European QF weekend - the runners and riders

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by Ben » Sat, 06 Apr 2013 17:22:02


So, the weekend is nearly upon us, one game down already and these are the runners and riders:

Heineken Cup:





Amlin Cup:





Thoughts:

Heineken Cup:

Clermont will win. Hard to call on Saracens v Ulster given that it's barely "home" for Sarries and both teams are on form. I'll go with Sarries as I think they're marginally stronger and have had the better run through the pool stages. Quins v Munster? In theory it's all Quins - they're at home, Munster have stuggled for form this season.... but Quins are looking a bit deflated and Evans is not on form. Quins *should* take it, but I'd not be surprised by a narrow Munster win. Toulon v Leicester - a quick look at the Toulon squad and the home venue and it should be Toulon's but Leicester know how to win in France and are looking very solid. I'd fancy a punt on the Tigers but the bookies say it's Toulon's game.

Amlin Cup:

Gloucester have done a Gloucester and fluffed a gilt edged opportunity at home. I've yet to see the game though so that might be a bit harsh. Wasps v Leinster will be interesting. Wasps have made a habit of losing close games recently and Leinster are looking decent. The bookies say it is Leinster's to lose but as a Wasps fan I'm going to say Wasps for the surprise win. Perpignan v Toulouse? Are Toulouse interested in winning this game? Probably not. Perpignan for the win. Bath v SF is another interesting one. Bath really want this. The last two games between the sides have been a 15-13 win for SF in 2010 and a 29-27 win for SF in 2009. I'm going with home advantage and hunger. Bath for the win.

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by Simon S- » Sun, 07 Apr 2013 07:18:16


Quote:
> So, the weekend is nearly upon us, one game down already and these are the runners and riders:

> Heineken Cup:





> Amlin Cup:





> Thoughts:

> Heineken Cup:

> Clermont will win. Hard to call on Saracens v Ulster given that it's barely "home" for Sarries and both teams are on form. I'll go with Sarries as I think they're marginally stronger and have had the better run through the pool stages. Quins v Munster? In theory it's all Quins - they're at home, Munster have stuggled for form this season.... but Quins are looking a bit deflated and Evans is not on form. Quins *should* take it, but I'd not be surprised by a narrow Munster win. Toulon v Leicester - a quick look at the Toulon squad and the home venue and it should be Toulon's but Leicester know how to win in France and are looking very solid. I'd fancy a punt on the Tigers but the bookies say it's Toulon's game.

> Amlin Cup:

> Gloucester have done a Gloucester and fluffed a gilt edged opportunity at home. I've yet to see the game though so that might be a bit harsh. Wasps v Leinster will be interesting. Wasps have made a habit of losing close games recently and Leinster are looking decent. The bookies say it is Leinster's to lose but as a Wasps fan I'm going to say Wasps for the surprise win. Perpignan v Toulouse? Are Toulouse interested in winning this game? Probably not. Perpignan for the win. Bath v SF is another interesting one. Bath really want this. The last two games between the sides have been a 15-13 win for SF in 2010 and a 29-27 win for SF in 2009. I'm going with home advantage and hunger. Bath for the win.

Yep, I also fancy Tigs, and a Quins loss. Glaws were well below par, and
very much second best. They scored two late ones when Biarritz had taken
their foot off the gas. If they'd not done that, it would have been a
bit of a stuffing. I'm also going to go for home wins for Bath and Wasps.

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by mr_tiger_fis » Sun, 07 Apr 2013 18:27:14

Good odds for Leicester

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by John William » Mon, 08 Apr 2013 15:43:15



Quote:

>> So, the weekend is nearly upon us, one game down already and these are the runners and riders:

>> Heineken Cup:



Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The
visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off
injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad
Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished
lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very
effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two
tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and
Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe
back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome
back for the Lions, hopefully.

A month ago I'd have been pretty confident on Quins winning, but their
wheels have fallen off the last three games. as mentioned earlier.
Might not be pretty!

A month ago I'd have been pretty confident Leicester would have lost.
Then they played their best for ages at Northampton last week and they
have given me a touch of hope. Bastards.

Quote:
>> Amlin Cup:



28-48

30-19

20-36

All the games being in a short space of time, I haven't seen anything
other than the two HC games so far.

--

All the best
John Williams

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by BrritSk » Mon, 08 Apr 2013 16:17:06


Quote:



> Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The
> visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off
> injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad
> Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished
> lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

Excellent game that I wasn't going to watch, but glad I did.

