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HEC quarter finals

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funnyExiledScot
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Post by Cardiff Dave Sat 21 Jan 2012, 7:55 pm

I reckon will be;

1 Munster v 8 Ulster
2 Leinster v 7 Edinburgh
3 Saracens v 6 Toulouse
4 Cardiff v 5 Clermont

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:05 pm

Teams look right, but wouldn't Ulster be 7th-placed (ahead of Edinburgh) assuming Blues beat Edinburgh with the Scots getting a LBP which I think is how you have it?

I think that makes sense!

If one of Edinburgh/Blues don't get a LBP I guess it brings Biarritz/Ospreys (and possibly Quins?) into the equation?


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Post by Cardiff Dave Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:19 pm

Edinburgh are playing London Irish tomorrow....

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:22 pm

Cardiff Dave wrote:Edinburgh are playing London Irish tomorrow....
Yep, sorry. I realised that as I'd posted Doh

In that case, you could be right Very Happy

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Post by IanBru Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:29 pm

I've a funny feeling it'll be:
1. Munster v 8. Biarritz;
2. Leinster v 7. Ulster;
3. Edinburgh v 6. Toulouse; and
4. Saracens v 5. Clermont
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Post by KickAndChase Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:34 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:

If one of Edinburgh/Blues don't get a LBP I guess it brings Biarritz/Ospreys (and possibly Quins?) into the equation?


The remaining spots are between Biarritz, Ospreys, Cardiff Blues & Edinburgh. Only 2 of those 4 teams can make it through, and only one of Ospreys & Biarritz as they are playing each other.

If Edinburgh & Cardiff get 2 league points from their home matches they are through.

If Ospreys or Biarritz get 4 league points from the match they have to hope that Edinburgh or Cardiff don't get a single point from their home matches. If it's just Edinburgh that don't get that single point then Ospreys need an extra try on top of Edinburgh, Biarritz need the same amount of tries as Edinburgh, on match day. Cardiff Blues are way behind on tries so if it's Cardiff that don't get the league point the 4 points alone will do for Ospreys / Biarritz.

If Ospreys or Biarritz get 5 league points they have to hope that Edinburgh or Cardiff get no more than 1 league point with the same nuance about Edinburgh's try count.

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Post by KickAndChase Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:35 pm

IanBru wrote:I've a funny feeling it'll be:
1. Munster v 8. Biarritz;
2. Leinster v 7. Ulster;
3. Edinburgh v 6. Toulouse; and
4. Saracens v 5. Clermont

Edinburgh TBP win and Cardiff to lose to RM? I hope so too! Edinburgh are stuffed at the next stage if they don't win tomorrow, but they have an outside chance of beating a French outfit at home.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:36 pm

KickAndChase

Thanks. I think that made sense! Headscratch Very Happy

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Post by KickAndChase Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:38 pm

Can anyone see anything but a Munster Leinster final?

Whilst I think Ulster will be blistering, I still think they'll lose by a score to whichever province they travel to. Biarritz / Cardiff / Edinburgh / Ospreys don't stand a chance against the other province.

In the semis I could only see Clermont beating one of the sides, but still don't think it will happen.

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Post by KickAndChase Sat 21 Jan 2012, 8:39 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:KickAndChase

Thanks. I think that made sense! Headscratch Very Happy

Oh there's also the chance of Saracens getting thumped by Treviso but I thought I'd leave that out of the analysis and assume them through ... who knows maybe a dangerous thing to do.

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Post by Cardiff Dave Sat 21 Jan 2012, 9:25 pm

Can't really envisage Edinburgh or Cardiff losing, but I don't think either will manage 4 tries. They'll be far too twitchy to chuck the ball around, so it'll be safety first tactics and 4 points thank you very much. Same as usual then for Cardiff with Dan Parks running the show. Any sniff of the try line and it'll be drop goal time.
There again if Racing turn up...........

However, Leinster to win the competition. Or Toulouse.

