Harlequins qualify for Heineken Cup quarter finals

Harlequins qualified for the place in the second round of the Heineken Cup when they beat Connacht 47-8 at The Stoop on Saturday.


Harlequins lead Pool 3 in the Heineken Cup with 24 points which may prove enough to secure a home semi-final depending on other results.


Harlequins have scored 27 tries in their five winning group matches, with Tom Williams collecting a brace against a game but outgunned Connacht side as Conor O’Shea’s men marched into the knockout stages for only the second time since 1998.


Toulon are also in the knockout stages after beating Cardiff Blues 45-25 at Stade Felix Mayol, with the try bonus point taking them to 23 points.


They still have to go to Montpellier – who are on 18 points – in Round 6 but Toulon are assured of being in the mix in April as group winners at best or one of the two best runners-up at worst.


And they are through to successive quarter-finals, having made the final eight in their most recent appearance in the tournament two seasons ago.


Ulster Rugby were the first last-eight qualifiers when they beat Glasgow Warriors 23-6 under the Ravenhill floodlights.


It took them five points clear of Northampton Saints in Pool 4 and through to the knockout stages with a match to spare courtesy of their superior 6-4 match points advantage over the Saints from their head-to-head encounters.


And, just like Toulon, they still have plenty to play for in respect of winning priceless home advantage when they go to Castres Olympique next week.


Final Score Harlequins 47 (16) Connacht 8 (3)


Scorers


Harlequins
Tries: Penalty, Williams 2, Monye, Lowe, Botica
Penalties: Evans 3
Conversions: Evans 3, Botica


Connacht
Tries: O’Connor
Penalties: Jarvis


Match Officials
Referee
: Neil Paterson (Sco),
Assistant ref: Jean-Luc Rebollai (Fra),
Assistant ref: Mourad Zitouni (Fra),
TMO: Vincent Azoulay (Fra),
Citing Commisioner: Jean-Etienne Bernard (Fra)


Teams


Harlequins: Mike Brown; Tom Williams, Matt Hopper, Tom Casson, Ugo Monye; Nick Evans, Danny Care; Joe Marler, Joe Gray, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, George Robson, Maurie Fa’asavalu, Chris Robshaw (c), Nick Easter.


Replacements: Rob Buchanan, Mark Lambert, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, Tom Guest, Karl Dickson, Ben Botica, George Lowe.


Connacht Rugby: Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O’Halloran, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Fetu’u Vainikolo; Matthew Jarvis, Kieran Marmion; Dennis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White (c), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Andrew Browne, Johnny O’Connor, Eoin McKeon.


Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Brett Wilkinson, Ronan Loughney, Michael Kearney, Eoghan Grace, Paul O’Donohoe, Miah Nikora, James Loxton.


With thanks to ERCRugby.

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