Leicester and Munster progress

  • Last Updated: January 20 2013, 20:55 GMT

A review of the weekend's action in the Heineken Cup, with Leicester and Munster claiming wins on Sunday to progress.

  • Leicester beat Toulouse in the snow to march on.
  • Munster's win on Sunday sent Leinster out. 
  • Saracens enjoyed victory over Edinburgh. 

Leicester memorably sent four-time European champions Toulouse skidding out of the Heineken Cup with a 9-5 win at a snow-swept Welford Road to book their place in this season's quarter-finals.

The Tigers will be away to Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon in early April, where the weather should be considerably warmer than on an Arctic afternoon when Toulouse saw their hopes of a fifth European title plunged into cold storage.

Fly-half Toby Flood was the Leicester matchwinner, making light of punishing conditions by kicking three penalties, while Toulouse marksmen Lionel Beauxis and Luke McAlister crucially missed five shots at goal between them.

Flood, though, could have gone from hero to villain when he was sin-binned by referee George Clancy for a deliberate knock-on 12 minutes from time, but the Tigers held out by showcasing all their trademark resilience.

Toulouse wing Yann Huget scored the only try in a Pool Two encounter dominated by the incessant wintry weather, with Leicester ultimately joining their Aviva Premiership colleagues Harlequins and Saracens as quarter-finalists alongside Toulon, Munster, Ulster, Clermont Auvergne and Montpellier.

In the other Pool Two game, Andrea Pratichetti crossed late as Treviso fought back to snatch a shock victory 17-14 over the Ospreys.

The Welsh region appeared on course to finish their Heineken Cup campaign on a high thanks to Tom Isaacs' try and the boot of Dan Biggar.

But Treviso launched a late comeback with 14 unanswered points in the final five minutes of a previously uneventful clash at a muddy Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

First Alessandro Zanni crossed the whitewash following a sustained period of pressure and the Italians completed their miraculous recovery with Pratichetti's intervention with just five seconds to spare.

Simon Zebo scored a hat-trick of tries as Munster swept past 14-man Racing Metro 29-6 and knocked Leinster out of the Heineken Cup in the process.

Rob Penney's men needed a bonus-point win at Thomond Park in order to leapfrog their Irish rivals into the second best runners-up spot.

Racing were forced to play without Antoine Battut for 74 minutes in Limerick, the flanker earning an early red card for a knee to the head.

A trio of first-half tries, topped off by Mike Sherry's first Heineken Cup score, handed Munster a deserved 17-6 interval lead.

Gaetan Germain landed a brace of penalties for the visitors, but the home side took their try tally to five as man of the match Zebo grabbed his second European hat-trick.

A trip to Harlequins is the next challenge in the last eight.

Charlie Hodgson's late try gave Saracens a bonus-point 40-7 win as they sealed their progress to the last eight of the Heineken Cup with an easy victory over Edinburgh.

Sarries made light of the snowy conditions that threatened to blight their last-ever game at Vicarage Road, scoring five tries to qualify from the pool stage for the second season in a row.

Chris Ashton gave himself a timely boost two weeks before the start of the RBS 6 Nations with two of the tries, with Sarries' other scores coming from Matt Stevens and Chris Wyles.

The Aviva Premiership side face Ulster at home in the quarter-finals.

On Saturday, two tries in a seven-minute spell early in the second half saw Leinster oust Heineken Cup newcomers Exeter 29-20 in their Pool Five clash at Sandy Park.

Exeter went in to the break with a 17-12 lead after a penalty try plus a touchdown from Neil Clark with Gareth Steenson converting both and adding a late penalty.

Leinster replied with tries from Gordon D'Arcy - converted by Johnny Sexton - and Rob Kearney.

Leinster regained the lead early in the second half with a try from Brian O'Driscoll, converted by Sexton - who then added the extras to the bonus point try which followed quickly through Ireland skipper Jamie Heaslip.

