Sunday, January 13, 2019

EPCR: Champions Cup - Round 5 By the Numbers

EPCR – Champions Cup Round 5: By the Numbers

Group 1
4             point halftime lead for Leinster without their injured Ireland 10, Jonnie Sexton, but the pivot well-filled by Ross Byrne and 5 table points the final haul; also 1st place in the pool after ’80 with a result of 29-13 over previously unbeaten headboy, Toulouse;
2             the measure of separation after ’40, and 2 after ’80 as Bath topped Wasps at the Rec, 18-16; 11 for travelers 10, Lima Sopoaga, on 3 penalties and the conversion of a 14th minute grounding by 8man, Nate Hughes; Sopoaga got 1 yellow assessment as well;

Round 6, Group 1
Sunday, January 20, 2019:
Toulouse (17) v (9) Bath at the Ernest Wallon: victory should ensure homeboys get to the post season, but whether they take the pool is out of French hands, because…
Wasps (4) v (20) Leinster at Ricoh Arena: Hornets will not be pleased with the way their tournament has gone and will be looking to spoil the reigning European champs bid for a first playoff round bye, while the quality-rich/deep travelers seek max points; it’ll be lively;

Group 2
26           for Munster 10, Joey Carbery, on 5 conversions, 2 penalties and 2 trys as the standoff lit up Kingsholm and his XV dotted 5 times in reducing Gloucester in Cherry-and-Whites home ground, 41-15;
5             try Exeter Chiefs saw off Castres at Sandy Park, 34-12, in a well-balanced, 2-pack and 3-back try effort for the fiver in front of their faithful;

Round 6, Group 2
Saturday, January 19, 2019:
               Munster (17) v (13) Exeter Chiefs at Thomond Park: the English league’s leaders need to win and win big in order to remain in play, while the Munster XV have not been defeated at home since December 2017, and are on a run of three wins including a happy fracas v Jonnie Sexton and Leinster just prior to the new year;
               Castres (9) v (8) Gloucester at Pierre-Fabre: this should be a fine display; each are out of the playoffs and will be crying havoc and loosing the pups;

Group 3
5             try Glasgow Warriors got 5 table points in their bon voyage of Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun, 33-24; yet the Scots are adrift the group leaders because…
2             trys for 13, Nick Tomkins, and Saracens did the necessary for their 5er over Lyon atMatmut and now lead all groups in the competition;

Round 6, Group 3
Saturday, January 19, 2019:
Saracens (23) v  (19) Glasgow Warriors at Barnet Copthall: winner takes the pool, one might think, and if it’s travelers, then loser will make playoffs; if it’s hosts, Warriors still have a shot at making playoffs but it will require losses by other runnersup, never the best nor most secure strategy;
Cardiff Blues (4) v (0) Lyon at the Arms Park: for club and contract;

Group 4
6             point halftime lead reduced to 4 by ’80, yet still Ulster held off Racing 92  at Ravenhill, 26-22, to make the pool a two-team race;
2             groundings for Scarlets loosehead, Rob Evans, and a run of 33 points unanswered as Llanelli Scarlets  throttled Leicester Tigers at Parc y Scarlets, 33-10; Tigers scores came in the form of 2 dots, but not until after the hour mark;

Round 6: Group 4
Saturday, January 19, 2019:
Leicester Tigers (6) v (18) Ulster at Welford Road: travelers must win to apply for the post season, Big Cats say, “Wot?”
Racing 92 (21) v (7) Llanelli Scarlets at La Défense Arena: 92 can confirm home field throughout the playoffs with the bonus point win;

Group 5
2             trys for Montpellier flyer, Henry Immelman, who along with 7 teammates on the match roster hail from South Africa – and the French Giants put guests Newcastle Falcons to the sword and out of the running at the Altrad, 45-8;
13           for travelers 10, Jaco Vander Walt, on two conversions and three penalties as Edinburgh surprised Toulon at the Mayol, 28-17; Toulon had a 12-8 advantage heading into the sheds, but the visiting 15, Blair Kinghorn, crossed in the 43rd minute to pop Edinburgh in front at 13-12; Scots padded that lead until they’d 15 more just after the hour mark for the result; 5 points for returning flyer Julian Savea on a try in the last ’10 for Toulon’s record;

Friday, January 18, 2019:
Edinburgh (19) v (16) Montpellier at Murrayfield: for the group; each are coming off significant victories, but none, one might suppose, more important than the hosts win over Toulon at the Mayol; The Scots have arrived and with joy here, will take the pool; should Montpellier get the road happy, it’ll be upto the goings on in the other brackets, but Group 5 could see two teams in extra time;
               Newcastle Falcons (8) v (6) Toulon  at Kingston Park: hunh… hopefully the weather will play fair and the players can open up their tricks bags and work the pill as if this were the final match of the season, which it is;

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