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Munster Earns Top Seed for Quarterfinals of Rugby’s Heineken Cup

Munster beat the Northampton Saints 51-36 to secure the top seed for the quarterfinals of rugby’s Heineken Cup.

Simon Zebo scored three tries and Ronan O’Gara kicked 24 points for Munster, which won all six of its games in Pool 1. The six pool winners plus the two best second-place teams advance to the final eight of Europe’s top club competition.

Clermont Auvergne won Pool 4 with a 19-15 win over Ulster, which qualified as one of the best runners-up. Defending champion Leinster, which had already won Pool 1, was guaranteed a home quarterfinal with a 25-3 rout of Montpellier.

Record four-time champion Toulouse was beaten 34-24 last night by Gloucester, but won Pool 6 after Connacht upset Harlequins 9-8. Tomorrow’s four games will determine the winners in Pools 2 and 5, along with the remaining second-place qualifier for the quarterfinals.

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