Lhe French clubs shone on the rugby fields during the European Cup on Saturday 16 April. Awaiting the result of Racing 92 – Stade Français on Sunday afternoon, Montpellier, La Rochelle and Toulouse have indeed qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition. However, Clermont, who had already been beaten at home in the first leg, were unable to do anything against the English furies from Leicester. Four French clubs are in the next round.
The game of the weekend: Toulouse
A pincer victory. Toulouse were beaten at home by six points in the first leg (26-20) and managed to reverse the situation by beating Ireland’s Ulster 30-23 in Belfast on Saturday. Victory took shape in the final minutes of the game as the Red and Blacks found the opening at 75 after knocking out Irish pillar O’Tooleand minute thanks to a test by their master, the indispensable Antoine Dupont. But it was difficult. Bravely, the Ulster players responded stubbornly to the repeated attacks from the Stade Toulousain players throughout the match.
The defending champions, five-time European champions, will progress to the quarter-finals in May in another Irish province, Munster, which they eliminated in the preliminary round, this time in a dry game this year.
“We’re sure he’ll pass, so we’re already giving orders to hit a short dismissal… Except he misses. Luck was on our side then. »
Montpellier manager Philippe Saint-André already saw the worst-case scenario for his team. But after a draw until the final whistle, Montpellier qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup at the Harlequins’ hideout in London on Saturday. The residents of Montpellier were able to maintain a small lead over their opponents – 20:33 defeat – in both games.
Beaten 40-26 in the first leg, the “Quins” attacked the game head on and scored a try after 33 seconds of play… Montpellier conceded three more tries in the first period but responded twice. The second period ended with the Londoners besieging the Hérault goal line, breaking in at the end in the 76thand Minute. But Marcus Smith, by then brilliantly opening half of the Rose’s Fifteen, missed the transformation, the failure that sealed the game’s fate.
The number: 6
The term “black beast” has never been more apt. Union Bordeaux-Bègles (UBB) lost their sixth game in a row against La Rochelle on Saturday (31:23). Reduced to 14 for 55 minutes after Ma’ama Vaipulu’s red card for a tackle without the ball on Jonathan Danty, Christophe Urios’ men exploded on their return from the dressing room against the Maritimes, who punched their ticket to the quarter without fear – Final. With more than 60 points scored in two games, the tournament’s final runners-up were far too strong for the Girondins, who have suffered an eighth defeat in their last nine games.