From a fixture point of view the Challenge Cup was disrupted much less than the Champions Cup and so far all the fixtures are still on. Here are my predictions for round 2.
First here is my review of the round 1 action.
How did your round 1 predictions go?
8 from 9, it was all looking so good until Sunday.
Cardiff Blues v Harlequins
Blues did pick up a big victory last weekend but it was against a second tier Italian side. Otherwise it’s been another tough start to the season. Quinn had a big win over their expected main rivals for the group last week. That’s backing up a decent start to the season so pending selection decisions this is looking like an away win.
Harlequins by 7
La Rochelle v Gloucester Rugby
La Rochelle fell to Warriors in the opening round. We need to remember that we are talking about a French team here. The stereotype is not bothered away from home but defending their home ground with grit. Gloucester started their defence of the cup with a regulation win and I think will be more interested in the tournament. So I’m going against the stereotype even though it’s hurt me in the past.
Gloucester Rugby by 7
Agen v Edinburgh
Agen took a hammering against Irish and I think don’t want to be in this tournament. Edinburgh will be looking to back up their opening win and this is their best chance of silverware. Again I’m going against the stereotype.
Edinburgh by 7
Montpellier v Calvisano
Simple the professionals from France will get 5 points against the visiting semi-pro Italian side.
Montpellier by 15
Sale Sharks v Section Paloise
Sharks surprised me with their second choice side last weekend which led to an away loss. Section Paloise were the side cancelled last weekend. That rest will have done them good but Top14 is everything to them so Sale should get their challenge back on track.
Sale Sharks by 10
Zebre v Worcester Warriors
Zebre lost away to Gloucester and even though they are the better of the two Italian Pro12 sides this season are losing most of their games. Warriors continued their eat season good form with a win. However I see this as one of the few chances that they have to rotate players and so I’m backing a home win.
Zebre by 5
Connacht Rugby v Brive
Connacht are having a wonderful start to the season with their win in Russia and being top of the Pro12. Bruce have also started the season well and have an open mingling win too. However this time I am going with the French stereotype and expect them to rest players.
Connacht Rugby by 10
Castres v Newport Gwent Dragons
Castres game was postponed as Dragons got a good win over a much changed Sale. Having had a break and playing at home I fully expect Castres to look after home pride even though they haven’t had a great start to the season.
Castres by 10
Grenoble v London Irish
Irish thumped Agen for their first victory of the season. But Agen are bottom of the Top14. Grenoble lost to Edinburgh away but this is another case of the French stereotype. Grenoble are 4 and 4 in the Top14 and I fully expect them to get the home victory.
Grenoble by 5
Newcastle Falcons v Enisei-STM
This is the other simple one. Falcons might have not win a game yet but they are playing side from A lower tier league. So I’m expecting a comfortable first victory for Falcons.
Newcastle Falcons by 20
What do you think of my predictions and what are yours? Please let me know in the comments below.