Welcome to the first of another new weekly feature, in which we will hunt around in The Rugby Blog’s archives for some of the best content from years gone by, only to most likely spend hours getting wound up once again about Johno’s selection policy or watching ridiculous Brendan Venter interviews…
Anyway, the first of this new series is a nostalgic look back to the good old days of the Heineken Cup when the biggest talking point was the might of Wasps, not who could squeeze the most money out of television rights.
“Round 4 of the Heineken Cup was marked with some sublime rugby and marred by a mindless moment from an RFU employee.
Wasps versus Clermont Auvergne was the game of the weekend, with Danny Cipriani’s first half performance earning him the label of a genius in the making. He pulled all the strings opposite his predecessor, Alex King, and his passing, kicking and remarkable pace gave Wasps complete control of the game.
The second half was spoiled by a brawl (see video below) as Jamie Cudmore, Clermont’s flanker, landed a series of punches on Tim Payne’s head as he lay helpless on the ground – the scene was reminiscent of the Duncan McRae / Ronan O’Gara incident in 2001. Alan Black, an RFU manager, also waded in from the touchline flapping his programme somewhere near Martin Scelzo, the Clermont prop – he was removed from the ground and has since had to make an embarrassing apology.
Elsewhere in Europe, there was further success for English clubs, with six out of seven still fighting for a quarter-final place. Only Harlequins are out of the running having lost to Bristol.
Gloucester appear to be the best team in the competition after securing their fourth win out of four – the Cherry and Whites have usurped Stade Francais as tournament favourites as the men in pink suffered a second defeat, this time in Cardiff.
Round 4 Results
Biarritz 21-14 Glasgow
Ulster 8-16 Ospreys
Viadana 26-34 Saracens
Cardiff 31-21 Stade
Newport 22-24 Treviso
G’cester 51-27 Bourgoin
Perpignan 23-6 Irish
Edinburgh 29-10 Leinster
Wasps 25-24 Clermont
Munster 22-13 Scarlets
Bristol 20-7 Harlequins
Toulouse 22-11 Leicester”