European Champions Cup – Pool Update
Ahead of Round 6 of the European Champions Cup, the final set of group fixtures, we looked at what each Aviva Premiership Rugby team needs to do if they’re to squeeze into the knockout stages of this year’s competition.
If keeping it simple in such a superbly congested Round 6 is difficult, the straightforward message for Ulster (17 points) who travel to Wasps (12 points), and for La Rochelle (16 points) who host Harlequins, is that both need to win.
What is certain, is that a victory for Ulster at the Ricoh would guarantee them a place in the last eight come what may. Remember too that Wasps are not out of it which all suggests that Sunday afternoon might be a bit of a rollercoaster.
This pool always had the whiff of death about it and now we have the TOP14 champions and the tournament holders fighting for survival.
Clermont (18 points), who have been hit by a host of injuries, need to beat a resurgent Ospreys (15 points) at Marcel-Michelin, while a home win for Saracens (13 points) might not be enough.
And even if Northampton Saints are gone from the qualification race, expect them to come out firing at Allianz Park.
Impressive Leinster have already booked a home quarter-final, and a losing bonus point in Montpellier will see them ranked No 1 going into the knockout stage which statistically boosts their chances of a semi-final in Ireland.
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 16, 2018
Montpellier (13 points) are still in the hunt for a best runner-up spot as are the Exeter Chiefs (14 points) who need a big win in Glasgow.
Another pool going right down to the wire.
If Munster (16 points) get the better of Castres (12 points) at Thomond Park, then they will win the pool irrespective of what happens between Leicester and Racing 92 (15 points) at Welford Road as the Irish province have a superior points difference from the head-to-heads with Racing.
A win for the TOP 14 side in Leicester, and they could well grab a quarter-final place.
A packed house at Parc y Scarlets is guaranteed on Saturday for the shoot-out between Scarlets (17 points) and RC Toulon (18 points).
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 15, 2018
The winner takes all, and the loser will be left sweating on the possibility of a best runner-up place.
Even if Bath (13 points) hit top form against Benetton in Treviso, a bonus point victory may still not be enough.