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Sir Speedy
16-06-08, 10:24 PM
Will be announced 11:15am tomorrow. Can't wait to be honest. Here's how the teams are seeded (from erc.com):

• The draw will have four stages starting with the allocation of six teams from Tier 1 and then moving to the next Tier.

• Allocation of Tier 1 - The Number 1 ranked team (Heineken Cup champions Munster) will be drawn into one of the six Pools. The remaining five top Tier teams will then be drawn into the five Pool spots left available.

• Allocation of Tier 2, 3 and 4 – For each Tier allocation the teams will be drawn starting with the teams from the country with the highest number of teams participating in the tournament.

Therefore the order of allocation in each Tier will be teams from France, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy until all teams in that Tier have been drawn. The draw will then move on to the teams in the next Tier.

• In Tier 4 the seventh French team (based on ranking) will be drawn into the Pools last.

• To avoid having two teams from the same country in the same Pool, some teams may be allocated to available Pool spots automatically during the course of the Draw.

The Teams and Tiers

TIER 1 – Munster, Toulouse, Biarritz Olympique, Leicester Tigers, Stade Français Paris, London Wasps
TIER 2 – Leinster, Bath Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, Perpignan, Sale Sharks, Llanelli Scarlets
TIER 3 – Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ulster Rugby, Castres Olympique
TIER 4* – Glasgow Warriors, Benetton Treviso, Edinburgh, Rugby Calvisano, Harlequins.

*The last French Tier 4 team will be confirmed this weekend and will be either Montauban or Montpellier.

MunsterMan
16-06-08, 10:29 PM
Montauban are the last French team.

Munster
Gloucester
Clermont
Quins

That would keep us on our toes :ph34r:

I would be much happier if Clermont switched places with Biaritz. IMO Clermont are one of the best teams in Europe and having them third tier completely negates the rest of the system although it is a big step up from previous years.

Sir Speedy
16-06-08, 10:47 PM
Montauban are the last French team.

Munster
Gloucester
Clermont
Quins

That would keep us on our toes :ph34r:

I would be much happier if Clermont switched places with Biaritz. IMO Clermont are one of the best teams in Europe and having them third tier completely negates the rest of the system although it is a big step up from previous years.
[/b]
That group is too easy for the likes of Munster. :P They'd walk all over Gloucester and Harlequins and even Clermont if they don't put out a full strength side again.
As a Llanelli fan, I'd be very happy with:

Llanelli
Stade Francais Paris
Ulster
Edinburgh

Mind you, we'd struggle to get even third place in that pool...

As a Sale fan also, I'd like:

Sale
Ospreys
Biarritz
Treviso

Would be some great 1 on 1 battles in the O's and Sale games!

MunsterMan
17-06-08, 10:45 AM
Munster
Sale
Clermont
Montaban

For f*** sake! What a group.

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 10:53 AM
They've been announced:

Pool 1

Munster
Sale Sharks
Clermont
Montauban

Pool 2

Wasps
Leinster
Castres
Edinburgh

Pool3

Leicester
Perpignan
Ospreys
Treviso

Pool 4

Stade Francais Paris
Llanelli
Ulster
Harlequins

Pool 5

Toulouse
Bath
Newport-Gwent Dragons
Glasgow Warriors

Pool 6

Biarritz Olympique
Gloucester
Cardiff Blues
Rugby Calvisano

The pools look much more evenly matched than last year. Oh dear God, Sale have their work cut out for them. And...Llanelli's pool is almost as I predicted. Ospreys should walk their pool and Cardiff are going to need to play out of their skins to get out of their pool. And Newport...God help them.

Anyone want to predict winners?

camelback
17-06-08, 10:57 AM
Like last year, Clermont's pool is the death group. Toulouse, Stade Francais and Wasps should not have problem. The pool 6 and 3 are very homogenous (except the italian).

Indeed, we're happy to welcome our irish friends again, here in Clermont :D They already know the way ^^

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 11:04 AM
Like last year, Clermont's pool is the death group. Toulouse, Stade Francais and Wasps should not have problem. The pool 6 and 3 are very homogenous (except the italian).

Indeed, we're happy to welcome our irish friends again, here in Clermont :D They already know the way ^^
[/b]
Clermont make any pool the Pool of Death. Dear God, why were Sale drawn with them? :wah:

camelback
17-06-08, 11:11 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
Like last year, Clermont&#39;s pool is the death group. Toulouse, Stade Francais and Wasps should not have problem. The pool 6 and 3 are very homogenous (except the italian).

