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Champions Cup 2019/2020: Pool 4

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Ospreys v Munster
Racing v Saracens

Cracker of a pool that's been ruined by Saracens having other things to worry about and Racing seemingly being a bit s***e this year. Won't stop the Ospreys (hopefully) losing all their games but Munster look well set for a fourth consecutive semi final loss.
 
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The Alpha Bro

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Ospreys off the back of a loss to the Kings. Jaysus, good luck to them.
 

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Ospreys v Munster
Racing v Saracens

Cracker of a pool that's been ruined by Saracens having other things to worry about and Racing seemingly being a bit s***e this year. Won't stop the Ospreys (hopefully) losing all their games but Munster look well set for a fourth consecutive semi final loss.
I for one can't wait to be comfortably beaten in a semi again.
 

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I'm hearing opposite theories about Saracens - on one hand, they need to concentrate on the League so ensure they stay up at the end of the year, so they'll basically abandon the Euro games. Others say, no no, this is their only chance to get anymore silverware anytime soon, so they'll really look to dominate the Heineken Cup.

With theories like this floating around, I often think, it's probably none of these things, they probably just try to pick the best guys for the specific game, right? If somebody needs a rest, you give it to him unless it's a final, and otherwise, pick the best squad. Simple?
 

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I'm hearing opposite theories about Saracens - on one hand, they need to concentrate on the League so ensure they stay up at the end of the year, so they'll basically abandon the Euro games. Others say, no no, this is their only chance to get anymore silverware anytime soon, so they'll really look to dominate the Heineken Cup.

With theories like this floating around, I often think, it's probably none of these things, they probably just try to pick the best guys for the specific game, right? If somebody needs a rest, you give it to him unless it's a final, and otherwise, pick the best squad. Simple?
Mark McCall said last week that staying up was their top priority. With the amount of players they had at the world cup, they're going to need a lot of rotation, and their stars will only be able to play a certain amount of games, so it while isn't a straight choice between the two competitions they will have to sacrifice Europe to a certain extent. They could well get to a point where going through is a possibility though despite that, and if they do end up in the knockouts you would expect them to go as hard as possible presuming they've managed to get themselves into a relatively safe position league wise.

Would be premature to completely write the off but their chances of retaining the trophy have taken a pretty massive hit before a ball is even kicked.
 

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Munster:

15. Mike Haley
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Rory Scannell
11. Keith Earls
10. Tyler Bleyendaal
9. Conor Murray

1. Jeremy Loughman
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Billy Holland
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Tommy O’Donnell
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Kevin O’Byrne
17. James Cronin
18. Stephen Archer
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Arno Botha
21. Alby Mathewson
22. Sammy Arnold
23. Dan Goggin


Ospreys:

15. Cai Evans
14. Hanno Dirksen
13. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
12. Scott Williams
11. Tom Williams
10. Luke Price
9. Shaun Venter

1. Rhodri Jones
2. Scott Otten
3. Ma’afu Fia
4. Marvin Orie
5. Lloyd Ashley
6. Dan Lydiate (captain)
7. Olly Cracknell
8. Morgan Morris

Replacements:

16. Ifan Phillips
17. Nicky Smith
18. Gheorghe Gajion
19. Bradley Davies
20. Sam Cross
21. Aled Davies
22. James Hook
23. Kieran Williams

Referee: Karl Dickson [England].

Should have enough there for Ospreys. I was right on Scannell being used as the backup ten but I'm a bit dissapointed. These are the games where young players make a name for themselves and with a strong team it's as safe a time as any.
Fair play to Loughman for starting he rarely plays poorly. Probably still a bit too early for Cronin to be looking for his spot back.
 

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Not a huge fan of this Munster team. Surely either Healy or a back three player (probably Daly who deserves it) would have been a better bet than two centres. Arnold just seems like a bit of a waste of a spot. Would have had Wycherly in there as well. At the same time Loughman starting is good and with Ireland's current situation at loosehead him this would be a great time for him to lay down a marker.
 

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Not a huge fan of this Munster team. Surely either Healy or a back three player (probably Daly who deserves it) would have been a better bet than two centres. Arnold just seems like a bit of a waste of a spot. Would have had Wycherly in there as well. At the same time Loughman starting is good and with Ireland's current situation at loosehead him this would be a great time for him to lay down a marker.
O'Donoghue is probably who I'd have in over Botha, he's been very good this season. That said Botha is the definition of a 'finisher' (hate that word).
Arnold selection went over my head very odd choice from JVG.
 

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O'Donoghue is probably who I'd have in over Botha, he's been very good this season. That said Botha is the definition of a 'finisher' (hate that word).
Arnold selection went over my head very odd choice from JVG.
Yeah, O'Donoghue is another one. Given you're playing against a team almost identical to one that lost to the Kings at home last week surely this was a chance to be a bit more adventurous.
 

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Yeah, O'Donoghue is another one. Given you're playing against a team almost identical to one that lost to the Kings at home last week surely this was a chance to be a bit more adventurous.
Well I'm always of the belief that there's never a time to get adventureous in Europe and I'd gladly win it with 23 45 year old men, but I don't think there's anything adventurous about picking your best squad with cover in the right places.
 

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Well I'm always of the belief that there's never a time to get adventureous in Europe and I'd gladly win it with 23 45 year old men, but I don't think there's anything adventurous about picking your best squad with cover in the right places.
Well, when I say adventurous I more mean going with the younger guy in a 50/50 call, I don't think anyone is expecting an under 23 side or anything to be fair. As good a time as there'll ever be to give guys a go at this level.
 

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5 points you small halfmen.
 

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**** me, I had Munster -17 in my acca - that series of alternating penalties ending in a touchline conversion almost gave me a heart attack
 

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If only both of these teams could lose.
 

The Alpha Bro

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Facebook and Twitter told me that Fat Zebo would have won Ireland the world cup? Can't get a start ahead of Dulin, Thomas or Imhoff who couldn't make their squads either!
 

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Big statement of Saracens not to show up to the launch of the competition or the first match.
 

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Plastic pitches are so ****
 

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"I've seen Singleton crumble under pressure at premiership level this season, so god knows what he'd be like at International level."
FLOBALOB, Feb 24, 2019

0 from 4-having a mare
 

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A lower leg/joint injury on an artificial pitch? Now I've seen everything
 
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