Heineken Champions Cup: Leinster Thrash Gloucester To Book Last-16 Spot; Toulouse Through After Sale Sharks Red

Heineken Champions Cup: Leinster Thrash Gloucester To Book Last-16 Spot; Toulouse Through After Sale Sharks Red

Leinster booked their passage to the Heineken Champions Cup last 16

Leinster and Toulouse have booked Heineken Champions Cup last-16 places after wins at Gloucester and Sale…

Gloucester 14-49 Leinster

Leinster cruised into the Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 after sweeping aside Gloucester at Kingsholm.

The four-time European champions were never seriously threatened as they followed up a 57-0 victory over the same opponents before Christmas with another comprehensive success.

The Irish heavyweights secured a bonus point by half-time through tries from wing Jordan Larmour, prop Michael Ala’alatoa, centre Jamie Osborne and number eight Caelan Doris.

Fly-half Ross Byrne converted all four scores and, although Gloucester claimed two penalty tries from collapsed mauls, it was damage limitation from an early stage.

Leinster full-back Hugo Keenan crossed early in the second period for a try that Byrne again converted, then flanker Josh van der Flier touched down, with replacement Harry Byrne adding the extras.

And Ronan Kelleher added a seventh Leinster try on the stroke of full-time, converted by Harry Byrne, leaving Gloucester to reflect on their heaviest home defeat in top-flight European competition.

With eight teams qualifying from each of two pools, though, Gloucester could still reach the Champions Cup knockout phase if they beat Bordeaux-Begles in France next weekend.

Sale Sharks 5-27 Toulouse

Sale will face a must-win Heineken Champions Cup clash at Ulster next weekend after a 27-5 home defeat to Toulouse in their Pool B third-round clash.

Sharks slipped to their second defeat in three matches in Europe’s elite competition, on a day when they were certainly hampered by Cobus Wiese’s red card in the first half when 5-0 up.

Toulouse’s third straight victory leaves them almost certain of a home last-16 tie.

Sale were looking good as the quarter-stage of the game approached, but they then lost Wiese to a red card
after much deliberation from referee Mike Adamson.

The South African star was penalised for a dangerous clear-out at a ruck, and from there Toulouse grew into dominating the contest, ultimately securing a comfortable win.