Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

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Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 10:12 am

Top Half

Winers of these two 1/4 finals will meet at the Madjeski in Reading


Saturday 9th April 15:15 Wasps (4) v Exeter (5) BT Sport
Ref: Romain Poite

Recent Form (since Round 6)
Wasps - P10, W9, L1
Exeter - P10, W6, L4

Wasps have been in scintillating form including a massive win at Saracens. Exeter have been more patchy, with two defeats to Saracens since their win over Ospreys sealed the 1/4 final spot. Teams have met once in the AP so far, with Chiefs winning at the Ricoh.

Teams

Wasps
15. Charles Piutau; 14. Christian Wade, 13. Elliot Daly, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Frank Halai; 10. Jimmy Gopperth, 9. Dan Robson; 1. Matt Mullan, 2. Carlo Festuccia, 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Kearnan Myall, 6. James Haskell, 7. George Smith, 8. Nathan Hughes
16. Ashley Johnson, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Lorenzo Cittadini, 19. Bradley Davies, 20. Thomas Young, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Ruaridh Jackson, 23. Rob Miller

Exeter Chiefs
15. Lachlan Turner; 14. Jack Nowell, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Ian Whitten, 11. Olly Woodburn; 10. Gareth Steenson, 9. Will Chudley; 1. Ben Moon, 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3. Moray Low, 4. Mitch Lees, 5. Geoff Parling, 6. Don Armand, 7. Julian Salvi, 8. Tom Waldrom
16. Jack Yeandle, 17. Alec Hepburn, 18. Harry Williams, 19. Damian Welch, 20. Dave Ewers, 21. Dave Lewis, 22. Michele Campagnaro, 23. James Short


Saturday 9th April 17:45 Saracens (1) v Northampton (8) Sky Sports
Ref: Jerome Garces


Recent Form
Saracens - P10, W6, L3, D1
Northampton - P10, W6, L4

Both sides have beaten the other away from home in the AP.

Teams

Saracens
15. Alex Goode; 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Brad Barritt, 11. Chris Wyles; 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Schalk Brits, 3. Petrus du Plessis, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Jackson Wray, 7. Will Fraser, 8. Billy Vunipola
16. Jared Saunders , 17. Richard Barrington, 18. Titi Lamositele, 19. Alistair Hargreaves, 20. Michael Rhodes, 21. Neil de Kock, 22. Marcelo Bosch, 23. Ben Ransom


Northampton Saints
15. Ben Foden; 14. Ken Pisi, 13. George Pisi, 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Jamie Elliott; 10. Steve Myler, 9. Kahn Fotuali'i; 1. Alex Waller, 2. Mikey Haywood, 3. Paul Hill, 4. James Craig, 5. Christian Day, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Ben Nutley, 8. Teimana Harrison
16. Reece Marshall, 17. Campese Ma'afu, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Victor Matfield, 20. Michael Paterson, 21. Tom Kessell, 22. JJ Hanrahan, 23. Harry Mallinde



Bottom Half

The location of the semi final for winners in the bottom half is much more complicated. Easiest thing to say is a Leicester/Racing semi would be held at the City Ground, Nottingham - otherwise the semi will be in France.


Sunday 10th April 13:45 Leicester (2) v Stade Francais (7) BT Sport
Ref: Nigel Owens

Recent Form:
Leicester - P10, W5, L5
Stade - P8 W2, L6

Each side won at home when these two met in the Pool Stages

Teams

Leicester Tigers
15. Matthew Tait; 14. Telusa Veainu, 13. Peter Betham, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Vereniki Goneva; 10. Freddie Burns, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Marcos Ayerza, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Dom Barrow, 5. Graham Kitchener, 6. Michael Fitzgerald, 7. Brendon O'Connor, 8. Lachlan McCaffrey
16. Greg Bateman, 17. Logovii Mulipola, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Ed Slater, 20. Tom Croft, 21. Sam Harrison, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Adam Thompstone


