We are straight back into the European Rugby Challenge Cup after just 1 round of domestic acton. Will having 4 round in 5 weekends make teams select stronger sides for this competition? Players need games to stay match fit meaning
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Enisei-STM v Castres – Castres by 15
As I’ve said before Enisei have been found out. Their first season they caused some upsets with their location and being unknown. That mystique has gone and we see that as they have conceded over 100 points in two games. Castres should win this even though I can’t see them sending anything close to a full strength side.
Agen v Bordeaux Begles – Bordeaux Begles by 7
Normally the rule in all French clashes is to go with the home side. However Bordeaux are in the mix as only 2 points separate the top 3 teams in Pool 3. Agen on the other don’t have any points yet and clearly are only focused on the Top 14.
Edinburgh v Wasps – Edinburgh by 10
This is a really tight pool but Edinburgh have shown they are a team on the up wiith performances like their away win over Minster last weekend. Wasps on the other hand are heading in the other direction. That means they have to be more concerned with Premiership matters than European.
Toulon v London Irish – Toulon by 5
Are Toulon starting for find some of their old form? Has this anything to do with Boudjellal selling his majority share? Who knows but two wins from two games so far is a great start and at home they should have too much for London Irish. I haven’t gone for a big margin as their wins have been by single figures.
Worcester Warriors v Dragons – Worcester Warriors by 7
With Dragons racking up two wins, this has become a must win game for Worcester. Sitting 4th in the Premiership might mean that Worcester can roll out a stronger side than you might expect. Also the players need game time so for the home game at least I think that they will give it a bash.
Zebre Rugby Club v Brive – Zebre Rugby Club by 5
I don’t think that Brive want to be in this competition. Also as we saw with Zebre’s win over Dragons last weekend maybe the Rugby World Cup hangover has gone for them. Remember Italy and Scotland only have two professional sides and so they are impacted more during international windows.
Leicester Tigers v Calvisano – Leicester Tigers by 40
Tigers are having a shocking season in the premiership ship but are top of their pool in Europe. You’d think that there would be some more relife from the domestic gloom this weekend. Calvisano have conceded 99 points in their opening two games. Yup home TBP win here.
Bristol v Stade Francais – Bristol by 20
Bristol are having a really good season. Second in the Premiership and two bonus point wins in Europe. I can’t see anything but another bonus point win as Stade send over a reserve team.
Cardiff Blues v Pau – Cardiff Blues by 5
This is an interesting one. Both sides have beaten Calvisano comfortably and lost to Leicester. I’m going with the home side as I’m expecting Pau to rest players this weekend and roll out a full strength side when at home next weekend.
Bayonne v Scarlets – Scarlets by 3
Bayonne are already out of this tournament with two losses. The only thing iis that Scarlets have had a tough couple of weeks mentally. Losing narrowingly to Toulon away and then a big loss away to Ulster. It’s another away trip and you’d think Bayonne would rollout a decent side at home if only for match fitness. In the end Scarlets have more on the line and need the win.
15 from 20 or 75% correct so far. That’s not bad for the lottery cup.
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