Heineken Champions Cup: Saracens secure home tie despite Edinburgh loss as London Irish’s European hopes end Rugby Union News

Saracens scored a late try in a 20-14 defeat in Edinburgh to secure a bonus point, securing a Champions Cup last 16 home tie. London Irish’s hopes of extending their European campaign were dashed as Montpellier approached. Munster missed out on a home tie after losing in Toulouse.

Last updated: 22/01/23 8:46pm

England's Elliot Daly carries the ball for Saracens during the defeat in Edinburgh.

England’s Elliot Daly carries the ball for Saracens during the defeat in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh had to settle for a Heineken Champions Cup last 16 tie despite a 20-14 defeat at Leicester.

The Scottish side were heading into the home match in the next round until flanker Ben Earl’s late try earned Saracens a losing bonus point at the DAM Health Stadium.

It pushed them into fourth place in Pool A ahead of Edinburgh, on tries scored, handing them a home game with the Ospreys.

Dave Cherry and Pierre Schuman crossed for Edinburgh while Blair Kinghorn added two penalties and as many conversions, with Alex Goode making it three for Saracens before Earl’s late try.

Edinburgh took the lead in the third minute when they kicked a penalty at the corner, then fought through four phases on Saracens’ line, before Hooker picked up the cherry at the base of the rack and headed over.

Edinburgh celebrated their victory at full-time despite losing their home last-16 tie

Edinburgh celebrated their victory at full-time despite losing their home last-16 tie

Kinghorn added the conversion, and then almost immediately slotted a penalty directly in front of the posts after Jamie George was called out for a high challenge on Schumann.

Saracens bounced back with Goode kicking the points from a scrum penalty, but Edinburgh were soon back on top – and they were helped by the visitors losing two players inside three minutes.

England poacher George and Italy prop Marco Riccioni were both yellow-carded for failing to lower their body height in a tackle and colliding.

Ricioni confused himself and did not return after his spell.

Edinburgh failed to make their two-man advantage count on the scoreboard, with Jamie Ritchie passing up a golden chance when he dived under the posts and lost the ball in contact.

Once back at full strength, Saracens reduced the gap with a second Goode penalty after another dropped scrum.

It left Edinburgh just four points ahead at the break, which was remarkable considering they dominated the first half with 71 per cent possession.

The home side went further ahead with a Kinghorn penalty at the start of the second half, but this was quickly canceled out by Goode’s successful shot on goal.

The game slipped away from Saracens when Maru Atoje became the third visiting player to see yellow for a sensational offside which prevented Henry Pirgos from moving the ball through the base of the attacking ruck.

Edinburgh kicked the corner and Schoeman powered over from the lineout maul, Kinghorn added the conversion.

As you would expect, Saracens fought to the end, and Edinburgh lost Sam Skinner to the sin-bin for knocking down a possession near their own line.

The hosts managed to hang on for a few more minutes, but finally got a crack when a long passage of play by Saracens finally opened up a gap on the left for Billy Vunipola to send Earl through, Goode adding the conversion. I failed.

Montpellier 21-21 London Irish

London Irish’s European campaign came to an end when French Top 14 champions Montpellier came from 21 points down to draw their Heineken Champions Cup clash 21-21.

A draw in the round four game in Pool B at the GGL Stadium meant that the Irish failed to register a win in the pool stages as their European hopes ended.

The visitors were 21 points up after 48 minutes, with Adam Coleman, Juan Martin Gonzalez and Agustin Creevy all impressing.

But Montpellier grew into the game in the second half and managed to equalize through Thomas Dorman, Vincent Giudicelli and Kobus Reinach, allowing Sale to qualify for the European Challenge Cup round of 16.

The Irish were beaten 32-27 by Montpellier in their opening Pool B game at the Gtech Community Stadium and lost their next two games before being denied again on French soil.

Both teams entered the match looking to bounce back from round three defeats, with Montpellier losing 35-29 to the Ospreys and the Irish 14-28 to the DHL Stormers.

Toulouse 20-16 Munster

A boot from full-back Melvin Gaminet led Toulouse to a narrow victory that earned them a home draw in the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup and condemned them to a road trip to Munster in the knockout stages.

Gaminet, deputizing for the suspended Thomas Ramos, kicked 15 points as he took the game away from the Irish visitors in a second half that saw the hosts change hands four times before eventually winning 20-16. .

Five-time European champions Toulouse finished second in Pool B behind holders La Rochelle, while Munster missed out on a top-four finish that would have guaranteed them a place at Thomond Park in the round of 16 at the end of the Six Nations. was

Toulouse started strongly and led by eight points. Gaminet dispatched the first of his five penalties in the second minute, and things got even better for the hosts five minutes later when their Argentine wing Juan Cruz Malia got past Shane Daly to cross into the right corner.

Gaminet pushed his touchline conversion inches too wide, but he was back on target in the 11th minute to make it 11-0.

Munster turned the game around with tries from John Hodnett and Tadhg Barron either side of half-time, but Joey Carbery missed both conversions to limit their advantage.

The lead was exchanged as both sides took advantage of penalties, but Gaminet struck twice more to seal victory for the hosts.

Round of 16 draw

Leinster v Ulster

Exeter v Montpellier

Shark v. Munster

Saracens v Ospreys

Leicester v Edinburgh

Stormers v Harlequins

Toulouse vs. Bull

La Rochelle v Gloucester

The ties will be played between March 31 and April 2.

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