Quote:


> 27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very
> effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two
> tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and
> Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe
> back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome
> back for the Lions, hopefully.

Another good game - shame that Goode and Ashton in particular didn't
play that well for England in the GS game. Great hunger by all the
Sarries in defence.
 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by William Clar » Tue, 09 Apr 2013 11:32:06


Quote:





> > Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The
> > visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off
> > injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad
> > Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished
> > lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

> Excellent game that I wasn't going to watch, but glad I did.


> > 27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very
> > effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two
> > tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and
> > Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe
> > back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome
> > back for the Lions, hopefully.

> Another good game - shame that Goode and Ashton in particular didn't
> play that well for England in the GS game. Great hunger by all the
> Sarries in defence.

Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between
two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five
penalties is the way rugby should be? Like Scotland-Wales in the 6N,
these penalty fests make one fear for the future of the game.

Similarly Saracens-Ulster. Great defence from Saracens, but in reality
they just stifled what Ulster did and then capitalized on mistakes. Much
to admire about their performance, but really not much to like.

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by Ben » Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:18:07

<snip>

Quote:
> Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between

> two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five

> penalties is the way rugby should be? Like Scotland-Wales in the 6N,

> these penalty fests make one fear for the future of the game.

> Similarly Saracens-Ulster. Great defence from Saracens, but in reality

> they just stifled what Ulster did and then capitalized on mistakes. Much

> to admire about their performance, but really not much to like.

An interesting weekend. I haven't caught the Quins-Munster game yet but the result is not a total shock. O'Shea will be livid at how Quins have lost their mojo. They aren't the first side to suffer from having a large international contingent leave and struggle when they come back. This is really where the English clubs are agitating for a larger squad and must look in envy at the French teams.

Sarries-Ulster went about how I thought it would. Sarries won't win the HC though, I don't think. They might beat Toulon with a defensive powerplay but unless Munster pull off a massive upset and beat Clermont in France Clermont are by far the standout side. A look at how they ended up gliding past a very spirited Exeter in the pools, and now Montpellier in the quarters lays down the marker. In the end, the only team that will beat them will be themselves: they will need to ***in a big way.

Sarries are a boa constrictor of a side but they and Quins epitomise why England went a little off the boil. England started the season playing Quins-like powerful, keep the ball alive rugby and look like ending it with not enough power or finesse to dominate. Sarries are great at crushing sides but while it is a great effort to get to the semis, and possibly the finals, they're not easy on the eye and they will come unstuck against powerful sides that can and do score tries.

The Leicester-Toulon result was ultimately a little flattering to Leicester. They did pretty well to knock Toulon back in the first half and might have made more of their chances, but Toulon were unlucky not to score a try and looked the better side. I thought the game was substantially better than the scoreline said and if Leicester had managed to get a try in the first half they might have been able to make Toulon chase the game. Alas.

In the Amlin - didn't catch much of the Gloucester game but it sounds like one to forget for them. Bath were plucky but got well outplayed and, as with Wasps, were exposed for their defensive frailties. The Wasps game was hugely entertaining and far closer than the scoreboard looked. Wasps can't defend for toffee though, and suffer from a journeyman backline in Robinson, Bell and Southwell - even if Masi played superbly - and a lack of oomph in the tight five. Ifs and buts, and not to take anything away from well deserved winners in Leicester but one looks at how soft the tries were they conceded and can't help but wonder what Wasps might look like with a smidgeon more power and quality.

What else to note - Gatland and Lancaster pairing to watch a couple of games and thick in conversation. I'm not convinced he'll actually go on the Lions tour, but Christian Wade couldn't have done more to make his case. When he's not scaring defences, he's holding them, running through them or past them. I hope England learn their lesson - they wasted Sackey's salad days at Irish and Monye's at Quins because neither could, apparently, defend, and it would be a shame to see Wade miss the chance to learn his trade as a capped player when England are happy to field poor defensive players like Ashton.

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by kev or lo » Tue, 09 Apr 2013 17:10:30


Quote:






>>> Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The
>>> visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off
>>> injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad
>>> Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished
>>> lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

>> Excellent game that I wasn't going to watch, but glad I did.


>>> 27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very
>>> effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two
>>> tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and
>>> Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe
>>> back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome
>>> back for the Lions, hopefully.

>> Another good game - shame that Goode and Ashton in particular didn't
>> play that well for England in the GS game. Great hunger by all the
>> Sarries in defence.

> Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between
> two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five
> penalties is the way rugby should be? Like Scotland-Wales in the 6N,
> these penalty fests make one fear for the future of the game.

Comparing those two HC games to the scot/wal game iss like comparing
apples and oranges or any other similar cliche you can think of.
Scot/wal was an attrocious game not helped by a useless referee. Atleast
the HC games were watchable and half enjoyable.

Need larger pitches.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
> Similarly Saracens-Ulster. Great defence from Saracens, but in reality
> they just stifled what Ulster did and then capitalized on mistakes. Much
> to admire about their performance, but really not much to like.

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by simon s- » Tue, 09 Apr 2013 21:32:48

Quote:







> > > Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The

> > > visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off

> > > injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad

> > > Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished

> > > lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

> > Excellent game that I wasn't going to watch, but glad I did.


> > > 27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very

> > > effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two

> > > tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and

> > > Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe

> > > back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome

> > > back for the Lions, hopefully.

> > Another good game - shame that Goode and Ashton in particular didn't

> > play that well for England in the GS game. Great hunger by all the

> > Sarries in defence.

> Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between

> two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five

> penalties is the way rugby should be?

I'll take that intensity and closeness any day of the week. The only reason there weren't any tries was some awesome last gasp defense. It's not as if there wasn't any attacking play.
 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by Brent Hadle » Tue, 09 Apr 2013 22:28:26


Quote:







> > > > Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The

> > > > visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off

> > > > injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad

> > > > Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished

> > > > lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

> > > Excellent game that I wasn't going to watch, but glad I did.


> > > > 27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very

> > > > effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two

> > > > tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and

> > > > Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe

> > > > back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome

> > > > back for the Lions, hopefully.

> > > Another good game - shame that Goode and Ashton in particular didn't

> > > play that well for England in the GS game. Great hunger by all the

> > > Sarries in defence.

> > Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between

> > two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five

> > penalties is the way rugby should be?

> I'll take that intensity and closeness any day of the week. The only reason there weren't any tries was some awesome last gasp defense. It's not as if there wasn't any attacking play.

Mmm.  One man's last-ditch defence is another man's poor options at
critical times - e.g. the Toulon chance early in the second half where
the halfback flung a pass to no one.  I thought there was more
endeavour in the Toulon/Leicester game; the Munster/Quins game was
pretty much Munster crushing the life out of them after halftime, but
being content to do so by way of penalties.

Cheers

Brent

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by John William » Wed, 10 Apr 2013 03:23:40

On Mon, 8 Apr 2013 06:28:26 -0700 (PDT), Brent Hadley

Quote:




>> > Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between
>> > two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five
>> > penalties is the way rugby should be?

It is one way it can be played. There is no "should" about it.

Quote:
>> I'll take that intensity and closeness any day of the week. The only reason there weren't any tries was some awesome last gasp defense. It's not as if there wasn't any attacking play.

There wasn't that much savvy from Leicester. I remain critical of Matt
O'Connor as backs coach and now head coach.

And then there was the problems Leicester had playing to Clancy again.
I thought they'd got over that after the improvement towards the end
of the Ospreys-Leicester pool game, but no.

Quote:
>Mmm.  One man's last-ditch defence is another man's poor options at
>critical times - e.g. the Toulon chance early in the second half where
>the halfback flung a pass to no one.  I thought there was more
>endeavour in the Toulon/Leicester game; the Munster/Quins game was
>pretty much Munster crushing the life out of them after halftime, but
>being content to do so by way of penalties.

Four nicely contrasting games overall. It presumably reinforced
Clermont as clear favourites to win, but it should be fun watching it
unfold as ever.

--

All the best
John Williams

 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by William Clar » Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:20:02



Quote:
> On Mon, 8 Apr 2013 06:28:26 -0700 (PDT), Brent Hadley




> >> > Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between
> >> > two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five
> >> > penalties is the way rugby should be?

> It is one way it can be played. There is no "should" about it.

OK - put it another way, is this the kind of rugby that is really going
to draw in the fans. Oh, and now we can add another quarterfinal with no
tries, six penalties to four.

Quote:

> >> I'll take that intensity and closeness any day of the week. The only
> >> reason there weren't any tries was some awesome last gasp defense. It's
> >> not as if there wasn't any attacking play.

