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Magners League sides stride on in Europe

Guinness PRO12 Editor

9 Apr 2011

Leinster made it three successive Heineken Cup semi-finals as they disposed of English Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers in front of a near 50,000 crowd at the Aviva Stadium.

A wonder try from full back Isa Nacewa paved the way for a 17-10 quarter-final victory on a day that saw two Magners League Grand Final contenders stay on course for European finals.

Earlier in the day, Magners League leaders Munster were 42-37 winners over Top 14 team Brive in France in a game that saw the lead change hands four times and the fans enjoy nine tries.

Munster will now have the luxury of a home semi-final in the Amlin Challenge Cup at Thomond Park on Saturday, 30 April, while Leinster will have to wait until Sunday to find out who they will face in the Heineken Cup semi-finals.

They will also have home advantage over the winners of Biarritz Olympique and Toulouse, who meet in Estadio Anoeta to determine who will travel to Dublin.

Meanwhile, a third Magners League side, second placed Ulster, will go into battle against Northampton Saints in the third Heineken Cup quarter-final in Milton Keynes on Sunday. If they win, they will also have home country advantage over Perpignan.

Last season Leinster and Munster were beaten in the Heineken Cup semi-finals, while Cardiff Blues went on to win the Amlin Challenge Cup. Could the Magners League do a European double this season?

At least one European trophy has been won by a Magners League team over the past three years – the Heineken Cup in 2008 (Munster) and 2009 (Leinster) and the Amlin Challenge Cup in 2010 (Blues) – and Munster also triumphed in 2006 in the Heineken Cup.