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
Wed, 31 August 2016
Griquas v EP Kings 15h00 Kimberley
Fri, 02 September 2016
Boland v Pumas 13h00 Wellington
Blue Bulls v Golden Lions 17h00 Pretoria
Ospreys v Zebre 18h35 Liberty Stadium
Leinster v Treviso 18h35 RDS Arena
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Leicester Tigers 18h45 Kingsholm
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 03 September 2016
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Twickenham Stadium
Free State Cheetahs v EP Kings 13h00 Bloemfontein
Scarlets v Munster 14h00 Parc y Scarlets
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h30 Franklin's Gardens
Western Province v Sharks 15h10 Cape Town
Harlequins v Bristol 15h30 Twickenham Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 16h15 Sportsground
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Sun, 04 September 2016
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 Ricoh Arena
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6