These are tense games - exciting even. But in a week's time will they
really have left any memorable plays with the spectators?  What is most
depressing is the paucity of originality in attack - just bludgeon
straight up the middle. All broadsword and no rapier.

Quote:

> There wasn't that much savvy from Leicester. I remain critical of Matt
> O'Connor as backs coach and now head coach.

> And then there was the problems Leicester had playing to Clancy again.
> I thought they'd got over that after the improvement towards the end
> of the Ospreys-Leicester pool game, but no.

> >Mmm.  One man's last-ditch defence is another man's poor options at
> >critical times - e.g. the Toulon chance early in the second half where
> >the halfback flung a pass to no one.  I thought there was more
> >endeavour in the Toulon/Leicester game; the Munster/Quins game was
> >pretty much Munster crushing the life out of them after halftime, but
> >being content to do so by way of penalties.

> Four nicely contrasting games overall. It presumably reinforced
> Clermont as clear favourites to win, but it should be fun watching it
> unfold as ever.

Well, at least Claremont scored a try :-)
 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by William Clar » Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:22:37



Quote:







> >>> Wow. 36-14 to C-A and Montpellier didn't play badly at all. The
> >>> visitors did well enough up front, but once Trinh-Duc Duck went off
> >>> injured there was a whiff off offside for the first home try ad
> >>> Montpellier lost their way with the ball and the hope team finished
> >>> lethally. The best I've seen Sivivatu play since he was an AB.

> >> Excellent game that I wasn't going to watch, but glad I did.


> >>> 27-16. Never easy for Sarries, but they contained Ulster's attack very
> >>> effectively except for the occasional Henderson burst, and scored two
> >>> tries for a decent lead for the second half. Farrell kicked well and
> >>> Pienaar missed a few at the start which didn't help. Great to see Bowe
> >>> back on the field for 20, and he added some classy touches. Welcome
> >>> back for the Lions, hopefully.

> >> Another good game - shame that Goode and Ashton in particular didn't
> >> play that well for England in the GS game. Great hunger by all the
> >> Sarries in defence.

> > Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between
> > two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five
> > penalties is the way rugby should be? Like Scotland-Wales in the 6N,
> > these penalty fests make one fear for the future of the game.

> Comparing those two HC games to the scot/wal game iss like comparing
> apples and oranges or any other similar cliche you can think of.
> Scot/wal was an attrocious game not helped by a useless referee. Atleast
> the HC games were watchable and half enjoyable.

> Need larger pitches.

"Half enjoyable", but nothing to relish for those who like running
rugby. I think there are structural problems with the game today that
facilitate *** defence, and the move towards ever bigger (and less
artful) backs.
 
 
 

European QF weekend - the runners and riders

Post by John William » Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:14:58

On Mon, 08 Apr 2013 21:20:02 -0400, William Clark

Quote:



>> On Mon, 8 Apr 2013 06:28:26 -0700 (PDT), Brent Hadley




>> >> > Followed up by Toulon-Leicester. Can we really say that a game between
>> >> > two top sides that ends up with six penalties and a drop goal to five
>> >> > penalties is the way rugby should be?

>> It is one way it can be played. There is no "should" about it.

>OK - put it another way, is this the kind of rugby that is really going
>to draw in the fans. Oh, and now we can add another quarterfinal with no
>tries, six penalties to four.

It does draw in the fans every week. I am not particularly worried
about the fan base of either of these two clubs. Nor Munster's fan
base. I worry about Quins fans of course, but that isn't for on pitch
reasons.

Quote:
>> >> I'll take that intensity and closeness any day of the week. The only
>> >> reason there weren't any tries was some awesome last gasp defense. It's
>> >> not as if there wasn't any attacking play.
>These are tense games - exciting even. But in a week's time will they
>really have left any memorable plays with the spectators?  What is most
>depressing is the paucity of originality in attack - just bludgeon
>straight up the middle. All broadsword and no rapier.

Well I agree Leicester's attack needs to be sharper, I said so just
below. I'd settle for reading the ref better in the first instance
though. The other clubs -- well the obvious one is Munster who put in
a terrific forward performance which beat Quins. When they were trying
to play fancy Dan rugby in the pool stages, they put their
qualification in serious doubt. Back to basics -- job done. I know
which I'd prefer if I were a Munster fan.

Quote:
>Well, at least Claremont scored a try :-)

And Montpellier played wonderfully in the first quarter but didn't
score their try until 80 minutes or so when they were comprehensively
beaten but still game. Good play does not equal tries.

--

All the best
John Williams