MONTPELLIER, FRANCE – One look at the faces of our Heineken Cup Six Pack “Experts” says it all; two are elated, two are slack-jawed, one is frustrated and another has his head in his hands with Home Alone face. But now, after enough time has passed for their respective emotions to subside, let’s see just how this Six Pack Panel prognosticated with their Heineken Cup Picks from Round 4…
Oh, and in case you have been hiding under a rock, the Six Pack is comprised of West Ghana’s Rugby Rain Man Junoir Blaber, England’s Knight of the Realm Jamie Loyd, East Midlands’ Machiavellian Rugger Nick Hall, the infamous Ireland National, Declan Yeats, the Irish Born-Castres residing, lean(ish), mean(ish) writing machine, James Harrington and contrived Kiwi Co-Host, Johnathan Wicklow Barberie.
Week 4 featured last-minute miracle victories and emphatic return leg wins from round 3 losses. The round was a potpourri of results, as there were expected drubbings, games balanced on a knife’s edge and even a shock result. The loss by Castres against Ospreys hurt the whole six-pack – not to mention Mr. Harrington’s credibility for always pining for them. The shock away wins by Northampton, Leicester and Munster created upheaval and may have changed fortunes for good. It was those 3 matches that caused the seismic shift in fortunes.
Here is the revised picks spreadsheet with the results of the match-ups. Incorrect predictions are in red.
JWB: 36-12, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 4-0. The losses by Gloucester and Castres caught the whole 6 pack off guard. He backed Montpelier to extract revenge, which they did for 79 minutes but not the necessary 80. Not expecting the Ospreys to set the record straight against Glasgow also caught him. However he did foresee Northampton redeeming themselves and Munster being unfazed in France.
Harrington: 35-13, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong and taking his Pick of the Week record to 1-3. Mr. Castres himself was made to eat humble pie. Mssr. Harrington’s local side not only let him down but the whole 6 pack, followed him over the cliff. Outside of JWB, Harrington and the rest of the staff all didn’t see the Northampton fight back. His Top 14 expertise betrayed him again in backing Perpignan but it did serve him well in seeing the Leicester come back. Just not well enough to cover the pick of the week spread.
Hall: 34-14, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Weekrecord to 2-2. Hall had the best of all participants. He only got wrong the 2 games that took the whole six pack down. The only other game prediction he got wrong was the Leinster match that 5/6th of the six pack. Besides those there games, Hall had his crystal ball working in fine order, including the pick of Toulon to cover the points. To preserve his luck, he plans to not change his routine come week 5.
Yeats: 33-15, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 3-1. After setting the record straight about his loyalties, which we apologize for once again Deccie! Yeats was tied for the most wrong picks of the week. His bias towards the Emerald Isle, meant he won a game some didn’t see coming, like Munster in Perpignan but lost a game we all saw coming Connacht losing to Toulouse. He had the two general losses that everyone had and then ended up on the wrong side of the coin picking Glasgow and Montpelier in close matches. His Irish loyalty did see him rewarded by the Ulstermen.
Loyd: 33-15, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 2-2. Loyd had the exact same picks as Hall and so the weekend was a good one for the English. Loyd was also fortunate enough to keep the points for the pick of the week lower this time. Ensuring that Saracens would more than cover.
Blaber: 31-17, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 4-0. The thump heard around the world was that of “Junoirdamus” and his ego hitting the ground. The once mighty clairvoyant is now humbled and searching for answers. He got the two the staff got wrong and the Leinster match. However it was his backing of two sides that lost at the death, Perpignan and Montpelier that really did the damage. Add to that the close loss at home by Glasgow and Mssr. Blaber was tied with Yeats for the worst record over the weekend. Yeats at least has his Irish bias, while Blaber was just flat out wrong.
It will be an interesting final two rounds because if the gap is to close it must happen in pool play because once playoffs roll around comebacks will be less likely. Stay tuned RWU fans, we are heading into the business end of the HEC predictions contest.
That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann, Jaime Loyd and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.