Thursday, January 16, 2014

Heineken Cup - enjoy it while you've got it!


How quickly do the weeks roll around, it’s ALREADY time for the last round of the Heineken Cup matches, on frankly what could be the last Heineken Cup ever. Heineken may get fecked off with all the faffing about that’s going on about a tournament, so that when some agreement is finally all hammered out, first item will be a new sponsor. At the moment, the likelihood of a new European cup in 2014/2015 looks dimmer all the time. So enjoy it while you’ve got it!

Leinster’s group will get sorted out on Friday night. They’ve named a strong team, and have Ricardt Strauss on the bench which is great news. The Ospreys look like they have a strong pack, but are lot more inexperienced in their backs, still filled with talented players all the same. Leinster spent half of last week playing in ladyboy style, and half in ferocious attacking finishing mode. They are going to need to rediscover the inner man, get stuck in, and then finish in style. I can’t see them getting a better placing than 5th or 6th, and will win but without a bonus point.

Connacht have to go to Saracens for their last match. They tend to pull off big wins every year, but generally earlier in the season when they are still underrated and the opposition is in their comfort zone. Saracens are forewarned and forearmed, so hard to  see anything but a Saracens victory.

Ulster Leicester is a bit of a strange one. Both teams are qualified, so it’s position they are jockeying for. Ulster are the only unbeaten team in the tournament, but Welford Road is a huge challenge. However, this is
Ulster’s fourth qualification in a row, they have the experience now, and it’s a team they’d particularly like to beat. I see them digging very deep for this one, and getting it!

Munster are going to wrap things up for Ireland  with their match against Edinburgh on Sunday. They have no new injuries, Murray is playing really well, and I hope Zebo starts. I’m expecting a ruthless Munster to a) extract 5 points out of the hapless Scots b) get full revenge for their first round defeat.

Enjoy it all!

Heineken Cup
Friday , January 17
Leinster vs Ospreys 
Northampton vs Castres 
Saturday , January 18
Cardiff Blues vs Exeter 15:40
Glasgow vs Toulon 15:40
Zebre vs Toulouse 13:35
Saracens vs Connacht 13:35
Montpellier vs Benetton Treviso 18:00
Leicester vs Ulster 18:00
Sunday , January 19
Scarlets vs Harlequins 15:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro 92 15:00
Munster vs Edinburgh 12:45
Perpignan vs Gloucester 12:45

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