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Post by Red Right Sat 21 Jan 2012, 10:05 pm

Given the way this weekend is going anything is possible tomorrow. Out of the 8 games played so far there have been 3 upsets - 2 of them major ones. It is not a foregone conclusion that either Edinburgh, Blues or Sarries will get what they need out of their games tomorrow. Also nothing to say that Biarritz or the O's won't get enough to see them through to a Q/F. This seasons HC has been the best yet, with the way it has gone even the most improbable must be viewed as possible.

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Post by Cardiff Dave Sat 21 Jan 2012, 10:19 pm

3 upsets?

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Post by bedfordwelsh Sun 22 Jan 2012, 8:12 am

Cardiff Dave wrote:3 upsets?

Yeah what were the 3 upsets, I know some will say Connacht v Quins as one but th Sportsground in terrible conditions is not nice place to go so not that big a shock to me.

What were the others?
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Sun 22 Jan 2012, 9:59 am

Whistle

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Sun 22 Jan 2012, 10:03 am

ahhhhh! - I had a nice rant going about the draw later for who gets the home SF and stupidly went to be an emoticon at the end of the post but instead replaced the entire post!

In short, Munster & Leinster might look like favourites but too much rests on the draw later on, if both had to travel to say Clermont and Toulouse (only as examples, all teams have a chance) then I wouldn't have the two Irish teams as favourites for the whole comp with a SF in France to get through.

Draw is something no longer really required.

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Post by red_stag Sun 22 Jan 2012, 10:29 am

For me the current hierarchy of favourites is:

Leinster
Clermont
Munster/Toulouse
Saracens/Ulster
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Sun 22 Jan 2012, 10:51 am

Stag - a real munster thing! I see mates from Kerry when they think they have a great shot at an all ireland shift themselves down 3-4 places in the favourite stakes to try and keep attention off themselves

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Post by Standulstermen Sun 22 Jan 2012, 10:53 am

I would maybe disagree with having Clermont that high. Or rather i would be inclined to push toulouse and munster in the same bracket. What do people think of judging the semi finals like the NFL does the conferences.

essentially as munster qualified as the top seed, provided they win their games they would be at home. If they are beaten then the next highest seed gets the home semi final if you understand me.

It might make more of an emphasis on going all out in the pool games but then again you could argue that whoever draws Aironi would be at an advantage.

Just a thought.

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Post by rodders Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:00 am

I don't fear anyone from an Ulster point of view...no more talking ourselves down we can take on anyone on equal terms...I'd love to meet Clermont again...jammy feckers....

SUFTUM!
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:03 am

Standulstermen wrote:I would maybe disagree with having Clermont that high. Or rather i would be inclined to push toulouse and munster in the same bracket. What do people think of judging the semi finals like the NFL does the conferences.

essentially as munster qualified as the top seed, provided they win their games they would be at home. If they are beaten then the next highest seed gets the home semi final if you understand me.

It might make more of an emphasis on going all out in the pool games but then again you could argue that whoever draws Aironi would be at an advantage.

Just a thought.

I agree with you. I think it was something brought in because the Italian sides usually gave an artifical bump in points and tries scored to their group giving that group best runners up and a better chance at top seeding. But Treviso are vastly improving, Aironi are still useless. But it doesn't feel like a reason to keep the draw.... not if the Provinces were to drop in their seedings next year, I'd have to reconsider Whistle

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Post by debaters1 Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:05 am

Stand I don't mind the draw that way, but essentially you're replicating the Rabo Semi & Final system & the S15 too, which would be no bad thing either. However, in 2008 Munster went on the road for all three knock-out games and won. However, Ulster were excellent yesterday and contained Clermont so well but when the went behind, the home side found another gear and just grinded their way over the line.

Wouldn't want Munster heading to a 'neutral' venue for a semi playing them. As for Toulouse, they have been beaten twice in the pool stages and Connacht did them a massive favour by beating Quins. Not dismissing them at all, but like Munster, the aura has lost some of its lustre.

