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Northampton Saints coach Paul Grayson seen here in his playing days with the side
Three English, One Welsh Side in Heineken Semis
4 April 2007, 5:38 pm
By Pat Geraghty
Three English and one Welsh side will contest the semi finals of this season's Heinken Cup following wins on Sunday for Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints.

Heineken Cup Semi-Finals:

Northampton Saints
versus
London Wasps.
Leicester Tigers
versus
Llanelli Scarlets.

When they had met in the Pool stages Biarritz had triuphed on both occasions, 22-10 in Stade Aguilers and 17-8 in Franklin's Gardens.

However, in what was perhaps the poorest quality game of the weekend, Northampton pulled off the shock of this and possibly any year when a 66th minute try from Robbie Kidd, converted by Carlos Spencer, gave the Saints a sensational 7-6 win in the Stade Anoeta in San Sebastien. They will now meet London Wasps in Coventry in the semi-final. For all their glitz and glamour, Biarritz had only managed two Dimitri Yachvilli penalties and ultimately their lack of adventure cost them dearly.

Later in the day at Welford Road, Leicester Tigers needed Andrew Goode's conversion of replacement Tom Varndell's try five minutes from time to edge out Stade. If the French might feel they were unlucky, it should be remembered they were out-scored two tries to one

David Skrela's 69th minute drop goal had pushed Stade six points clear and they looked set for victory until Stephane Glas missed a tackle on Dan Hipkiss and the centre off-loaded to send Varnell on his way.

Even then the Tigers had to withstand a fierce assault by the French who twice attempted drop-goals in an effort to snatch victory.

Next up for Pat Howard's side are Munster's conquerors Llanelli Scarlets who take their unbeaten Heineken Cup seasonal record to the Walker Stadium in three weeks time.

On the evidence of what we've seen this weekend the bookies will be going an all English final in Twickenham in May. The odd ones out, Llanelli Scarlets will be underdogs at the Walker Stadium but they will relish that role and might recall that Munster found themselves in a similar situation last year at that stage.

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