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Monday Apr 8, 2024

Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

The safety net has been removed, the cards are on the table, and it’s go time for the final eight clubs left standing in the 2023/24 Investec Champions Cup.

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Getting to this point courtesy of a scintilating round of last-16 knockout action, the final eight clubs in this year’s competition, with the exception of La Rochelle, came courtesy of a home last-16 win.

La Rochelle’s win over the Stormers sets up a repeat of the last two finals as they’ll now travel to Dublin to face a Leinster side who downed a plucky Leicester Tigers side at the Aviva Stadium.

Whilst the Stormers will be devastated to lose following a missed conversion by Manie Libbok in overtime, the Cape Townians showed immense heart as they lost several players to injury.

One player who went down was captain Salmaan Moerat, who was caught on the wrong side of Will Skelton’s knee.

Showing immense sportsmanship and care for his opponent, the Wallabies World Cup captain not only called the medics but protected Moerat from further impact as he held off a pile of bodies from potentially collapsing on him.

WATCH: Incredible moment of sportsmanship from Will Skelton

Earlier in the match, Moerat played a key role in one of the best tries this weekend as he received a sublime offload from Springbok star Damian Willemse before putting Herschel Jantjies over for a try.

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From Cape Town to Pretoria, the Vodacom Bulls will be South Africa’s lone representatives in the quarterfinals following their dominant win over Lyon.

Scorching their French opponents, the Bulls went coast-to-coast for a brilliant early in the second half, with Springbok flyer Kurt-Lee Arendse going from deep before the ball went through several hands for Embrose Papier to dive over.

Travelling north, Leinster, Northampton, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Harlequins and Exeter all punched their tickets to the dance with strong wins.

Of these victories, Leinster, Northampton and Harlequins all scored truly world-class tries that cracked this week’s top-five list.

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Starting with Leinster where scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park was in dominant form as he finished off a first half hattrick to put the Dublin side in a commanding position.

Jamison Gibson-Park scores a scintillating opening half hattrick

Northampton followed this with some brilliant scores against an injury-struck but gutsy Munster side at Franklin’s Gardens. The pick of the bunch was the length of the pitch effort, which the uber-exciting young back three-star George Hendy finished off.

Topping this week’s list was a brilliantly placed crossfield kick from England flyhalf Marcus Smith to Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen.

Inside Glasgow’s twenty-two, Smith was faced with a hard rush defence and took full advantage with pinpoint accuracy to get the ball to a point where only Esterhuizen could gather.

From here, the Springbok powerhouse did the rest and, with it, secured a first-ever Champions Cup knockout win for the South West London club.

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