Stade Francais Paris
15. Djibril Camara; 14. Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 13. Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Jérémy Sinzelle; 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Julien Dupuy; 1. Zurabi Zhvania, 2. Remi Bonfils, 3. Rabah Slimani, 4. Hugh Pyle, 5. Alexandre Flanquart, 6. Jonathan Ross, 7. Raphael Lakafia, 8. Sergio Parisse
16. Craig Burden, 17. Dany Priso, 18. Paul Alo Emile, 19. Paul Gabrillagues, 20. Willem Alberts, 21. Julien Tomas, 22. Jules Plisson, 23. Hugo Bonneval


Sunday 10th April 16:15 Racing 92 (3) v Toulon (6) Sky Sports
Ref: Wayne Barnes

Recent Form:
Racing - P8, W5, L3
Toulon - P8, W5, L3

Both teams have beaten the other away from home, most recently being Toulon's win in Paris 8 days ago.

Teams

Racing 92
15. Brice Dulin; 14. Joe Rokocoko, 13. Johannes Goosen, 12. Alexandre Dumoulin, 11. Juan Imhoff; 10. Dan Carter, 9. Maxime Machenaud; 1. Eddy Ben Arous, 2. Dimitri Szarzewski, 3. Luc Ducalcon, 4. Luke Charteris, 5. Francois van der Merwe, 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 7. Bernard Le Roux, 8. Chris Masoe
16. Camille Chat, 17. Khatchik Vartanov, 18. Martin Castrogiovanni, 19. Yannick Nyanga, 20. Manuel Carizza, 21. Mike Phillips, 22. Remi Tales, 23. Marc Andreu


RC Toulon
15. Delon Armitage; 14. Josua Tuisova, 13. Maxime Mermoz, 12. Ma'a Nonu, 11. James O'Connor; 10. Matt Giteau, 9. Jonathan Pelissie; 1. Florian Fresia, 2. Guilhem Guirado, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Mamuka Gorgodze, 5. Romain Taofifenua, 6. Juan Smith, 7. Charles Ollivon, 8. Duane Vermeulen
16. Jean-Charles Orioli, 17. Xavier Chiocci, 18. Levan Chilachava, 19. Steffon Armitage, 20. Mathieu Bastareaud, 21. Tom Taylor, 22. Eric Escande, 23. Thibault Lassale


Last edited by LondonTiger on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 11:45 am

Really looking forward to Wasps vs Exeter and Racing vs Toulon. It would be good to see Wasps win it this year - apart from dropping the odd game their form has been phenomenally good all season.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by rosbif on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:22 pm

The Chiefs will be at full strength all the injured players back and with Ewers and Slade up to speed only Dolman out. They won on their last visit to the Ricoh so it should be close and a cracker with both teams embracing the attacking game so the Chiefs to win by 5 points.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Fanster on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:46 pm

wow, looking at the 1/4 final spots of this amazing compe there is 1 interesting game worthy of watching (Leicester v Stade).

Hope this european comp (represented by 2 nations, of which only one game is cross border) engages the entirity of europe with it's wide and diverse reach Very Happy

I'm still not sure this lineup is a practical joke btw

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:56 pm

It is a shame the Irish have fallen away with the loss of some key players and coaches and Glasgow haven't pushed on. Last year thoguht it would have been Glasgow and Bath competing hard, so they're still doing ok there though!

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Fanster on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:23 pm

Do you truly beleive these are the best 8 teams in europe?

Is that not what the new comp was about, having the best teams at the latter stages?

How long do you think it will take for this new comp to have destroyed all the HC heritage?

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:27 pm

Fanster wrote:How long do you think it will take for this new comp to have destroyed all the HC heritage?

It already has. OK

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by lostinwales on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:41 pm

Fanster wrote:wow, looking at the 1/4 final spots of this amazing compe there is 1 interesting game worthy of watching (Leicester v Stade).

Hope this european comp (represented by 2 nations, of which only one game is cross border) engages the entirity of europe with it's wide and diverse reach Very Happy

I'm still not sure this lineup is a practical joke btw

Shame the other teams were not up to it this year. Its not the AP's fault that the Irish teams have fallen away this year, or that Glasgow have not kicked on. As for the Welsh teams they seemed to have reached their usual HC standards.

