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Toulon thrash Ulster to seal European Champions Cup last-eight spot

Defending champions Toulon booked their place in the last eight of the European Champions Cup by hammering Ulster 60-22 on Saturday.

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Toulon ran in eight tries as they hammered an injury-hit Ulster 60-22 to seal their place in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup on Saturday.

As winners of the tournament in both 2013 and 2014 in its previous guise as the Heineken Cup, Toulon are bidding for a trio of consecutive victories in continental rugby's premier club competition.

Forward Steffon Armitage scored a hat-trick of tries in the second half for Toulon, while the likes of Bryan Habana and Martin Castrogiovanni also crossed the whitewash.

Ulster did post four scores of their own to secure a losing bonus point, but they remain at the bottom of Pool Three with all hopes of qualification ended.

Toulon, by contrast, are five points clear of Leicester Tigers, over whom they have a head-to-head advantage, and can afford to relax ahead of their final fixture at Scarlets next week.

In Pool One, Saracens and Clermont Auvergne will meet in a winner-takes-all encounter on matchday six, after the former defeated Munster 33-10.

Chris Ashton scored twice for the home side, with Chris Wyles also crossing, and Clermont's 22-13 win at Sale Sharks means the French outfit hold a one-point lead at the top heading into next weekend's crunch fixture.

"There is a small sense of frustration that we didn't get the fourth try, but I thought it was a really good performance," said Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

"We are in a position where we go to Clermont, and if we win the match, we win the pool. That is what our intention is going to be."

In Pool Two, Wasps kept their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages alive as they ran out comfortable 23-3 winners at Premiership rivals Harlequins.

Christian Wade and Joe Simpson were the try-scorers for the visitors, while experienced fly-half Andy Goode added 10 points with the boot.

The result means Wasps climb above Quins to second in the pool on 16 points, two behind leaders Leinster, who ran in seven tries as they dispatched Castres 50-8.

Wasps host Leinster at the Ricoh Arena next Saturday in a match to decide who will advance as group winners, while Quins still have the chance to qualify as runners-up when they visit Castres.

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