1. The might of the Irish
I have a feeling all of Ireland might have been slightly inebriated by the end of the weekend after all four provinces dominated their Heineken Cup games and the headlines; Munster put five tries past Perpignan, Ulster smashed Treviso, Leinster made Northampton Saints look like a schoolboy team and Connacht recorded the biggest result in their history and possibly that of the tournament. All teams are now at the top of their respective groups apart from Connacht who are just one point behind Toulouse and Saracens.
2. English fans will lose out
After months of to-ing and fro-ing and deliberation, it has finally been confirmed that this glorious tournament will remain next season, but the English will not be competing in it. This is a huge shame for fans of the English clubs who want to do so well. It has been one of the best openings to the cup in recent years and it is a pity that supporters will not be able to watch their team play against the best that Europe has to offer.
3. Irksome Italians
The performances of the Italian clubs has been one of the reasons why many threatened to leave the Heineken Cup and they did nothing to help their cause this weekend. Zebre lost at home to Saracens 39-10 while Ulster smashed Treviso 48-0. That’s 87 points conceded and 10 scored in just two games.
4. Mixed English player performances
Stuart Lancaster probably had more questions than answers this week after a wide range of player performances. Saints were absolutely dire with Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood and Lee Dickson all featuring at some point. There was less cause for concern though when it came to the locks and wingers – George Robson and Graham Kitchener both played well as did speedsters Jonny May, Jack Nowell and Miles Benjamin.
5. BOD is still God
Surely people are not doubting if Brian O’Driscoll still has it after Saturday’s performance in which he dominated the game and the players around him? He scored an interception and set up two of Luke Fitzgerald’s tries, including this little beauty.
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images