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Nick Robinson
Stu Forster
Cardiff Will Be Top Seeds
1 January 2009, 5:25 pm
With just one round of matches to be played three sides, Cardiff Blues, Harlequins and Munster have already qualified for the quarter finals of this year's Heineken Cup with Cardiff Blues virtually certain to be the top seeded side follwing their victory yesterday over Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Dai Young's Cardiff Blues played 55 minutes of the game against Gloucester with 14 men after referee Alan Lewis red-carded Blues wing Tom James for what he considered was a head-butt to Gloucester prop Olivier Azam. Lewis was really left with little option although Azam's theatrical collapse could only be admired by Didier Drogba, Ronaldo or their ilk.

Cardiff now end with a home game against a Calvisano side who have conceded 28 tries and 208 points in their five games to date, Cardiff having scored 8 of those tries in their 56-20 victory at the Centro Sportivo San Michele in October. As things stand at the end of Round 5, Cardiff would be home to neighbours Ospreys, a situation that would of course change were Ospreys to beat Leicester Tigers at the Liberty Stadium next weekend.

Following the shock Glasgow win in the Stade Ernest Wallon, Bath, following their gutsy win in Rodney Parade, now look favourites to emerge from Pool 5, with Toulouse then dependant on results elsewhere for qualification as a best runner up although Leinster's Pool (2) looks certain to provide one of those places with Pool 3 likely to provide the other.

After five games played the line up for the quarter final reads as follows,

Cardiff Blues -v- Ospreys: Leicester -v- Toulouse: Bath -v- Leinster: Munster -v- Harlequins.

However, the crucial games at the weekend in particular Munster's trip to Montauban could change those quarter final permutations completely.

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