Sunday, December 15, 2019

Europe Professional Club Rugby Round 4 - Champions and Challenge Cup Tournaments On the Weekend

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

Overall Pools 1, 2 and 5 appear sorted with Leinster, Exeter and Toulouse resp., looking to close out as they can in the final two rounds. Pool 3 will be a battle between first-placed Ulster and close-chaser, Clermont, whom the Irish Province play Round 5 and that record will decide the group. Group 4 is any one of three clubs water with Saracens, currently third, yet coming hard on the outside rail.

Home Happy: Benetton, Clermont, Connacht, Exeter, Leinster, Saracens
Road Warriors: La Rochelle, Racing, Toulouse, Ulster

2              Clermont players with 2 trys apiece, 11, Ali Raka, and 12, George Moala, as Auvergne pummeled Bath at the Michelin, 52 - 26; home team at 40 by the end of ’40 in a 6-try first forty;

14           for Ulster 9, John Cooney, on a 3-1-1 triple and visitors got the bonus-point at Twickenham that put them into 1st place in their pond, waters they could close and own with a happy next round after 34 - 10 rout of Harlequins;

26           first forty points and 21 the margin at the half, set the stage for a brace of further groundings to close out the 40 - 27, 5-point road delirium for Racing 92 at Liberty Stadium over Ospreys;

74           minute yellow ticket left Gloucester a man down with a 24-13 lead; 2 converted trys later Connacht returned for the improbable joy at the Sportsground, 27 - 24; brace for travelers 12, Mark Atkinson, in defeat;

6              lead changes in the in the Benetton triumph in Treviso; Lyon were ahead 14-12 after forty, but a 71st minute grounding by relief 8man Marco Lazzaroni made advantage and the added deuce by Antonio Rizzi made the record at 25 - 22;

3              for everyone after 40, but Saracens had turned back Munster at the end of the day for the 15 - 6 win that keeps the Corsairs in the hunt to defend their Champions Cup title;

2              trys from Toulouse 5, Australia native Richie Arnold, but it was a grounding by their 21 years old flyer, Lucas Tauzin, that completed scoring on the day at the death, making for a 26 - 18 result and denying their hosts, Montpellier, an lbp; visitors can win the pool outright with a couple points from their remaining pair of fixtures;

17           points for Leinster in the first 10 minutes set the stage for a 50 - 21 smackdown of Northampton at the RDS; home 13, Gary Ringrose, had a hat trick in the happy;

5              points the difference, 12-7, at the half to traveling La Rochelle at Scotstoun, and 12 - 7 that result in the chilly mire at Glasgow;

3              trys for Exeter 8man, Sam Simmonds, and Chiefs pounded out the 35 - 10 victory over Sale Sharks at Sandy Park;

Upcomes Round 5:

                Friday, 1.10.20:

                                La Rochelle (5) v (6) Sale Sharks at Marcel Deflandre: should be good competition;

                                Bath (3) v (5) Harlequins at the Rec:  Queen and Country... and contract!

                Saturday, 1.11:

                                Ospreys (1) v (10) Saracens at Liberty Stadium: travelers need five here; homeys may not comply;

                                Clermont Auvergne (16) v (17) Ulster at the Michelin: Match of Round 5;

                                Glasgow Warriors (9) v (19) Exeter Chiefs at Scotstoun: homeboys campaign lost a wheel last weekend and will need a big fix to regain traction; visitors can close pool today;
                                Connacht (8) v (18) Toulouse at the Sportsground: travelers close pool or home team keeps innit? Sleeper of the Weekend;
                                Gloucester (9) v (5) Montpellier at Kingsholm: Cherry-and-Whites on the cusp and need a b-p win here;

                Sunday, 1.12:    
                                Leinster (19) v (7) Lyon at the RDS: pool closing time;

                                Northampton Saints (9) v (6) Benetton Treviso at Franklin’s Gardens: home side needs a b-p here and now;

                                Racing 92 (17) v (3) Bath Rugby at La Défense: bonus-point win takes pool for home team;

Challenge Cup

European Professional Club Rugby - Challenge Cup

On the Weekend, By the Numbers

20+ table points will more than likely make extra time come April, possibly high-teens.

