Heineken Cup Panel Picks and Notes

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Buffalo, NY — The experts are back a new year of the Heineken Cup. With so many players given extended breaks to recover from the Rugby World Cup, this first round will be extremely interesting. Let’s look at the pools and match-ups.

Pool 1: Leinster Rugby, Lyon, Northampton Saints, Benetton Rugby.
Pool 2: Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow Warriors, La Rochelle, Sale Sharks.
Pool 3: ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby, Harlequins, Bath Rugby.
Pool 4: Saracens, Munster Rugby, Racing 92, Ospreys.
Pool 5: Toulouse, Gloucester Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Montpellier.

Pool 1
Leinster – Bennetton
Northampton – Lyon

This group seemed to bring about a huge amount of agreement in group. The Leinster v Bennetton game was a unanimous decision in favor of Leinstertainment. So much so that they were almost universally the pick of the week. In the Northampton v Lyon game, No one is holding out hope for Lyon to put in a proper effort even if at home.

Pool 2
Glasgow – Sale
La Rochelle – Exeter

There was agreement in disagreement in this group. Nelson and Jonny Lewis were the two believers in Sale while the rest backed Glasgow. In the second group game, It was JWB, Yeats and Stephen Lewis, that back Exeter.

Saracens are the three time European title holders. Photo cred: Getty Images

Pool 3
ASM Clermont – Harlequins
Bath – Ulster

This majority of the group picked Clermont to get the win, however JWB and Ronan couldn’t help but disagree and have faith that Quins would pull of the surprise victory. Ulster were the universal favorites to win their match up with Bath

Pool 4
Munster – Ospreys
Racing 92 – Saracens

Munster was another unanimous winner amongst the group of stage predictions as nobody seems to want to give Ospreys any hope. The Racing vs Saracens match-up appears to be the match of the weekend and it is no surprise it ends up a 4 to 3 split in favor of Saracens. Blaber, Nelson and Yeats went with Racing while both Lewises, JWB and Bains went Saracens.

Pool 5
Gloucester – Toulouse
Connacht – Montpellier

Toulouse were the pundit favorite to win their match-up with Gloucester, as they will be tough to defeat. In another big match that is tough to call, we got a split decision in the Connacht v Montipol game. JWB, Jonny Lewis and Yates went Connacht while the remaining 4 of Blaber, the Wolfman, Bains and Steve Lewis went with Montipol.

Do you agree with the experts’ predictions? Let us know in the comments below who screwed up and who is on the right track!

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About the Author ()

Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.

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