For all the politics the results are still about one team playing another

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:46 pm

Fanster who in your opinion are the "best" teams?

Lorddowlais the problem is that Exeter have continued their upward curve, Saracens have got stronger, Wasps have re-invented themselves, Saints are battling again, Leicester have got back some of their doggedness.


Predicting all home wins.

Best chance of an upset is Toulon in my opinion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/35963050

Though if Kruis is missing because of an alleged bite and Itoje is injured it will give Saints a huge boost.

Could be just the swing in fortunes Saints need.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:56 pm

Fanster wrote:Do you truly beleive these are the best 8 teams in europe?

Is that not what the new comp was about, having the best teams at the latter stages?

How long do you think it will take for this new comp to have destroyed all the HC heritage?

Just about but a cup comp doesn't necessarily give you the best teams. Think it was about getting the best teams in the comp which hasn't quite happened and to the last question; can't see it.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 5:15 pm

Saracens beat Ulster home and away.
Leicester did the same to Munster.
Wasps did the same to Leinster.
Saints did the same to Glasgow and Scarlets

Ospreys were the closest to a qualifier from Pro12 teams but are so pants in that competition this season that they will be in the Challenge cup next year - so enlighten me as to who should be in the quarter finals instead of these 8?

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:48 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Saracens beat Ulster home and away.
Leicester did the same to Munster.
Wasps did the same to Leinster.
Saints did the same to Glasgow and Scarlets

Ospreys were the closest to a qualifier from Pro12 teams but are so pants in that competition this season that they will be in the Challenge cup next year - so enlighten me as to who should be in the quarter finals instead of these 8?

The Irish provinces weren't good enough this year, end of story.  Who else is regularly in the knockout stages?  In recent years, Edinburgh, Cardiff & Ospreys featured once - that's about it.

The Irish provinces will be back next year and Glasgow.   It would be nice to see teams like Glasgow, Connacht and Exeter making the knockout stages.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:12 pm

Okay from what I've seen; Racing, Toulon, Saracens and Wasps are the best teams in Europe. The only ones capable of beating them are the rest of the Anglo and French quarter finalists - I'd say right now they're all clearly the best in Europe. In fact I'd say there's another one or two Anglo-French teams not in this last 8 who are among the best. All the Pro12 teams seem to have gone miles backwards. The league has more current internationals than the others, so maybe a 'World Cup hangover' contributed to their downfall. I think they will be much improved next season. It will also be interesting to see if Connacht do a Exeter - but for now the Irish province are perhaps slightly lacking in depth to be as consistently good.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:23 pm

no 7 & 1/2 "best" is subjective.

Clermont messed up badly (well actually Parra) so didn't really deserve to be in the quarter finals. As Londontiger says none of the Pro12 were good enough.

Clermont sadly have had a history of not holding their nerve.

mikey dragon staying on the fence by claiming four teams are the best in Europe.


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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:26 pm

But Beshocked, surely we can't claim one is best until they win the competition? I believe it will come from those 4...

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:34 pm

True mikey dragon but who do you think will win?

I think if Saracens keep a relatively fit squad they will. Injury to George, potential injury to Maro and potential ban for Kruis - not looking good at the moment.

I am not just saying it because they are my team. I think their attacking game has been a step up on previous seasons. Less predictable. The games they've lost have been with under strength sides. It's strange - their first XV is stronger but their depth weaker.

In order I would say in terms of most likely to win - least likely.

Saracens
Wasps
Toulon
Leicester
Racing Metro
Saints


Stade Francais

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:54 pm

I would say out of the 4 I penned down, Toulon are least likely to win. Not sure why you rank Racing that low, I'd have them higher than Tigers and Toulon. I would also agree that Saracens have improved a lot upon previous seasons, i was quite impressed when they dismantled Ulster. Wasps are another that have greatly improved.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:56 pm

beshocked wrote:no 7 & 1/2 "best" is subjective.

