Edinburgh, Munster, Ulster, the Vodacom Bulls and the Ospreys failed to make it through to the next round of the premier European competition, but two of those fell to fellow Vodacom URC teams.

The Cell C Sharks outplayed Munster in Durban, while Ulster, as most would have anticipated, couldn’t match Leinster, the Vodacom URC log leaders, in the big Irish derby in Dublin.

Two South African teams, the Cell C Sharks and the DHL Stormers, join Leinster as the Vodacom URC representatives among the eight remaining teams in the Heineken Champions Cup. There are three teams from the Gallagher Premiership (England) in the last eight, and two from the French Top 14.

When you get to the EPCR Challenge Cup the Vodacom URC success rate is more remarkable, with the Emirates Lions being joined in the last eight by Scarlets, Benetton, Cardiff Rugby and Glasgow Warriors in the last eight.

That makes it a more than 50 percent Vodacom URC representation in the last eight of that competition, and if you combine the quarter-finals of the two competitions, then eight of the 16 remaining participants are from the Vodacom URC.

Grant Williams gets the ball away for the Cell C Sharks.

Grant Williams gets the ball away for the Cell C Sharks.

Looking at the spread across the two competitions, there are three English Premiership teams still alive with three rounds to go, and five teams from the French competition. One of the most remarkable results from the round of 16 was the Emirates Lions’ 50 pointer against Racing 92.

Looking at the past weekend’s action, it appears that home ground advantage was more important in the Heineken Champions Cup than the EPCR Challenge Cup. There was one draw among the eight Champions Cup games, with the home teams victorious in every other game.

One of the most interesting results was how close Gloucester came to upsetting the competition champions, Stade Rochelais. They lost by just three points.

In the Challenge Cup, there was a more equal spread of home and away victories, with Clermont Auvergne and Lyon winning on the road against Bristol and Stade Francais respectively.

In the main event, Leinster will continue their search for their fifth European title by hosting Leicester Tigers in the first Champions Cup quarter-final on Friday, while the two South African teams have tough away fixtures on Saturday against Toulouse (Cell C Sharks) and Exeter Chiefs (DHL Stormers).

Ruan Venter scores a try for the Emirates Lions against Racing 92.

Ruan Venter scores a try for the Emirates Lions against Racing 92.

Exeter advanced courtesy of a superior try count in their exciting draw with Montpellier, thus denying the DHL Stormers the opportunity to host a home quarterfinal by the narrowest of margins.

Given how closely they were pushed by Gloucester, La Rochelle’s home game against English powerhouse Saracens should be one to watch on Sunday.

When it comes to playing style and form, the Emirates Lions’ visit to Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun could also be worth watching as both teams play an exciting brand of rugby. While the Warriors will start as favourites, they did lose to the Lions in South Africa a few weeks ago.

Heineken Champions Cup results (round of 16):
Leicester Tigers 16 Edinburgh 6
Cell C Sharks 50 Munster 35
DHL Stormers 32 Harlequins 28
Leinster 30 Ulster 15
Stade Rochelais 29 Gloucester 26
Exeter 33 Montpellier 33
Toulouse 33 Vodacom Bulls 9
Saracens 35 Ospreys 20

Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals (SA times)

Friday, 7 April
21h00: Leinster v Leicester Tigers (Dublin)

Saturday, 8 April:
16h00: Toulouse v Cell C Sharks (Toulouse)
18h30: Exeter v DHL Stormers (Exeter)

Sunday, 9 April:
16h00: Stade Rochelais v Saracens (La Rochelle)

EPCR Challenge Cup results (round of 16)
Bristol 26 Clermont Auvergne 33
Scarlets 19 Brive 7
Toulon 36 Toyota Cheetahs 21
Stade Francais 24 Lyon 41
Benetton 41 Connacht 19
Emirates Lions 51 Racing 92 26
Glasgow Warriors 73 Dragons 33
Cardiff Rugby 28 Sale 27

Challenge Cup quarter-finals (SA times)

Friday, 7 April:
21h00: Scarlets v Clermont Auvergne (Llanelli)

Saturday, 8 April:
13h30: Toulon v Lyon (Toulon)
16h00: Benetton v Cardiff (Treviso)
21h00: Glasgow Warriors v Emirates Lions (Glasgow)