Round 1 of the Heineken Cup reminded us all why we love it so much. Whilst there weren’t any major upsets, Exeter came close to the result of the year so far at Leinster and Sale bucked their losing trend in a thrilling comeback against Cardiff. What does round 2 hold? Here are my SuperBru predictions.
Friday night sees the teams from Pool 4 in action, with Northampton making the trip to Castres and Ulster travelling up for an all-Celtic clash with Glasgow. I expect the two teams that won last weekend to continue their form, although it should be a tight game for the Saints- French sides are never easily beaten at home.
There are some mouth-watering clashes on Saturday, and none more so than French giants Clermont’s trip to Devon to take on Exeter. They certainly showed they are no pushovers in round one, but I think Clermont have too much firepower to be caught out and should win, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Exeter bagged a bonus point. In Pool 1, Saracens face Racing Metro in a game they should win if they carry on their form from last week, while Harlequins will be keen to avoid tripping on the banana skin of an away fixture at Connacht like they did last season. Holders Leinster travel to Llanelli to take on the Scarlets, where I expect them to bounce back from a disappointing performance last weekend and record a comfortable win.
On Sunday the Tigers take on Ospreys with the two teams having vastly different fortunes in the first round. The Tigers should win by virtue of the Welford Road factor, but could be run close by the Ospreys- bonus points will be vital in this pool and the Welsh outfit will be keen to pick one up here. Elsewhere Toulon’s star-studded squad role into Cardiff for what could be a cracking game, and one in which I expect the French outfit to triumph. Montpellier didn’t look great last weekend but will be a different beast at home, hopefully with their star names back, and should beat Sale fairly comfortably.
Here are all my picks for round 2:
Glasgow Warriors vs Ulster: Ulster by 10
Castres vs Northampton Saints: Saints by 5
Scarlets vs Leinster: Leinster by 10
Benetton Treviso vs Toulouse: Toulouse by 20
Saracens vs Racing Metro: Saracens by 11
Connacht vs Harlequins: Quins by 18
Exeter Chiefs vs Clermont Auvergne : Clermont by 4
Biarritz vs Zebre : Biarritz by 30
Cardiff Blues vs Toulon: Toulon by 13
Munster vs Edinburgh: Munster by 15
Leicester Tigers vs Ospreys: Tigers by 4
Montpellier vs Sale: Montpellier by 12
How do you see the weekend going?