European Champions Cup: Ulster miss out on quarter-finals

Four wins from six in Pool One proved not enough for Ulster in the European Champions Cup
Four wins from six in Pool One proved not enough for Ulster in the European Champions Cup

Ulster's hopes of securing a place in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup were dashed on Sunday.

The Irish province were hoping to go through as one of the three best pool runners-up but results on the final weekend went against them.

Stade Francais beat Leicester with a bonus point to pass Ulster's tally of 18 and progress to the last eight.

It means there will be no Irish team in the quarter-finals for the first time since the 1997/98 season.

Leinster finished bottom of Pool Five while Munster, who beat Treviso on Sunday, ended in third place in Pool Four.

Toulon and Northampton joined Stade as the runners-up going through to the last eight.

On Saturday, Ulster trounced French side Oyonnax 56-3 at the Kingspan Stadium and hoped it might be enough to get them into the knock-out stages.

But ultimately their failure to get a bonus point in their win away to Oyonnax or in either of the meetings with Saracens has proved their downfall.

"We were relying on other people to do a job for us, but I am proud of what the guys delivered on Saturday to keep us in the hunt right until the finish," said Director of Rugby, Les Kiss.

"The games against Saracens were critical. We should have got a point out of one of them, that is for sure."

Ulster must now focus on the Pro12. They are currently in sixth place and play bottom side Treviso away on Saturday.

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