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Return of HEC - the December Double-Headers

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How are you feeling about the return of HEC?

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 03 Dec 2012, 11:41 am

So we have the double headers coming up - and the pools will start to look a little clearer.

What are your emotions as we head towards round 3?
Do you have returning internationals in good form?
Are you beset by injuries?

Tell all to your nice Uncle LT Very Happy

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Post by LondonTiger Mon 03 Dec 2012, 11:42 am

I have to admit to a touch of nerves. Tigers are not in good form and have had a lot of players playing in the AIs (and a fair few getting injured). Treviso have shown this season that they are not mugs, and had a big win over the Dragons at the weekend.

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Post by maestegmafia Mon 03 Dec 2012, 11:46 am

I think unlucky is the adjective I would have chosen had it been an option.

Ospreys missing so many players in two positions, lock and tighthead that we are in serious front five trouble. an area that was our strength and a strength we used to compete with the big budget teams elsewhere in europe, and we have two of the Europe's biggest teams in our group.

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Post by rodders Mon 03 Dec 2012, 11:47 am

Can't wait for the double header with saints!

Will be a huge challenge but sure that's what the Heino is about! king
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Post by Rava Mon 03 Dec 2012, 12:03 pm

I'm officially nervous at this stage. While we (Ulster) have continued to win, we have been unimpressive.
Saints on the other hand have regained some form and steamrollered Sale at the weekend.

I think we will win against any team at Ravenhill but a trip to Franklin's Gardens is another matter.
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Post by beshocked Mon 03 Dec 2012, 12:10 pm

Confident and excited.

England ended the Ais on a high with the Saracens guys getting quite a few of the points vs New Zealand. Also the win vs Gloucester is a confidence boost.

Return of players will mean a mostly full strength Saracens side should face Munster.


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Post by Guest Mon 03 Dec 2012, 12:23 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I have to admit to a touch of nerves. Tigers are not in good form and have had a lot of players playing in the AIs (and a fair few getting injured). Treviso have shown this season that they are not mugs, and had a big win over the Dragons at the weekend.

I wouldn't read too much into that. One try was a charge down and they picked up a few scores while Harries did his time off the field (two yellows). Leicester can at least match them for forward power too.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:01 pm

Well uncle LT(!), I plumped for both 'excited' and 'nervous' - the former cos its still our first year in the big boys tournie and its been fantastic fun so far, even if the results are not quite what was wanted (altho I think we've performed credibly in both games; the latter cos I'm not sure what sort of shape Scsrlets are in, they're clearly a very good team, but what effect will injuries have (not to mention Priestland's form), and altho Exe are winning games at the moment, we ourselves are not playing at top form. Anyhew, I'm going to enjoy the next two games and not worry too much about the result - I see them as preparation for the two West Country battles we have coming up in the AP over the festive period, the first against Glaws (one spot above us in the table), the second against Bath (one below, I think?) - those two games could well define the season for us, in terms of two wins and we could be in in contention for the playoffs come the back-end of the season
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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:06 pm

Depressed. Anyone guess what team I support?

picard
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Post by asoreleftshoulder Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:06 pm

Nervous,big time.Leinster play Clermont and we're down to our third choice no.13.I think we could cope without BoD but losing O'Malley too is a big blow and I think we'll do very well to qualify from our group as one of the best runners up.

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Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:08 pm

Sh1tten meself going to Clermont. We can do it though. We should have a full strength pack. Any team on the planet would miss BOD and Rob Kearney, missing Fitzer and EOM really puts the boot in though.

If we can keep it in the pack and away from their stellar backline we COULD nick it. AND if we do I will be there to see history made (they have a 50 game home unbeaten run in all comps)

They have got to be strong favourites though.

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Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:09 pm

Snap ASLS

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Post by rodders Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:12 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Depressed. Anyone guess what team I support?

picard

Leinster?..... Whistle
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Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:16 pm

rodders wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Depressed. Anyone guess what team I support?

picard

Leinster?..... Whistle
Dunfirmline Utd?