Of twenty clubs in the six-competition, tournament pool play, one looks fit to win their foursome, while seven are out of it for certain, though yet plotting surprises for their last two opponents, and the remaining fourteen are in the thick of battle with a brace of fixtures remaining on their schedules; they who win out from here are in the best shape to gain the knockout round.

Home Happy: Brive, Bordeaux-Bègles, Castres, Dragons, Pau, Scarlets
Road Warriors: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leicester, Toulon

20           for Dragons 10, Sam Davies on 1-and-6 true, the plus-2 being the completion of 2nd minute grounding by 13, Adam Warren, and Dragons pulled out to a 4-point lead in their group after topping Worcester on Rodney Parade, 25 - 19; 3 yellows and 1 red awarded during the show, 2 for homeys and 1-y and 1 red for their guests; Warriors did get a losing bonus-point which may prove crucial yet this tournament season;

10           for Brive 9, Vaso Lobzhanidze, and 9 for 10, his Georgian halfback partner, 20 years old Tedo Abzhandadze, and the home squad held off Zebre at Amédée Domenech, 24 - 10, to remain on track for the playoff cusp; 3 yellows, 2-1, home-away, so the fire-breathers won those points as well;

5              cards given, 2 for the home team and 3 for their guests, and 5 trys scored overall, though Castres got the bonus-point on a 4:1 ratio in the series of skirmishes at Stade Pierre Fabre and 22 - 10 the result over Enisei; winners still def innit, losers wondering just now;

5              try Section Paloise got the 34 - 29 victory over Cardiff Blues at Stade du Hameau despite 3 yellow cards levied upon the home side and 24 points-scored during those intervals and a hat trick from Blues flyer, 21 years old Owen Lane;

5             trys, too, for Bordeaux Bègles in 5-point, 33 - 6, happiness over Agen;

4              cards, 3 yellow and 1 red; 1 red and 1 yellow for Calvisano and a brace of yellows for Leicester in the disruptive play in the north of Italy; 20 - 13 the record and Tigers grounded the winner with Cammi down a man;

2              points only the differential, 9 - 7, in the sloppy, chilly soup at the Ricoh as Edinburgh got the road win over Wasps in less-than-ideal conditions (unless one is in the tight 5):

7              points at ’77 while their hosts were down a man made for Toulon joy at the Madejski and visitors triumphed, 26-20, over London Irish;

21           for Scarlets 15, Leigh Halfpenny, on a 5-2-1 triple as hosts demolished Bayonne at Parc y Scarlets, 46 - 5, travelers lone mark coming in the 79th;

77           minute try by Bristol replacement number 2, Harry Thacker, leveled scores at 16s and the conversion by 10, Callum Sheedy, made for the 18 - 16 visitor win over Stade Français at Jean-Bouin;

Playoffs Frame:
                Innit: Bristol

                On the Cusp: Bordeaux-Bègles, Brive, Castres, Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Edinburgh, Leicester Tigers, Pau, Scarlets, Toulon, Worcester Warriors

                Out of it: Agen, Bayonne, Enisei STM, Cammi Calvisano, London Irish, Stade Francais, Wasps, Zebre

Upcomes Round 5:

                Friday, 1.10.20:

                                Stade Français (4) v (6) Zebre at Jean-Bouin: for pride and contract;

                                Agen (0) v (6) Wasps at Stade Armandie: for queen and country;

                                Castres Olympique (13) v (15) Dragons at Pierre Fabre: this’ll go far in determining the pool winner;

                                Bayonne (2) v (7) London Irish at Jean-Dauger: visitors vagrant chances may disappear here;

                Saturday, 1.11.20:

                                Bordeaux-Bègles (17) v (16) Edinburgh at Chaban-Delmas: for the group;
                                Cammi Calvisano (1) v (10) Section Paloise at Pata Stadium: travelers must win to keep their extra time plans in play;

                                Worcester Warriors (11) v (0) Enisei STM at Sixways: this’ll be five for homeys;

                                Bristol Bears (19) v (9) Brive at Ashton Gate: home team could close the pool now and here;

                                Scarlets (14) v (18) Toulon at Parc y Scarlets: gonna sort this group now-now, bang, rockin’ the Parc!;

                Sunday, 1.12.20:

                                Leicester Tigers (18) v (13) Cardiff Blues at Welford Road: homeboys can win the group today, but should travelers triumph, the quartet is up for grabs;              



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