European Champions Cup Picks: How Our Expert Six Pack Panel Fared

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The defending champ, JWB
Defending champ, JWB

The Six Pack is comprised of RWU staff members. 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, Englishman with Irish roots yet Castres-residing, James Harrington and contrived Kiwi Co-Host Johnathan Wicklow Barberie.

NEW YORK, NY- The inaugural weekend of action in the Heineken… er, European Champions Cup – has Six Pack fired-up for this new season. None more so than the man from south of Stewart Island, Johnathan Wicklow Barberie, who is looking for a three-peat as Picks Champ. Yet, while nobody can clinch anything in week one,  holes can be dug.  With that, let’s get to our European Cup Picks Review.

ian-keatley-kicks-a-drop-goal-to-win-the-game-2-630x472Round 1 featured a bevy of games that were often split 4-2 or 5-1, so there was a certain amount of civility between the Six Pack. However, this split would be key in helping those in the minority keep pace. shake-up in the table.

A couple of games and results that impacted the table were Harlequins versus Castres and Sale versus Munster (featuring Ian Keatley’s game-winning drop-goal in a stunning comeback)… Leicester against Ulster and Saracens vs Clermont also had huge impact.

Here is the revised picks spreadsheet with the results of the match-ups. Incorrect predictions are in red.

Week 1 Results

Loyd: 8-2, with the mild shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong. The Englishman was near perfect this week. His shock support of Leicester against the views of the whole pack was huge.  His only wrong call was backing Northampton against Racing Metro but Racing seemed too fickle a side for him and it cost him.  The other blot on his wonderful record was the Pick of the Week. Loyd picked a big win by Toulon and though they did win, they didn’t cover the spread.

Hall: 7-3 with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right. Hall had a good weekend. He did guess wrong and went with the majority of the staff against his hometown side, Leicester, and was happy to be wrong. He then picked the wrong English side to support as he backed Northampton to win like his fellow Englishman, Loyd. He supported former Leicester assistant Matt O’Connor’s Leinster helped him get the right Pick of the Week.

Harrington: 7-3, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week, the Castres-residing writing machine went against his hometown side of Castres and got that pick right. He went against his Irish roots and didn’t go with Munster in their fight against Sale… His knowledge of French rugby helped in each French team game. He even picked Toulouse to win but came up short by 1 point to deny him his Pick of the Week.

Blaber: 7-3, with the shame of getting the Pick of the Week wrong and taking his Pick of the Week record to 0-1. Mssr. Blaber is yet to be confused with Junoirdamus but it is a good start. In a case of great minds think alike – or fools hardly argue – Blaber had the exact same picks as Mssr. Harrington. His Pick of the Week record was almost correct, as Toulouse won but by not enough.

Yeats: 7-3, with the bonus of getting the Pick of the Week right. Yeats’ all-Ireland selections ended with him going 2-1 and Declan was the only one that got Glasgow right! The loss by Ulster was unexpected by the nearly all of the staff. What hurt him the most this time was his continued dislike of the English – or Spivs as he calls them. He refused to support the English, and to a lesser degree, the French (unless they were playing the English). He did foresee a solid Racing Metro win as his Pick of the Week, and they delivered.

JWB: 6-4, but at least our reining champ got his Pick of the Week right. JWB oddly paid twice for going against the general opinion of the crew and once for following the herd. He chose Castres over Quins and Montpellier over Toulouse. He then backed Ulster which was unfortunate for him and the whole gang.   For his Pick of the Week, he didn’t take any chances and backed Ospreys, who more than covered the spread.

ECRC logoRound 1 is in the books and there is a long way to go. Anything can happen, so we will see if any of the other members can deny JWB another title. Stay tuned, don’t blink and the RWU Six Pack will have picks ready for round two this weekend.

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, Karen Ritter , Jamie Wall, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.

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And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.

About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at