Leinster maintained their 100 per cent European Champions Cup record with a 42-14 thrashing of Lyon, while Racing 92 left it late to beat Munster and reach the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Last year’s runners-up Leinster cemented their spot at the top of Pool 1 with a bonus-point triumph on a day which saw second-placed Northampton Saints produce a comeback to beat Benetton Treviso.
Leinster struggled to shake off Lyon in the first half and only led by seven points at the break, but the Pro14 champions scored 21 points without reply in the second half at the RDS Arena.
Dave Kearney touched down twice, with Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan, Sean Cronin and Andrew Porter getting in on the act in a six-try hammering from Leo Cullen’s men.
Leinster have now won nine consecutive pool games for the first time in the competition.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) January 12, 2020
Saints made far harder work of a vital 33-20 bonus-point victory over Treviso, the Premiership side having fallen 17-12 behind heading into the final 25 minutes.
The returning Harry Mallinder, back after more than a year out with a knee injury, got the home side up and running with a try inside five minutes.
However, the rest of the first half belonged to the Italians, who were ahead courtesy of Tommaso Benvenuti’s smart score following an interception.
Needing a win to keep their visitors at bay in the race for second spot, Northampton finally sprung to life after the interval as Henry Taylor, Francois van Wyk, Fraser Dingwall and Andy Symons all crossed.
Teddy Iribaren’s inventive long-range pass to set up a try for Teddy Thomas was an eye-catching highlight from Racing’s dramatic 39-22 Pool 4 home win against Munster.
A second try for recalled France wing Thomas late on was followed by scores from the brilliant Virimi Vakatawa and Juan Imhoff, seeing Racing through and putting Munster down to third with a decisive clash against Saracens to come in the final round of pool matches.
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