GALWAY, IRELAND – With the Heineken Cup about to hit its midway point of pool play, we’re giving you a tad extra today. On top of the picks of our esteemed Expert Panel, there’s a preview of the whole tournament and a review of the hot/cold team of the first two rounds. With that, let’s look at the match-ups for this weekend. Projected winners in bold.
NOTE: The following projections may differ from those of the Expert Panel, so be sure to check those as well.
Munster vs Saracens: The Sarries will play their usual stifling D and keep an already limited Munster from doing anything in attack.
Racing Metro 92 vs Edinburgh: Edinburgh have looked a shadow of themselves from last season. Meanwhile, Racing is seemingly finding their stride in the Top 14, so they will have the momentum.
Leicester vs Benetton Treviso: Despite the players out with the red cards, Leicester in a romp… to say the least.
Toulouse vs Ospreys: No way one of the best teams in Europe loses to a side going on their 4th tighthead prop of the season.
Connacht vs Biarritz : The Basque boys play a very ugly and negative rugby. Meanwhile the lads from Galway like to try and whip it around and attack when they have the chance. It will be tight but ugly wins it.
Zebre vs Harlequins – This is even more lopsided than the Leicester match-up. Expect one-way traffic.
Glasgow vs Castres: A mid-table french side against a side still trying to claw its way up to respectability means this does not end well for the Scots.
Northampton vs Ulster: Arguably the match-up of the weekend. Considering the Ulsterman’s form as compared to the Saints, you would have to think that Red Hand slaps down the English challengers.
Scarlets vs Exeter: Exeter have proven themselves a very competitive side, meanwhile Scarlets have been proving themselves the direct opposite.
Clermont Auvergne vs Leinster: This match-up is vying with the Ulster/Saints clash for Must See honors. Clermont will be looking to avenge their loss at home in last year’s semi-final. Leinster will be up for a good fight as always but the blue and gold of Clermont wins this tussle.
Cardiff Blues vs Montpellier: Montpellier are better coached and have better players, this is no contest.
Sale vs Toulon: This is the most lopsided game of the weekend. The Toulon B side has so much more class than the Sale first side it is not even funny.This is going to be ore embarrassing than when Johnathan Wicklow Barberie skinned Matt McCarthyfor pace in our staff touch game the other day.
Okay… 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. P.s… Declan called in while standing in manure, which may help his picks. You know, he stepped in sh…
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And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.