Ulster Rugby and Edinburgh Rugby registered crucial victories over French giants Racing 92 and RC Toulon in Round 5 of the Heineken Champions Cup as Saracens became the first club to book a quarter-final place.
The two-time Champions Cup winners remain the only unbeaten side in the tournament, after cruising to a 28-10 success at Lyon in Pool 3 on Sunday, helped by two tries from centre Nick Tompkins.
The English club now need to beat Glasgow Warriors at home next Saturday to ensure a home quarter-final, after the Scottish outfit defeated Cardiff Blues 33-24 at Scotstoun Stadium in Round 5.
2️⃣ tries for the inside centre
5️⃣ important points
✅ job done pic.twitter.com/6Bd0o2YgVj
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) January 13, 2019
Ulster also had a two-try hero in Ireland international Jacob Stockdale as they edged past 2018 finalists Racing 26-22 in Belfast on Saturday, ending the Parisians’ perfect record this campaign. The Irish wing has now notched six tries this season, making him the competition’s top try-scorer.
Racing still lead Pool 4, by three points, and are at home in Round 6 to Scarlets, whereas Ulster have to travel to Leicester Tigers, who lost 33-10 at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) January 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Edinburgh claimed an historic 28-17 win in Toulon to go top of Pool 5. The boot of Jaco van der Walt proved crucial, as the South African kicked 13 points at the Stade Felix-Mayol.
The Scottish outfit are three points clear of Montpellier, who produced an attacking masterclass on Saturday to thrash Newcastle Falcons 45-8 and end the visitors’ hopes of a dream final at St James’ Park in May.
The French side scored seven tries, including a brace from South African wing Henry Immelman, to set up a mouth-watering Round 6 clash between the top two at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Friday.
🗣️ "I'm buzzing and over the moon. We played some great rugby and the fans were really vocal out there tonight!"
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) January 12, 2019
In Pool 1, reigning champions Leinster Rugby ended Toulouse’s unbeaten run in this season’s competition with a 29-13 bonus-point win in front of a raucous RDS Arena on Saturday to leapfrog the French club into top spot.
The Irish province now lead Toulouse by three points, but they travel to Wasps next Sunday, when the TOP 14 club host Bath Rugby, who won their all-English home clash with Wasps 18-16 at the weekend.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) January 13, 2019
Round 6 will kick off with a Pool 2 decider in Ireland on Friday night between leaders Munster Rugby and second-placed Exeter Chiefs.
Exeter boosted their chances of a place in the last-eight with a 34-12 bonus-point win at Sandy Park over Castres Olympique on Sunday, with the returning Jack Nowell producing a Heineken Man-of-the-Match display.
Round 5 had begun with Joey Carbery inspiring Munster to a 41-15 victory at Gloucester Rugby with a majestic performance at fly-half, scoring 26 points – including two tries.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) January 13, 2019