Sunday, January 10, 2016

EPCR: Round Makeup 1.8-1.10


With every club having four matches completed now, we’ve a new leader in Pool 2, la petite piscine de la mort, as that group’s nuevo top dog picked up a snarler on the trot, while the midpoint frontrunner in Pool 3 ran a bit further in front. Pool 4 now up for grabs with #s 1 & 2 within a solid start of one another; topsy-turvy Pool 1 dustup and the group is not all surely Saracens at the moment; sort of a desultory boots fixture at the Felix Mayol, but the result means three-from-four of the clubs in Pool 5 are within a  match won of the head of group designation. Figure high teens or early twenties gets one's club into the afterlife, errrh, knockout stage.

By the numbers:
7 the halftime lead for travelling Clermont Auvergne at 17-10; all second stanza points for the now-bosses of the group as they secured the treasurable travel trophy at Bordeaux Begles, 28-10; 13 points for 9, Morgan Parra, on a trio of penalties and a brace of conversions as Clermont asserted themselves in the frothy and fractious waters of Pool Deux; one red and one yellow absolute wrong colors for the hosts in the final forty;
5 points for #10, Morne Steyn, on a penalty and a conversion, and another five for #15, Paul Williams, on a sweetly run line for Stade Francais and 10-0 homeboys advantage at illumination time; rude rouge for Fijian flyer Josaia Raisuqe for a high touch to the eye area to open the half and 14-man Stade would have to withstand Munster with a 37-minute overlap; which they did, running out to a 27-nil margin before the Irish Province was able to ground and convert for a 27-7 record; last home team try by the blindside, 20 year-old Sekou Macalou, a name you’ll hear anon and often, one might consider; Stade now sniffing the topspot Tigers hind;
3 the advantage for road Warriors for a minute until their hosts ran off 27 unanswered; Glasgow dotted near the hour mark, but Racing 92 replied before full time for a 34-10, five-point happy homestand at the Yves-du-Manoir in the Paris suburb of Colombes; 12 markers from Dan Carter’s toe for the pool leaders, who can close the deal on the group at the upcomer;
3 too, and many of them, the only scoring in the South of France as Freddie Michalak, coming on as replacement for #15, James O’Connor, slotted the late deciding trio of points and Toulon topped Bath, 12-9; #9, Eric Escande had three, three-pointers for the remaining homeside points, while all Bath numbers came off the toe of #10, George Ford; 6-all at the half; three-from-four yet innit; Wasps still the headboys, though only just, now:
23    the healthy halftime lead the home team eliminated away in the second  stanza as traveling Ulster rebounded with just enough to bag four points in topping Oyonnax, 24-23, at the Charles Mathon

Round 5 upcoming:

Friday, 1.15          Ospreys v Clermont Auvergne at Liberty Stadium  - maybe homeboys wrest topspot from their guests? Gonna be a blinder in Swansea! Go if you can;

Saturday, 1.16      Munster v Stade at Thomond Park - this, also must be a good derby as the hosts attempt to reply whatfor their guests the previous week's outcome;
                             Bordeaux Begles v Exeter Chiefs at Chaban-Delmas - homeboys can only rain on their remaining two opponents' parades; visitors very much innit, though this road win an absolute must; blinder number three on the weekend;
                             Saracens v Ulster at Allianz Park - at the risk of getting repetitive, blinder number quattro this fixture; Corsair blades are sharp and swift, however; if Ulster are to take the pool, a must win;
                             Oyonnax v Toulouse at the Charles Mathon - travelers and home team out of the running for extra time plays; this'll be for contract, country, personal vendetta and such, in other words, blinder 5;
                             Leinster v Bath at the Royal Dublin Society - home XV, winless in this league, are on a 7-victory run in the Guinness Pro 12 competition; do or no playoffs for the visitors;
                             Leicester Tigers v Benetton Treviso at Welford Road - the recent hiring of former Canada head coach Kieran Crowley was an astute move by the travelers; the benefits of that transaction will come, though maybe not so quickly as to keep five out of the Tigers bowl just now;
                             Racing 92 v Scarlets at Yves-du-Manoir: travelers are back on top the GP12 table, but reside the other side the EPCR works;  this'll be grim for the guests as homeboys look to cement their claim to first in the group en route a first round bye;
                             Toulon v Wasps at Felix Mayol - for first place in the waters of the Death Pool; blinder #1-squared;
                              Northampton Saints v Glasgow Warriors at Franklin's Gardens - each must have to remain in the hunt; home team may just have the advantage, though...

Pool 1
Saracens                         4-0-0     19
Ulster                              3-1-0     13
Toulouse                         1-3-0      5
Oyonnax                          0-4-0      2

Pool 2
Clermont Auvergne        3-1-0     14
Ospreys                         2-2-0     12
Exeter Chiefs                 2-2-0     10
Bordeaux Begles           1-3-0      6

Pool 3
Racing 92                       3-1-0     17
Northampton Saints         2-1-1     10
Glasgow Warriors            2-2-0      9
Scarlets                           0-0-4      2

Pool 4
Leicester Tigers             4-0-0     18
Stade Francois               3-1-0     14
Munster                         1-3-0       5
Benetton Treviso           0-0-4      0

Pool 5
Wasps                           3-1-0     14
Toulon                           3-1-0     12
Bath                              2-2-0      9
Leinster                         0-4-0      2

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