TOULOUSE, FRANCE: Sitting in complete shock, our Heineken Cup Six Pack panel of “experts” are struggling to get their heads around the weekend’s results. They have brushed aside their excuses and bewilderment as we review their Heineken Cup Picks records from Round 3 of the HEC and their season records.
In case you have been hiding under a rock, the Six Pack is comprised of West Ghana’s Rugby Rain Man Junoir Blaber, England’s knight of the realm Jamie Loyd, The English East Midlands Machiavellian Rugger Nick Hall, the infamous Ireland National, Declan Yeats, the Irish Born-Castres residing, lean(ish), mean(ish) writing machine, James Harrington and contrived Kiwi Co-Host, Johnathan Wicklow Barberie.
Week 3 was full of plucky underdogs stepping up and favorites playing poorly. The hugely disappointing performance by Racing Metro hurt everyone as well as the shocking way Connacht left Toulouse’s Stade Ernest Wallon with une grande victoire. The entire Six Pack and their picks took a beating. Unfortunately there is no returns or refunds at the RWU store, so if you laid money down based on the Six Packs picks then that was unfortunate for you. Now, let’s look at the picks table.
We have revised the picks spreadsheet with the results of the match-ups and incorrect predictions in red.
JWB: 28-8, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 3-0. The two main upsets, Racing Metro losing to Harlequins and Connacht over Toulouse, of the week were the only ones to upend the contrived Kiwi’s apple cart. He also got the tough calls right like Cardiff over Glasgow and Leinster over Northampton. His Pick of the Week of Ulster over Treviso was as easy pick as there ever was.
Harrington: 27-9, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong and taking his Pick of the Week record to 1-12. The Castres residing Mssr. Harrington loves to crow about the lack of respect for his local side. Well this week, all the pundits picked Castres and everyone was rewarded for their loyalty. His picks were only undone by the two upsets that undid everyone. In the Pick of the Week, the Top 14 expert’s loyalty cost him. His beloved Castres won as he expected but by only 6 when he predicted 9.
Yeats: 26-10, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 2-1. Let it never be said that Declan Yeats was not a devout Irish nationalist and loyal to the Emerald Isle. He didn’t fear picking Leinster on the road and was dutifully rewarded. Yeats and JWB, may not be speaking for a few weeks however. Yeats initially pick the west county boys of Connacht for an upset, “It maybe GAA country out there but they are creating footballers and have more heart than you can imagine,” Yeats boasted. However after unrelenting pressure from JWB, Yeats final succumbed and chose Toulouse. JWB yelled “Declan, trust me! You will thank me later.” It maybe ugly when they meet again. In the Pick of the Week, Yeats backed the might men of Munster at home and the responded by thrashing Perpignan.
Blaber: 25-11, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 3-0. My oh my! How the once might “Junoirdamus” has fallen. He got the two games wrong, everyone else got wrong. However, he backed the road team in the Glasgow at Cardiff affair and the home team in the Leinster at Northampton match-up. Those two wrong picks are why he has dropped from 2nd to 4th and is in danger of falling further off the pace. In the Pick of the Week, Mssr. Blaber took the easy way out and picked the sure thing that was Ulster over Treviso and the Ulsterman won by far more than the meager 10 predicted.
Hall: 25-11, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong and taking his Pick of the Week record to 1-2. Hall picks were a mirror of Blaber’s except he had some astute thinking by picking Leinster. Fortune favors the bold and Mssr. Hall was well rewarded. His Pick of the Week was the most painful and agonizing of the lot. Having guessed right that Saracens would run rampant over Zebre, it was his point margin that did him in. Hall predicted a 30 point victory, unfortunately Saracens only delivered a 29 point victory. 1 meager point was the difference.
Loyd: 24-12, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 2-1. Loyd had a solid week and was bouncing back nicely. He got suckered into the home side favoritism by Northampton which cost him but Cardiff dually rewarded him. The two upsets that hurt everyone else, hurt him. To continue his near mirror image performance of Nick Hall, his Pick of the Week was correct in Leicester but they won by 9 when he predicted 10. 1 point short was all he was left to ponder.
If your head is hurting, its not a hangover. It is the sheer excitement you are feeling. We to can’t wait to bring you our staff preview and predictions for the round 4 later this week.
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 and Declan Yeats, respectively.
And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.