Clermont messed up badly (well actually Parra) so didn't really deserve to be in the quarter finals. As Londontiger says none of the Pro12 were good enough.

Clermont sadly have had a history of not holding their nerve.

mikey dragon staying on the fence by claiming four teams are the best in Europe.


Especially in this type of comp. You can only truely tell across a whole league season.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:07 pm

mikey dragon Racing Metro's European record isn't great. Of all 8 teams their record is by far the worst.

Should have beaten Saracens in the 1/4 finals last season but beaten by a 50 metre kick from Bosch.

Toulon 3 times champions. Saracens have been in the mix in the last few years, only Clermont and Toulon have stopped them, with Clermont out there is only one side left who Saracens will fear.

Wasps have looked good.

Saints could spring an upset but haven't been in the best form. Exeter haven't been in the best form either.

I left out Exeter, would put them below Leicester above Racing Metro.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Scottrf on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:09 pm

Fanster wrote:wow, looking at the 1/4 final spots of this amazing compe there is 1 interesting game worthy of watching (Leicester v Stade).

Hope this european comp (represented by 2 nations, of which only one game is cross border) engages the entirity of europe with it's wide and diverse reach Very Happy

I'm still not sure this lineup is a practical joke btw
If you don't believe that Exeter vs Wasps is worth watching it says more about you as a rugby fan than the tournament.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:38 pm

I was looking at the betting odds for these games. Not surprisingly in each case the home team is favourite - but not by huge amounts. More interestingly though is the odds on getting the nationality of the winning team correct. A couple of bookies are offering odds of between 50-1 and 250-1 for a Welsh or Scottish team to win!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by whocares on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 5:27 pm

Scottrf wrote:
Fanster wrote:wow, looking at the 1/4 final spots of this amazing compe there is 1 interesting game worthy of watching (Leicester v Stade).

Hope this european comp (represented by 2 nations, of which only one game is cross border) engages the entirity of europe with it's wide and diverse reach Very Happy

I'm still not sure this lineup is a practical joke btw
If you don't believe that Exeter vs Wasps is worth watching it says more about you as a rugby fan than the tournament.

if anything Leicester vs Stade should be the least interesting game as likely to very one sided.

That said I Agree that the lack of x border game is annoying and devalue that competition. it's a shame as I found the pool round interesting for a change but the rest of the competition seems straightforward.  Saracens is pretty much in the final already. The other team is a toss up between a resurgent Toulon, Dan Carter boys and a potentially exciting Wasp team.  Those still left (except Stade Français and Northampton) are arguably the best teams in the competition anyway


Last edited by whocares on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 5:30 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : realised that Wasps were in the same part of the draw than saracens.....)

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 5:36 pm

I would not say Sarries are a cert for the final.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by killer938 on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:55 am

The way Tigers have been defending recently I wouldn't say we are any certainty to win this weekend. Despite Stade's poor form in the Top 14 they have looked dangerous with ball in hand in Europe and could cause us a lot of problems.

I am very much looking forward to watching Wasps v Exeter and Racing v Toulon. If everyone is fit for Sarries then I see that being the most one sided game of the weekend.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:12 am

killer938 as long as you score more than the opposition.....

Tigers centre partnership looked very polished on the weekend.

Stade Francais in my opinion are easily the weakest side left, if you can't beat them......

Think Saints are a much more dangerous proposition, they are underdogs but like playing at Allianz Park, even though in patchy form they've still got quite a few big stars who could turn it on.


Toughest game to call is Racing Metro vs Toulon as I said before IMO. Would be pleased if Racing Metro knock out Toulon.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Scottrf on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:15 am

Saints were in worse form than now when we beat Saracens at the Allianz earlier this season. OK Saracens were in a small bad run at that point but 'cert for the final' is a stretch. They should be sizeable but not huge favorites in this game, but neither Wasps or Exeter will be a pushover.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by killer938 on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:37 am

The fact that we are at home and scoring points does give me optimism but we really do have to sort out our defence if we want to go any further in the Prem and in Europe. Yes agreed though, you would say it is most favourable draw and a game we should win, especially at home.

