Thursday, October 20, 2016

A muted enough Rugby Champions Cup weekend in store


A week after, the death of Anthony Foley still casts a pall over the rugby world - which in fairness has really pulled behind his family and Munster. It's a good decision to go on with the match against Glasgow though, it's what he would have wanted. I thought it was a good touch by Ulster to reciprocate the memorial for Nevin Spence at Thomond with their own for Anthony Foley at the Kingspan Stadium.

Munster will have to try and channel and use all that emotion for the match against Glasgow - it's not going to be easy for either team. Munster should win, but either way, as Gregor Townsend, said, it'll likely to be be a match worthy of Anthony Foley's memory.

Ulster need to start winning this weekend, or really their chances of progressing are going to go up in smoke. This is one of their 'easy' matches, the other will be their home match against Bordeaux. Exeter had a miserable day against Clermont last weekend, they just got absolutely blown away. However, this week they are likely to feel the force of an Ulster backlash against their frustrations of the last few weeks.

This weekend is probably the most challenging match of their group for Leinster, as Montpellier only lost out in the last few minutes against Northampton, and by all accounts are VERY peed off about the whole thing. Add to that that we are down Furlong, Rutherford and Sexton, and it could be a pretty tricky outing. Injuries have however played a pretty big part in Montpelliers season, the arrival of Tomas O'Leary is the latest sign of that. I have a feeling we'll win.

Finally, we have Connacht going to Zebre to pick up their 5 points.

And finally finally there is the last Bledisloe match as Australia head off to New Zealand to get their arses kicked again, lulling the All Blacks into a false sense of security until they are rudely brought down to earth against Ireland.

Champions Cup
Sale Sharks vs Toulon
Munster vs Glasgow Warriors
Castres vs Northampton Saints
Clermont Auvergne vs Bordeaux-Bègles
Saracens vs Scarlets
Ulster vs Exeter Chiefs
Montpellier vs Leinster
Toulouse vs Wasps
Zebre vs Connacht
Leicester Tigers vs Racing 92

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