Rugby feels a bit like a firehose this year. Either theres loads of it on or nothing. The Heineken Champions Cup is back just 9 weeks after the final of the previous one. That sounds long that it feels as we’ve not had time to breath in between with all the international action.
Due to COVID we also have a new format to wrap our heads around and to be honest I haven’t done that yet!!!
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Anyway you’re here for my predictions of the games not to understand the tournament so let’s get on with it.
Northampton Saints v Bordeaux Begles – Bordeaux Begles by 5
Saints have had a shocking start to the season. So even though it’s a french time away (yup drop that cliche in there) you have to go with Bordeaux in this one. Their season is going ok with 5 wins from 10 games.
Ulster Rugby v Toulouse – Toulouse by 3
Oh boy this is a hard one to pick. Ulster are perfect so far in the Pro 14 with 8 wins from 8 games. However they has so often let me down in Europe that I don’t have the confidence to go with them. Toulouse are a French side that take this competition very seriously and are going well at the moment sat in second in the Top 14. I’m going with the French giants.
Bristol v ASM Clermont Auvergne – Bristol by 3
This is a really interesting one. I’m backing Bristol on home advantage here. Bristol are going to be missing Semi but have been already so far this season and have started ok. Clermont’s season has been disrupted by COVID which sees them needing to catchup 2 games in the Top 14. They are going well though with 6 wins from their 9 games and this should be a cracking watch.
Toulon v Sale Sharks – Toulon by 10
Toulon at home are still a formidable opposition. Add into that Sales recent loss away to Newcastle and I don’t have any confidence in them being able to go over to the South of France and come back with the points.
Bath Rugby v Scarlets – Bath Rugby by 3
Bath haven’t started the season well but then again Scarlets have been far from convincing themselves. The Welsh side is missing players and so I’m going with home advantage but not with much confidence.
Dragons v Wasps – Wasps by 5
How are Dragons in the top tier of European rugby? Wasps have not started the season well but surely they can beat the Dragons…..
Montpellier v Leinster Rugby – Leinster Rugby by 7
Leinster don’t lose games so you have to back Leinster. Their only loss last year was to Saracens and Montpellier are not at that same level. Montpellier another side heavily impacted by COVID and only 3 wins from their 8 games….this could get messy.
Edinburgh v La Rochelle – La Rochelle by 5
The Scottish sides have been struggling this season but how will they react to having their internationals back? Will we see a step up in performances? We’ll have to wait and see. I’m going with La Rochelle as we don’t have to wait and see their level, their top of the Top 14.
Lyon v Gloucester Rugby – Lyon by 5
Gloucester are a mess at the moment with just the solitary win this season. Lyon might sit mid-table in the Top 14 but that’s because of games missed due to COVID. Only 2 losses from their 9 games shows you they are in good for and should get a comfortable win here.
Racing 92 v Connacht Rugby – Racing 92 by 15
Connacht are difficult to play at home but on the road against the big spending Racing 92? Well there’s only one outcome there.
Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors – Exeter Chiefs by 15
Exeter have continued their great form into this season. Glasgow really have struggled. Sure they’ll have their internationals back but it’s still going to be a very tough day at the office.
Munster Rugby v Harlequins – Munster Rugby by 10
Munster are 7 wins from 7 games this season so you’d back them to beat just about anyone at home. To be fair to Quins they have been going well this season. Sure they had a big loss to Exeter but that’s happening to everyone.
Well it’s round 1 so there’s no so far yet 🙂