European review: Five URC teams into Champions Cup last 16

European review: Five URC teams into Champions Cup last 16

Leinster made it four wins from four in the Investec Champions Cup after toppling Leicester 27-10 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road and are one of five BKT United Rugby Championship teams to advance to the last 16.

Leinster, chasing a record-equalling fifth European title this season, fell 10 points behind to a Hanro Liebenberg try, with Handre Pollard kicking a conversion and penalty.

But the Irish heavyweights soon found a familiar rhythm, taking charge through tries from lock Joe McCarthy, wing Jordan Larmour and hooker Dan Sheehan, while Harry Byrne added two conversions and a penalty.

Caelan Doris’ late try secured a bonus-point as Leinster - finalists for the last two years - topped Pool Four and will host the Tigers in Dublin in the last 16.

They will be joined in the knockout stages by DHL Stormers, who won 24-20 at Stade Francais with Herschel Jantjies, Ruben van Heerden, Hendre Stassen and Manie Libbok crossing for tries and Libbok adding two conversions.

The Stormers will now face two-time reigning champions La Rochelle for a place in the quarter-finals.

In Pool Three, two tries apiece from Huw Jones and Kyle Rowe helped Glasgow Warriors to a 29-5 win over Toulon and into the last 16.

Josh McKay also went over with George Horne adding two conversions and the Warriors face Harlequins in the next round.

Munster were beaten 26-23 by Northampton in Limerick but get the chance of revenge when they go to Franklin's Gardens in April.

Antoine Frisch, Peter O'Mahony and Gavin Coombes crossed for Munster's tries.

Marcell Coetzee scored a pair of tries as the Vodacom Bulls edged an entertaining clash with Bordeaux-Begles 46-40.

Devon Williams, David Kriel, Willie le Roux and Embrose Papier also crossed as the Bulls finished second in Pool One and meet Lyon in the last 16.

Connacht beat Bristol 27-10 with tries from Andrew Smith, Shayne Bolton, Jack Aungier and Caolin Blade but must make do with a Challenge Cup clash with Pau.

Ulster also drop into the Challenge Cup, where they will play Montpellier, after a 47-19 defeat to Harlequins, while their Pool Two rivals Cardiff exit Europe after a 48-26 defeat to Racing made it four consecutive defeats.

Hollywoodbets Sharks, Zebre Parma, Benetton, Ospreys, Emirates Lions and Edinburgh will join Ulster and Connacht in the Challenge Cup last 16.

Ospreys produced a stirring late comeback to beat Lions 38-28 after trailing 28-17.

Late tries from Keelan Giles, Cameron Jones and Morgan Morse wrapped up a highly impressive win and secure a last-16 showdown with Sale.

The Sharks also impressed with a 29-9 victory over the Dragons at Rodney Parade as the Durban side cemented their position at the top of Pool One courtesy of tries from Jaden Hendrikse, Ox Nche, Gerbrandt Grobler, Le Roux Roets and Werner Kok.

Tomas Albornoz scored 20 points from a pair of tries, two conversions and two penalties as Benetton beat Montpellier 27-19. Onisi Ratave claimed the other tries for the Italians to help set up a clash with the Lions.

Simone Gesi ran in two tries and Andrea Zambonin and Gonzalo Garcia also went in but Zebre were narrowly beaten 28-27 by Pau. Zebre will now face the Sharks in the knockout phase.

Edinburgh secured safe passage with a 31-19 win over Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets.

Ben Vellacott and WP Nel both went over in the first six minutes as the Scots, who will meet Bayonne next, raced into a 14-0 lead.

Joe Roberts crossed to get Scarlets back into it but further Edinburgh scores from Duhan Van Der Merwe and Hamish Watson had the bonus point secured by half-time.

Pierre Schoeman put the game to bed three minutes after the restart and – after Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist was shown a red card in the 72nd minute – Ryan Conbeer and a penalty try gave some respectability to the score for the home side, who have lost all four games to exit the competition.

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