2008–09 Heineken Cup

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2008–09 Heineken Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and Knockout
Date 10 October 2008 – 23 May 2009
Tournament statistics
Teams 24
Matches played 79
Attendance 1,177,064 (14,900 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Ben Blair (Cardiff)
(99 points)
Top try scorer(s) Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster)
(5 tries)
Final
Venue Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Attendance 66,523
Champions Ireland Leinster (1st title)
Runner-up England Leicester Tigers
Official website http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/
2007–08 (Previous) (Next) 2009–10

The 2008–09 Heineken Cup was the fourteenth edition of the Heineken Cup, the annual rugby union European club competition for clubs from the top six nations in European rugby. It started in October 2008 and ended on 23 May 2009 at Murrayfield in Edinburgh. Irish side Leinster became the champions, defeating Leicester Tigers 19–16 in the final.[1]

Teams[edit]

Seven French teams competed, as a French team, Toulouse, progressed further in the previous year's tournament than any English or Italian team.

Four Welsh teams competed, as Italy forfeited its place in the Italo-Celtic playoff[2] and a Welsh team were the highest-placed team in the previous year's Celtic league not to qualify otherwise.[3] Other nations had their usual number of participants: England six, Ireland three, Italy two and Scotland two.[4]

England France Wales Ireland Scotland Italy

Seeding[edit]

The seeding system for participating teams changed from previous editions of the Heineken Cup. Previously, each participating nation would seed one of their teams and these six teams would be drawn in different groups at the group stage.[5] Starting with the 2008–09 edition, the 24 competing teams were ranked based on past Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup performance, with each group receiving one team from each quartile, or Tier.[6] The requirement to have only one team per country in each group however, still applied (with the exception of the inclusion of the seventh French team).[7]

The brackets show each team's European Rugby Club Ranking before the start of the 2008–09 season.

Tier 1 Ireland Munster (1) France Toulouse (2) France Biarritz (3) England Leicester Tigers (4) France Stade Français (5) England London Wasps (6)
Tier 2 Ireland Leinster (7) England Bath (8) England Gloucester (9) France Perpignan (10) England Sale Sharks (12) Wales Scarlets (13)
Tier 3 Wales Ospreys (15) Wales Cardiff Blues (17) France Clermont (18) Wales Newport Gwent Dragons (20) Ireland Ulster (21) France Castres (22)
Tier 4 Scotland Glasgow Warriors (24) Italy Benetton Treviso (25) Scotland Edinburgh (28) Italy Calvisano (32) England Harlequins (35) France Montauban

Pool stage[edit]

For more details on this topic, see 2008–09 Heineken Cup pool stage.

The draw for the pool stages took place on 17 June 2008 in Dublin.

Key to colours
     Winner of each pool, and two best runners-up,
advance to quarterfinals. Seed # in parentheses

Pool 1[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
Ireland Munster (2) 6 5 0 1 18 6 12 161 98 63 2 1 23
England Sale 6 3 0 3 14 11 3 136 115 21 2 1 15
France Clermont 6 3 0 3 14 13 1 137 129 8 1 0 13
France Montauban 6 1 0 5 5 21 −16 81 173 −92 0 2 6

Pool 2[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
Ireland Leinster (6) 6 4 0 2 15 3 12 140 70 70 2 2 20
England Wasps 6 4 0 2 9 12 −3 114 112 2 0 1 17
Scotland Edinburgh 6 2 0 4 8 8 0 91 103 −12 1 0 9
France Castres 6 2 0 4 6 15 −9 73 133 −60 0 1 9

Pool 3[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Leicester Tigers (4) 6 4 0 2 23 6 17 191 90 101 3 2 21
Wales Ospreys (7) 6 4 0 2 17 3 14 155 71 84 2 2 20
France Perpignan 6 4 0 2 17 10 7 154 120 34 1 1 18
Italy Benetton Treviso 6 0 0 6 5 43 −38 72 291 −219 0 0 0

Pool 4[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Harlequins (3) 6 5 0 1 16 12 4 144 115 29 2 0 22
France Stade Français 6 3 0 3 13 11 2 131 109 22 1 2 15
Ireland Ulster 6 2 1 3 13 13 0 113 134 −21 0 1 11
Wales Scarlets 6 1 1 4 12 18 −6 124 154 −30 0 2 8

Pool 5[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
England Bath (5) 6 4 1 1 13 8 5 107 92 15 2 1 21
France Toulouse (8) 6 4 1 1 12 8 4 121 88 33 1 1 20
Scotland Glasgow 6 2 0 4 14 17 −3 134 150 −16 1 3 12
Wales Newport Gwent Dragons 6 1 0 5 8 14 −6 83 115 −32 0 3 7

Pool 6[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
Wales Cardiff Blues (1) 6 6 0 0 23 9 14 202 99 103 3 0 27
France Biarritz 6 3 0 3 14 4 10 121 88 33 1 2 15
England Gloucester 6 3 0 3 17 12 5 156 109 47 2 1 15
Italy Calvisano 6 0 0 6 8 37 −29 87 270 −183 0 0 0

