Friday, December 6, 2013

This weekend - success for Leinster and Ulster, Munster need to pulverise, and charachter building for Connacht!

 We need intensity! ( picture

Now that the South has departed with most of the spoils, again, it’s time to hit the big time again with the return of the Heineken Cup!

Starting off with Leinster v Northampton at Franklin Gardens, now doesn’t that sound like a tasty prospect? I’ve got the teams below, and while they’re both strong teams, Leinster have a much stronger bench with 6 internationals.  The Northampton players I really rate are Wood, Lawes and Manoa, and George North of course. Not having Ben Fodden is a loss to them.  It’s going to be all about the intensity that the Leinster pack bring – if they’re on the front foot, we’ll win. And with our bench, we should win the last 20 minutes. Overall, I think it’s going to be a good day for Leinster.

Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Dom Waldouck, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Diickson, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Alex Waller. Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Christian Day, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Ryan Glynn, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Jamie Elliott.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy. Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Zane Kirchner

Ulster have named a really strong team for Treviso, and having already slipped up against Edinburgh, they won’t do it again. Toulouse Connacht will probably be an ouch experience. Character building. Finally, Munster have what’s probably their A team on the pitch, as they welcome Perpignan to Thomond Park. Perpignan are 9th in the T14, and don’t seem to the quality of internationals that some of the other big French clubs have.  To me, it’s all down to the type of game Munster want to play. If they stick it up the jumper and keep it as an arm wrestle, they should win. Anything more expansive, at least until they’ve really pulverized the Catalans, and it could all go awry.

Heineken Cup
Friday , December 6
Castres vs Ospreys 20:00
Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow 20:00
Saturday , December 7
Northampton vs Leinster 18:00
Exeter vs Toulon 13:35
Zebre vs Saracens 13:35
Clermont Auvergne vs Scarlets 13:35
Racing Metro 92 vs Harlequins 15:40
Ulster vs Benetton Treviso 18:00
Sunday , December 8
Toulouse vs Connacht 15:00
Leicester vs Montpellier 15:00
Munster vs Perpignan 12:45

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