*Queue Toulouse going on the road and winning the whole thing at a stroll*

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Post by red_stag Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:06 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Stag - a real munster thing! I see mates from Kerry when they think they have a great shot at an all ireland shift themselves down 3-4 places in the favourite stakes to try and keep attention off themselves

Wink
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Post by rodders Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:10 am

Munster are in the top 2...no question.

Leinster v Munster final for me....unless we can cause an upset... Whistle
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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:34 am

It all depends on the semi final draw. In 2010, Munster and Leinster were both drawn away to Biarritz and Toulouse respectively. And both lost. There were people predicting the end of Munster/Leinster dominance but I knew they'd just been unlucky in the draw. Last year Leinsters luck evened out, drawing Toulouse again but crucially in Dublin. It makes all the difference once tou're down to the four very best teams. I think the seeding earned from the pools should determine who gets the home semi final as well as the quarter final.
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Post by red_stag Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:37 am

You dont want to over do the seedings either though. Let there be some element of chance.

I am not a fan of seeding for the group stages. For the quarters yes, for semis no, for group stages no.

You are a top seed so you play weak teams, so you do well, so you remain a top seed so you play weak teams and so on and so on.

Biarritz have limped on with that IMO for a few years
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Post by rodders Sun 22 Jan 2012, 11:40 am

True Feckless, I remember that well...Munster and Leinster looked unbeatable...but both these teams are older and wiser..2x winners...they know how it works...

Ulster are still learning on the job...but getting better by the game...

There'll be no taking the eye of the ball...one game at a time... but if there isn't at least one Irish side in the final then that will be huge disappointment.
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Sun 22 Jan 2012, 1:24 pm

red_stag wrote:You dont want to over do the seedings either though. Let there be some element of chance.

I am not a fan of seeding for the group stages. For the quarters yes, for semis no, for group stages no.

You are a top seed so you play weak teams, so you do well, so you remain a top seed so you play weak teams and so on and so on.

Biarritz have limped on with that IMO for a few years

I think the group seeding is fine but the way the points are allocated needs to be fixed.This year Munster are a great example,they got 9 seeding points because they won the comp 4 years ago the same as Leinster who won it last year.They also can't improve their ranking points this year even if they win the bloody thing.I think Munster have too high a rating this year and suffer too sharp a drop next year so it's wrong at both ends.

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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:07 pm

Munster v Ulster
Leinster v Cardiff
Edinburgh v Toulouse
Sarries v Clermont
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Post by bedfordwelsh Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:08 pm

At first glance I would go for 3 home wins (Munster, Leinster and Sarries) and Toulouse to win away from home.
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Post by Guest Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:15 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:At first glance I would go for 3 home wins (Munster, Leinster and Sarries) and Toulouse to win away from home.
Yeah, same here.

It's nice to have representatives from 5 nations in there though isn't it? Even if the Irish are being a bit greedy Wink

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:18 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:At first glance I would go for 3 home wins (Munster, Leinster and Sarries) and Toulouse to win away from home.

I'm not 100% convinced. Edinburgh are playing really well. I reckoned Edinburgh might just beat them.
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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:20 pm

Fair play to Edinburgh. What a high profile home fixture to get. Could draw their biggest crowd ever. Would be a legendary day for Embra if they won.
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Post by KickAndChase Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:20 pm

Munster, Leinster, Toulouse, Clermont

Munster v Clermont
Leinster v Toulouse

Munster v Leinster

Leinster win.

As much as I would love to say Edinburgh will beat Toulouse in Murrayfield, I'm afraid I can't bring myself to say it Sad

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Post by KickAndChase Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:21 pm

I don't think Edinburgh have a good enough defence to beat Toulouse unfortunately.

But it'll be a bl**dy exciting game full of tries.

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Post by IanBru Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:23 pm

KickAndChase,

You're right, of course, but 13 minutes from full time against RM92 back in November, could we bring ourselves to say that we'd win the group?

Toulouse showed that they can be a bit shaky when playing away, particularly when the atmosphere is as oppressive as it was against Gloucester. All we
can do is pack Murrayfield to the rafters and trust the lads to play well.
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Post by Manky-Flanker Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:30 pm

I thought Edinburgh's defence was really good today, certainly an improvement over earlier in the season!