Indeed, we&#39;re happy to welcome our irish friends again, here in Clermont :D They already know the way ^^
[/b]
Clermont make any pool the Pool of Death. Dear God, why were Sale drawn with them? :wah:
[/b][/quote]
Clermont should not be in thier 3.. But it could have been : Leicester, Llanelli, Clermont, Trevise. This pool would have been less difficult.

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 11:13 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'>
Like last year, Clermont&#39;s pool is the death group. Toulouse, Stade Francais and Wasps should not have problem. The pool 6 and 3 are very homogenous (except the italian).

Indeed, we&#39;re happy to welcome our irish friends again, here in Clermont :D They already know the way ^^
[/b]
Clermont make any pool the Pool of Death. Dear God, why were Sale drawn with them? :wah:
[/b][/quote]
Clermont should not be in thier 3.. But it could have been : Leicester, Llanelli, Clermont, Trevise. This pool would have been less difficult.
[/b][/quote]
Not really. Llanelli would pwn Clermont. :P

SaintsFan_Webby
17-06-08, 11:51 AM
Ospreys should walk their pool[/b]

Underestimate Leicester and Perpignan at your peril. They both have proven pedigree and know how to win when it comes to crunch in Europe. Whereas the Ospreys just don&#39;t yet. Going to Treviso is also nowhere near as easy as you would think. I don&#39;t think there are any easy pools this year.

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 11:57 AM
<div class='quotemain'>Ospreys should walk their pool[/b]

Underestimate Leicester and Perpignan at your peril. They both have proven pedigree and know how to win when it comes to crunch in Europe. Whereas the Ospreys just don&#39;t yet. Going to Treviso is also nowhere near as easy as you would think. I don&#39;t think there are any easy pools this year.
[/b][/quote]
Yeh I was a bit hasty in saying that. Leicester have proven they can beat anyone on the day against Gloucester this year and Munster in the 06/07 season. I don&#39;t really rate Perpignan&#39;s chances, although they will be tough to beat away from home.

My predicted winners in order of points:

Toulouse
Wasps
Munster
Ospreys
Stade
Gloucester
Cardiff
Sale

Cymro
17-06-08, 12:11 PM
Take that group, could easily reach the Quater Finals!

Llanelli were lucky I thought, a Tier 2 team is a tad of a joke, yes I know it goes on over the past 4 years but it really should have taken into account last season really (league and not cup form!)

shazbooger
17-06-08, 12:21 PM
Pool 1 (Munster, Sale, Clermont, Montauban)
Tricky one here. I dont think Sale will have a huge impact on the group, and regardless of Munsters upheaval in the backroom staff, you cant bet against them going through as group winners. They are just better away from home then any other team out there. It will be a tough group though, so I&#39;d imagine only one team to go through. Munster to qualify.



Pool 2 (Wasps, Leinster, Castres, Edinburgh)
I&#39;m not too sure. I&#39;ve got to avoid the natural bias towards Leinster and pretend to be objective while still tipping Leinster to top the group. I cant do that though as our away form has been pathetic. The rumoured signings of a new prop, and Rocky Elsom will beef up the pack, but I&#39;m not sure if there is enough to get us through as group winners. It&#39;ll be the away form that will swing it either way. A few bonus points picked up will make all the difference. Wasps would have to be favourites.

Pool3 (Leicester, Perpignan, Ospreys, Treviso)
As usual with any group including an Italian team you could be looking at two qualifiers from this group, but I dont see it here. You never really know with the Ospreys what your going to get but I think they are a better side then their ranking suggests. I think the top three teams will all take points off eachother and Perpignan will sneak through as group winner.


Pool 4 (Stade, Llanelli, Ulster, Harlequins)
Stade should take this group easily enough. I only see one team coming through from here.

Pool 5 (Toulouse, bath, Newport, Glasgow)
Toulouse and Bath to romp through with relative ease. Toulouse as Group winners, Bath as one of the best placed runners up.


Pool 6 (Biarritz, Glouster, Cardiff, Calvisano)
Biarritz and Gloucester to qualify. Biarritz as runners up. Gloucester take the home quarter final.



So home quarter finalsist would be Stade, Toulouse, Gloucester and probably Munster with Wasps, Perpignan, Bath, and Biarritz travelling.

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 12:29 PM
If Clermont Auvergne focus on this tournament, then they could claim Pool 1 with ease. At their best, they are easily the best side in Europe but the outcome of this pool depends on whether they put out 1st choice teams. Sale certainly have the firepower to put up a fight and could surprise both sides if they play to their potential. Munster will be the favourites due to their last season, although the fixtures could affect how they perform -if they play away to Sale and Clermont at first and come away with two losses then their confidence will be in pieces.