The centre partnership looked great going forward, Manu getting back to fitness has obviously made a huge difference. Him just being there holds the defence and gives Betham an extra half yard of space which is all he needs and he seems to be far more willing to pass/offload which no doubt is a result of the influence of Mauger. If I didn't want to lose him from Tigers then I'd be telling Eddie Jones to get on the phone to him because the difference between our attacking play this year and last is light years.

I will be cheering on Racing, not only because it would be good (for rugby) to see Toulon lose, but also because that would give us a home semi-final if we make it past Stade.

As for Saints beating Sarries, it was during the 6 nations when Sarries were missing 7 players, an issue Tigers know all too well from over the years. When at full strength Sarries have looked a class above everyone in Europe in my opinion (maybe with the exception of Racing) so I will stick with my opinion that they are huge favourites for this game (only my opinion) and I think they will make it to the final as well. Of course this is the season that Leicester City could win the Premier League so who knows?

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:38 am

Scottrf Sarries had Nils Mordt at fly half. You might not think that matters. Trust me it does. Nice bloke not close to good enough though.

Just imagine if Saints had their 3rd choice 10 out there.... I am not even sure if you have another 10 other than Myler.

Myler's consistent appearances for Saints are incredible, he's barely missed a game. Saints have been very fortunate in that regard.

http://www.premiershiprugby.com/matchcentre/fixtures/squads.php?player=21103&includeref=dynamic#0XZUp5HFEGgPjw3X.97


Then of course there was Hodgson,Wigglesworth,Farrell,Itoje,Kruis,George and the Vunipola bros missing. Talking about frontline players not squad men.

When you strip a side of it's top forwards and best halfbacks it takes away a lot of it's strength.

If it is was role reversal Saracens would have destroyed you. Saints have never known what's it like to be without their first choice 10 in the last few years or indeed 2nd choice.


killer going on current form I don't think Leicester are one of the favourites to win the ERCC but I think you're heavy favourites to beat Stade Francais. After that there will only be 4 teams left. Toulon don't look unbeatable this season, Racing Metro I think lack the top class European experience, if they beat Toulon it would be their first semi final.

If you toppled one of them then you would have the belief against a familiar English foe in the final.


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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Scottrf on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:44 am

beshocked wrote:I am not even sure if you have another 10 other than Myler.

Myler's consistent appearances for Saints are incredible, he's barely missed a game. Saints have been very fortunate in that regard.

If it is was role reversal Saracens would have destroyed you. Saints have never known what's it like to be without their first choice 10 in the last few years or indeed 2nd choice.
Myler appearances on your link, 18.

JJ Hanrahan, appearances 16 http://www.premiershiprugby.com/matchcentre/fixtures/squads.php?player=99439&includeref=dynamic#kx15gTtQOWzd80f4.97

Seems that rant makes little sense.

Of course Saracens were under strength. I'm just saying it's not inconceivable.


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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by quinsforever on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:44 am

i'm also looking forward to all the quarter finals. pretty clear that they do represent the strongest club teams this year.

wasps exeter should be a real cracker.

saracens gotta be favourites against saints but in a cup match strange things can happen. if they have itoje, kruis and billy v available then its hard not to see them winning.

i do fancy leicester after watching their comeback against glaws. tuilagi really is back on form and could make all the difference. fingers crossed for him, leics and england that he doesnt get injured!

am going to watch the semis at Madejski stadium. would love to see exeter there, but my head says it will be wasps...

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 10:57 am

Scottrf wrote:
beshocked wrote:I am not even sure if you have another 10 other than Myler.

Myler's consistent appearances for Saints are incredible, he's barely missed a game. Saints have been very fortunate in that regard.

If it is was role reversal Saracens would have destroyed you. Saints have never known what's it like to be without their first choice 10 in the last few years or indeed 2nd choice.
Myler appearances on your link, 18.

