23 January, 2011

Leinster (and Ireland) book BIG pay-day: Ulster get through: Wasps miss Quarters for fourth year in a row: Heineken Cup Pool Climax Round-Up:

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      Legend BRIAN O ' DRISCOLL marked his 32nd birthday on Friday by becoming the Heineken Cup's second all-time leading try - scorer, and, much, much more importantly , booking Leinster a HOME Quarter-Final (against Leicester Tigers) in April after the Dublin based province hammered Racing Métro 11-36 at the Stade Colombes. 
     Leinster are now expected to bank €650,000 from a 50,000 plus sell-out at the new Aviva Stadium as Leicester Tigers (seen above after BOD had led Leinster to the 2009 Heineken with victory over the Tigers), with the financial benefits of the Quarter-Final tie being worth well in excess of €1million to the Irish economy. The Leinster Branch must of course convince Head Coach Joe Schmidt of the benefits of moving the game from the RDS to the Aviva. I am confident he will be convinced.

            Ulster Rugby booked their place in the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup for the
Good day for Ulster, but the hard work was done last weekend
first time since 1999 with a comfortable 43 points to 6 home win over Aironi Rugby. The hard work was done last weekend though, with a magnificent 9-6 win over last season's Finalists: Biarritz.

Bitter-sweet Wasps win as they miss Cup Quarters for fourth year in a row
            The battle of the giants saw two - time Cup winners London Wasps topple four - time Cup Kings Toulouse 21-16 with a last gasp try to deny the French side a home Quarter-Final. Guy Noves' side now face a titanic Top 14 clash with Olympique Biarritz at Parc Des Aguileres. Wasps have now missed out on the Heineken Cup Quarter-Final for the fourth successive year and one must wonder if the salary cap in the English Premiership is holding back English club sides?

 The full-list of Heineken Cup Quarter-Finals (home-side first):

The quarter-final matches, to be played the weekend of 8 / 9 / 10 April, 2011, will be:
(1) Northampton Saints v Ulster Rugby (8)
(2) Leinster v Leicester Tigers (7)
(3) Perpignan v Toulon (6)
(4) Biarritz Olympique v Toulouse(5)

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