Sunday, January 12, 2020

EPCR WRaps - Champions and Challenge Cups

European Professional Club Rugby - Challenge Cup - Round 5
On the Weekend, By the Numbers
20+ table points will more than likely make extra time come April, possibly high-teens.

If you’re thinking, “Hey, what’s with Toulon? It’s like Wilkinson is back or something. Well that something is a new engine that’s got a springbok in its step, or in another words, two words: Eben Etzebeth. And if you’re thinking, “He’s kinds old isn’t he?” He’s not. He’s only 28, barely out of the cradle for a second row; he’s just been around for a good bit and has established himself by determined, savvy action on the pitch and there’s a lot of him at 20 stone and a tad more than 203 cm; he covers a bunch of ground standing, but when he moves, he can put a bit of wind behind him as well.

Home Happy: Bayonne, Bordeaux-Bègles, Bristol, Castres, Leicester, Worcester
Road Warriors: Pau, Toulon, Wasps, Zebre

12           for Bordeaux 10, Matti Jalibert, on 3-and-2 off his shoe and the home side shut the front (and rear) door(s) of their pool with the 32 - 17 victory over Edinburgh at Chaban-Delmas, #1 in the T14 topping #1 in GPro14 Conference B;

7              try Pau served up Cammi Calvisano in front of their faithful at the Pata, 47 - 19; 17 for Section Paloise 10, Clovis Lebail, on the conversions of 5-from-7 and a grounding of his own as the French club kept their extra time hopes up, though only just;

12           for Wasps 10, Lima Sopoaga, on 6-of-8 trys converted and a suspenders set from the big blindside, Ashley Johnson, and 12, Jimmy Gopperth, who made the bonus-point between them in the 52 - 24 throttling of Agen;

15           for Castres 15, Julien Dumora, on 5 conversions and 1 grounding, and homeys got on top of their group after 42 - 14 happiness over Dragons at Pierre Fabre; Olympique now lead the group wherein 3 teams could yet take the mantle next week;

14           point halftime advantage, 19-5, made 17 by day’s end and Bayonne got the bonus-point over London Irish at home, 27 - 10;

2              point lead in the 76th, 24-22, could not be held by Stade Français and a grounding by Zebre relief engine, George Biaji, made 7 by 9, Guglielmo Palazzani, had the 29 - 24 road happy;

17           for Bristol 10, Callum Sheedy, on a perfect 7-and-1 true sticks for fun and 7-try Bears ate Brive at Ashton Gate, 52 - 3;

5              trys between a brace of Warriors youngsters, 13 Ollie Lawrence (3 and 18 years) and relief 15 Noah Heward (2 and 20) assisted their home, 66 - 10, win over Enisei STM;

4              trys by the midpoint whistle and Toulon were ready to go home with the win; travelers added a sticksplitter for tallies of 27 and 8 at Parc y Scarlets and in doing so, closed the pool and maybe Scarlets playoffs hopes.

15           for Leicester 10, George Ford, on 3-and-3 and Tigers won the pool with 30 - 20 victory, eliminating Dragons from extra time;

Upcomes Round 6

                Friday, 1.17.20:

                                Dragons (15) v (0) Enisei STM at Rodney Parade: got to count as many points as possible, Blues!

                                Worcester Warriors (15) v (18) Castres Olympique at Sixways: outcome could result in a Dragons ascension;

                Saturday, 1.18.20:

                                Cardiff Blues (13) v (1) Cammi Calvisano at the Arms Park: should be a bunch for the home side;

                                Section Paloise (15) v (22) Leicester Tigers at Stade du Hameau: homeys need it, big;

                                Brive (4) v (6) Stade Français at the Amédée-Domenech: for Q, c&c:

                                Zebre (11) v (24) Bristol Bears at Lanfranchi: home side looking good of late, but Bears could earn the 1st playoffs round respite with victory;

                                Edinburgh (16) v (0) Agen at Murrayfield: homeys gotta win big and pray for help;

                                Wasps (11) v (22) Bordeaux-Bègles at the Ricoh: visitors need all points;
                                London Irish (7) v (14) Scarlets at Madejski: visitors will want the bonus-point, which may not be sufficient to earn an extra-time berth, yet that’s what they’ll be seeking;
                                Toulon  (2) v (7) Bayonne at the Felix Mayol: home team has an outside shot at a rest 1st playoffs weekend, but that’ll require a 5-pointer here and either Leinster or Bristol to fail;

               European Professional Club Rugby - Champions Cup
Round 5 -On the Weekend - By the Numbers

All pools won save for Group C, which’ll be sorted last round, next weekend.

