The pool stages of the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup have now come to an end, so what better time to check out who has made it through to the knockout stages, and what sides have fallen at the first hurdle. Pool 1 As expected, second seeds Clermont topped the pool, winning five of their six matches. A points difference of +24 saw Saracens also qualify from the group as one of the three best runners-up. Munster disappointed, winning just half their games, whilst Sale finished with a 100% losing record. Pool 2 The tightest pool. The sole Pro12 side to qualify for the knockout stages, Leinster lost just the one match, away to Harlequins. Wasps won less games than Quins, but qualified in a runner-up spot thanks to a superior points difference and 4 bonus points. Castres lost all six matches, with just a single bonus points and a points difference of -133 to show. Pool 3 Back-to-back Heineken Cup winners Toulon are still a force to reckon with, winning five games on their way to qualifying comfortably from the pool. Leicester finished second but with only three wins, they join Ulster and Scarlets in crashing out of European rugby this season. Pool 4 A final day victory for Bath over Glasgow saw the English side finish top of the pool, sending the Warriors and both French sides home. Toulouse lost in Montpellier’s only win of the campaign, despite knowing a victory could have seen them qualify in top spot. Pool 5 An impressive Racing Metro had the beat qualification campaign of the twenty sides, winning five matches and earning 2 bonus points to top Pool 5. Northampton were the best placed runners-up, whilst Ospreys and the sole Italian representatives Treviso managed just one win apiece. So there we have it. 60 matches played, 268 tries scored, 4 English sides through to the quarter finals, along with 3 from France and one from Ireland. The draw for the knockout stages had been made and is as follows: All 4 English sides have been drawn away from home in the 1/4 final, but with the final at Twickenham in May, all will be determined to make it through the tricky ties. But who do you think will go on to lift the trophy in London? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter below.
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