Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ireland pretty well smash Europe 4-0!

 Jordi (

I’m sitting here oinking from the couch after TOTALLY pigging out on rugby this weekend (while still managing to fit in the other stuff). And get in, what a result,4 from 4 for Ireland!

Ulster got things going at Ravenhill with a tough win over Montpellier. Everybody was expecting Montpellier to not really show, and mentally, I think Ulster had bagged the win and were planning for Leicester next week already. However, when they realized they were in a fight they rolled their sleeves and got on with it, directed by a superb performance from Ruan Piennaar.  A bonus point would have been good, but they’ve qualified which is the main thing. Leicester are also through from that group after getting 5 points in Italy.

Connacht got their win against Zebre, no bonus point, but they are mathematically not out of the running for the HC or the AMC yet. Again, great performances from Carty and Leader, and  a MOTM performance from Healy on the wing.

Munster played Gloucester in front of a thumping Kingsholme crowd. Great atmosphere, great set of supporters, and a good tough match. Munster were clearly the better side, I thought Earls’ try was very well worked, while POM gets better every match. Charlie Sharples put in a touch of magic to score a great individual try. But overall, Munster are in great shape, ultra physical, and disciplined in defence. Murray made a difference, and great to see Zebo back.

So three from three, all up to Leinster to complete a clean sweep, but up against Castres unbeaten for more than a year at home. Leinster’s scrum and tackling were pretty shocking, to be honest. They got blown off the ball at the break down in the first half, and cut to shreds in midfield. But they took their opportunities superbly well, coming back from 14 nil to touching distance. Then in the second half, discipline, fitness and application told, as they kicked themselves into a lead, and then, with only 14 men, saw Healy and Murphy combine for a great try. The new Leinster centres! Castres left a good few try’s behind, but we’ll take it, teams with much, much bigger budgets couldn’t do what Leinster did On Sunday in the last year. Great performance from Gopperth in attack, Rob Kearney was great, and I thought Jordi Muphy was the one Leinster forward who really stood up to be counted.

Seed Pool Winners
1  Ulster 22
2  Toulon 20
3  Toulouse 19
4  Clermont 19
5  Munster 18
6  Leinster 17
Seed Pool Runners–up
7  Leicester Tigers 20
8  Saracens 15

Heineken Cup
Sunday , January 12
Castres 22 - 29 Leinster 
Ospreys 17 - 29 Northampton 
Toulouse 21 - 11 Saracens 
Saturday , January 11
Benetton Treviso 19 - 34 Leicester 
Harlequins 13 - 16 Clermont Auvergne 
Connacht 20 - 3 Zebre 
Exeter 10 - 15 Glasgow 
Edinburgh 27 - 16 Perpignan 
Gloucester 7 - 20 Munster 
Toulon 43 - 20 Cardiff Blues 
Friday , January 10
Ulster 27 - 16 Montpellier 
Racing Metro 92 13 - 19 Scarlets 

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