European Cup, Round Six: Pool by pool
SPOTLIGHT: As the European Cup pool stage reaches its climax this weekend, we bring you a pool by pool breakdown of what’s at stake.
A win for already-qualified Leinster at Benetton on Saturday will see the four-time champions finish the pool stage as the No.1-ranked club with a home quarterfinal.
A draw would also guarantee that precious home quarter-final, but a defeat and Leinster will be depending on other results to go their way. Northampton Saints on 14 points will have to win in Lyon to be in the shake-up for a best runner-up spot.
In Pool 1 @leinsterrugby have locked in their place in the quarter finals 🔐
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 13, 2020
Pool winners, Exeter Chiefs, can book a first home quarterfinal in their history with a win against La Rochelle at Sandy Park on Saturday.
A draw or a defeat, and they’ll be anxiously watching results elsewhere. Glasgow Warriors are qualification outsiders on 12 points, and they’ll almost certainly need a bonus-point win at Sale to have a chance as the best runner-up.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 14, 2020
A two-horse race at the top of the table with ASM Clermont Auvergne (20 points) safely through but on a quest for victory at Harlequins on Saturday to win the pool and to be in the mix for a home quarterfinal.
Ulster is looking good for a quarterfinal place on 17 points, and a win against Bath at the Kingspan will guarantee qualification either as the pool winner or as the best runner-up ranked No.6.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 15, 2020
The clash of holders Saracens (14 points) and pool winners, Racing 92 (22 points), on Sunday is shaping up as the match of round. Racing is focused on securing a quarter-final at Paris La Défense Arena while Saracens will be hell-bent on the victory that could seal a knockout stage place for the ninth season in a row.
Saturday’s results could well clarify the qualification situation for both clubs, but expect fireworks at Allianz Park just the same. Meanwhile, Munster (11 points), host the Ospreys needing a bonus-point win and some divine intervention.
🔥 @racing92 charged their way to a qualification spot in Pool 4 🙌
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 16, 2020
Even though a freakish set of results earlier in the weekend could see Gloucester (14 points) requiring just a losing bonus point to guarantee a quarter-final place at Toulouse on Sunday, all current indications are that they will need to win to have any hope of qualification.
The TOP 14 champions may be already through, but they have a home quarterfinal in their sights.