Keep it up Rodders. Make gobbling 2 unbeaten runs in 2 weeks all the sweeter. Very Happy

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:21 pm

Jenifer McLadyboy wrote:
rodders wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Depressed. Anyone guess what team I support?

picard

Leinster?..... Whistle
Dunfirmline Utd?


Clearly you guys do your homework. Well done.

As an Edinburgh fan I just want this shambles of a Heino to be over.
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Post by rodders Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:23 pm

Jenifer McLadyboy wrote:
rodders wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Depressed. Anyone guess what team I support?

picard

Leinster?..... Whistle
Dunfirmline Utd?

Keep it up Rodders. Make gobbling 2 unbeaten runs in 2 weeks all the sweeter. Very Happy

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Post by asoreleftshoulder Mon 03 Dec 2012, 1:53 pm

Jenifer McLadyboy wrote:
rodders wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Depressed. Anyone guess what team I support?

picard

Leinster?..... Whistle
Dunfirmline Utd?

Keep it up Rodders. Make gobbling 2 unbeaten runs in 2 weeks all the sweeter. Very Happy

Yahoo The Nordies are coming and their gonna get a tonking.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 03 Dec 2012, 2:16 pm

Nervous for Leinster. If we lose by more than 7 points this weekend, ASM will smell blood and travel with a mission for the return leg. Leinster haven't yet got back to their form from last year. There are bodies missing through injury. Oh, and ASM are great a home

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Post by Morgannwg Mon 03 Dec 2012, 2:24 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Tell all to your nice Uncle LT Very Happy

Shudder... Erm

A fixture list would be appreciated. All I know is Toulouse are playing Ospreys and Northampton are playing Ulster. As a neutral I'm looking forward to the rugby.
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Post by MrsP Mon 03 Dec 2012, 2:36 pm

http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/matchcentre/fixtures_heineken_cup.php



07/12/2012 19:3 P4 Glasgow Warriors v Castres Olympique Scotstoun Stadium

07/12/2012 20:00 P3 Connacht Rugby v Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque The Sportsground

07/12/2012 20:00 P4 Northampton Saints v Ulster Rugby Franklin's Gardens



08/12/2012 13:35 P5 Scarlets v Exeter Chiefs Parc y Scarlets

08/12/2012 14:35 P2 Toulouse v Ospreys Stade Ernest Wallon

08/12/2012 14:35 P3 Zebre v Harlequins Stadio XXV Aprile

08/12/2012 15:40 P6 Sale Sharks v Toulon Salford City Stadium

08/12/2012 18:00 P1 Munster Rugby v Saracens Thomond Park

08/12/2012 19:00 P1 Racing Métro 92 v Edinburgh Rugby Stade Yves du Manoir



09/12/2012 12:45 P6 Cardiff Blues v Montpellier Cardiff Arms Park

09/12/2012 15:00 P2 Leicester Tigers v Benetton Treviso Welford Road

09/12/2012 16:00 P5 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Leinster Rugby Stade Marcel Michelin


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Post by maestegmafia Mon 03 Dec 2012, 2:40 pm

Is anyone confident?

The French teams look a league above. Anyones team facing them has to be worried.

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Post by Morgannwg Mon 03 Dec 2012, 3:02 pm

Really looking forward to Clermont vs Leinster and Munster vs Saracens too.

maes only Clermont, Toulouse and Toulon will worry people. The other French just have class teams that can be beaten by a team with more desire.
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Post by beshocked Mon 03 Dec 2012, 3:29 pm

maestegmafia wrote:Is anyone confident?

The French teams look a league above. Anyones team facing them has to be worried.

Do you think Racing Metro look a league above? thumbsup

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Post by wales606 Mon 03 Dec 2012, 3:58 pm

I'm a Wales and Cardiff Blues supporter. I'm pretty much continuously depressed now.
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Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Mon 03 Dec 2012, 5:19 pm

asoreleftshoulder wrote:

Yahoo The Nordies are coming and their gonna get a tonking.

Sadly we have to go to them. If they were coming to us I would be a lot more confident. Last time they beat us outside Ravenhill, we were living in the same Millennium as the battle of Hastings.

