The Heineken Cup

Discussion in 'The Clubhouse Bar' started by St Helens RLFC, Sep 23, 2005.

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  1. Loratadine casts his eye over the up and coming tournament...




    Well, here it is.


    The Heineken Cup this year promises to be the best yet. The winner of the Heineken Cup could well come from the happily named "group of death", where the Ospreys,Clerment Auvergne, Stade Francais and some english outfit by the name of Leicester Tigers. This group is a severely harsh one with all four teams capable of going far in the competion. The Ospreys by this time should have their Lions contingent back, in the form of Ryan Jones, Shane Williams and Gavin Henson.

    That will undoubtably give the whole side a much needed lift after a shaky start to the Celtic league campaign. Clerment Auvergne do look an impressive team, while their pack may not be the biggest, their back line at times is electric, with Stephen Jones pulling the strings, and players like Breyton Paulse adding an explosive touch they are an impressive team.

    Leicester Tigers are without doubt the biggest team in England over the last decade, they are a terrific force in Heineken Cup rugby and their pack is massive, it will be interesting to see how well they cope without there former captain and world cup winning hero Martin Johnson.

    Stade Francais are another french dynamo team, last years runners up will be looking to go one better this year, and with the unique flair and power they pocess i see no reason why they cant.


    Elsewhere, the groups are equally exciting, Munster, Castres Olympique, Sale Sharks and the Newport Gwent Dragons make up group A. This pool offers some pivotal matches for the potential challengers, Munster's match against Sale on the 21st of October will be an exciting one, it will be a stern test for Munster as Sale hope to establish themselves firmly among the euro elite this year.

    Other notable matches include the clash between Biarritz and Saracens. Biarritz again look an impressive team, especially after capturing Fijian flier Sireli Bobo, although lacking the basic touch in rugby, like catching and kicking, he's without doubt the fastest player on earth.

    London Wasps and Toulouse also looks an interesting contest, although in my opinion Wasps are not the same team as last year, and will find it difficult to progress further than the quarters.

    My predictions are
    - group a – Newport gwent dragons – this group is so close and therell be a lot of point taking from all teams, I can see Newport sneaking this on the last day against castres at home.

    - Group b – perpignan - both the blues and the tykes are in a transitional phase.

    - Group c – stade francais – too strong – but very close

    - Group d – Biarritz pack to dominant for the rest, although sarry will take them to the wire.

    - Group e – leinster – bath look shaky this season and loosing mike tindall is a massive blow.

    - Group f – tolouse - without doubt the best team in Europe


    Two best runners up - Saracens and Opreys

    That leaves two welsh teams, one irish, four French and one English team in the semi’s

    My money this year is on one of the French teams, they are have too much quality in every position, althought if one of the welsh teams can get to the final the millennium stadium factor could life them, well heres hoping anyways.
     
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