Stillknox
17-06-08, 12:39 PM
Again the pool of death for Clermont... but this time they will not send a B-Team at Limerick, and Sale is not as good as Wasps. They really have a chance to go trough. Montauban have no chance but such a pool is a good way to discover the delights of the H-CUp...

I&#39;m happy with Stade Français&#39;s pool. We beat the Quins two times this year... I know they will recruit some good players like Evans, but we have the chance of taking them at the very beginning of the season, with not their full strenght. This is quite the same thing with Ulster and I don&#39;t think that Llanelli could be as good as 2006-2007, especially with the departure of Peel. I&#39;m tired of losing in Final, I hope the next year will be SF&#39;s year... after all, Munster lost two finals before making it. :rolleyes:

My prediction:

P1: Clermont
Because of the Munster&#39;s new staff... and Clermont will be more hungry than Munster, especially after what happened this year. Plus the fact that they could be in confidence after a potential win in Top 14 in two weeks.

P2: Wasps, Leinster
Wasps are maybe the best team in Europe on good form and I don&#39;t see Leinster losing in Edinburgh again...

P3: Ospreys ??
I don&#39;t know what to expect from the Tigers next year... and I don&#39;t see Perpignan as an european threat but who knows.

P4: Stade Français

P5: Toulouse, Bath
Toulouse in the first place, Bath as best runner up.

P6: Gloucester
Biarritz is in the same position as Leicester. If they can restructure the team and be efficient early in the season they could be one of the best runner-up. If it&#39;s not the case Cardiff can beat them easily and contest this last place for the quarters.

Thingimubob
17-06-08, 01:58 PM
Pool 1 (Munster, Sale, Clermont, Montauban)
Tricky one here. I dont think Sale will have a huge impact on the group, and regardless of Munsters upheaval in the backroom staff, you cant bet against them going through as group winners. They are just better away from home then any other team out there. It will be a tough group though, so I&#39;d imagine only one team to go through. Munster to qualify.



Pool 2 (Wasps, Leinster, Castres, Edinburgh)
I&#39;m not too sure. I&#39;ve got to avoid the natural bias towards Leinster and pretend to be objective while still tipping Leinster to top the group. I cant do that though as our away form has been pathetic. The rumoured signings of a new prop, and Rocky Elsom will beef up the pack, but I&#39;m not sure if there is enough to get us through as group winners. It&#39;ll be the away form that will swing it either way. A few bonus points picked up will make all the difference. Wasps would have to be favourites.

Pool3 (Leicester, Perpignan, Ospreys, Treviso)
As usual with any group including an Italian team you could be looking at two qualifiers from this group, but I dont see it here. You never really know with the Ospreys what your going to get but I think they are a better side then their ranking suggests. I think the top three teams will all take points off eachother and Perpignan will sneak through as group winner.


Pool 4 (Stade, Llanelli, Ulster, Harlequins)
Stade should take this group easily enough. I only see one team coming through from here.

Pool 5 (Toulouse, bath, Newport, Glasgow)
Toulouse and Bath to romp through with relative ease. Toulouse as Group winners, Bath as one of the best placed runners up.


Pool 6 (Biarritz, Glouster, Cardiff, Calvisano)
Biarritz and Gloucester to qualify. Biarritz as runners up. Gloucester take the home quarter final.



So home quarter finalsist would be Stade, Toulouse, Gloucester and probably Munster with Wasps, Perpignan, Bath, and Biarritz travelling.

[/b]

don&#39;t think you should write off Cardiff just yet. the Arsm Park isn&#39;t the easiest of places to come and win, as Stade Francais found out this year, and have an impressive away form, taking the scalps of Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh (A place where Leinster and Leicester both struggled) and pushing Stade all the way in Paris. So think if Cardiff pull their Socks up, win all their home games, beat Calvisano in Italy and get a couple of points away to Biarritz and Gloucester, they&#39;re in with a chance

peppers07
17-06-08, 02:52 PM
Pool1 Munster/Clermont
Another group of death for Munster and Clermont Cant call this one if Clermont play their second team away from Munster should get through but I doubt they will. Sale cant be writen of either and have a chance if they play out of their skins if either Munster or Clermont manage to sneak an awy win against sale that could be desicive .

Pool2 Wasps1+Leinster2
providing Leinster finally manage to beat their bogey team Edinburgh they should sneak in as second place.

