Preview: European Cup, Round Six

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 06:26
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Four-time champions Toulouse face a winner-takes-all clash with Leicester in the final round of European Cup group matches.
 

Four-time champions Toulouse face a winner-takes-all clash with Leicester in the final round of European Cup group matches.

Toulouse sit atop Pool Two on 18 points, with Leicester, themselves twice champions, just two points adrift after last week's dramatic 15-15 draw with Ospreys.

While Sunday's clash at Welford Road is the pick of the weekend's fixtures, Irish provinces Leinster and Munster both face testing times in their bids to join Harlequins, Ulster and French duo Toulon and Clermont in the knock-out phase.

Ten other clubs can mathematically qualify for the quarters, but realistically Leinster and Munster will be vying for the two best runners-up places with Montpellier.

Leinster, seeking an unprecedented third European title in three years, travel to Exeter in a Pool Five topped by Clermont, chasing one of the two best runners-up places.

A win is the minimum requirement for the reigning champions, while five points will probably be needed along with favourable results elsewhere.

"We still have a chance this weekend. We have a very tough game in Exeter. We'll have our work cut out for us," acknowledged Leinster scrumhalf Eoin Reddan.

"Overall it's going to be a tough day, we just have to win the game and see what happens."

Two-time champions Munster kept alive their hopes of reaching this season's quarters from Pool One with an unimpressive 26-17 win over pointless Edinburgh last weekend.

A victory for Pool One leaders Saracens over Edinburgh would see them confirmed as pool winners. Munster have to defeat Racing Metro at Thomond Park and hope that Saracens lose to Edinburgh in order to top the pool.

If both Munster and Saracens win, then Munster need results elsewhere to go in their favour if they're to emerge as one of the two best runners-up.

"It's got a feeling of those great Munster classics," said Munster scrumhalf Conor Murray.

"People are coming up to you on the street already and it's only Wednesday, telling us good luck, and that they're going to be there in numbers on the day.

"It's going to be a huge day with a huge reward at the end of it if everything goes alright so we certainly need that 16th man to drive us on."

The key game of the round for those teams not yet qualified could well be the all-French clash between Montpellier and Toulon in Pool Six.

A losing bonus point at Montpellier would be enough to secure Toulon a home quarterfinal, but a home win for Montpellier in Saturday's game would vastly change the landscape for the best runners-up places.

"We're obviously seeking a first place finish for a home quarterfinal match," said Toulon assistant coach Pierre Mignoni.

"But we know it's not a done deal because we have a tough match waiting for us in Montpellier.

"We'll do everything to prepare to win this match. We'll have to be very accurate."

Toulon's Australian centre Matt Giteau said Montpellier would be boosted by the death from cancer this week of their forwards coach Eric Bechu.

"Montpellier are now at the level of Toulouse and Clermont, and the death of their coach will give them extra motivation," Giteau said.

Friday, January 18

Connacht v Zebre
(The Sportsground - Kick-off: 20.00; 21.00 GMT)

Teams:

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Andrew Browne, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Mick Kearney, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White, 2 Jason Harris Wright,1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements:16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Danie Poolman

Zebre: 15 Tito Tebaldi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Ruggero Trevisan, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Filippo Ferrarini, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Josh Sole, 4 Mike Van Vuren, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 David Ryan, 19 Nicola Belardo, 20 Andrea Manici, 21 Luca Martinelli, 22 Alberto Chiesa, 23 Samuele Pace.

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Jean-Luc Rebollal (France), Cyril Lafon (France)
TMO: Daniel Irazoqui (France)

Biarritz v Harlequins
(Parc des Sports Aguilera - Kick-off: 21.00, 21.00 GMT)

Teams:

Biarritz: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Taku Ngwenya, 13 Benoît Baby, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Thibault Dubarry, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Fabien Barcella
Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Eugène Van Staden, 19 Erik Lund, 20 Talalelei Gray, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Julien Peyrelongue, 23 Seremaïa Burotu,

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
TMO: Seamus Flannery (Ireland)

Saturday, January 19

Glasgow Warriors v Northampton Saints
(Scotstoun Stadium - Kick-off: 13.35, 14.35 GMT)

Teams:

Glasgow Warriors: TBC

Northampton Saints: TBC

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwynn Morris Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Huw Lewis (Wales)

Castres v Ulster
(Stade Pierre Antoine - Kick-off: 14.35; 14.35 GMT)

Teams:

Castres: TBC

Ulster: TBC

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell Jon Mason (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Cardiff Blues v Sale Sharks
(Cardiff Arms Park - Kick-off: 15.40; 16.40 GMT)

Teams:

Cardiff Blues: TBC

Sale Sharks: TBC

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan-O'Connell (Ireland), Will O'Connor (Ireland)

Montpellier v Toulon
(Stade Yves du Manoir - Kick-off: 16.40; 16.40 GMT)

Teams:

Montpellier: TBC

Toulon: TBC

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

Exeter Chiefs v Leinster
(Sandy Park Stadium - Kick-off: 18.00; 19.00 GMT)

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: TBC

Leinster: TBC

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Eric Soulan (France)
TMO: Bernard Dal Maso (France)

Scarlets v Clermont Auvergne
(Parc y Scarlets - Kick-off: 18.00; 19.00 GMT)

Teams:

Scarlets: TBC

Clermont Auvergne: TBC

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: David Changleng (Scotland), Adrian Graves (Scotland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

Sunday, January 20

Munster v Racing Metro
(Thomond Park - Kick-off: 12.45; 13.45)

Teams:

Munster: TBC

Racing Metro: TBC

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle, (England) Robin Goodliffe (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

Saracens v Edinburgh
(Vicarage Road - Kick-off: 12.45; 13.45)

Teams:

Saracens: TBC

Edinburgh: TBC

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Sébastien Cloute (France), Jérôme Lamirand (France)
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau (France)

Leicester Tigers v Toulouse
(Welford Road - Kick-off: 15.00; 16.00 GMT)

Teams:

Leicester Tigers: TBC

Toulouse: TBC

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Olly Hodges (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Treviso v Ospreys
(Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Kick-off: 16.00; 16.00 GMT)

Teams:

Treviso: TBC

Ospreys: TBC

Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (England)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 0 0 0 0 0
Leicester Tigers 0 0 0 0 0
Munster 0 0 0 0 0
Racing Metro 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Connacht 0 0 0 0 0
Toulouse 0 0 0 0 0
Wasps 0 0 0 0 0
Zebre 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Sale Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Toulon 0 0 0 0 0
Saracens 0 0 0 0 0
Scarlets 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Castres 0 0 0 0 0
Leinster 0 0 0 0 0
Montpellier 0 0 0 0 0
Northampton Saints 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 0 0 0 0 0
Bordeaux 0 0 0 0 0
Exeter Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Ulster 0 0 0 0 0
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