Thursday, December 4, 2014

Leinster need to get ready to rumble, Quins here we come!

Just when the glut of Autumn internationals comes to an end – the ‘Cup formerly known as Heineken’ arrives!

And Leinster first up need to seriously get ready to rumble, as they travel to take on Quins. Quins are currently 9th in the Premiership, so it hasn’t been a stellar season – but… they are a much better team than they’ve been playing. And Leinster haven’t looked too fly this season themselves. Just who of their Irish stars is going to be available will have a big bearing on the result. We just don’t seem to have the beef that we used to, nor the creativity in the backs. However, we do have a habit of picking ourselves up for the big ones, so I’m hoping for a ‘Northampton away’ result again – I kind of think we’ll win.

Munster have Clermont at home. There have been some epic battles between the sides over the years, and this is one of the matches of the weekend. Munster weren’t entirely convincing last weekend, but they have a pedigree in Europe as long as your arm. So it’s game on, and you know what they say about the French travelling. Clermont would be one of the few French sides actually interested in Europe, but you’d fancy Munster at home wouldn’t you?

Ulster have had a lot of disappointments this season, but I think the Scarlet’s are going to feel the backlash of that when they visit Ravenhill. It wouldn’t pay the Ulstermen to underestimate  their Welsh guests but they’ll have too much firepower this weekend.

Finally, Connacht  have Bayonne at home. They should win, but Bayonne, although bottom of that pool, have beaten Connacht’s real rival in this pool, Exeter. I’m backing Pat Lam and his men.

European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath   
Saturday , December 6
Sale Sharks vs Saracens    13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne    17:30
Ulster vs Scarlets    19:45
Treviso vs Northampton    13:00
Ospreys vs Racing Metro Paris    15:15
Sunday , December 7
Castres vs Wasps    13:00
Harlequins vs Leinster    15:15
Leicester Tigers vs Toulon    17:30
Toulouse vs Glasgow Warriors    15:15

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