Rugby-Toulon into last eight after ending Munster's 12-year run


Sun, 16 Jan 17:16:00 2011

Munster's 12-year streak of reaching the Heineken Cup quarter-finals was brought to an end by a 32-16 defeat in Toulon on Sunday as the debutant French club secured their own place in the last eight.

Munster, champions in 2006 and 2008 and twice runners-up, needed a least a bonus point to maintain any hope of qualifying as one of the two best runners-up but never came close to achieving the four tries or maximum seven-point defeat that would have earned it.

Toulon were hugely impressive and won with first-half tries by Christian Loamanu and Paul Sackey and the goalkicking of Jonny Wilkinson, who garnered 22 points from six penalties and two conversions.

Their progress to the quarter-finals as Pool Three winners was secured when the Ospreys, who they play in Wales next week, lost 24-12 at London Irish to see their hopes disappear.

Wasps, also twice winners of Europe's premier club competition, face a stiff task to get through after losing 20-10 at Glasgow.

That result ensured holders Toulouse, who beat the Dragons 17-3 on Saturday, would top Pool Six and go through along with already-qualified Northampton and Leinster.

The remaining four quarter-final places will be decided in the final round of fixtures next weekend.


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