January 21, 2018 / 12:19 AM / a month ago

Scarlets reach last eight, Saracens face anxious wait

LONDON (Reuters) - Scarlets beat three-times winners Toulon 30-27 on Saturday to become the first Welsh region in six years to reach the quarter-finals of Europe’s top club competition.

Tries from Tom Prydie, Hadleigh Parkes and Dan Jones were enough for Scarlets to overcome the French side and finish top of Pool Five in the Champions Cup with 21 points.

Toulon have also booked a spot in the last eight as one of the leading runners-up after finishing two points adrift of Scarlets, who must wait until after Sunday’s matches to find out if they will have a home quarter-final.

Irish province Leinster will be the top seeds in the last eight after they won 23-14 in Montpellier, a sixth successive victory that saw them finish top of Pool Three with 27 points.

Leinster had already secured top spot in the pool but tries from Ross Byrne, Robbie Henshaw and Sean Cronin sealed their first win in France in three years.

French side Clermont Auvergne beat Ospreys 24-7 to wrap up top spot in Pool Two and eliminate the Welsh side, who finished third, behind Saracens, whose own hopes are hanging in the balance.

Saracens scored five tries in a blistering first half on their way to thrashing Northampton 62-14 and grabbing a potentially priceless bonus point.

The English side are currently the second best runners-up, with only three progressing to the quarter-finals, meaning the back-to-back title winners face an anxious wait ahead of Sunday’s matches.

Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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