 3 Racing Metro… 37 minutes gone

  • 58

    56 @ grootblousmile:
    Sounds like you are enjoying watching that one GBS.

  • 59

    Latest score: Scarlets 7/14 Harlequins

  • 60

    Latest score: Scarlets 10/14 Harlequins

  • 61

    France’s captain Thierry Dusatoir will miss the 6 Nations due to injury he picked up playing for Toulouse against Zebre yesterday, a torn tendon in right bicep means he may be out for 4 months. Pity for him wish him all the best in the recovery from this.

  • 62

    Close game, halftime – Scarlets 15/14 Harlequins

  • 63

    58 @ Bullscot:
    Watching on and off… taking it rather easy today

    61 @ Bullscot:
    There’s already an article on R-T regarding Dusautoir’s injury.

  • 64

    Clermont 14 / 3 Racing, after 51 minutes

  • 65

    63 @ grootblousmile:
    Good man you need to take it easy some times. Quite a nasty sounding injury for Dusatoir.

  • 66

    Latest score: Scarlets 15/19 Harlequins, try by scrumhalf Karl Dickson for Harlequins

  • 67

    Latest score: Scarlets 20/19 Harlequins, try by Scott Williams for Scarlets, sounds like a great game there with 3 tries to each team so far.

  • 68

    Latest scores: Clermont 21/3 Racing Metro, Scarlets 20/19 Harlequins

  • 69

    Converted try for Clermont’s Vincent Debaty, score Clermont 28/3 Racing Metro – this is the bonus point try and guarantees Clermont a home quarter final.

  • 70

    Heart break for Scarlets as Harlequins kick over a late late penalty!

  • 71

    Final scores: Clermont 28/3 Racing Metro, Scarlets 20/22 Harlequins.

  • 72

    Heineken Cup quarter final matches (home team first): Ulster v Saracens, Clermont v Leicester, Toulon v Leinster, Munster v Toulouse.
    These games will take place early in April. 3 France based and Irish teams and 2 England based team. Not one from Wales, Scotland and Italy.

  • 73

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