TOULOUSE, FRANCE – This was a wild weekend for our Heineken Cup Six Pack “Experts” and some egos are bruised. Nonetheless, they must come to terms with the results of the weekend, one in which expect the unexpected never rang so true. With that, let’s get to their Heineken Cup Six Pack Panel Picks Review from Round 5…
Oh, and if for some reason you are just now acquainting yourself with the gang, the Six Pack is comprised of West Ghana’s Rugby Rain Man Junoir Blaber, England’s Knight of the Realm Jamie Loyd, 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.
Round 5 featured a few expected blowouts but the vast majority were filled with breathtaking action and nail-biting finishes. The shocking loss by Racing Metro to Scarlets considering the form of Racing should have been seen coming by our experts. However, they saw fit to pick Racing and paid the price for it. The matches between Mr. Harrington’s Castres and Leinster, Toulouse versus Saracens and Harlequins versus Clermont seemed to have the most impact on the standings. Those 3 matches were responsible for most of the movement in the standings this week. Another shock this week was that every member of the pack got their Pick of the Week right.
Here is the revised picks spreadsheet with the results of the match-ups. Incorrect predictions are in red.
JWB: 44-16, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 5-0. The losses by Harlequins and Saracens were the matches that he got wrong that really hurt him. However, by backing Leinster to shock Castres at Stade Pierre Antoine, he stole some respect back. The Racing loss set everyone but JWB back, and sent ripples through the weekend.
Hall: 43-17, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 3-2. Hall had the best week of all participants. He got the fewest number of games wrong. Of the 3 games he got wrong, the Exeter match saw 5/6th of the Six Pack get wrong. Hall’s crystal ball was shining and was on point, so much so that he had the nerve to pick Leinster win on the road but made it his pick of the week and got it right. Only a game behind JWB, he is putting pressure on the bespectacled one. Will it hold out in round 6???
Harrington: 42-18, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong and taking his Pick of the Week record to 2-3. Mr. Castres’ homer-ism once again hurt him and two other members of the Six Pack. The win by Leinster wounded his pride as a fan and expert. His Top 14 expertise had him predict a Clermont loss but the Michelin men went to London and walked away victorious. He foresaw an Ospreys win at home to Northampton but alas that was also not to be. One piece of good news was Toulouse scoring in enough to cover his pick of the week spread.
Loyd: 42-18, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 3-2. Loyd tied Hall with only getting 3 picks wrong. His 3 were, following Harrington and selecting Castres to win at home and Ospreys to win at home. He did pick right when it came to the Clermont game and was clairvoyant enough to see Glasgow winning at Exeter. He was the only one to see Glasgow’s victory coming, though like everyone else – he failed to see Racing’s loss coming. He even had the gall to pick Munster to win at Gloucester in a what was expected to be a tight affair. Further, he made the Munster game his Pick of the week and was richly rewarded for such boldness.
Yeats: 41-19, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 4-1. Yeats for a second straight round, had the most picks wrong of the Six-Pack. It won’t bring him down any because this weekend saw another Emerald Isle Sweep, with all 4 Irish provinces winning. He also picked Connacht winning in Galway, covering the spread for his pick of the week. His other losses were the ones that divided the staff… and the Racing match that hurt everyone.
Blaber: 39-21, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right and taking his Pick of the Week record to 5-0. Mssr. Blaber and his ego are trying to rebound from a disastrous round 4… Round 5 was better to him but he is still bringing up the rear. He followed Harrington on Castres and got that wrong and guessed wrong on the Harlequins match. He took the Racing bus off the cliff, like the rest of the gang. His one saving grace was Leicester soundly beating Treviso as he predicted in his pick of the week.
There is just one more round to go before we get to the playoffs. There are almost twice as many games in round 6 as in the playoffs combined, so if a move is to be made, next week will be key. Stay tuned, don’t blink and the RWU Six-Pack will see you next 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.