Cardiff thank fans with impressive win over Sale

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Lloyd Williams starred as Cardiff Blues rewarded their fans with a 26-14 Pool 6 win over Sale.

Droves of Blues supporters turned up on Friday and again on the morning of the match to clear snow off the Arms Park pitch, and the match was able to go ahead. There was nothing at stake in terms of qualification for the knockout stages, but Blues scrum-half Williams scored a fine individual try and set up another for replacement lock Michael Paterson, with Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicking 16 points, as touchdowns from visiting front row forwards Tommy Taylor and Aston Croall were cancelled out.

Ulster guaranteed themselves a home tie in the quarter-finals with a scrappy 9-8 victory over Castres at Stade Pierre-Antoine, courtesy of three Ruan Pienaar penalties.

Castres led the Pool 4 clash early on thanks to fantastic work by Scotland’s Max Evans, who managed to keep the ball in play as he was tackled on the wing. He offloaded to Piula Faasalele who passed inside to Remi Lamerat for the score. The conversion was missed and Pienaar’s boot was enough for the Ulstermen, despite Rory Kockott’s 
penalty for Castres.

Montpellier progressed to the quarter-finals by beating Pool 6 winners Toulon 23-3. Benoit Paillaugue scored 15 points, including a try, along with another try by Thomas Combezou to put the home side into the last eight for the first time in their history.