Thursday, January 9, 2014

Four from Four Ireland, Four from Four!

Aaron Dundon (picture

What shall I do this weekend? I could play with my kids, fix up stuff around the house for my wife, and walk the dogs. OR MAYBE I’LL PIG OUT ON RUGBY, EAT SLEEP AND WATCH HEINEKEN CUP RUGBY ALL WEEKEND!!! YEAH! Or maybe a bit of both :)

Ulster get things started for the Irish clubs with a vist from Montpellier. Montpellier’s owners must have that feeling you get when you pay a fortune for a fancy coffee machine…but when you taste the coffee it still tastes like shit. This is Ulster:  J Payne, A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy, P Jackson, R Pienaar; (1-8): T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (Captain), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams – get a strong team, and put Best and Muller in it, at home, means they are in awesome shape. Meanwhile, word on the street is that Montpellier are sending a second string side over, as they can’t see how they can make it out of their pool, so Ulster need to take advantage and get a 5 point victory.

Connacht have Zebre at home. The Galwegians have shown in their matches with Munster and Leinster over the last couple of weeks that they can mix it with the big boys. After upsetting Toulouse, I’m demanding a 5 pointer here, over the Italian side who’ll be buoyed by one of their only home wins over Treviso.

Munster have a trip to Gloucester to contend with, and the Cherry and Whites have only 4 times at home this season. Will they make it 5 this weekend? In a way, the loss to Ulster was perfect preparation for this game, nothing like the feeling of perceived injustice to really sharpen up your game. A win here, and the pool is really theirs. Interesting to see who starts at 10 for them, but  I can’t see any other result.

Finally Leinster are in France to take on Castres, who won’t have Antonie Claassen or scrumhalf Rory Kockott playing. That’s a bit of good news anyway. Castres don’t expect to go through to the next round, so it’s pride they are playing for – and also preserving an 18 week home winning streak. I’m just hoping Leinster are channeling Northampton Away this weekend, which I think they probably are. They know this competition, know they slipped up last time at home, and need to get back on the horse.  Apart from SOB, Leinster have a full squad to pick from, with Rhys Ruddock ,Aaron Dundon recovering and  Fergus McFadden back. So yes, I’m backing their experience to pull this one out the bag.

Apart from that, Quins/Clermont and Saracens/Toulouse will be the games to watch.

Heineken Cup
Friday , January 10
Racing Metro 92 vs Scarlets 
Ulster vs Montpellier 
Saturday , January 11
Exeter vs Glasgow 15:00
Toulon vs Cardiff Blues 15:40
Connacht vs Zebre 15:40
Harlequins vs Clermont Auvergne 13:35
Benetton Treviso vs Leicester 13:35
Gloucester vs Munster 18:00
Edinburgh vs Perpignan 18:00
Sunday , January 12
Ospreys vs Northampton 12:45
Castres vs Leinster 12:45
Toulouse vs Saracens 15:00

No comments:

Post a Comment