Article

Montpellier into quarters, nervous wait for Leinster

19 January 2013 23:38

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

Montpellier, playing just days after the death of forwards coach Eric Bechu, finished their Pool 6 campaign on 22 points, enough to take one of the two best runners-up spots.

They join Harlequins, Ulster, Clermont Auvergne and Toulon in reaching the final eight of Europe's top club competition.

The six pool winners plus the two best second-place teams advance, with the final three places determined by Sunday's final round of games.

Two-time defending champions Leinster defeated Exeter 29-20 but face a nail biting Sunday which could end their hopes of a fourth title in five years.

The Irish side finished second in Pool 5 behind runaway leaders Clermont and can only make the quarter-finals by claiming the remaining best runners-up spot.

Leinster finished their group campaign with 20 points, but Irish rivals Munster can deny them a quarter-final spot if they score four tries and beat Racing Metro.

Unbeaten Clermont Auvergne booked a home quarter-final with a bonus-point 29-0 victory over Scarlets, who suffered their second competition whitewash in 17 years of European rugby.

In other results, Glasgow beat Northampton 27-20 after Peter Horne scored a dazzling last-gasp try to put an end to the Saints' campaign.

Ulster booked themselves a home tie in the quarter-finals with a scrappy 9-8 win over Castres at Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Finally, Cardiff Blues secured their first victory of a miserable season at the Arms Park, beating Sale Sharks 26-14.

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