JJ Hanrahan, appearances 16 http://www.premiershiprugby.com/matchcentre/fixtures/squads.php?player=99439&includeref=dynamic#kx15gTtQOWzd80f4.97

Seems that rant makes little sense.

Of course Saracens were under strength. I'm just saying it's not inconceivable.

518 minutes of rugby is impressive in a potential 19 games....... Hanrahan is obviously a very important player for Saints with all his starts.... 4 starts is an incredible amount......

Of course Saints can win, I am just pointing out that I wouldn't look too much into your win earlier in the season.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Scottrf on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 11:32 am

beshocked wrote:518 minutes of rugby is impressive in a potential 19 games....... Hanrahan is obviously a very important player for Saints with all his starts.... 4 starts is an incredible amount......

Of course Saints can win, I am just pointing out that I wouldn't look too much into your win earlier in the season.
You must admit that 16 appearances is impressive for someone you didn't know existed.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 11:53 am

Saracen's should win on Saturday, but not a massive shock if Saints turn them over. Could be a real arm wrestle of a game.

Wasps v Exeter should be a free flowing game, potentially the most exciting Euro game since Leinster traveled to Toulouse a decade ago - which probably means we will get a dirge instead Very Happy

Leicester v Stade is a match up of two sides that both attack better than they defend.

Racing will probably choke against Toulon. Hope not as a Toulon win would see them play semi in Nice, followed by a final in Lyon - so would be favoured to take another title.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 12:24 pm

Scottrf I exaggerate. You know that. Of course I knew Hanrahan was part of the squad. Every team has more than one 10, even Saints.

Just at Saints most 10s spend their time as a bystander when compared to Myler.

16 appearances sounds great but only 4 starts.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by king_carlos on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 12:29 pm

George Kruis being cleared is huge for Sarries.

Jamie George out is such a cruel blow already. With him Sarries have the most consistently dominant scrum in the competition, without him it is still solid but less of a weapon. Not to mention him being an excellent ball carrier and a leader in their side.

Had Kruis been banned then the line-out would have lost some of that potency as well.

With Kruis there to maintain that set-piece platform I think Sarries will run out winners by around 10 points. Especially with Farrell in such great form to dictate the game.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 12:40 pm

Scottrf wrote:
Fanster wrote:wow, looking at the 1/4 final spots of this amazing compe there is 1 interesting game worthy of watching (Leicester v Stade).

Hope this european comp (represented by 2 nations, of which only one game is cross border) engages the entirity of europe with it's wide and diverse reach Very Happy

I'm still not sure this lineup is a practical joke btw
If you don't believe that Exeter vs Wasps is worth watching it says more about you as a rugby fan than the tournament.

Well not only that but I think he's highlighted the worst game of the KO stages...

How does the challenge cup line up guys, I don't see a thread for that. Quins are the ones in pole position for that one I assume.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 12:48 pm

King carlos as I said before Saracens have moved from a team with good strength in depth to a side with a stronger XV but more reliance on players staying fit.

Been disappointed with Bosch and Hamilton. Would have hoped to see better performances from both. Want to see an improvement from Spencer,Tompkins and Ellery as example.

George is a cruel blow because Brits is not a strong scrummager and there's no real depth after him - Saunders is okay I guess but not that good.

The gap between Kruis/Itoje and the other 2nd rowers is quite big now. Real drop off in quality with either out.

Farrell Jr far better than Mordt. Lawes would much rather smash Hodgson or Mordt.


If it pans out these could be two fascinating semi finals:

Saracens vs Wasps

Leicester vs Racing Metro




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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 12:59 pm

king_carlos wrote:Jamie George out is such a cruel blow already. With him Sarries have the most consistently dominant scrum in the competition, without him it is still solid but less of a weapon. Not to mention him being an excellent ball carrier and a leader in their side.

