Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Heineken Cup Final 2012 - London calling!

Well, it’s pretty apt that the Clash theme this match with London Calling as Leinster and Ulster travel to Twickenham to contest the 2012 Heineken Cup. The French have done it three times, the English once and now it’s Ireland’s turn to have an all Irish final.

It’s not normal that I want Ulster to lose – Ulster, Munster and Connacht are my reserve team, there to back when the main show is not around. They have an awesome team, a mix of Irish talent like Ferris, Best  and Trimble that I back to the hilt when they’re in green, and some real stars in the likes of Ruan Piennar.  BUUUUUUT there’s only going to be one winner on Satruday, and hey, I’m sure those runners up medals are really nice too!

Why do I think Leinster are going to win, apart from the fact that I’m terribly biased? Well it’s a combination of factors – they been there before, twice, and in the recent past, and came back from the dead in last year’s final, so going behind in the match won’t scare them. They also have a structure to their game that is hard to break down, and hard to resist. The organisation of their defense is a joy to watch, and the way they attack in waves, and the speed of their play makes them hard to defend against. The BOD is back for the match, and he’s absolutely key, for his play and for his inspiration. Then you add in Kearney, Nacewa, Healy and the rest, and it’s going to take some team to beat them. Even though they are favourites, it’s likely to be a tight, close match, so who’s going to hold their nerve, Sexton or Pienaar? Actually, McFadden is probably better than them both, so that’s another plus for Leinster. And Leinster definitely have a stronger bench, they have real impact players like van der Merwe, Cronin, Madigan and Boss.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because Ulster will have Leinster just like that if they underestimate them, Ferris will beat a trail of size 12 boots over the broken Leinster bodies, with the South African beef there to bayonet the wounded. Ulster are also well organised, have an awesomely physical pack, and a blitzkrieg attack that left the Tigers reeling.

I think the repect for Ulster is there though, and the desire to do something special and get back to back HCups is really strong. So Leinster in a tight match then. Should make for an interesting flight on the way to New Zealand anyway.
Heineken Cup
Saturday , May 19
Leinster vs Ulster 17:00

1 comment:

  1. I'm picking Leinster to win by 3.

    If Ulster get an early march on though, they could make it difficult for leinster. Ulster's South African spine won't crumble under the pressure of a Heineken Cup Final.

    I have previewed the game too on my blog if you are interested.