Toulouse has the opportunity to make a big step towards the quarter-finals of the European Cup in the event of a victory in Montpellier on Saturday during the 4th day, where Clermont will have to prevail with the bonus to stay in contact with the Ulster.
+ Toulouse, very close
With three successes in the pocket while its three competitors have only one, the Stade Toulousain (13 pts) created the gap at the head of pool 5 compared to Gloucester (7 pts), Montpellier (5 pts) and Connacht (4 pts). Connacht receiving Gloucester on Saturday, a victory for the Irish and the Red and Black would only have to prevail two hours later in Hérault in order to be almost certain to see the European spring for the second year in a row .
Semi-finalists in 2019, the defending French champions would indeed only need a victory (or even less) during the last two days (trip to Connacht, reception of Gloucester) to be formally guaranteed to finish in the lead . Above all, a success in Montpellier would open a royal voice to one of the first four places in the group stage, synonymous with the quarter-final at home.
For its part, the MHR is far from this final phase, contested only once in its history (2013). It touches its limits year after year on the continental scene, despite a quality workforce, as proved by its defeat in Toulouse last Sunday (23-9).
However, he still has a little hope of qualifying via a best second ticket, which goes through a flawless course with several offensive bonus points. The Toulousains should therefore face up-coming and revengeful Héraultais, however still deprived of Handré Pollard: the South African world champion opener, rookie rookie of the offseason, is still too fair.
+ Clermont under pressure
Clermont (11 pts) is already fixed: the victory with the offensive bonus from Ulster (17 pts) Friday evening on the Harlequins field (34-10) obliges him to also take the five points Sunday at home against Bath to stick with the North Irish. Mission amply in their strings, since the English are eliminated and the Auvergne have largely beaten them last Friday at home (34-17).
Then, a mano à mano au knife will take shape with the Irish, which the ASM will receive on the last day. Before this decisive meeting, it should not a priori be missed on the Harlequins field, since Ulster will receive at the same time Bath.
+ Lyon, to dream
If La Rochelle (on the road to Glasgow) is eliminated, Lyon (6 pts) is roughly in the same situation as Montpellier, in Pool 1: they shoot their last card for a quarter-final on the occasion from his trip to Treviso, which he must again beat with the offensive bonus point.
A success would most likely allow LOU to take second place in Northampton (9 pts), moving to Leinster, untouchable (14 pts) leader who rolled it at home last weekend (43-16). During the next day, at the beginning of January, it is the Lyonnais who will go to Dublin ... A ticket for the second best is therefore very hypothetical but Pierre Mignoni's team would give themselves the right to dream if they won in Italy.
Leinster, four times titled and finalist in the spring, can put him a foot and a half in quarters like Toulouse and Exeter (14 pts in pool 2) if he again dominated Sale. The Saracens (6 pts), outgoing winners, have no room for error against Munster (11 pts) in group 3 of Racing 92 (17 pts after their victory against the Ospreys 40-27 Friday evening) .
Racing 92 (bo) - Ospreys (bo) (WAL) 40-27
Harlequins (ENG) - Ulster (bo) (IRL) 10-34
Treviso (ITA) - Lyon
(1:45 p.m.) Connacht - Gloucester
(4:00 p.m.) Saracens - Munster
(4:00 p.m.) Montpellier - Toulouse
(6:15 p.m.) Leinster - Northampton
(6:15 p.m.) Glasgow (SCO) - La Rochelle
(2:00 p.m.) Exeter (ENG) - Sale (ENG)
Clermont - Bath (ENG)
© 2019 AFP