Steenson replied with a penalty which was cancelled out by Sexton before the Chiefs had Ben White sent to the sin bin in the closing minutes, while Leinster's Mike Ross was also yellow carded soon after.

However, Munster win on Sunday means Leinster have been knocked out and now enter the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Also in Pool Five, unbeaten Clermont Auvergne booked a home clash against Montpellier in the quarter-finals with a bonus-point 29-0 victory as the Scarlets suffered their second competition whitewash in 17 years of European rugby at Parc y Scarlets.

Clermont captain Aurelien Rougerie registered the bonus-point try 14 minutes from time, adding to earlier scores from Napolioni Nalaga, Morgan Parra and Benson Stanley.

It was the Scarlets' seventh defeat in eight games in all competitions since the beginning of December.

Glasgow put an end to Northampton's hopes of a quarter-final berth as Peter Horne's last-gasp try secured a 27-20 Pool Four victory at a frosty Scotstoun Stadium.

In a game that marked Soane Tonga'uiha's 200th appearance for the visitors, Gregor Townsend's players achieved the Warriors' first win in this season's tournament against their head coach's former club.

The match will be remembered for the wonderful final-minute try from Horne who ran half the length of the pitch before touching down.

For Glasgow the match provided only pride to be gained as they were already unable to progress after collating a miserable two points from their first five matches.

Joshua Strauss and Niko Matawalu scored Glasgow's other two tries while Dominic Waldouck, George Pisi and Foden crossed for the visitors.

In the other Pool Four encounter, Ulster guaranteed themselves a home tie in the quarter finals with a scrappy 9-8 victory over Castres at Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Although not at their best, they came from behind to win, courtesy of three Ruan Pienaar penalties.

Castres had led early on thanks to a well-worked try from Piula Faasalele but it was Mark Anscombe's side who took home the points.

Montpellier ensured they would join Toulon in the quarter-finals as they cruised to a 23-3 victory over their off-colour opponents, who still finished top of Pool Six.

Tries from Thomas Combezou and Benoit Paillaugue, who converted both and also booted three penalties, gave the home side the victory they knew would assure them of a place in the last eight for the first time in their history.

Also in Pool Six, Wales Six Nations squad member Lloyd Williams was the star of the show as Cardiff Blues rewarded the dedication of their fans by beating Sale 26-14 for their first Heineken Cup victory of the season.

Droves of Blues supporters had answered a plea from the region by turning up on Friday and then again on the morning of the match to clear thick snow off the Arms Park pitch.

Their sterling efforts paid off, with the clash able to go ahead following pitch inspections at 9am and 12 noon.

Scrum-half Williams was the key man, scoring a fine individual try and setting up another for replacement lock Michael Paterson, with Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicking 16 points, as touchdowns from visiting front row forwards Tommy Taylor and Aston Croall were cancelled out.

On Friday night, Harlequins completed a clean sweep in Pool Three with a hard-earned 16-9 victory at rain-soaked Biarritz.

The reigning Aviva Premiership champions ended Biarritz's four-year unbeaten home run in the competition to wrap up a dominant display in the pool stages.

Tom Guest grabbed the game's only try while the tactical and goal-kicking of Nick Evans, who scored 11 points, proved decisive.

In the night's other match, Connacht completed a hard earned double over Zebre as they wrapped up the pool stages with a 25-20 victory - their third win of the competition.

The first half at the Sportsground passed with few incidents of note, Connacht gaining the upper hand thanks to three penalties and a drop goal from Dan Parks.

Eric Elwood's men led 12-6 at half-time, with Daniel Halangahu landing a penalty double for Zebre.

A penalty try should have inspired further tries from the home side, but Halangahu's boot closed the gap for the Italians and winger Ruggero Trevisan's well executed try set up a tense conclusion at 19-17.

Halangahu's fifth penalty goal had Zebre 11 minutes away from a famous first win, however Parks split the posts on two more occasions for a handsome 20-point haul.


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