Pool3 Ospreys
Ospreys will be hungryer than ever this season and Leicester will in their first season with a new coach and some probably wont be able to get a reall good one after sacking Marcello Lofreda so unfairly .

Pool4 Stade Francais
Easily the softest group in the competition Stade should walk this.

Pool5 Toulouse1+Bath2
Easy group for Toulouse and Bath cant see any upsets here

Pool6 Gloucester
Quit a tough pool Biaritz and Cardif will take points od eich other and neither will get enough points to finish as best placed runner up

MunsterMan
17-06-08, 05:42 PM
I remember saying in this thread last year that I would back Munster to win all their home games and beat Llanelli and wasps away (off by two points) and got laughed at. I think Munster will win home and away against Sale and Montauban bit I hate to say it, I can see us losing to Clermont. Twice. Clermont are IMO the best team in the competition.

Gavin
17-06-08, 06:08 PM
To be fair it shows great depth in the European game when all teams will find it hard progressing to the next round. I expect Montauban to be like Portugal was in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They will have so much pride and want to prove themselves against the stronger teams. Clermont Auvergne should be favourites for next year&#39;s Heineken Cup, as they have proved themselves in the Top14, with Munster, Toulouse and Wasps just behind them.

danny
17-06-08, 06:13 PM
When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!!

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 06:15 PM
When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!!
[/b]
Must have been ******** for you last year. A trip to Swansea and Northern Ireland. :lol:

danny
17-06-08, 06:19 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!!
[/b]
Must have been ******** for you last year. A trip to Swansea and Northern Ireland. :lol:
[/b][/quote]
Yes it was **** in the extreme.

Stillknox
17-06-08, 10:38 PM
I expect Montauban to be like Portugal was in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They will have so much pride and want to prove themselves against the stronger teams.[/b]

Montauban may not be as weak as we expect : there are some good players in this team, like Mitu (scrum half of Romania), Frost (ex Ulster player) Fortassin (5th top scorer with 212 points this years, Brock James leading with 280) Diarra or Caballero who are now french internationals, and Audrin who will follow the same direction soon according to the press.

And they made a very good recruitment for next year : Vilimoni Delasau (Clermont and Fiji&#39;s winger), Julien Larrahague (Sale), Shaun Paku (Hurricanes) Schvelildze. (Georgian prop from Clermont)

I can&#39;t see them making the quarters but they can be dangerous if the others teams underrates them, especially at home where they are almost invincible. (the only team who win there this year was Toulouse, and it was nearly the same thing the previous season)
At least, Clermont will know how good they are.

Sir Speedy
17-06-08, 10:55 PM
especially at home where they are almost invincible. (the only team who win there this year was Toulouse, and it was nearly the same thing the previous season)
At least, Clermont will know how good they are.
[/b]
In that case, I can&#39;t see Munster or Sale topping the pool unless Montauban decide to not try in the Heineken Cup.

shazbooger
18-06-08, 11:55 AM
In that case, I can&#39;t see Munster or Sale topping the pool unless Montauban decide to not try in the Heineken Cup. [/b] Good point. I mean its not as if Munster; Are the top seeded team
Have won the tournament twice in the last three years
Topped a group including Clermont and Wasps last year
Have a habit of going to those difficult away trips and getting the crucial bonus point
Made it out of the group stages every year since the competition started
They obviously dont have a hope against the might of Sale who finished fifth in this years GP and Clermont who have always prioritised their domestic competition over the HEC.

Thingimubob
18-06-08, 01:14 PM
When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!! [/b]

yeah our group has some pretty cool away trips! my mate will be happy, his dream is too open a surf shop in Biarritz.
Heh, I see you&#39;re not looking forward to coming down Cardiff :P Can&#39;t blame you, we&#39;ll only thrash you like last time Gloucester came down. :P Can&#39;t wait for that game though, should be a good game!

lineens weegie army
18-06-08, 03:37 PM
Good draw for us - although Toulouse is tough to get to from Scotland! :(

TBH though I reckon well beat Toulouse and Bath at home, come close in Tolouse and take something from Bath.