10           for Harlequins 10, Brett Herron, on 2-and-2 struck from his shoe and travelers upended Bath at the Rec, 25 - 19; USA Eagles midfielder, Paul Lasike, aided well his club’s double v the swimmers;

1              point adrift at the midpoint, 15-16, no problem for homeboys as La Rochelle returned for victory over Sale at the Marcel Deflandre, 30 - 23;    

17           for Saracens 19 years old 10, Manu Vunipola, on 1-and-5 sufficient the task of dispatching Ospreys at Liberty, 22 - 15, but only just as a 4th minute red and a 32nd minute yellow enabled a brace by home side’s 15, Dan Evans, in exploitation of those judgements and for the moment, big birds led in minute 42, 15-12; a grounding by Sarries 11, Alex Lewington in the 52nd, its completion by Vunipola and a further sticksplitter by the young standoff made the result and Saracens yet in the pool;

             Clermont sticksplitters, braces by the 9s, Morgan Parra and his reliever Grieg Laidlaw, and a dropped goal by 10, Camille Lopez, along with 2 trys against all Ulster 9, John Cooney had, a 1-2-1 triple made for a 29 - 13 final and a new leader in Group 3;

4              tickets total issued at the Sportsground with travelers ending the match with only 13, though Stade Toulouse persevered, topping Connacht on the trot, 21 - 7, to claim the group;

31           for every manjack at Scotstoun as Glasgow and Exeter did the sister-kiss and each counted 3 table points for the leveling of one another; 14 points scored by Chiefs during intervals of Warriors yellow card assessment service; double for El Jefes 8man, Matt Kvesic, in the win that wins the group for travelers, while the emotionless outcome more than likely ends the Warriors ability to enter the extra-time frame;

             trys and 5 table points for Gloucester as Cherry-and-Whites opened up Montpellier after taking a 7-3 lead to the sheds at the midpoint and grounding 3 additional trys in the second stanza at Kingsholm for the 29 - 6 victory;

3              periods of 15 v 14 during which Leinster scored 21 points, the margin of victory in the Irish Province’s 42 - 21 win over Lyon; double for flyer Dave Kearney and the 14 counted by 10, Ross Byrne, on 7-from-7 completion perfection for the home side in the effort that secures the group and, at present, the highest table points total in the Cup;

6              lead changes in the lively and frenetic activity at Franklin’s Gardens with Northampton 13, Fraser Dingwall, dotting the terminal go-ahead at ’78 and the home team grounding another in the 21st minute of extra time for the 33 - 20 win over Benetton;

5              points behind at the midpoint, 11-16, not a worry for Racing who returned for 5-point victory, dotting the bonus-point score well into extra-time for the 39 -22 win over Munster;

Upcomes Round 6

                Saturday, 1.18:

                                Benetton Treviso (7) v (24) Leinster at Stadio Comunale di Monigo: wrapping up the group;

                                Lyon (6) v (14) Northampton Saints at the Matmut: travelers need the bonus-point to remain in contention for a match seven inn April;

                                Harlequins (9) v (20) Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham: travelers need this to close the group in their favor;

                                Ulster (17) v (4) Bath in Kingspan at Ravenhill: homeys’ll want the win plus one for extra time come April;

                                Exeter (22) v (10) La Rochelle at Sandy Park: closing the group but Chiefs are yet in contention for a rest first weekend of playoffs so they’d like the bonus-point win here and now;

                                Sale Sharks (7) v (12) Glasgow Warriors in AJ Bell at Salford City: pretty much for Queen, country and contract;
                Sunday, 1.19:

                                Munster (11) v (2) Ospreys at Thomond Park: Q, c&c and homeys won’t like that;

                                Saracens (14) v (22) Racing 92 at Allianz: must win large, Corsairs!

                                Montpellier (5) v (8) Connacht in GGL at the Altrad: see Sharks v Warriors;

                                Toulouse (22) v (14) Gloucester at Ernest Wallon: crucial for the extended life of travelers and equally so for homeboys who’d like the rest first round;



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