It’s amazing to think that we are only in round 2 of this year European Cup and already all the talk is that there are so many fixtures that are basically must win games for teams going to battle this weekend! It is a huge complement to a competition that has caught every body’s imagination in the rugby world.
As the standard of the entrants every year gets better and better, you just never know what way results are going to go domestic form can mean nothing, just look at all three Welsh sides winning last weekend, I can’t remember the last time that happened!
From an Irish point of view it’s going to be an interesting couple of days, with the pick of the weekend going to the Connacht-Toulouse game in the Sports Ground in Galway.
This is the home sides 100th game in Europe but only their 2ndin the Heineken Cup and to be hosting one of the competitions heavyweights is making the sell-out game a great occasion. Connachts display against the English League leader Harlequins shows that they are not here to make up the numbers in this year but are going to be a thorn in many a side, especially at home were they haven’t lost a European game in a good few years.
Leinster have Glasgow at home and even if the Scots did have a good game last weekend, you can’t see them getting the better of the current Cup holders.
Munster are a bit of a suck it see team this year, with the jury out to weather they are still a team to be reckoned with or not. But I think that if they can get a bit of momentum going they will still be a difficult side to deal with. Added to that the fact that they want to expel the daemons of last year were for the first time they didn’t get through to the ¼ ‘s. They showed unbelievable resilience to beat Northampton at home with a last minute drop goal after an amazing 41 phases!! Getting any points on the road against a strong Castres, will be so important to their pool hopes.
Ulster travel to an out of sorts Leicester. It a strange situation to be in for the home side, yes they are one of the ERC main teams but they are yet to win a single game at home in the Premiership this year! Ulster on the other hand with the likes of Ferris and co all back from international duty, are showing some good from, especially with their win over a very talented Clermont team, could an upset be on the books?!!