Four-times winners Toulouse will have to travel to Biarritz in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup after a last-gasp David Lemi try gave Wasps a 21-16 home victory on Sunday that denied the holders a home game.
Toulouse were cruising toward an all-important home match as they ran down the clock at 16-16 in the final match of the pool stage.
However, Samoan winger Lemi’s try not only condemned them to a tough trip in a repeat of last year’s final, but to pile on the agony they will be away again in the semi-finals should they progress.
However, it was not all bad news for France as Perpignan thrashed the Scarlets 37-5 to take top spot in Pool 5 ahead of Leicester, who also advanced.
Although the four French teams who qualified did so as group winners, they will meet in two all-French clashes in the quarter-finals with the winners both away in the semis.
Toulouse were already through before Sunday’s game, but had to rouse themselves to get something from their trip to Wasps to avoid an away game in the last eight.
Things did not look good when they trailed 16-7 early in the second half and were reduced to 14 men for the duration after Florian Fritz was sent off for a spear tackle on Tom Varndell.
However, they edged their way back level with three penalties by David Skrela and were running the clock down knowing the draw would be enough.
However, a lack of concentration allowed Levi to chip through then dive on the ball at the death.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t get at least the draw or second try to get the home quarter-final. It’s a tough game away to Biarritz and then probably a tougher one if we make it so it’s doubly hard now,” back rower Shaun Sowerby said. “Clearly there is a home advantage and that’s why everyone puts everything into it. A bonus point here or an extra try here changes things.”
Perpignan had a much calmer afternoon as, needing a bonus-point victory over the visiting -Scarlets side to guarantee top spot and a home quarter-final, they secured it with ease.
Florian Cazenave scored the key fourth of their five tries early in the second half and they cruised home.
Leicester scored nine tries as they hammered Treviso 62-15 with a hat-trick for Jordan Crane to also claim a bonus point.
They finished alongside Perpignan on 22 points, but the French champions topped the group on the back of their better head-to-head record.
In Sunday’s other action, Glasgow edged past the Newport-Gwent Dragons 23-16.
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