It was another weekend of winning rugby for Ireland’s provinces and leaves each of the four with a very realistic prospect of making the quarter finals in their respective competitions.
As things stand at the moment Saracens and Racing 92 hold the number one and two seed spots which would ensure not only a home Quarter Final but a home semi-final as well.
They have 23 and 21 points respectively ahead of Leinster on 20, Edinburgh on 19 and Munster on 17 as the other group leaders.
If all those sides win next weekend in their final games then Munster would qualify but only with an Away quarter-final. The same would currently be the case for Ulster who would qualify behind Glasgow of the runners up but ahead of Toulouse with Exeter and Montpelier missing out.
Of course, there is so much that can change in the course of next weekend’s games but having progress to the lucrative knock out stages in your own hands is all a team can ask at this stage.
If each of the teams currently in pole position wins their games the Quarter Final would look like this.
Saracens v Toulouse
Edinburgh v Munster
Leinster v Glasgow
Racing 92 v Ulster
and that could set up a semi-final line up that might look like this.
Saracens v Munster
Leinster v Ulster
Two full houses at the Aviva Stadium, one an Irish Derby and Munster coming through the hard way on the road, now that is something to whet the appetite throughout the Guinness Six Nations.
As we said there are many ways in which that picture could change through next week’s final round of fixtures but what a prospect.
Connacht also have qualification for the quarter-finals in their own hands after their win over Sale Sharks at the weekend.
A win over Bordeaux next Saturday would secure a spot though it would need Sale to lose to Perpignan for that to be a home fixture in Galway.
Image Credit Inpho.ie