Stade Francais join Leicester in last eight

Try scorer Manu Tuilagi in action for Leicester Tigers

French club Stade Francais joined England’s Leicester in the last eight of the European Rugby Champions Cup by beating the Tigers 36-21 with a bonus point at Stade Jean Bouin.

Leicester Tigers had already secured a place at home in the quarter finals as they finished on top of Pool Four and now Stade have qualified as one of three best runners-up.

Parisians Stade ran in five tries to Leicester’s three in a victory that will likely see them face a trip to the Tigers in the last eight.

“We understood that Leicester’s intention really was to come here and win,” said Stade coach Gonzalo Quesada, whose side are struggling down in 11th place in the French Top 14.

“Given our situation, we could have been uncertain at the start of the match, let it get away from us.

“But the players managed to roll up their sleeves to take control of the match.”

Ulster had kept their knock-out stage hopes alive on Saturday with an eight-try 56-3 rout of Oyonnax.

But a 22-10 bonus-point victory for Northampton at Scarlets on Saturday night, followed by Stade’s win, means no Irish province has reached the quarter-finals for the first time since the 1997/98 season.

Munster were eliminated two weeks ago when losing at Stade while Leinster had already bitten the dust before the turn of the year.

Tries from fly-half Jules Plisson, Fiji wing Waisea Nayacalevu and prop Rabah Slimani before half-time had Stade in control leading 19-7.

Back-row forward Raphael Lakafia scored the crucial fourth try on 54 minutes while South African fly-half Morne Steyn rounded off the tries in the final minute.

Leicester were actually first on the scoreboard through centre Manu Tuilagi but Stade already had their bonus point before lock Dominic Barrow and hooker Harry Thacker crossed the whitewash.

Leicester had already won Pool 4 but with a bonus point victory they could have challenged Saracens for the top seeding.

As it is, they finish the group stages as the second seeds having lost their perfect record in Paris and they will now play either Stade, Northampton or the second-placed finisher from Pool 2 — either Clermont or Ospreys.

The Welsh region are the last remaining hopes to prevent a quarter-final line-up comprising only English and French teams.

In the other Pool 4 match, Munster cruised to a 28-5 victory at pointless Treviso.

Final Score Stade Francais 36 (19) Leicester Tigers 21 (7)

Scorers

Stade Francais
Tries – Plisson, Vuidarvuwalu, Slimani, Lakafia, Doumayru
Pen – Plisson
Con – Plisson 4
Drop –

Leicester Tigers
Tries – Tuilagi, Barrow, Thacker
Pen –
Con – Burns, Bell 2
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Mark Patton (Ireland),
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland),
Citing Commissioner: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Teams

Stade Français Paris: Hugo Bonneval; Jérémy Sinzelle, Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, Jonathan Danty, Djibril Camara; Jules Plisson, Julien Dupuy; Zak Taulafo, Laurent Sempéré, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Paul Gabrillagues, Jonathan Ross, Raphael Lakafia, Sergio Parisse (c)

Replacements: Laurent Panis, Emmanuel Felsina, Paul Alo Emile, Pascal Papé, Antoine Burban, Julien Tomas, Morné Steyn, Geoffrey Doumayrou

Leicester Tigers: Matthew Tait; Adam Thompstone, Manu Tuilagi, Matt Smith, Telusa Veainu; Freddie Burns, Ben Youngs; Marcos Ayerza, Tom Youngs (c), Dan Cole, Dom Barrow, Graham Kitchener, Michael Fitzgerald, Tom Croft, Lachlan McCaffrey

Replacements: Harry Thacker, Logovii Mulipola, Fraser Balmain, Sebastian De Chaves, Laurence Pearce, Sam Harrison, Thomas Bell, Peter Betham

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