Five through – and any one of seven others in with varying degrees of hope and expectation of making the last eight and contesting the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on the weekend of 25/27 January.
LATE NEWS: Toulouse v Leinster now being played Sunday.
Five through – and any one of seven others in with varying degrees of hope and expectation of making the last eight and contesting the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on the weekend of 25/7 January.
Defending champions Leicester Tigers, 1998 cup winners Bath Rugby, Stade Francais, Munster and Leinster are all safely through to the prestigious knock-out stages.
That, however, is not the end of the business. Invaluable home advantage in the quarter-finals – the four best Pool winners get that huge bonus – is still at stake with rankings also crucial in deciding who plays who.
But for Llanelli, Ulster, Castres, Biarritz Olympique, Montferrand, Cardiff and Glasgow Rugby, it will all go down to the wire in Round 6 this weekend.
POOL 1: Qualified – Leicester Tigers as group winners. Maybe -Llanelli. Must beat Leicester to challenge as one of best runners-up with a maximum 8 points. Out – Perpignan, Ghial Amatori & Cavisano.
POOL 2: Qualified – Stade Francais as group winners (superior head-to-head record against Ulster)
Maybe – Ulster. Maximum 8 points if they beat Benetton Treviso but poor current try count if that is runners-up criteria. Out – London Wasps, Benetton Treviso.
POOL 3: Qualified – Bath Rugby as group winners. Maybe – Biarritz Olympique. Maximum 7 points but must win in Bath plus need plenty of tries plus other results to fall for them. Out – Swansea, Edinburgh Rugby.
POOL 4: Qualified – Munster. But can lose top group spot if Castres beat them and outscore them on tries (1-1 try count from Munster’s 28-23 Round 1 win). Maybe – Castres. Can still win pool and almost there in last eight. Out – NEC Harlequins, Bridgend.
POOL 5: All to play for. Maybe – Montferrand are in pole position (if they beat Glasgow Rugby they top the group with 9 points); Cardiff (must beat Northampton for maximum 8 points and go into best runners-up shakedown); Glasgow (must beat Montferrand with minimum 10 tries and hope Northampton beat Cardiff for maximum 7 points). Out – Northampton Saints
POOL 6: Qualified – Leinster. Out – Toulouse, Newport Rugby and Newcastle Falcons.