THE HEINEKEN Cup: there’s nowt like it. Which is the excuse we have been using in the office all week after our terrible predictions for Round 1.
We’re back at it, though, with all the conviction of an arachnophobe looking at Australian emigration papers. Here are our Round 2 SuperBru predictions. Bring it on.
Saracens v Toulouse
Our prediction: Wembley Stadium; stars from around the globe; two teams in black and red (or most likely one in off-grey and aqua blue-ish). Sarries versus Toulouse promises a lot, but of course when two heavy masses collide it can be violent, but rarely the catalyst for lots and lots of exhilarating rugby. Saracens have played more expansively of late, but they are up against a team that won the Most Boring Heineken Cup Final EVER™ in Edinburgh. So there should be lots of rucks, some big hits and a handful of slippery incidents. Saracens by 7.
Leicester Tigers v Benetton Treviso
Our prediction: A smarting Tiger sounds like a beast you want to avoid, and even if Treviso ran them close last season this game will be at Welford Road and Leicester will have been made to feel like this is the most important thing in their world right now. Tigers by 15.
Cardiff Blues v Toulon
Our prediction: You could say that after Toulon scored 51 points last week and Cardiff Blues conceded six tries last week this is a moot point. However, it was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that the line “from the ashes of failure grow the roses of success.” We reckon there will be a fight-back in Cardiff. Toulon by 3.
Zebre v Connacht
Our prediction: While we are at it with fairytales, how about Zebre winning their first ever Heineken win. Zebre by 3.
Leinster v Castres
Our prediction: Leinster seem like they can win on the back of muscular running and big competition know-how and while Castres were able to drag a kicking and screaming Saints into the French champions’ rhythm they may not travel quite so well. Leinster by 15.
Montpellier v Ulster
Our prediction: Both teams are going well and this me be uncomfortably tight. In France, though, no one can hear you scream (not that Ulster will be screaming, but it sounds nice and anyway, on any given day French clubs can play rugby from another planet). Montpellier by 9.
Scarlets v Racing Metro
Our prediction: Wouldn’t it be great for rugby if the buccaneer Scarlets romp past the wealthy Parisian outfit. Well, squeaked past at least. Huzzah! Scarlets by 6.
Munster v Gloucester
Our prediction: Munster have a point to prove at home after losing to lowly Edinburgh; Gloucester have changed 13. This isn’t looking promising for the Shed faithful… Munster by 20.
Northampton Saints v Ospreys
Our prediction: This should be surprisingly tight, with packs slugging it out. Saints by 10.
Perpignan v Edinburgh
Our prediction: Close call in Gloucester last week while Edinburgh were winning. Seems like Edinburgh have a good chance, but their lack of recent winning experience could tell in the last 10 minutes. That and James Hook is scoring points for fun right now. Perpignan by 12.
Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs
Our prediction: This. Will. Be. Brutal. If ever there was a game where refcam was wanted, ruck-time while these two trade blows. Glasgow by 2.
Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins
Our prediction: Harlequins are reeling and carrying injuries and Clermont are due a big game after losing to Racing recently. Twice. No more mellow yellow, quite likely. Clermont by 18.