Happy return for Trinh-Duc as Montpellier reach last eight
Francois Trinh-Duc made a swift impact on his return from a broken leg as Montpellier secured a place in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup with an impressive 42-9 victory over Pool Three winners Harlequins on Friday.
Having entered the field at Altrad Stadium with only seven minutes remaining, replacement fly-half Trinh-Duc delivered a wonderful, cut-out pass to put Yvan Reilhac over for a crucial fourth try that earned the hosts a bonus point.
Montpellier, who went on to cross again through Charles Geli in the closing seconds, are therefore guaranteed to progress to the last eight as one of the best three runners-up in the pool stage.
There was concern for Harlequins and England, meanwhile, when wing Marland Yarde - a member of Eddie Jones' national squad for the upcoming Six Nations - was taken off in the second half following a nasty clash of heads with Marvin O'Connor.
The visitors, who had won their opening five group matches, were also hampered by a yellow card for Mat Luamanu as Montpellier ran in 27 unanswered points after the interval.
Montpellier's efforts ensured Cardiff Blues' 74-6 thrashing of Calvisano proved in vain, with the Welsh side forced to settle for third place in the pool.
Tom James celebrated his recall to the Wales squad with a hat-trick as the Blues - bolstered by Sam Warburton's return - ran in 12 tries against limited opposition.
La Rochelle thumped Worcester Warriors 35-11 to take third in Pool Four at the expense of their opponents, while a miserable campaign for Pau ended with a 24-7 defeat at Castres, whose own qualification hopes had already been dashed.