Mon, Jan 26, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Leicester in last eight as Ospreys face fretful wait

AFP , PARIS

Double champions Leicester reached the European Cup quarter-finals on Saturday despite a 15-9 defeat to the Ospreys, who now face a nervous wait before learning their destiny.

The Tigers, winners in 2001 and 2002, picked up a crucial losing bonus point to make sure of top spot in Pool Three with 21 points.

The Ospreys, who have 20 points, dominated the tense Liberty Stadium encounter but their fast-breaking backs were unable to shatter the unyielding Leicester defense, which stood firm even when they were reduced to 14 men late in the first half.

The Welsh region’s future in this season’s competition was to be decided yesterday when Pools Two and Five were to be decided with four teams — Leinster, Wasps, Bath and Toulouse — still in contention.

“It is a very weird feeling in the dressing room,” Leicester boss Martin Corry said. “It was a very hard game, and in the end, we had to take stock and make sure we came out of it with something.”

In the pool’s other game, Perpignan ran in eight tries in a 48-16 romp at Treviso.

Harlequins, who made sure of their quarter-final place last week, clinched a bonus-point 29-24 victory over the Scarlets to guarantee a home tie in the last eight.

The Scarlets finished bottom of Pool Four. In the group’s other match, Stade Francais saw off Ulster 24-19, but both sides had already been eliminated from contention.

In Pool One, Sale, whose coach Philippe Saint-Andre is expected to be named as manager of Toulon today, ended Clermont’s slim chances of qualifying as a best runner-up with a 26-17 win.

Pool One leaders and defending champions Munster’s clash at Montauban was postponed because of storms in southwest France and were to take place yesterday. Munster, who have already reached the last eight for an 11th successive season, are hoping to secure a home tie in the quarter-finals with a bonus-point win.

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