Heineken Champions Cup Predictions: Round 5

Heineken Cup

My European Rugby form has reflected that of the English clubs in the Champions Cup, as I seem to be languishing near the bottom of many of my Superbru pools, and I’m running out of time to turn things around.

Let’s see how we get on over the final two rounds. Here are my Champions Cup predictions for Round 5.

Gloucester v Munster
This is a very tricky one first up, with Gloucester struggling to qualify and likely to be missing Danny Cipriani injured, which tips the balance in favour of the European heavyweights Munster. Munster by 4

Leinster v Toulouse
Both sides will be targeting 5 points from their final group matches against Wasps and Bath respectively, and so this match is likely to decide the pool. Having lost by a single point in France, Leinster at home is the safest pick, and they’ll do their best to deny their visitors a losing bonus point. Leinster by 9

Montpellier v Newcastle
The Falcons’ dream start in Europe seems like a distant memory and now their chances of qualification are almost non-existent. I think this could be a heavy defeat in France as they have bigger concerns at home. Montpellier by 28

Bath v Wasps
These two have been very disappointing in Europe this season, albeit in a very tough group. There’s only pride and bragging rights up for grabs here, and home advantage might be the difference. Bath by 5

Ulster v Racing
I’m considering breaking my rule of never picking a French team to win away. Ulster have three wins from four, but the Scarlets and Tigers have been quite poor, and it’s the 32-point drubbing in Paris that might be more indicative of how this match will go. Racing by 4

Toulon v Edinburgh
It’s bottom versus top in this match, but the opposite way that I would have expected at the start of the season. I’m still backing the French side to win though. Toulon by 7

Scarlets v Tigers
This is a dead rubber, and picking the home team is the safest bet. Scarlets by 6

Exeter v Castres
Another English team that has disappointed on the European stage this year, but I can’t pick Castres to win away from home. Exeter by 7

Lyon v Saracens
Both teams have 100% records in the competition so far, but not in a good way for Lyon. Saracens will expect to win and secure qualification and likely top seedings if they win next week too. Saracens by 13

Glasgow v Cardiff
This all-Pro14 affair gives us the benefit of plenty of history on which to base our pick. Cardiff have won just one of the last 11 matches between the two sides, and given they are out of the competition and playing away from home, we know that Glasgow will win. Glasgow by 23

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

8 thoughts on “Heineken Champions Cup Predictions: Round 5

  1. Leinster-Toulouse is the pick of the games. Home win likely.
    Leicester, Bath and Wasps have nothing to play for so will put out mixed XV’s.
    Newcastle are in a real relegation fight, so will almost certainly send out a reserve side to France. Staying in the Premiership must be their priority.
    The other sides will be going full bore.
    Glos form has stalled quite badly, but they are at home and do have Cipriani back. Bound to be a close game, though Munster have a real knack of winning tough European away games.
    Exeter and Saracens should win, but BP’s may be hard to come by.
    Come Sunday I fully expect Saracens to be the last English team standing.




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  2. DC starting, but even I have wavered on predicting a home win. Very worried about the front row. Two props who have played virtually every game this season due to injuries elsewhere and are beginning to look worn out, and an academy hooker starting. Marais hurried back after injury (I believe) to the bench as we have no other cover, and the two academy props on the bench. Not filling me with confidence.

    However the Munster forums are hailing the rebirth of a team better than the All Blacks and are predicting a massive win, so very much hoping that they will receive a serving of humble pie!




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  3. I think you are underestimating Edinburgh, their Pro14 form is matching their European form, and they’re up to second in their conference. Two derby victories before nilling the Kings at home (which is more impressive than it sounds, the Kings haven’t had issues scoring, it’s conceding tries that’s their problem) is good momentum too.
    And it’d be generous to say Toulon have been less than the sum of their parts this season.




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  4. Glos-Munster not remotely close. Glos far worse than i thought they would be, Munster typically very streetwise, disciplined and efficient.
    There is a big step up in Europe for the English clubs, and its one that very few seem capable of making.




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