Heineken Cup
Euro quarter-finals confirmed
ESPNscrum Staff
January 22, 2012
Munster winger Simon Zebo celebrates his second try, Northampton v Munster, Heineken Cup, Stadium:MK, Milton Keynes, England, January 21, 2012
Munster wing Simon Zebo celebrates a try in his side's rout of Northampton © Getty Images

After six rounds of brutal, brilliant Pool action the Heineken Cup quarter-finals have been confirmed, with some familiar faces leading the way into the knockout stages.

Munster secured top seeding in the last eight and a priceless home tie at Thomond Park with Saturday's 51-36 hammering of Northampton. The two-time champions will face Ulster in a titanic all-Irish tie. While Ulster fell short away to Clermont Auvergne - losing 19-15 - they did enough to bag one of the two spots on offer to the best runners-up.

The other belongs to Cardiff Blues, who are set to face reigning champions Leinster in the quarters. The Blues scraped past Racing Metro in the final round - winning 36-30 - but their lack of a bonus-point gave Edinburgh top spot in Pool 2 and home advantage against Toulouse.

Leinster are seeded second, having completed the Pool stages unbeaten with a routine 25-3 win over Montpellier. They will be a tough proposition at the RDS or Lansdowne Road, leaving Cardiff staring down the barrel.

Toulouse, whose Pool campaign has not been brimming with quality, will be wary of a free-flowing Edinburgh. The four-time champions have qualified on 18 points, despite Friday's 34-24 loss to Gloucester.

Clermont Auvergne, meanwhile, will also be on their travels. Saracens needed only a point from Sunday's trip to Treviso, but the English champions managed all four in a 26-20 win to set up a Vicarage Road meeting with Les Jaunards.

Following the final round, the draw for the semi-finals confirmed home country advantage for the winners of the Saracens-Clermont and Munster-Ulster ties.

The other main sub-plot to consider is qualification for the latter stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup. Harlequins will get a chance to defend the trophy they won in Cardiff last season, after Friday's 9-8 defeat at Connacht ended their Heineken Cup hopes.

The Scarlets will also drop into the second tier tournament - thanks to Northampton's loss against Munster and their gritty 16-13 win at Castres. Biarritz kept their nose in with a win over the Ospreys in the final round, and they complete the line-up for the last eight.

Heineken Cup quarter-final seedings:

1. Munster (Q - 25 points)
2. Leinster (Q - 24 points)
3. Edinburgh (Q - 22 points)
4. Saracens (Q - 22 points)
5. Clermont Auvergne (Q - 18 points)
6. Toulouse (Q - 18 points)
7. Cardiff Blues (q - 21 points)
8. Ulster (q -20 points)

Heineken Cup quarter-finals: (To be played April 6/7/8)

Munster v Ulster
Leinster v Cardiff Blues
Edinburgh v Toulouse
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne

Heineken Cup semi-finals: (To be played April 27/28/29)

Saracens/Clermont v Leinster/Cardiff Blues
Munster/Ulster v Edinburgh/Toulouse

Final: Twickenham Stadium, Saturday, May 19 (5.00)

Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final seedings:

1. Stade Francais (Q - 29 points)
2. Brive (Q - 27 points)
3. Toulon (Q - 25 points)
4. Wasps (Q - 24 points)
5. Biarritz (Heineken Cup)
6. Harlequins (Heineken Cup)
7. Scarlets (Heineken Cup)
8. Exeter (Q - 23 points)

Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals: (To be played April 5/6/7/8)

Stade Francais v Exeter
Brive v Scarlets
Toulon v Harlequins
Wasps v Biarritz

Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals: (To be played April 27/28/29)

Toulon/Harlequins v Stade Francais/Exeter
London Wasps/Biarritz v Brive/Scarlets

Final: Twickenham Stoop, Friday, May 18 (8.00)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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