“We don’t fault their effort but the scoreboard looks like a cricket match after the first set of overs.”
West Ghana/USA – Earlier this week we reported on the Best & The Worst of the Heineken Cup. Today, we’re doing the same for the the Amlin Cup, the Heineken Cup’s little brother…
There are 9 teams at 2-0, so it was not easy to decided who was winning impressively. We looked at the quality of the opposition, plus their margin of victory. We also weighed in style points; did the club play to win or not to lose. Here are 3 that met those standards:
London Irish: The “Not-Nots” (not in London & not the original incarnation of the Irish) have had two solid victories. They achieved their wins by taking on and beating two Top 14 sides. The Irish played an expansive game and got the ball out wide, which has suited them well. So far, there has been no answer for the pace of their wingers like Topsy Ojo and fly-half Ian Humphreys, who came over from Ulster in the off-season, has been solid.
Worcester: Wow! The Warriors have looked dominant. Steered by one of the greatest blindsides ever, Coach Richard Hill, the Warriors have been clinical. No mercy has been shown to their two opponents Bizkaia and Rovigo. Granted, those teams are not household names in their own cities, but you can only beat who is in front of you. Hill is the sort one could imagine hearing say, “These [expletives] need to put on their big boy pants and come out here against us. We we aim to show them what it means to play a big boy team.”
Agen: Shock of shocks, we picked a team 1-1 over the remaining undefeated candidates. We did so because Agen have shown a willingness to compete in this tournament despite the stress of being Promoted and competing in the Top 14. They have not capitulated, like fellow Promotion-winners Mont-de-Marsan. They have fought hard for a close victory and harder in a close loss to Bath.
Mogliano: These guys are actually the least offensive of this group of teams. Yes, they’ve given up 70 points and 59 points in their first two matches, respectively, while scoring just 19 combined. But they have come up top-class opposition and with their dearth of talent, every mistake is exploited. How they perform against teams more on their level will give a better reading.
Bizkaia Gernika: Ole! That is the name of the defense being played by this Spanish provincial all star side. We don’t fault their effort but the scoreboard looks like a cricket match after the first set of overs. It is one way traffic and fair or unfair, you gotta wonder what is the point of have such a poor caliber team in this Tournament.
Mont de-Marsan: We have bigger fish to fry is the MdM approach to the Amlin. Newly promoted to the Top 14, their priorities are clear: avoid relegation at all costs. The loss to Gloucester was by a narrow margin but that was a 2nd team Glaws side and the game itself was an abomination to rugby… defensive and narrow. In their second match, they couldn’t be bothered to defend against a team playing like the London Irish.
We will see what happens with these clubs and all the teams in the Amlin after the December round of matches.
Switching gears, we’d like to remind all our readers to see the Counter-Rucking Cancer fundraiser. We are half way to our goal and would love your help in reaching it. It only takes a moment and anything you have to give is appreciated.
That is it for me for now. Please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our FacebookRugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber,@Declan Yeats and @Mathew Drew Turner, respectively.
And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.