Tue, Jan 27, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Toulouse progress into last eight

AFP , PARIS

Bath’s Joe Maddock, left, is tackled by Toulouse’s Maxime Medard during their European Cup match on Sunday at the Recreation Ground, Bath, England.

PHOTO: AP

Three-time European champions Toulouse and Bath fought out a tough 3-3 draw on Sunday though any pre-match tension had gone out of it as both sides were assured of a place in the last eight of the European Cup.

The loser of their match had been in danger of going out but English outfit Wasps’ surprise 21-15 loss to Castres in France earlier on Sunday assured both sides of progressing.

Had Wasps won, then the loser of the Bath-Toulouse clash would have failed to make it as one of the best second placed finishers. Bath though finish top of the group.

Leinster secured their place in the quarter-finals with a dour 12-3 victory over Edinburgh in Dublin.

Their Irish rivals and reigning champions Munster had already qualified but rounded off their group campaign with a 37-13 victory over French side Montauban.

Wasps’ loss also meant that Welsh side Ospreys qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the best-placed runners-up.

Wasps had fought back principally through 10 points from Danny Cipriani after conceding two tries in the first-half to lead with just 13 minutes remaining with Dominic Waldouck going over.

However, Thomas Bouquie ensured heartbreak for the English team as he scored his second try of the match after 75 minutes to give the French side a welcome boost in what is likely to be a tough relegation battle on the domestic front.

Leinster dominated their Scottish rivals with fullback Rob Kearney the most eye-catching player on the pitch, producing some sparkling runs that his team-mates failed to take advantage of.

However, Felipe Contepomi’s boot gave Leinster the breathing space they needed to secure the victory.

Munster had already qualified but they didn’t take their foot off the pedal as they walloped Montauban with Ronan O’Gara scoring 12 points and replacement Barry Murphy scoring a brace of tries.

Double champions Leicester had sealed their place in the knockout stage on Saturday despite losing 15-9 to the Ospreys.

The Tigers picked up a crucial losing bonus point to make sure of top spot in Pool Three with 21 points. Ospreys dominated but were unable to shatter the Leicester defense which stood firm even when they were reduced to 14 men late in the first half.

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