Europe reaches boiling point with knockout stage places on the line

first_imgClick here for the European Rugby Champions Cup Round 5 fixturesRepresentatives from Europe’s top professional leagues, the Aviva Premiership, the Guinness PRO12 and the TOP 14, are in the running both for the last eight as well as the critical advantage of a home quarter-final, and all Champions Cup matches will be televised live on either BT Sport, Sky Sports or Sky Italia.Holders, Saracens, have their sights set on another Champions Cup milestone when they travel to Scarlets live on Sky Sports on Sunday seeking a record 14th straight win in the tournament (watch a compilation video of their 13 wins here).As the only club to date with four wins, Sarries have breathing space at the top of Pool 3 and they can book their place in the quarter-finals with another victory, but will be wary of an opposition that has won both of this season’s matches at Parc y Scarlets. RC Toulon meet Sale Sharks in the other match in the pool hoping to further their claim for a spot in the last eight.Last weekend’s bonus point victory for Munster Rugby over Racing 92 has put them in control of Pool 1 and they can also qualify for the quarter-finals if they get the better of Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun on Saturday.There is plenty at stake at the Ricoh Arena too where Wasps clash with Toulouse in a repeat of the 2004 final live on BT Sport. The two clubs are locked on 13 points at the top of a highly-competitive Pool 2 along with Connacht Rugby, who host Zebre Rugby.Three-time tournament winners, Leinster Rugby, can secure their place in the last eight with victory over Montpellier when Round 5 of the Champions Cup kicks off at the RDS Arena tomorrow evening.ASM Clermont Auvergne are the leading TOP 14 contenders and they can also progress to the knockout stage if they get the better of Bordeaux-Bègles at Stade Chaban-Delmas on Sunday.Meanwhile, Harlequins and Edinburgh Rugby are well versed in Challenge Cup crunch matches having been tournament winners in 2001, 2004 and 2011, and runners-up in 2015 respectively. Their Pool 5 confrontation at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday could be defining as a bonus-point win for Quins will almost certainly see them through to the last eight.Click here for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 5 fixturesBristol Rugby take back-to-back wins over Pau into the resumption of their West Country rivalry with Bath Rugby at Ashton Gate Stadium live on BT Sport. Tomorrow’s Pool 4 clash could go a long way to deciding the pool with Bristol currently in third spot, three points behind leaders Bath and Cardiff Blues, who entertain Pau.Ospreys are the only club with a maximum 20 point-haul and they can seal a home quarter-final with a win when Lyon visit the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Once again, fans will be expecting the traditional nailbiting drama associated with Rounds 5 and 6 and if some clubs see qualification for the quarter-finals as a long shot at the moment, it’s worth remembering that Exeter Chiefs won their Champions Cup pool last season with 16 points. The road to the Edinburgh finals and possible European glory next May will become clearer over the coming two weekends as coveted knockout stage places are on the line for Champions Cup and Challenge Cup contenders alike.last_img

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