It’s crunch time in the Heineken Cup this weekend. Some teams know exactly what they need to do to qualify, some are relying on other results to go their way and will be waiting anxiously. A few teams are making up the numbers, but many are still in with a shot at qualifying for the Amlin Challenge Cup, so it’s all to play for.
Quins face Connacht whilst Toulouse travel to Gloucester tonight, and I’ve gone for two away wins, but will that be enough for Quins to go through? I’d love to see Gloucester beat Toulouse at Kingsholm, but it’s hard to pick against the French when you look at their teamsheet.
I’ve got Glasgow to beat the underperforming Bath at the Rec which would see them qualify for the Amlin, and Leinster to reinforce their position as the best qualifiers and guarantee a home semi-final.
Can Ulster win in Clermont? Their home record would suggest not, but I can see them picking up a losing bonus point which should be enough for them to scrape into the Quarters ahead of Quins by virtue of having scored more tries
Some are backing the Saints to beat Munster, and although I backed them to win at Thomond Park in Round 1, I’ve gone for Munster to maintain their unbeaten record. They know how important a home draw can be, and will be going out all guns blazing, whilst the Saints have less to play for.
In the rest of the fixtures, I’ve gone for home wins, with both Cardiff and Edinburgh going through.
Here are my Heineken Cup predictions for Round 6:
Connacht Rugby v Harlequins: Harlequins by 5
Gloucester Rugby v Toulouse: Toulouse by 6
Bath v Glasgow Warriors: Glasgow Warriors by 5
Leinster v Montpellier: Leinster by 10
Leicester Tigers v Aironi Rugby: Leicester Tigers by 28
ASM Clermont Auvergne v Ulster: ASM Clermont Auvergne by 6
Northampton Saints v Munster: Munster by 5
Castres Olympique v Scarlets: Castres Olympique by 5
Benetton Treviso v Saracens: Saracens by 13
Biarritz v Ospreys: Biarritz by 8
Cardiff Blues v Racing Metro: Cardiff Blues by 13
Edinburgh v London Irish: Edinburgh by 6
And here’s what it would mean for the quarter-final draw (I think):
Leinster v Ulster
Munster v Cardiff
Toulouse v Clermont
Saracens v Edinburgh
Harlequins, Glasgow and Biarritz would qualify for the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Lots of permutations…what do you think?