With just one round of European Challenge Cup Pool matches to go, ASM Clermont Auvergne are the only group winners so far in the race for quarter-final qualification…

While the French club are eight points clear and home and dry after winning at group rivals Worcester Warriors in Round 5, Bath Rugby need a point from their final Pool 4 game at home to Montpellier to join them.

And, provided they avoid defeats in Round 6 this weekend, Saracens and Brive will qualify for the last eight as four of the Pool winners. Saracens are home to Glasgow Warriors in a Pool 2 decider while Brive host Montauban in Pool 3.

However, Pool 1 is wide open after Newport Gwent Dragons beat Guinness Premiership leaders Bristol Rugby 17-11 in a thriller.
The only certainty is that one of them will finish up as Pool winners and, with the teams deadlocked on 20 points apiece, they will be targeting try bonus point wins when Bristol host Bucuresti and the Dragons travel to Bayonne.

If Bristol and the Dragons finish level on match points – be it 24 or 25 points – the Dragons will win the Pool courtesy of their superior 3-2 try count in the two matches between the teams. Elsewhere, with the three best runners-up joining the five Pool winners in the quarter-finals, there is all to play for in Round 6.


ASM Clermont Auvergne have qualified as Pool 5 winners. Bath Rugby need a point and Saracens two points to make the last eight as Pool winners. Four teams, Newport Gwent Dragons, Bristol Rugby, Glasgow Warriors and Brive, are on 20 points apiece. Newcastle Falcons and NEC Harlequins are on 16 points and Worcester Warriors on 15.

The maximum points the contenders for the quarter-final places can achieve are:
Bristol Rugby 25; Newport Gwent Dragons 25
Saracens 29; Glasgow Warriors 25
Brive 25; Newcastle Falcons 21
Bath Rugby 26; NEC Harlequins 21
ASM Clermont Auvergne 28; Worcester Warriors 20