Oh, and Newport to take 10 points from us! ;)

Sir Speedy
18-06-08, 04:02 PM
<div class='quotemain'> In that case, I can&#39;t see Munster or Sale topping the pool unless Montauban decide to not try in the Heineken Cup. [/b] Good point. I mean its not as if Munster; Are the top seeded team
Have won the tournament twice in the last three years
Topped a group including Clermont and Wasps last year
Have a habit of going to those difficult away trips and getting the crucial bonus point
Made it out of the group stages every year since the competition started
They obviously dont have a hope against the might of Sale who finished fifth in this years GP and Clermont who have always prioritised their domestic competition over the HEC.
[/b][/quote]
Well:
1) Montauban have an impressive home record as previously stated. Only Clermont play with them regularly and know what they are capable of.
2) Sale have some of the best players in Europe and on Earth and could cause any team problems. Obviously, with all the talent they&#39;ve bought aswell, they&#39;re going to just roll over and let you guys win the group. :rolleyes: The result of the pool depends on how they play, since I can&#39;t realistically see them qualifying.
3) Clermont at their best are the best team in Europe. If they decide to focus on this Cup rather than on the Top14 then Munster will need to play out of their skins for the 160 minutes they play against them to have a chance of qualifying. Beating their second string team last year means little to nothing.

Oh why do I bother? This is MUNSTER we&#39;re talking about. How dare I suggest they aren&#39;t as good as everyone claims! :rolleyes:

danny
18-06-08, 04:41 PM
<div class='quotemain'> When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!! [/b]

yeah our group has some pretty cool away trips! my mate will be happy, his dream is too open a surf shop in Biarritz.
Heh, I see you&#39;re not looking forward to coming down Cardiff :P Can&#39;t blame you, we&#39;ll only thrash you like last time Gloucester came down. :P Can&#39;t wait for that game though, should be a good game!
[/b][/quote]
Sorry to leave out Cardiff from my away trips Im looking forward to but its got nothing to do with the rugby. You`re right Cardiff did stuff us in a PRE-SEASON game last year, but if you think back you will remember that we did the double on you last time we were in the same HC group. Anyway does anyone know what airport you fly to for Calvisano, is it Brescia and has anyone else been there?

Sir Speedy
18-06-08, 04:48 PM
I&#39;ve been to three grounds in Wales (only not Rodney Parade) and I&#39;ve concluded that Stradey Park <strike>has</strike> had the best pre-game and uring game atmosphere. I went to see us lose to Munster in a storm of biblical proportions there last year and inspite of the rain, the atmosphere was superb. Although, that may have been helped by the Munster support.

peppers07
18-06-08, 05:44 PM
<div class='quotemain'> In that case, I can&#39;t see Munster or Sale topping the pool unless Montauban decide to not try in the Heineken Cup. [/b] Good point. I mean its not as if Munster; Are the top seeded team
Have won the tournament twice in the last three years
Topped a group including Clermont and Wasps last year
Have a habit of going to those difficult away trips and getting the crucial bonus point
Made it out of the group stages every year since the competition started
They obviously dont have a hope against the might of Sale who finished fifth in this years GP and Clermont who have always prioritised their domestic competition over the HEC.
[/b][/quote]

All thats true except the last one im fairly sure Munster didnt get out of their group on the first 2 or 3 times

shazbooger
18-06-08, 06:53 PM
Oh why do I bother? This is MUNSTER we&#39;re talking about. How dare I suggest they aren&#39;t as good as everyone claims! :rolleyes: [/b] Ive no objections to you suggesting anything, but when you justify it with a series of points like;

No one knows what Montauban will do so lets assume they are going to beat everyone but Clermont. <LI>Sale, who finished outside the playoffs, have some of the best players on Earth? ................****** myself laughing there (and dont use that as an excuse to list off a series of B grade players).<LI>Clermont, If they decide to focus on this Cup, which they have never done, are obviously too good for Munster. In the same way that Toulouse, Glouster, Wasps and eh.............. Clermont werent last year.

Your telling me you are disregarding Munsters record in Europe based on those lazy little arguements? I know your a frequent poster here, and everyone favourite welshman but if your going to express your opinion, at least qualify it with "I havent the foggiest notion of what I&#39;m talking about, I dont do facts or logic only blinkered assumptions. Dont bother trying to debate anything cause your obviously wrong and I&#39;m write, oh .............. and it was the ref&#39;s fault."

On a final point. I&#39;m a Leinster fan. I would like nothing better then seeing those redneck bandwagon junkies eat a rather large slice of humble pie as Clermont or the mighty Montauban rip them a new arsehole in their lovely new stadium. Many teams have tried though, and most come away with nothing. Munster will win their home games, and as both a full strength Wasps and Clermont saw last year, they will get their away bonus points. That will decide this pool. That and the fact that Clermont will field an understrength for at least two of their away games.


All thats true except the last one im fairly sure Munster didnt get out of their group on the first 2 or 3 times [/b] Yep your right, first three years no, last 10 years yes.

