Mon, Jan 26, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Leinster clinch spot in quarter-finals, Wasps must wait

Reuters, LONDON

Racing Metro’s Antonie Claassen runs with the ball during their European Champions Cup match against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, England, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Former champions Leinster sealed top spot in Pool Two and a place in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals despite letting slip a commanding half-time lead to draw 20-20 at Wasps on Saturday.

Converted tries by winger Fergus McFadden and scrumhalf Isaac Boss put Leinster 20-6 ahead at the break, but Wasps then came alive and Matt Mullan went over after 61 minutes, with Andy Goode converting from the left touchline.

Wasps’ No. 8 Nathan Hughes then dived over the maul to touch down and Goode’s trusty boot leveled the score with 10 minutes remaining at the Ricoh Arena.

Ian Madigan missed a late penalty for Leinster while Goode had a chance with a last-gasp drop goal.

A draw was enough for Leinster to book a last-eight place and leave Wasps sweating on being one of the three best runners-up having edged out Harlequins to second spot in the group.

Harlequins crushed Castres 47-19.

In Pool Three, reigning champions Toulon ensured they will be at home in the quarter-finals after a 26-3 triumph against Scarlets, while Leicester Tigers’ hopes of squeezing into the last eight were ended by a 26-7 defeat in Ulster.

Northampton Saints were destroyed 32-8 at home by Racing Metro in Pool Five, although both sides had already ensured their places in the quarter-finals.

Racing Metro topped the table on 24 points, with Northampton on 19, enough to take one of the three best runners-up berths.

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