Our Expert Six Pack Panel is comprised of RWU staff members; 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, Englishman with Irish roots yet Castres-residing, James Harrington and contrived Kiwi Co-Host Johnathan Wicklow Barberie.
NEW YORK, NY – The Six Pack is starting to break up. It is not that they don’t want to remain friends, not at all. They are starting to break up like the pools in the European Rugby Champions Cup after round 4. It is becoming apparent that there are members clearly in contention to win it all while others are chasing the leaders and there is also a bottom group for those that may as well start looking to next year. The leaders of the pack remain, the man in Castres, James Harrington and his fellow Englishman Jamie Loyd. Breathing down their neck is the man from the East Midlands, Nick Hall. Our defending champ, Johnathon Wicklow Barberie, is trying to put pressure on Hall but is up against it. Bringing up the rear are the un-dynamic duo of Blaber and Yeats. With all that said, let’s get to our European Cup Picks Review.
The theme of Round 4 was strength in numbers. Those that went against group opinion on a game, usually lost. If a person showed bias toward an underdog or gambled on an upset in the hopes of a big gain, they ended up with a big lose. With the end of pool play occuring in a approxiamately a month, the opportunity to close the gap is dwindling for the chasing pack.
A couple of games and results that impacted the table were Harlequins at Leinster, Glasgow against Toulouse and Scarlets v Ulster.
Here is the revised picks spreadsheet with the results of the match-ups. Incorrect predictions are in red.
|Bath vs Montpellier||Bath||Bath||Montpellier||Bath||Bath||Bath|
|Saracens vs Sale Sharks||Saracens||Saracens||Saracens||Saracens||Saracens||Saracens|
|Leinster vs Harlequins||Harlequins||Leinster||Leinster||Leinster||Leinster||Leinster|
|Toulon vs Leicester Tigers||Toulon||Toulon||Toulon||Toulon||Toulon||Toulon|
|Glasgow Warriors vs Toulouse||Glasgow||Toulouse||Glasgow||Toulouse||Glasgow||Glasgow|
|Northampton vs Treviso||Northampton||Northampton||Northampton||Northampton||Northampton||Northampton|
|Racing Metro Paris vs Ospreys||Racing||Racing||Racing||Racing||Racing||Racing|
|Clermont Auvergne vs Munster||Clermont||Clermont||Munster||Clermont||Clermont||Clermont|
|Wasps vs Castres||Wasps||Wasps||Castres||Wasps||Wasps||Wasps|
|Scarlets vs Ulster||Ulster||Ulster||Ulster||Ulster||Ulster||Ulster|
|PICK OF WEEK + Points||Bath by 3||Toulon by 3||Ulster by 5||Northampton by 20||Clermont by 3||Northampton by 12|
|PICK OF WEEK Record||2-2||3-1||3-1||2-2||3-1||4-0|
Harrington: 29-11, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right. The English-born, Castres-residing, writing machine celebrated his birthday over the weekend. And Mssr. Harrington celebrated in a big way, as he went 9 for 10 in his picks. Our Top 14 expert was perfect in his predictions for the French clubs. He backed the Top14’s Toulouse to beat Glasgow in the the toughest game to call of the weekend. He also succeeded in picking Top 14 side Toulon as his Pick of the Week.
Loyd: 29-11, with with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right. The Englishman was not phased by Harrington and kept pace with a 9-1 week of his own. Loyd, like Harrington, was only undone by the poor performance of Ulster at Scarlets. He did go to the well again and chose the Aviva Premiership Champions, Northampton, as his Pick of the Week, as they more than covered the 20-point spread against Treviso.
Hall: 27-13, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right. Hall had a good weekend, though not as good as the aforementioned. Like Harrington and Loyd, he was also disappointed by Ulster. Hall’s only other mistake was picking Glasgow at home against Toulouse. His confidence in his Pick of the Week was rewarded as Clermont managed to beat Munster comfortably.
JWB: 25-15. Our reigning champ got his Pick of the Week right to top that department at 4-0 and had a similar week to Nick Hall. He is still 4 games behind the joint table toppers, though. It was the Glasgow v Toulouse, which he was certain would be a Glasgow victory, that did him in. But, as mentioned, he was consoled by his Pick of the Week being correct, as per the thorough victory by Northhampton.
Blaber: 23-17, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right. The Rugby Rain Man did not learn from last week, when he gambled on a Sale upset of Saracens and lost. This week he gambled on Harlequins winning in Leinster and they lost by 1 point. If he had not been a risk-taker he would be tied with JWB for third. Fortunately for Blaber, his Pick of the Week of Bath was not a losing bet and they covered.
Yeats: 22-18, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong. Yeats’ All-Ireland selections ended with him going 1-2, again. The one win was for Leinster. Every year, Yeat’s dislike of the English, and to a lesser degree, the French (unless they were playing the English), often becomes his undoing. Once again he picked an out-of-form Montpellier against Bath, Ospreys against Racing, and was part of the group that picked Glasgow against Toulouse. He was also betrayed by Ulster once again, as they were his Pick of the Week and lost handily.
So, Round 4 is in the books and there are only 2 rounds left to go and it appears that there are two team members looking to deny JWB another title. Stay tuned; the RWU Six Pack will have picks ready for Round 5.
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, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.