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AFP/File / REMY GABALDA
Ireland centre Gary Ringrose (R) scored a hat-trick of tries as Leinster produced a stunning seven-try, 50-21 victory against Northampton

Four-time winners Leinster produced a stunning seven-try, 50-21 victory against Northampton in Dublin on Saturday to become the first team ever to qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup after just four rounds.

Ireland centre Gary Ringrose scored a hat-trick of tries as the home side blew away the team they beat in the 2011 final.

They moved to 19 points at the top of Pool 1, enough to guarantee them a place in the knockout rounds with two group games still to play.

“Games like that where you go up by 20 points early on, well then that’s where our ruthless edge kicks in and we’ve got to keep going, keep pushing, keep scoring tries,” said Leinster wing Dave Kearney, one of his team’s scorers.

Toulouse also moved to within a heartbeat of the last eight with a 26-18 win at Montpellier while defending champions Saracens kept their hopes alive with a hard-fought 15-6 win at home to Munster.


AFP / PASCAL PAVANI
Toulouse fly-half Romain Ntamack scores the opening try in their 26-18 win over Montpellier

Leinster, who won 43-16 in Northampton a week ago, ripped into the Saints from the first whistle, Ringrose charging down a clearance and going through for his first try in just the second minute.

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