Munster stand alone as the only club left with four from four as the tournament takes a break before resuming in 2012 with the critical Rounds 5 and 6 that will determine the prestigious quarter-finalists.
And the Heineken Cup takes that break on the back of a record breaking weekend of matches high in quality, tension and drama – perhaps best encapsulated by Harlequins’ 31-24 win at Toulouse – that leaves it all to play for in the New Year.
Defending champions Leinster, the only other unbeaten team with three wins and a draw, hosted the biggest Heineken Cup Pool stage crowd in the UK and Ireland when 46,365 fans went through the Aviva Stadium turnstiles to see them beat Bath Rugby 52-27 in a 10-try feast in Round 4.
The 76,569 who were at Stade de France for the Stade Francais Paris clash with Harlequins three seasons ago will take some beating but Saturday’s crowd at the Aviva moves that match into a clear second place overall in the 17th season of Europe’s elite club rugby tournament.
The dates and kick-off times for the Heineken Cup Rounds 5 and 6 games will be announced on Wednesday afternoon, 21 December.
The top six Heineken Cup Pool match attendances now are:
76,569 – STADE FRANÇAIS PARIS v Harlequins – Rd 3 2008/09 (Stade de France)
46,365 – LEINSTER v Bath Rugby – Rd 4 2011/12 (Aviva Stadium)
45,892 – SARACENS v Leinster – Rd 2 2010/11 (Wembley)
44,873 – LEINSTER v ASM Clermont Auvergne – Rd 4 2010/11 (Aviva Stadium)
44,112 – STADE FRANÇAIS PARIS v Sale Sharks – Rd 3 2006/07 (Parc des Princes)
41,063 – SARACENS v Ospreys – Rd 3 2011/12 (Wembley)
The bumper Dublin crowd, along with 32,000 at Le Stadium in Toulouse, 25,600 at Thomond Park and over 20,000 at Welford Road, played major roles in a Round 4 attendance record being set for the 12 matches of 185,546 – comfortably beating the old mark of 132,063 set at the same stage of the 2009/10 competition. It is also the second highest Round attendance in the history of the tournament behind the 200,307 who were at Round 3 matches in 2008/09.
HEINEKEN CUP 2011/12 … SO FAR
ROUND 1 – 134,331
ROUND 2 – 147,026
ROUND 3 – 139,460
ROUND 4 – 185,546
TOTAL – 606,363