Sunday, November 24, 2019

European Professional Club Rugby: Champions Cup Round 2 WRap

European Professional Club Rugby - Champions Cup
On the Weekend, By the Numbers

Overall, in both Champions and Challenge Cup competitions, English Premiership well out-performed the other two leagues; however the T14 clubs improved on their Round 1 record, while Guinness Pro14 teams nosedived off their lofty first innings showcase perch.

Munster and Racing share the ordering seat now in the Pool of Death with Saracens hard on their heels and while not such a dangerous group any longer, there’s now a bunch of chum in the waters and they’re getting a bit frothy. Exeter are ordering for their group just now and are the only club in the competition that have garnered all points possible.

Home Happy: Exeter, Harlequins, Montpellier, Sale, Saracens, Toulouse, Ulster
Road Warriors: Leinster, Northampton
Buss: Munster-Racing

13           for Ulster 9, John Cooney, on a triple of 1-2-1 and the 17th minute touch down by openside Jordi Murphy made the difference in the 18 - 13 result over Clermont at Ravenhill;

3              by Northampton 10, Dan Biggar, in the 83rd minute did the trick for travelers, who returned from 7-points adrift at ’70, to record 35 - 32 joy over Benetton; Biggar counted 15 on 3-and-3 while flyer Tom Collins dotted a brace for the winners and number 2, Hame Faiva, got 2 for Treviso as well;

6              try Saracens traumatized Ospreys at Barnet Copthall, 44 - 9; flyer Rotimi Segun grounded a pair for homeboys;

1              point the advantage for Toulouse, 15-14, at the midpoint increased by 2 converteds and the French Giants rolled up Connacht in the second stanza for the 32 - 17, 5-point victory; 12 for home 10, Tommie Ramos on 3-and-2;

3              the road warriors advantage, 13-10, after forty, that could not be held as Chiefs rampaged in the second stanza, earning the 5-pointer, 34 - 18, over Glasgow at Sandy Park;

2              Jonathans, 1 Sexton and 1 Wisniewski, both 10s, drilled a brace of sticksplitters true the sticks, but Sexton’s XV, Leinster, grounded a try through 8man Max Deegan, converted by Mr. Sexton, that providing for a final of 16 - 6 over Lyon at the Matmut;

             Harlequins threes, four by 10, Marcus Smith, and the last by 12, James Lang, against three by Bath 10, Freddie Burns, and Quins got the 4-pointer at Twickenham in a wet one, 15 - 9;

2              tallies of 21 after all trys converted save for a 39th minute errant strike of a grounding of Keith Earls fiver, and 2 points for the house as home side only drew level Racing on the 75th minute conversion by Munster 10, JJ Hanrahan, of a grounding by 14, Andrew Conway;

5              points for Sale after a pasting of the 3-card monte bunch from La Rochelle; USA Eagles and Sale 10, AJ MacGinty, worked the pivot while SA RWC Champ, Faf de Klerk, partnered in the halfbacks; La Rochelais got a yellow 4 minutes either side of the break in addition to a red at ’38 resulting in 18 minutes of 13 v 15 and 2 minutes of 12-on-15, difficult auto-obstacles for the French to overcome in Sharks 25 - 10, 5-pointer; 

Upcomes Round 3:

                Friday, 12.6

                                Bath (2) v (6) Clermont at the Rec: were Bath to get going this would be the time to depress the petrol pedal; Clermont winnit, they’re well-innit;

                Saturday, 12.7

                                Lyon (1) v (2) Benetton at the Matmut, Stade de Gerland: homeys top T14 now and won’t be pleased with their performance thus far in the tournament; who loses will be playing for pride their remaining three fixtures more than likely;

                                Northampton Saints (9) v (9)  Leinster at Franklin’s Gardens: Best in the English versus the best in the pan-European/African League; pretty heady stuff! though it’s an early call, both clubs should make the knockouts; this outcome will go far towards that determination;

                                La Rochelle (0) v (4) Glasgow Warriors at Marcel Deflandre: La Rochelle careering to sixes-and-sevens after last result; Glasgow need win to keep sight of Sale and frontrunning Exeter; hot stuff on the Bay of Biscay;

                                Ulster (8) v (4) Harlequins in Kingspan at Ravenhill: Quins with joy last time out, but Irish defend Ravenhill well;

                                Ospreys (0) v (7) Racing 92 at Liberty Stadium: maybe 5 for visitors? could be, homeys heading towards some jagged rocks just now with four different starters at 9-10 in last two games;

                                Munster (7) v (5) Saracens at Thomond Park: Match-of-Weekend; how real Sarries after suffering the Premiership punishment? This will go far in determining that answer;

                Sunday, 12.8:
                                Gloucester (2) v (4) Connacht at Kingsholm: loser's out freal;

                                Sale (5) v (10) Exeter Chiefs in AJ Bell at Salford City: little bit of dynamite in this one, but should travelers triumph, they’ll have to work hard not to make the knockouts;

                                Toulouse (9) v (5) Montpellier at Ernest Wallon: classic battle of les géants français;



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