George's strength compensates for Mako's fallibility quite nicely. Brits though is neither strong in a pushing contest, nor able to strike for the ball, so can unbalance the Sarries scrum. Saint's scrum was on fire early season, and along with rolling maul was main reason they qualified for the 1/4s. However as their back line form has improved, their forward dominance seems to have waned.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by killer938 on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:02 pm

I think I would take that as, even though Racing have looked far stronger in Europe than Toulon so far this season, Toulon have the experience in Europe and would be at home for that semi final. Their form has picked up in the Top 14 as well, having recently won this exact fixture by a single point. One big difference though, that game was played at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, not at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Scottrf on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:03 pm

Racing looked stronger when Toulon had a lot of big players out too.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by killer938 on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:04 pm

For the record I think we would struggle to win either game but a tie in England would give us the best chance

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Welly on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:07 pm

Here is my veiw on it
Saracens V Saints - Easy Win for Sarries
Wasps V Exeter - Close win for Wasps
Racing V Toulon - Close win for Racing
Leicester V Satde - Close Stade win maybe.

Whilst Stade have been poor, and won't make Champions cup next season, they are also safe from relegation so TBH this is all they have to play for this season and to me that makes them very very dangerous.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by killer938 on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:14 pm

I agree Welly, the reason I think we could win is we are at home but the way they play doesn't match up very well for us against our leaky defence and having nothing else to play for means they have been able to rest players ahead of this game. I wouldn't be surprised at all if we lost

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by whocares on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:28 pm

Stade français last win was in February! Since they have been on a rather shocking losing streak (5 games and counting including home trashing by Grenoble etc). In fact they are lucky that this is first time in years that there is no real relegation battle as with 32 points in 20 games they would have gone down in previous years. They haven't got anything to lose but they are not going to Leicester with a lot of confidence either. Anything but a Tiger win by 10 points or more would be a big surprise.


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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Welly on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:35 pm

Interesting Stat

NO team that has finished as Number 1 seed after the Group stages has gone on to win it. (Stat from 1997/98 - 2015/16)

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by beshocked on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:40 pm

Honestly don't know why you, killer938 and Welly are talking up Stade Francais. Is it a way of trying to soften the blow if Stade Francais pull off an upset?

Leicester should be winning, I am not saying that you should think the win is in the bag already but you have to be confident.

Glad to see whocares giving the French perspective cheers, that's what I thought.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:40 pm

Welly wrote: Interesting Stat

NO team that has finished as Number 1 seed after the Group stages has gone on to win it. (Stat from 1997/98 - 2015/16)

Thus as a consequence no team has, yet, gone through the entire tournament unbeaten.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:42 pm

beshocked wrote:Honestly don't know why you, killer938 and Welly are talking up Stade Francais. Is it a way of trying to soften the blow if Stade Francais pull off an upset?

Leicester should be winning, I am not saying that you should think the win is in the bag already but you have to be confident.

Glad to see whocares giving the French perspective cheers, that's what I thought.

Based purely on the two matches between us, things were exceedingly close. Leicester should win, but we are far too porous in defence and lazy up front. Stade have the players to take us to the cleaners if we do not perform.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by killer938 on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:43 pm

Whocares

I hope you are right, the pessimist in me never lets me be confident about winning, that is just me. The fact that the final is in Lyon this year is also making me very nervous because it would be too good to be true for the team I support to get to the final in the city I live in.

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 3:57 pm

Stade won the Top 14 last season and can't be that bad unless they have done a Castres of 2014-2015.

Going to go with Sarries vs Wasps at the Madejski (hoping to go) and Leicester vs Racing.

Sarries will win. Can see anything from a surprisingly closely fought victory to a beating of Northampton. Sarries have a far superior backline IMO so will see if that tells (I do not watch much Aviva). Expect Wasps to win by more than 10 after a late try although I like what Exeter have built. For me, this is the game of the round with 2 teams that like to spread the ball and have several playmakers.

Leicester will make hard work of Stade but will ultimately prevail. Racing, when firing, are dangerous and Toulon have looked more fragile than in the past this year (when I watched them in the ERCC early in the season anyway). Carter seems to have done a Wilkinson for Racing so far and will see if that continues here.

Whocares, what happened to Oyonnax? I thought they were alright last season

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Re: Champions Cup 1/4 Finals - 9th/10th April

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