DUBLIN, IRELAND – All the members of our Expert Panel picked reigning Heineken Cup champs Leinster to successfully defend their home turf on Saturday. And guess what? Even Frenchman Pyk O’Kallapfer joined in with the curses for Crème de la Crème Clermont. Were the expletives understandable? Maybe. Were they warranted? No way.
With their strong performance on hostile turf, ASM Clermont have established themselves as real contenders. Morgan Parra was sublime at scrum-half and Jonny Sexton was just human at #10… and that was the difference. Parra was pretty much parfait with every pass and kick and his fluidity kept Leinster from getting in any groove.
With the loss, Leinster will be hard-pressed to repeat as champions. Moreover, the much-ballyhooed 3 points that Sexton passed up in the first meeting of these clubs may be the difference between the Irish squad going home early. Curses! Only time will tell.
While you’re processing that, we’re tipping our green bottles to our Heineken Of The Day winner – Adam Jones of the Ospreys. Is is coincidence that the man who looks like the Shrek version of Eddie Vedder returns and his Neath-Swansea side topples tough Toulouse? We think not! Here’s to you Jonesy! [Clink, glug, glug]…
Now on to our Expert Panel and the results of their Heineken Cup Picks!
Just to review, the Panel is comprised of West Ghana’s Rugby Rain Man Junoir Blaber, Ireland’s quick-witted fly-half (that’s redundant) Kevin Fegan, the infamous Ireland National, Declan Yeats, who was pinch-hitting for feisty French #8 Pyk O’Kallapfer and contrived Kiwi Johnathan Wicklow Barberie. They all must pick the winners of each match and a Pick Of The Week, for which they must also provide the margin of victory.
This chart below shows how they fared. The Rugby Rain Man, Junoir Blaber, added to his impressive record, while Kevin Fegan is still perfect with his Pick Of The Week selections, which will fetch you some rubbles if you’re smart… And again, Declan Yeats phoned in his picks while standing in manure, so his picks were sh*t. Pyk and JWB remained in 2nd place, despite his so-so week.
Please feel free to flog us or our choices with your comments below…