Friday, January 16, 2015

As the cup formerly known as Heineken (CFKAH) nears the end of the pool stages,only wins will do now!


As the cup formerly known as Heineken (CFKAH) nears the end of the pool stages, it's last chance saloon, only wins will do now!

Munster have it all to do on Saturday against Saracens at the Copthall Stadium. They’ll will be without Connor Murray, which is a big loss. They are aiming to get the second spot off them, so they need to beat them as well as they can, and not concede any bonus points. Both teams have a similar forward based game plan.  Munster are going to have to hit them with a force that’ll make Storm Rachel look like a summer breeze. They have the forwards to get the job done, although scrum time could be a bit tricky. I think Saracens must be favourites, let’s see how much passion Munster can bring!

For Ulster the match against Ulster is mostly about pride.  Looking through the injury list they have at the moment, it hasn’t helped their cause at all this season. It sounds like Toulon could be a bit light on heavyweights with the flu that has it their team, so who knows, Ulster will be itching to right a few wrongs of the season so far.

Leinster shouldn’t have too many problems against Castres on Saturday. The Frenchmen are in 13th place, 2 points above La Rochelle. Survival in the Top 14 is their focus for the rest of the season, so I can’t see them taking any chances with their name plyers. The challenge for Leinster is to get as much out of the match as they can then, ideally a bonus point, and a big boost to their points differential. They have Captain Jamie back, the front row is a worry with McGraths suspension, but in fairness to Michael Bent, he has really proved his value this season. I actually think we could do something impressive this weekend.

Finally, Connacht have a might battle due against the Exeter Chiefs this weekend, who are currently 5th in the Aviva Premiership. Even if they win it’ll probably still come down to the last match, but a loss for Connacht and it’s over. Bundee Aki is out for a good while – but I’m backing the men in green, they are not going to lose two in a row at home!

Champions Cup
Friday, January 16
Leicester vs Scarlets    19:45
Saturday, January 17
Saracens vs Munster    13:00
Toulon vs Ulster    15:15
Sale vs Clermont Auvergne    17:30
Leinster vs Castres    17:30
Harlequins vs Wasps    19:45
Sunday, January 18
Glasgow Warriors vs Montpellier    13:00
Toulouse vs Bath    15:15
Ospreys vs Northampton    17:30
Racing Metro vs Benetton Treviso    17:30
Connacht v Exeter Chiefs,  15:15

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