The sense of anticipation at the start of the Heineken Cup has been building all week as the online community of European Rugby fans consider their predictions for the first round of matches.
Several fixtures have been grabbing the headlines as potential thrillers, and none more so than the Leinster clash with London Irish, where the reigning European champions meet the form team in the English Premiership. A highly entertaining match is in prospect, but nearly 86% of the SportGuru community are confident of a home win for the Dublin side, and the average overall community prediction is Leinster to win by 6 points.
Glasgow versus Biarritz appears to be a very close match to predict, and both sides have had a positive start to their domestic campaigns. This is likely to be a fiercely competitive, abrasive battle, and opinion is divided as to which way this one will go – 42% are predicting a home win for the Warriors, 56% are backing Biarritz, with the remainder opting for a draw. The average overall pick is Biarritz by 2.
On Sunday, Northampton entertain Munster at Franklin’s Gardens, where the Irish side will be desperate to bounce back from their 30-point defeat by Leinster last weekend. Another close game appears to be on the cards – although just over 65% of the community are backing Munster, the average overall prediction is Munster by a margin of just three points.
Here are the overall community predictions for Round 1 of the Heineken Cup:
Ulster v Bath: Ulster by 2
Gloucester Rugby v Gwent Dragons: Gloucester Rugby by 7
Leinster v London Irish: Leinster by 6
Benetton Treviso v Perpignan: Perpignan by 15
Cardiff Blues v Harlequins: Cardiff Blues by 4
Stade Francais Paris v Edinburgh: Stade Francais Paris by 10
Scarlets v Brive: Scarlets by 3
ASM Clermont Auvergne v Viadana: ASM Clermont Auvergne by 21
Glasgow Warriors v Biarritz: Biarritz by 2
Northampton Saints v Munster: Munster by 3
Leicester Tigers v Ospreys: Leicester Tigers by 5
Toulouse v Sale Sharks: Toulouse by 10
What do you think? Make your own predictions by playing the Official Predictions Game at www.ercrugby.com/predictions – it’s free to play and there are some fantastic prizes to be won!