Seeding and runners-up[edit]

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/−
1 Wales Cardiff Blues 27 23 +103
2 Ireland Munster 23 18 +63
3 England Harlequins 22 16 +29
4 England Leicester Tigers 21 23 +101
5 England Bath 21 13 +15
6 Ireland Leinster 20 15 +70
Seed Pool Runners-up Pts TF +/−
7 Wales Ospreys 20 17 +84
8 France Toulouse 20 12 +33
England Sale 19 14 +21
England Wasps 17 7 +8
France Biarritz 15 14 +33
France Stade Français 15 13 +22

Knockout stage[edit]

The draw for the quarter-finals took place on 27 January at Murrayfield.[8]

Quarter-finals[edit]

11 April 2009
15:30
Cardiff Blues Wales 9 – 6 France Toulouse
Pen: Blair (3/3) 1', 30', 57' Report Pen: Michalak (1/1) 5'
Skrela (1/1) 64'
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 36,728
Referee: Chris White (England)
11 April 2009
18:00
Leicester Tigers England 20 – 15 England Bath
Try: Dupuy 80' m
Pen: Vesty (5/5) 20', 22', 51', 55', 67'
Report Tries: Berne 35' c
Maddock 64' m
Con: James (1/2)
Pen: James (1/2) 45'
Walkers Stadium, Leicester
Attendance: 26,100
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
12 April 2009
13:00
Munster Ireland 43 – 9 Wales Ospreys
Tries: Warwick 34' c
O'Connell 55' c
Earls (2) 63' c, 65' c
Con: O'Gara (4/4)
Pen: O'Gara (3/3) 14', 20', 50'
Drop: Warwick (2) 39', 58'
Report Pen: Hook (3/6) 16', 30', 45'
Thomond Park, Limerick
Attendance: 26,000
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
12 April 2009
15:30
Harlequins England 5 – 6 Ireland Leinster
Try: Brown 65' m Report Pen: Contepomi (2/2) 15', 39'
Twickenham Stoop, London
Attendance: 12,638
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
  • This match became notorious for the "Bloodgate" scandal. Quins coach Dean Richards was banned from rugby for three years for his role in faking an injury to wing Tom Williams so that Quins could send in a blood replacement. Williams himself was initially banned for a year, but after he revealed the full extent of the scheme, the ban was reduced to four months.[9]

Semi-finals[edit]

2 May 2009
17:30
Munster Ireland 6 – 25 Ireland Leinster
Pen: O'Gara (2/2) 18', 36' Report Tries: D'Arcy 30' m
Fitzgerald 42' c
B. O'Driscoll 61' c
Con: Sexton (2/3)
Pen: Sexton (1/1) 26'
Drop: Contepomi (1/1) 15'
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 82,208
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
3 May 2009
15:00
Cardiff Blues Wales 26 – 26 (a.e.t.) England Leicester Tigers
Tries: Roberts 73' c
James 74' c
Con: Blair (2/2)
Pen: Blair (2/2) 14', 33'
Halfpenny 27', 35'
Report Tries: Hamilton 21' c
G. Murphy 45' c
Con: Dupuy (2/2)
Pen: Dupuy (4/7) 24', 38', 54', 56'
  Penalties  
Blair YesY
N. Robinson YesY
Halfpenny YesY
Sweeney YesY
James N
Shanklin YesY
Rees YesY
M. Williams N
6 – 7 YesY Dupuy
YesY Vesty
YesY G. Murphy
N J. Murphy
YesY Hamilton
YesY Mauger
YesY Newby
YesY Crane
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 44,212
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Final[edit]

23 May 2009
17:00
Leicester Tigers England 16 – 19 Ireland Leinster
Try: Woods 38' c
Con: Dupuy (1/1)
Pen: Dupuy (3/3) 8', 33', 42'
(Report) Try: Heaslip 49' c
Con: Sexton (1/1)
Pen: Sexton (2/3) 24', 70'
Drop: O'Driscoll (1/1) 5'
Sexton (1/1) 17'
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Attendance: 66,523
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Thornley, Gerry. "Leinster soar highest in bluest of blue days". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Fourth team for Ireland or Wales in 2008/2009". European Rugby Cup. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  3. ^ "Newport Gwent Dragons Secure 4th Heineken Cup Spot for Wales". European Rugby Cup. 7 May 2008. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "Heineken Cup – Key Tournament Rules". European Rugby Cup. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Heineken Cup Pool Draw Confirmed". European Rugby Cup. 11 June 2007. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  6. ^ "ERC European Rankings (May 2008)". European Rugby Cup. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  7. ^ "ERC Draw Regulations (June 2008)". European Rugby Cup. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008. 
  8. ^ "Heineken Cup semi-final draw completed". European Rugby Cup. 27 January 2009. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ Benammar, Emily (2009-08-18). "Dean Richards ban: how 'Bloodgate' saga unfolded". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-08-18.