We return to the competition that I fondly think of as the lottery cup. You never really know how seriously sides will take this competition, but hey it’s still fun to try and pick the winners.
Here is my video with my European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 3 Predictions:
Pau v Worcester Warriors – Worcester Warriors by 3
I think that Pau will have all their attention on the Top 14 as they are in the relegation battle. They have lost their last 4 games since the 2nd round in this competition. Worcester had a great start to this competition and have found some form. Winning their opening two games will mean that they might have a shot of getting a home quarter final.
Grenoble v Agen – Grenoble by 7
In Top 14 derbies you normally go with the home team. Also as both these sides are at the bottom end of the table neither side will be that interested in this competition.
Enisei-STM v Zebre Rugby Club – Enisei-STM by 3
Enisei aren’t the mystery that they were a few years ago. They struggled in the opening couple of rounds but have an opportunity here. Zebre have been poor away from home and so I think we could see an upset here.
Timișoara Saracens v Clermont Auvergne – Clermont Auvergne by 40
Timișoara lost to Dragons by nearly 40 points. Clermont are top of the Top 14. This will probably get messy even with a second string side being sent over.
Benetton Treviso v Harlequins – Benetton Treviso by 3
In privies years I’d be backing Quins in this one but they lost away to Grenoble in round 2. This Benetton team are also much improved especially at home so I’m backing a narrow home win. However as Quins showed us at the weekend, giving Exeter their first defeat in the Premiership, this Quins side can pull out unexpected results.
Northampton Saints v Dragons – Northampton Saints by 10
Dragons are a mess, their only win away from home was against Timișoara. Even at home they lost to Saints by 14 points. This will be a comfortable home victory.
Connacht Rugby v Perpignan – Connacht Rugby by 15
Talking of comfortable home victories, here is another one. Perpignan haven’t won game all season. This should be a TBP home win.
Bristol v La Rochelle – Bristol by 3
La Richelle did win their opening two games and sit 3rd in the Top 14 table. I’m still not convinced that they will take this competition seriously as those wins were against Enisei. Also Bristol have shown they are dangerous at home so I’m going for a narrow home win.
Ospreys v Stade Francais – Ospreys by 10
Stade have slipped away in the Top 14 off the back of a run of 3 losses. Also having lost their opening two games I can see Stade not being interested in this game at all. Ospreys on the flip side could do with a European run for their moral and are in with a shout of topping the group.
Bordeaux Begles v Sale Sharks – Sale Sharks by 5
Sale might sit second from bottom in the Premiership but they won their opening twe games. In stark contrast Bordeaux, who are in Top 14 playoff contention, showed a total lack of interest in this competition. A good opportunity for a famous win in France for the Sharks.
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