Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another Heineken Cup clean sweep for Irish teams?

After wallowing in rugby last weekend, this weekend it’s all going to be off the sky box as real life conflicts with real rugby!

Leinster look like they have a full squad available, apart from Cian Healy, as they welcome the Saints to the Aviva Stadium. Leinster set the bar as high as it gets last week, reaching that level again isn’t going to be easy, and the Saints are a much better team than they showed last Saturday. However, we’re talking of a comeback that would put Lazarus to shame for Northampton to actually win this match. I think it’ll be a close tight match, but self belief will see Leinster through.

Ulster have a trip to Treviso to contend with. After noting Connacht’s giant slaying antics last weekend, they want to make sure they don’t take the Italians too lightly at home, but It shouldn’t pose any problems for them.

Connacht get the chance to do the double over Toulouse after having got the hard away win out the way. Toulouse are in shock. They had these two matches down as squad rotation matches, after which they could get back to the tough T14 schedule. If they send a shadow squad over this weekend, they might lose, but be fresh for the T14. If they send over a full squad, they might still lose, and be demoralized and stale and for the T14! Connacht are going to be like tigers at home, Toulouse will probably win, but it’ll be one of the hardest fought matches this weekend.

Munster will have their tales up after beating Perpignan, resigning Connor Murray and signing Robin Copeland, the former Leinster academy player. I’m hoping they have Connor Murray back fit, as Sheridan is a good deal more workmanlike scrum half. Perpignan are going to be a different prospect at home from the side that caved in Limerick. Munster want to keep it tight and just ruck the life out of the game and grind something out. It’s a pretty pivotal match – if Munster lose it’s going to be a three way dog fight with Gloucester to get out of that pool. I’m backing them to do it though.

Heineken Cup
Friday , December 13
Ospreys vs Castres 20:00
Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues 20:00
Saturday , December 14
Leinster vs Northampton 18:00
Toulon vs Exeter 13:35
Saracens vs Zebre 15:00
Connacht vs Toulouse 18:00
Scarlets vs Clermont Auvergne 15:40
Benetton Treviso vs Ulster 13:35
Perpignan vs Munster 15:40
Sunday , December 15
Harlequins vs Racing Metro 92 12:45
Montpellier vs Leicester 15:00
Gloucester vs Edinburgh 15:00

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