Leinster were the real winners following round six of the Pool stages of the inaugural Champions Cup but the reigning champs loom large on the horizon.
ath secured a place in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after their forwards built the platform for a tense 20-15 Recreation Ground victory over Glasgow and that's who Matt O'Connor's men must face at the Aviva.
Two second-half penalty tries underpinned a Bath win that meant they finished top of Pool Four, courtesy of four-time European champions Toulouse losing 27-26 against Montpellier.
It is the first time in European Cup history that a team has lost its first two group games - Bath were beaten by Glasgow and Toulouse - and still reached the last-eight.
Bath advanced on 19 points and with Leinster topping their Pool on 20 points, it means that Matt O'Connor's men will be at home in the Aviva Stadium in the last eight against the Aviva Premiership side.
This evening's semi-final draw means that Leinster will have to travel to France to take on Toulon or return to the Ricoh to play Wasps should they account for Bath.
The three-time Heineken Cup winners could have Sean O'Brien, Cian Healy, Jack McGrath, Zane Kirchner and Rhys Ruddock back in action by the time that European quarter-final rolls around.
O'Brien and Healy's ball-carrying exploits would certainly transform Leinster's ability to create an attacking platform.
Healy is primed to overcome long-term hamstring trouble while O'Brien is on the cusp of beating two consecutive shoulder reconstructions.
The British and Irish Lions duo could yet feature in the Irish Wolfhounds' clash with England Saxons in Cork this Friday night in a bid to prove their Six Nations fitness.
Champions Cup semi-final draw:
- Toulon/Wasps v Leinster/Bath; Clermont/Northampton v Racing Metro/Saracens.
In the Challenge Cup, Connacht secured their passage with late tries from replacement Niyi Adeolokun and Matt Healy in La Rochelle last night. That gives them the final qualifier spot, and an away tie at Gloucester in the quarter-finals.
Should they beat David Humphrey's side, Connacht will be at home for a Challenge Cup semi-final against either the Exeter Chiefs or the Newcastle Falcons.
Challenge Cup semi-final draw:
Gloucester/Connacht v Exeter/Newcastle; London Irish/Edinburgh v Dragons/Cardiff.
Ulster, too, finished on a positive note with a comprehensive win over Tigers in Ravenhill. Munster wrapped up their campaign at home to Sale in Thomond Park this afternoon with a monster 65-10 win.
Leinster's progress cost them three casualties however, all with implications for Ireland's Six Nations opener in a fortnight. Dave Kearney was taken off in the first minute after being tackled in the air, and will miss at least a few weeks, while Eoin Reddan damaged knee ligaments and Jamie Heaslip went off again with the shoulder injury that sidelined him last week.
"I haven't had a look at it," coach Matt O'Connor said of the aerial tackle that saw Wasps' Ashley Johnson binned when he easily could have seen red.
"The frustration for us is we lose a bloke for 80 minutes, they lose a bloke for 10 minutes," O'Connor said. "Now that doesn't make sense to me, but I haven't seen the incident again. I don't know whether it was right or wrong. A bloke takes a guy out illegally and we lose a guy, which compromises the bench. They lose a bloke for 10 minutes."
If Leinster get a favour in France today then they stand to earn circa €780k from taking the game to a full Aviva Stadium.
"Look, we obviously need a favour now but if you had said to me at the start of the season that we'd be in the last eight in the Champions Cup I'd have taken that very happily," Leinster CEO Mick Dawson said. "We have the opportunity to go further in this competition which would be great for us and our supporters and our sponsors, so overall it's a very positive result, despite the turnaround in the second half. We're getting more players back into the frame as well so we can't wait for the quarters."
Leinster would be certain of their payday if they hadn't been reeled in despite leading 20-6 at half time.
"I was hoping we'd just hold on, and Goodey would miss," Matt O'Connor said of the endgame. "That's what was going through my mind. We defended very well, I thought our defence against a very, very dangerous side was outstanding for most part of it. I was pretty confident that we'd keep defending and just got enough pressure on Goodey to make sure he didn't kick the goal."
Sunday Indo Sport