Sir Speedy
18-06-08, 07:11 PM
Ive no objections to you suggesting anything, but when you justify it with a series of points like;

No one knows what Montauban will do so lets assume they are going to beat everyone but Clermont. <LI>Sale, who finished outside the playoffs, have some of the best players on Earth? ................****** myself laughing there (and dont use that as an excuse to list off a series of B grade players).<LI>Clermont, If they decide to focus on this Cup, which they have never done, are obviously too good for Munster. In the same way that Toulouse, Glouster, Wasps and eh.............. Clermont werent last year.

Your telling me you are disregarding Munsters record in Europe based on those lazy little arguements? I know your a frequent poster here, and everyone favourite welshman but if your going to express your opinion, at least qualify it with "I havent the foggiest notion of what I&#39;m talking about, I dont do facts or logic only blinkered assumptions. Dont bother trying to debate anything cause your obviously wrong and I&#39;m write, oh .............. and it was the ref&#39;s fault."

On a final point. I&#39;m a Leinster fan. I would like nothing better then seeing those redneck bandwagon junkies eat a rather large slice of humble pie as Clermont or the mighty Montauban rip them a new arsehole in their lovely new stadium. Many teams have tried though, and most come away with nothing. Munster will win their home games, and as both a full strength Wasps and Clermont saw last year, they will get their away bonus points. That will decide this pool. That and the fact that Clermont will field an understrength for at least two of their away games.

<div class='quotemain'> All thats true except the last one im fairly sure Munster didnt get out of their group on the first 2 or 3 times [/b] Yep your right, first three years no, last 10 years yes.
[/b][/quote]
Firstly, don&#39;t throw in annoying bashes for the sake of it; I don&#39;t intend to be "everyone&#39;s favourite Welshman" and I&#39;d be pretty surprised if I was. :mellow:
Secondly; Sale&#39;s World-class players: Luke Mcalister, Andrew Sheridan. If you&#39;re telling me that Sale hasn&#39;t got a an impressive line-up then there is something wrong with you. In fact, depending on your interpretation of "B-player", I don&#39;t see more than 4 or 5 players of &#39;that&#39; quality in the Sale team. Certainly none in the backline, and their forward pack certainly won&#39;t be bullied by Munster&#39;s. Montauban, a Top 14 team that Clermont frequently play. It&#39;s just common sense that Clermont would have the advantage against these teams - Just like the Crusaders would have the advantage over any other NH team against a
S14 team (yeh there is a difference between Top14 teams and 14 teams but the point remains valid).
And you can use the past all you like. Last season I said that Llanelli had a good chance of topping their pool. Well, lets not go there. Clermont Auvergne fielded a 2nd string side against you last season in Limerick (Uh, "you"? I mean Munster of course but I&#39;m gonna keep using "you"), which is why they got slaughtered and why they, effectively, had no chance of qualifying afterwards.
You saying that Munster "will win their home games", and "will get their away bonus points" is about as ignorant as me saying that Sale will win each game by 50 points. :rolleyes:. Of course the latter case is less likely, but it&#39;s impossible to know for sure, and being a Leinster fan, I&#39;d expect you to be less ridiculous. Oh also, I like how you&#39;re trying to bring up the Wales v SA referee debate, "aand it was the referees fault". Please don&#39;t start that nonsense here please, you should know better...

MunsterMan
18-06-08, 09:26 PM
The second string side did include players such Delesau, Smit, Joubert and more players who would be in most other teams first teams. I agree with you that Clermont probably are the best team in Europe and Montauban are relatively unknown but Munster ran Clermont&#39;s first team very close in France last year and if it was not for a dubious crossing decision in the first half would have at least drawn with them.

dullonien
18-06-08, 09:28 PM
You wouldn&#39;t bet against Munster though. I mean, in my opinion, they didn&#39;t have the best collection of individuals last year, or three years ago, but they have the best &#39;team&#39; in the competition by quite a way. If some of the other teams, like Tolouse, Clermont, Wasps or even the Ospreys learen&#39;t how to play in the big games in the same way Munster do, then most of the other teams wouldn&#39;t have a chance, including Munster! (now I know Wasps and others have done in the past, but not at the moment).

Sir Speedy
18-06-08, 09:29 PM
The second string side did include players such Delesau, Smit, Joubert and more players who would be in most other teams first teams. I agree with you that Clermont probably are the best team in Europe and Montauban are relatively unknown but Munster ran Clermont&#39;s first team very close in France last year and if it was not for a dubious crossing decision in the first half would have at least drawn with them.
[/b]
I guess we&#39;ll have to wait and see. Clermont have yet to win the Top 14 this year, the semi&#39;s are on Sunday, aren&#39;t they?

shtove
18-06-08, 11:47 PM
Again the pool of death for Clermont...
[/b]
And again a dramatic choke!

