January 21, 2018 / 6:46 PM / 10 months ago

La Rochelle reach quarter-finals, Saracens sneak through

PARIS (Reuters) - French side La Rochelle reached the Champions Cup quarter-finals on their first appearance in Europe’s premier club competition with a 16-7 win over Harlequins as holders Saracens sneaked through on Sunday.

England’s Saracens beat Northampton Saints 62-14 on Saturday but faced an anxious wait to see if they would advance as one of the top three runners-up.

They will face Leinster for a last-four spot after the Irish side made sure they would be top seeds in the last eight by beating Top 14 leaders Montpellier 23-14 on Saturday.

La Rochelle, who lie second in the Top 14, qualified at the top of Pool 1 and will take on Scarlets, who became the first Welsh team to reach the last eight in six years by beating three-times champions Toulon 30-27 on Saturday.

Toulon advanced as one of the best runners-up and will face a tough challenge in the last eight from Ireland’s Munster, who demolished Castres 48-3 on Sunday to win Pool 4 ahead of Racing 92 who beat Leicester 23-20.

In the quarter-finals, Racing will face fellow French side Clermont Auvergne, who topped Pool 2 after beating Ospreys 24-7.

Reporting by Julien Pretot, Editing by Ed Osmond

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