Regions out of Heineken Cup

Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys finish their European campaigns with just one win each, while the Scarlets are beaten by Clermont Auvergne to suffer a pool stage whitewash.

Blues & Scarlets bow out of Europe

There were contrasting emotions for the Blues and the Scarlets yesterday. Both went into their final Heineken Cup pool games having no chance of qualifying, and looking just to avoid a whitewash. The Blues managed it, the Scarlets did not.

The Llanelli side conceded three tries in the first half. Despite an improved performance after the break, the damage had already been done. Clermont were then able to get their fourth try, and secure their bonus point.

We conceded 24 points in the first half and they did not have to work for a huge amount of those points. Any team where you conceded 24 points is going to be difficult, but a team like Clermont you dig a real big hole for yourself. It's frustrating. We just fed them too much in the first half. I think it was 70 per cent possession against and 70 per cent territory. We just need to be far more accurate. They scored off an intercept and fed off our mistakes. They are a quality outfit. We gave them too much of a head-start and gave them too much they didn't have to work for.

– Simon Easterby, Scarlets Head Coach

Cardiff Blues broke their duck for the season in the competition, beating Sale 26-14 at the Arms Park. It meant they could end their European campaign on a high.

It was very important to get the victory. It's not very pleasant losing six games in the Heineken, I can tell you. That was good today. We got the result and we haven't finished bottom of the table, which is just reward for all the hard work we've put in. We've played some good rugby during the first five games and not had many rewards for it. That was a pleasing way to finish. I was quite pleased with the perseverance and commitment of the players.

– Phil Davies, Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby

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Blues get first Heineken Cup win

Cardiff Blues have beaten Sale 26-14 to record their first Heineken Cup victory of the season.

Wales scrum-half Lloyd Williams scored a fine individual try, and set up another - for lock Michael Paterson - while Leigh Halfpenny kicked 16 points. Sale scored tries through Tommy Taylor and Aston Croall.

The game was only able to go ahead after Blues supporters joined in efforts to clear snow off the Arms Park. There was nothing at stake in terms of qualification for the knockout stages, with both sides already unable to progess.