Munster die all the time - at least the fans do - the trick is in the resurrection.



My prediction:
P2: Wasps, Leinster
Wasps are maybe the best team in Europe on good form and I don&#39;t see Leinster losing in Edinburgh again...
[/b]
Agree about Wasps. But Edinburgh are Leinster&#39;s bogey team - and it&#39;s time for the Scots to make an impact: they can play it smart and tough, so a bit of luck will get them in to the semis.

camelback
19-06-08, 08:44 AM
<div class='quotemain'>
The second string side did include players such Delesau, Smit, Joubert and more players who would be in most other teams first teams. I agree with you that Clermont probably are the best team in Europe and Montauban are relatively unknown but Munster ran Clermont&#39;s first team very close in France last year and if it was not for a dubious crossing decision in the first half would have at least drawn with them.
[/b]
I guess we&#39;ll have to wait and see. Clermont have yet to win the Top 14 this year, the semi&#39;s are on Sunday, aren&#39;t they?
[/b][/quote]
You&#39;re totally right Sir Speedy, and as foolish as it can be, the 2008 Top 14 will rule the 2009 season of Clermont in HCup. I&#39;ll explain this : Clermont has a great team this year, like past year, with great statistics. But Clermont has never in the history since the beggining of the Club ( 1911 ) the french championship. They lost 8 finals, and never won any. Nevertheless they finished in first place of the Top 14 this year. Semi finals are saturday and sunday, final next saturday. If they win the Top 14, they will be very dangerous in HCup next year, since HCup would be their first target. If they don&#39;t, well Top 14 will stil be the principal goal for players, fans, and staff.

So here you have : if you want Munster and Sale to be easier in pool stage of 2009 HCup, pray for Clermont not to win the Top14.

Stillknox
19-06-08, 11:28 AM
Semi finals are saturday and sunday, final next saturday. If they win the Top 14, they will be very dangerous in HCup next year, since HCup would be their first target. If they don&#39;t, well Top 14 will stil be the principal goal for players, fans, and staff.

So here you have : if you want Munster and Sale to be easier in pool stage of 2009 HCup, pray for Clermont not to win the Top14. [/b]

Well in any case Clermont knows that they have to get out the H-Cup pool stage if they want to be in an easier pool in the future. Let&#39;s be honest, Clermont deserve better than tier 3. The whole Top 14 thing is a very long run, but Clermont have the bench to make it to the top 4 and play the H-Cup besides, easily. Toulouse makes it this year and their roster is not so good IMO.

But as always don&#39;t underestimates Munster... and Sale too ! I think that Montauban will lose all away games (with a B-Team ?) but they can make one or two surprises in their fortress, and this may be the difference maker. Clermont lost at Montauban this year so they are warned.

Sir Speedy
23-06-08, 03:31 PM
European Challenge Cup Pools

Pool 1
London Irish (Eng)
Connacht (Ire)
Dax/Albi (Fra)
Rugby Rovigo (Ita)


Pool 2
Northampton (Eng)
Bristol (Eng)
Montpellier (Fra)
Toulon (Fra)

Pool 3
Bourgoin (Fra)
Worcester (Eng)
Petrarca Rugby (Italy)
Bucuresti Oaks (Rom)

Pool 4
Newcastle (Eng)
Brive (Fra)
Overmach Rugby Parma (Ita)
Cetransa El Salvador (Spain)

Pool 5
Saracens (Eng)
Viadana (Ita)
Bayonne (Fra)
Stade Montois Rugby (Fra)

My predicted winners in order:
Toulon, London Irish, Worcester, Viadana (:D), Brive, Northampton, Saracens, Bourgoin.

astimas
25-06-08, 03:15 PM
Hard round münster. will not be easy to retain the cup

cyRil
25-06-08, 03:20 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'>
When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!!
[/b]
Must have been ******** for you last year. A trip to Swansea and Northern Ireland. :lol:
[/b][/quote]
Yes it was **** in the extreme.
[/b][/quote]
I bet. More so for you in Swansea coz it was ******* down and you got dicked on. :P :bleh!:

Bullitt
25-06-08, 03:22 PM
After going out to <strike>Saracens</strike> Richard Hill ON HIS OWN, I don&#39;t think any Ospreys fan should be taking the **** out of anyone...

cyRil
25-06-08, 03:28 PM
<strike>After going out to Saracens Richard Hill ON HIS OWN, I don&#39;t think any Ospreys fan should be taking the **** out of anyone...</strike> I love Leicester Tigers.
[/b]
I quite agree.

