European Cup record smashed

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:11
Large clermontfans Large ulster fans Large leicester tigers fans

The European Cup set a new pool stage attendance record as quarterfinal qualification went down to the wire once again at the weekend.

The European Cup set a new pool stage attendance record as quarterfinal qualification went down to the wire once again at the weekend.

As Europe's premier club tournament was delivering another rollercoaster Round Six full of intrigue, spectators were voting with their feet to set a new European Cup pool stage attendance record.

The total for the six rounds went through the 900,000 barrier for the first time in history, rising to an impressive 921,196, an increase of six percent on the 2012/13 season.

There were sell-outs at Thomond Park, Welford Road and the RDS, along with record crowds at Cardiff Arms Park (12,125) and Scotstoun (6,541) at the weekend.

The top four seedings for the quarterfinals were only confirmed during the very last tension-packed games of Round Six.

Clermont grabbed the No.2 seed spot behind front-runners Ulster with a hard-fought bonus-point victory over Racing Metro at Stade Marcel-Michelin, while Harlequins managed to book their place in the European Challenge Cup last eight with a win in the dying minutes at Parc y Scarlets.
 
When the dust settled, a truly heavyweight European Cup quarterfinal line-up emerged with six former champions, and a total of 16 European titles, among the eight qualifiers.

The ties in early April will positively bristle with atmosphere and quality as Ulster host Saracens, Clermont take on Leicester Tigers, holders Toulon clash with European specialists, Leinster and Toulouse go to fortress Thomond Park for the first time in their history.
 
Ulster go into the knockout stage with six wins from six. No club have won the European Cup in the same season that they had a 100 percent record from the pool stage.

Ulster's one previous quarterfinal at home was their victory over Toulouse at Ravenhill in their tournament-winning season of 1998/99. 
 
The Ulster-Saracens quarterfinal is a repeat of last season's game which Saracens won 27-16 at Twickenham Stadium. 

Toulon have won all seven of their European Cup games at Stade Mayol, including last season's quarterfinal win over Leicester Tigers. 

Munster have won six out of their seven home quarterfinals. The one defeat was by Ulster at Thomond Park in 2012. 

Clermont, who take on Leicester Tigers, are now unbeaten in 71 games at Stade Marcel-Michelin. 

The last time Leinster played a quarterfinal in France, they famously defeated Toulouse 41-35 in 2006. 
Saracens' visit to Ravenhill will be their first away quarterfinal while Toulon and Leinster will be meeting for the first time in the European Cup. 

Meanwhile, Northampton Saints, Harlequins and Gloucester qualified for the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals as the third, fourth and fifth best pool runners-up where they will join European Challenge Cup pool winners Bath, London Wasps, Stade Francais, Sale Sharks and Brive.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10