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Frank Quinn’s review of the final pools games of Heineken Cup

(Pictured, Jean Klein, a key man in the Munster engine room)
IT’S all or nothing next Saturday for Exeter Chiefs and they will not be ‘here for the beer’ when they arrive in Limerick for this last chance saloon cup tie. They will only have winning on their mind as, otherwise, they cannot qualify as second placed.
A look at the betting from Paddy Power sees Munster available at 8/1, Leinster 13/8, Saracens 2/1, Racing 92 4/1 Munster 8/1, Toulouse 16/1 Edinburgh 33/1, Montpelier 40/1, Glasgow 50/1, Ulster 66/1, and Exeter are on offer at 80/1.
In other pools Montpelier will need to win away to Edinburgh to win the pool with 20/21 points. If they miss the bonus point they finish 5th on 20 points and they will be outside of the home quarter final position.
Munster must win with 21 points (BP 22) and qualify in fourth place in the pool winners’ ranking for the home last eight tie.
If Edinburgh win, then with 23 points, they will beat Munster to the home draw qualification and leave Munster on the road to make the semis.
If Edinburgh and Munster win this week it looks like a trip to Edinburgh beckons for Munster.
Pool winners prediction: 1. Leinster 24 pts, 2. Munster 21 pts, 3. Saracens 27 pts, 4. Racing Metro 25 pts, 5. Edinburgh 23 pts
Best of the rest to make the top 8:
6. Ulster 22, 7. Toulouse 21, 8. Glasgow possible 20 (fall-back is 19 without BP- they play Saracens away)
Pools update
Pool 1
A win for Leinster at Wasps on Sunday will see the holders qualify as pool winners and in all probability secure a home quarter-final into the bargain. A bonus point win, and the home quarter is guaranteed. A Toulouse victory over Bath at Ernest Wallon should be enough for a place in the last eight depending on results elsewhere, but if Leinster slip up, then Toulouse can top the pool.
Pool 2
If Exeter manage to upset the odds at a sold-out Thomond Park in Saturday’s shoot-out and deprive Munster of a losing bonus point, they will qualify on the basis of the head-to-head matches between the clubs. A win for Munster will secure them a place in the knockout stage for the 18th time, but might not be enough to earn a home quarter-final.
Pool 3
Saracens are already through to the knockout stage for the eighth season in a row, but will be focused on securing the No 1 seeding and a home quarter-final when they take on second-placed Glasgow Warriors on Saturday. Glasgow are also right in the hunt for qualification on 19 points, and a win will see them join Sarries in the last eight, and a losing bonus point could well be enough for a best runner-up spot. Expect sparks to fly at Allianz Park.
Pool 4
Racing 92 are in pole position on 21 points and a win against the Scarlets at Paris La Défense Arena will guarantee a home quarter-final. Ulster with 18 points arguably have a more demanding task at Leicester, but they can take advantage should Racing falter, and even a defeat at Welford Road might be enough for the 1999 champions depending on the result of the Edinburgh v Montpellier clash in particular.
Pool 5
Edinburgh’s chances of a first qualification since 2012 are in their own hands. A win against Montpellier at BT Murrayfield on Friday evening and they will pocket a home quarter-final while a defeat will mean they’ll have to sweat it out for a best runner-up place. It’s win or bust for Montpellier on 16 points, so this is likely to be a white-knuckle ride for fans of both clubs.

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