Mon, Jan 25, 2010 - Page 19 News List

HEINEKEN CUP: Ospreys pummel Tigers to reach last eight

AFP , PARIS

Welsh side Ospreys secured their third successive European Cup quarter-finals spot on Saturday as they beat two-time champions Leicester Tigers 17-12 in a thrilling clash.

The one try of the match came from Ospreys’ Irish winger Tommy Bowe, who touched down for his seventh try of the pool phase to become just the second player after Argentine Felipe Contepomi to score tries in every first stage match of the tournament.

However, their joy was tempered as the losers made a protest about Ospreys at one point having 16 men on the pitch when Lee Byrne returned from a blood binning, but his replacement Sonny Parker stayed on the pitch leading to referee Alan Lewis admonishing the unfortunate Ospreys official responsible.

It is understood tournament rules mean the result of the match cannot be affected.

England were fined a five-­figure sum during the 2003 World Cup when Dan Luger briefly appeared as a 16th player during their group victory over Samoa in Melbourne.

Ospreys, winning their 13th successive home match in the competition, took one of the two best runners-up spots.

French side Clermont topped their three pool by crushing Italian whipping boys Viadana 59-20.

Northampton, who bowed 12-9 at Munster on Friday, edged out London Irish for the other best runner-up spot.

London Irish missed out after titleholders Leinster held them 11-11 at Twickenham to advance to a home-quarter-final late on Saturday. The English side had needed to win to even have a chance of reaching the last eight.

Scarlets finished level on 17 points with London Irish after a 20-17 win at whipping boys Brive.

Clermont and Ospreys joined three-time winners Toulouse, Biarritz and two-time champions Munster in the last eight, the Irish province having ensured a remarkable 12th successive appearance in the quarter-finals with a 12-9 win over 2000 champions Northampton on Friday.

Stade Francais ensured there would be four French sides in the last eight for the first time since the 1998 to 1999 season later on Saturday when they topped Pool Four, ­despite losing 9-7 to Edinburgh.

Closest rivals Ulster recorded their first ever win on English territory with a 28-10 victory over Bath, but it will be of little consolation to the 1999 champions.

Clermont have been in fine form of late topping their championship and now winning their pool.

“We are delighted for the club, for the squad and for the supporters,” Clermont’s captain Aurelien Rougerie said. “We are satisfied, but it is vital we remain humble and do not get above ourselves.”

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