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Post by rodders Mon 03 Dec 2012, 6:13 pm

Jenifer McLadyboy wrote:
asoreleftshoulder wrote:

Yahoo The Nordies are coming and their gonna get a tonking.

Sadly we have to go to them. If they were coming to us I would be a lot more confident. Last time they beat us outside Ravenhill, we were living in the same Millennium as the battle of Hastings.

The Soudies are coming and they're gonna get a tonking.. Yahoo ..... Run
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Post by Notch Mon 03 Dec 2012, 6:21 pm

As an Ulster fans I'm excited, confident and nervous thumbsup
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Post by doctor_grey Tue 04 Dec 2012, 1:43 am

To me, it seems too soon after coming down from the November Internationals for the Heineken Cup. One more weekend to recover would be nice. But any return to Heineken Cup matches is always welcome and gets the blood flowing!

I wonder if the extra England match against the ABs and the Wales match against Oz could have an impact on preparation for the Heineken Cup matches. And the injuries sustained by Wales in their November Internationals was just absurd, and will weigh heavilly on the Regions.

As a Saints supporter, I am hoping we can siphon off some of the good juju from the England win, as I think we will need it.


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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 04 Dec 2012, 6:27 am

Well as the Dragons are in the Amlin and Edwrads all but blew our chances with his selection for our 1st game I don't care and will be watching from a distance.
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Post by maestegmafia Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:45 am

Beds mate maybe the lack of pressure on the Dragons will mean they put in a tidy performance?

Always look for the positives mate...

That said ours look reasonably dismal to be honest. Beating the Blues last weekend with our nippers is one thing, taking on Toulouse, apparently a different prospect...

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Post by beshocked Tue 04 Dec 2012, 10:04 am

doctor_grey wrote:To me, it seems too soon after coming down from the November Internationals for the Heineken Cup. One more weekend to recover would be nice. But any return to Heineken Cup matches is always welcome and gets the blood flowing!

I wonder if the extra England match against the ABs and the Wales match against Oz could have an impact on preparation for the Heineken Cup matches. And the injuries sustained by Wales in their November Internationals was just absurd, and will weigh heavilly on the Regions.

As a Saints supporter, I am hoping we can siphon off some of the good juju from the England win, as I think we will need it.


I think that England vs New Zealand game looks to have been a blessing in disguise as things stand for the English guys. Gives the English guys a bit of confidence before going back to the HC. So unexpected.

Things would have been a bit flat without that win. Also gives a welcome boost to players who were criticized.

All 4 of the English sides who I see as the main HC contenders (sorry Exeter and Sale) should have mostly full strength sides to pick from.

It also helps that Quins and Leicester don't exactly have two of the toughest matches on their return. Potentially they can rest some of their players.


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Post by yappysnap Tue 04 Dec 2012, 10:10 am

To be honest i'm fairly meh about this years double header. Last seasons against Toulouse was epic and can be directly pointed to as one of the reasons for our success later that season.

Zebre though? Are they even Amlin Challenge Cup standard? If we win against them I cant say i'll be that impressed and if we lose then i'll be stunned. Sky can't even be bothered to show the game and I can't afford to travel to the Stoop.

All in all the sooner this is over and we get back to the Prem the better.

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Post by beshocked Tue 04 Dec 2012, 10:16 am

Yappysnap your England players can have a rest which is surely welcome?

I can't understand why Quins weren't paired with Biarritz.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 04 Dec 2012, 11:55 am

I don't think we'll rest them, we're pretty focussed on Europe and O'Shea will want to get Robshaw, Brown and Care straight back in to the side to help get us out of the demi-slump we're in.

Marler I think is still crocked.

I really would have preferred Biarritz. All that's been done is to make two fairly uninteresting double headers in this pool when at least one of them could have been very close.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Tue 04 Dec 2012, 5:25 pm

maestegmafia wrote:Beds mate maybe the lack of pressure on the Dragons will mean they put in a tidy performance?

Always look for the positives mate...

That said ours look reasonably dismal to be honest. Beating the Blues last weekend with our nippers is one thing, taking on Toulouse, apparently a different prospect...

Maes,

We have Magliano away this weekend and if we cant beat them and beat them comfortably then Edwards needs to go.
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