Leinster secure Champions Cup last-eight spot but Munster falter

Paris (AFP) - Leinster cruised into the European Champions Cup quarter-finals on Sunday with a 55-19 thrashing of Glasgow, but fellow Irish side Munster were made to wait for a last-eight spot after a narrow loss at Racing 92.

Leinster smash Glasgow to secure Champions Cup quarter-final spot

Leinster smash Glasgow to secure Champions Cup quarter-final spot

Hosts Leinster ran in eight tries in Dublin to make it five wins from five and secure top spot in Pool 3, with Ireland internationals Johnny Sexton and Jordi Murphy both crossing for first-half scores.

Former Australia forward Scott Fardy added two tries of his own, as the three-time winners opened up an unassailable nine-point lead over second-placed Exeter, who beat Montpellier 41-10 on Saturday.

"I thought the guys, their willingness and want to keep the ball alive was really good," said Leinster head coach Leo Cullen after his team ensured a home quarter-final.

"Maybe (we) got a little bit loose at times in the second half, but overall we're delighted to get the win and bonus point against a very good team."

Scrum-half Maxime Machenaud kicked two late penalties to snatch Racing a 34-30 victory over Munster at U Arena that kept their hopes alive.

Munster are a point ahead of Racing at the top of Pool 4, but the French capital club look well-placed to qualify as one of the best second-placed teams even if they fail to overhaul the Irish side next week.

Racing had jumped into a 10-point lead and still led by 11 after 46 minutes before Keith Earls and Chris Farrell scored two tries in six minutes.

Machenaud drew Racing level with a penalty but Ian Keatley replied with two for Munster.

Racing hooker Dimitri Szarzewski went over for the last try of the game and Machenaud converted to put the home team a point ahead.

Conor Murray kicked a penalty to regain Munster the lead with five minutes left, but the away side gave away two late penalties and France international Machenaud made no mistake.

By passing up the chance to score a fourth try, Racing surrendered a potential bonus point and allowed Munster to collect the one they needed to stay first in the pool.

"There are no regrets," insisted Racing fly-half Remi Tales.

"We chose to go for three to shut the door on a possible penalty. Now we have to go to Leicester and look for a victory. If we win, we will at least be among the best runners-up."

Castres ended an under-strength Leicester's European campaign with a 39-0 thumping, but need a shock win at Munster in their final game to have any chance of progressing.

"We're still top of our pool and we have a good opportunity now to make sure we get to a quarter-final, but I think we left it out there a little bit," said Munster No. 8 CJ Stander.

- Bastareaud's 'homophobic' insult -

Toulon cantered to a 36-0 win over winless Treviso to set up a winner-takes-all Pool 5 showdown against Scarlets in Llanelli next week, but centre Mathieu Bastareaud could find himself in hot water after appearing to utter a homophobic slur at Sebastian Negri.

Fly-half Anthony Belleau scored all 10 of Toulon's first-half points en route to 14 in total, while Bastareaud scored a try before his late outburst.

"I apologise for my reaction to insults from the Italian player. I reacted badly by responding to his provocation, I'm truly sorry for the people I might have hurt," Bastareaud wrote on his Twitter account.

The bonus point lifted three-time champions Toulon to the top of the table, but the group will be decided when Toulon visit Llanelli next week, after Scarlets won 35-17 at Bath on Friday.

Ospreys and defending champions Saracens played out a tense 15-15 draw on Saturday to leave Pool 2 wide open, after leaders Clermont had slumped to defeat at Northampton.

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