Bullitt
25-06-08, 03:29 PM
Very mature. Well done.

cyRil
25-06-08, 03:32 PM
Oh come on give it a rest, I&#39;m having a laugh. Like I was with the Gloucester fan, I wasn&#39;t maliciously taking the ****!

Prestwick
25-06-08, 03:56 PM
After going out to <strike>Saracens</strike> Richard Hill ON HIS OWN, I don&#39;t think any Ospreys fan should be taking the **** out of anyone... [/b]

Don&#39;t forget Fransico Lionelli...or Richard Haugton...or Corbus Visage..


:bana:

cyRil
25-06-08, 04:14 PM
<div class='quotemain'> After going out to <strike>Saracens</strike> Richard Hill ON HIS OWN, I don&#39;t think any Ospreys fan should be taking the **** out of anyone... [/b]

Don&#39;t forget Fransico Lionelli...or Richard Haugton...or Corbus Visage..


:bana:
[/b][/quote]
Yeah, Haughton was awesome that day. :(

USA Rugby
30-06-08, 11:44 PM
Leicester got a fairly good draw. I&#39;ll tip them to win it all. Not sure what other team will make it to the final.

Sir Speedy
30-06-08, 11:48 PM
Leicester got a fairly good draw. I&#39;ll tip them to win it all. Not sure what other team will make it to the final.
[/b]
:D You better not say that to any Ospreys fan - unless you don&#39;t mind living without your eyes.

USA Rugby
30-06-08, 11:55 PM
We&#39;ll see when the time is right. Now that Corry can focus strictly on Tigers we&#39;ll be a better team.

bischof87
06-07-08, 10:47 PM
I Think this time the final is a french duell like Stade Francais vs Biarritz
the french ruby league is raising and raising the years, and at most paris does it, from a second league cup to a big name in europa until 10 years.

i give paris 5 years then they unstopable
if not
well
errare humanum est ;)

An Tarbh
06-07-08, 10:53 PM
I Think this time the final is a french duell like Stade Francais vs Biarritz
the french ruby league is raising and raising the years, and at most paris does it, from a second league cup to a big name in europa until 10 years.

i give paris 5 years then they unstopable
if not
well
errare humanum est ;)
[/b]

they&#39;ve had ample opportunity to step up to the plate and have failed to do so, I wouldn&#39;t exactly call them a rising power since they&#39;ve already been in 2 finals and as for Biarritz they&#39;ll probably keep the bridesmaid tag for a few more years to come.

Sir Speedy
06-07-08, 11:10 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
I Think this time the final is a french duell like Stade Francais vs Biarritz
the french ruby league is raising and raising the years, and at most paris does it, from a second league cup to a big name in europa until 10 years.

i give paris 5 years then they unstopable
if not
well
errare humanum est ;)
[/b]

they&#39;ve had ample opportunity to step up to the plate and have failed to do so, I wouldn&#39;t exactly call them a rising power since they&#39;ve already been in 2 finals and as for Biarritz they&#39;ll probably keep the bridesmaid tag for a few more years to come.
[/b][/quote]

Agreed, the final will be Sale v Llanelli! :bleh!:

Thingimubob
09-07-08, 12:46 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'> When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!! [/b]

yeah our group has some pretty cool away trips! my mate will be happy, his dream is too open a surf shop in Biarritz.
Heh, I see you&#39;re not looking forward to coming down Cardiff :P Can&#39;t blame you, we&#39;ll only thrash you like last time Gloucester came down. :P Can&#39;t wait for that game though, should be a good game!
[/b][/quote]
Sorry to leave out Cardiff from my away trips Im looking forward to but its got nothing to do with the rugby. You`re right Cardiff did stuff us in a PRE-SEASON game last year, but if you think back you will remember that we did the double on you last time we were in the same HC group. Anyway does anyone know what airport you fly to for Calvisano, is it Brescia and has anyone else been there? [/b][/quote]

Good point...
was only having a laugh anyway, pre-season games never mean all that much, just still am surprised we scored 40 points in that game. My prediction was that we&#39;d get whooped. But yeah, should be a close game at the Arms Park, Gloucester will walk all over us at Kingsholm probably. But I&#39;m decently confident, win all the home games, and then try and get some points on the road. Just as we did last season.