Agree that a packed Murrayfield will only strengthen the cause Smile

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:31 pm

IanBru wrote:KickAndChase,

You're right, of course, but 13 minutes from full time against RM92 back in November, could we bring ourselves to say that we'd win the group?

Toulouse showed that they can be a bit shaky when playing away, particularly when the atmosphere is as oppressive as it was against Gloucester. All we
can do is pack Murrayfield to the rafters and trust the lads to play well.

We'll pack it to the rafters! Should try and arrange a 606v2 get together. Quite a few Edinburgh fans on here. Could try and get some of the Warriors fans through and have some Scottish solidarity!
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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:32 pm

Semi draw done.

Sarries/Clermont vs Leinster/Cardiff
Munster/Ulster vs Edinburgh/Toulouse

Bad news for Leinster. Good news for Munster.
Sarries potentially have a home run to the trophy. Final is in England.
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Post by niwatts Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:39 pm

That's as good as it could get for Sarries in terms of home advantage. Clermont then Leinster are probably the most testing examination on the way to the final though and I have serious doubts they'll make it.

The final rounds should be cracking whoever makes it.

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Post by BlueMuff Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:40 pm

Munster are probably now favourites

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Post by Feckless Rogue Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:51 pm

That draw definitely slashed Munsters odds BlueMuff. And it just got tougher for Leinster. Serves us right for getting a weaker pool. Both Clermont and Sarries will fancy a home semi too though. That'll be a cracker. There's a nice fresh look to the quarter finals I think. And like SafeAsMilk said, it's good to see 5 nations represented.
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Post by BlueMuff Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:55 pm

Thats true and nice to see some great matches Munster ulster the pick of them for me not much of a reward for finishing top and 6 from 6...

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Post by UlstermaninGlasgow Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:11 pm

Munster vs Ulster now definitely draw of the round. Very hard to call as Ulster's recent record against Munster isn't all that bad, but it is the Heino of course...

Can see Edinburgh being strong at home and with a record crowd could just make life very hard for Toulouse...

Sarries too tough at home to Clermont...

Leinster should prevail against the Blues...

Going with my heart not my head but

Ulster vs Edinburgh (Aviva)
Sarries vs Leinster

Ulster vs Leinster

Leinster win
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Post by clivemcl Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:24 pm

Ok, so how do you get to Limerick? Via Dublin to stay on the motorways? I'm coming from northern most part of NI!

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Post by Gibson Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:36 pm

I think the SF's will be:
Sarries v Leinster at Twickers
Munster v Toulouse in Landsowne (or Thomond?)

Final:
Munster v Leinster at Twickers.
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Post by rodders Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:37 pm

Magic, so its Munster v Ulster?! That will be awesome! Can't wait, going to have to visit Limerick for the first time! Yahoo
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Post by ME-109 Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:58 pm

Gibson wrote:I think the SF's will be:
Sarries v Leinster at Twickers
Munster v Toulouse in Landsowne (or Thomond?)

Final:
Munster v Leinster at Twickers.

I hate local derbies in these things...a 3-0 win either way is possible for Munster/Ulster...so wouldnt be so sure...

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Post by bedfordwelsh Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:59 pm

Straight off the HC web page:

The quarter-final matches, to be played the weekend of 6 / 7 / 8 April, will be:

(1) Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby (8)
(2) Leinster Rugby v Cardiff Blues (7)
(3) Edinburgh Rugby v Toulouse (6)
(4) Saracens v ASM Clermont Auvergne (5)

HEINEKEN CUP SEMI-FINALS (To be played 28 / 29 April)

The winner of the first named quarter-final in each semi-final pairing will have home country advantage.

Semi-final 1: Saracens or ASM Clermont Auvergne v Leinster Rugby or Cardiff Blues

Semi-final 2: Munster Rugby or Ulster Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby or Toulouse
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Post by rodders Sun 22 Jan 2012, 7:10 pm

How does the home advantage work in the semi finals?

Edit: sorry think I get it now...
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