Ashton double hands Saracens Ulster home tie

SARACENS boss Mark McCall hailed the return to form of Chris Ashton after he scored twice against Edinburgh to send his side into the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Yesterday’s 40-7 victory was a fine way to bid farewell to a snowy Vicarage Road with the bonus point ensuring the Aviva Premiership side a last eight home tie against Ulster.

Prop Matt Stevens also went over before fly-half Charlie Hodgson’s try with five minutes to go secured the bonus point and full-back Chris Wyles added gloss to the score-line.

Saracens director of rugby McCall said: “It was great to see Ashy [Ashton] score a couple of tries and getting back to what he really does best. The second try was fantastic and I wish I could claim credit for thinking that up – Ashy and Owen [Farrell] just saw each other and they pulled it off.”

Elsewhere yesterday three Toby Flood penalties gave Leicester a vital 9-5 win over Toulouse to pipi the Frenchmen to top spot in Pool Two and earn last eight tie at Toulon.

Harlequins made it six wins out of six as they battled Biarritz as well as the conditions to come out 16-9 winners in France on Friday and secure a home draw against Munster. Nick Evans produced a fine kicking performance in the driving rain to slot over three penalties and a conversion following Tom Guest’s first-half try.

London Wasps 20-19 win on Thursday, following a late Newport Gwent Dragons fightback, earned a home Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Leinster.

London Irish finished their campaign on a high with a 17-7 win over Bordeaux-Begles which made it three consecutive wins in all competitions for the first time this season.

And London Welsh finished their first European campaign with a 39-17 defeat away to Stade Francais despite two tries for Phil Mackenzie.

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EUROPEAN QUARTER AND SEMI-FINAL DRAWS

Heineken Cup
■ Quarter-finals (5-7 April)
Harlequins v Munster
Clermont Auvergne v Montpellier
Toulon v Leicester Tigers
Saracens v Ulster

■ Semi-finals (16-28 April)
Saracens or Ulster v
Toulon or Leicester Tigers
Clermont Auvergne or Montpellier v Harlequins or Munster

Amlin Challenge Cup
■ Quarter-finals (4-7 April)
Bath v Stade Francais
Gloucester v 7 Biarritz
Perpignan v 6 Toulouse
London Wasps v Leinster

■ Semi-finals (16-28 April)
Perpignan or Toulouse v
Bath or Stade Francais
London Wasps or Leinster v
Gloucester or Biarritz