A thrilling first weekend of Heineken Cup rugby was served up this weekend with the highlight being Ronan O’Gara of Munster kicking a drop goal in the last play of the game after 41 phases of build up play. There was a high profile debut during the game between Saracens and Treviso at Vicarage Road as John Smit came off the bench to make his first appearance for his new team. It was a dream debut as Smit drove over the line for his first score in their 42-17 victory. Last seasons Champions Leinster could only manage a draw against Montpellier in France and have Johnny Sexton to thank after he scored a last gasp penalty to tie the scores.
We are going to preview three games that stand out in 2nd weekend of fixtures. Firstly is Friday evenings game between Cardiff Blues and London Irish. We shall also look at Saturdays games between Biarritz and Saracens followed by the all English tie as Harlequins visit Gloucester.
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Date & Time: 18/11/2011 8pm K.O
Cardiff started their tournament off with a win away from home against Racing Metro which you can guarantee will have filled the squad with confidence ahead of their game with London Irish on Friday evening. Gethin Jenkins, Jamie Roberts and Sam Warburton will all be looking to continue their form from the RWC. London Irish lost their first game to Edinburgh by a point on their home ground and will be looking to make amends in Wales.
Prediction: With their core of welsh international players now back, we have to go for CARDIFF BLUES!
Venue: Parc des Sports Aguilera
Date & Time: 19/11/2011 2.30pm K.O
With the home side losing to the Ospreys in Wales last weekend and scrum half Dimitri Yachvilli being ruled out of the clash with a thigh injury, Saracens will travel to France knowing that the game is theirs to lose. The Saracens coaches have a selection headache in the front row with John Smit and Schalk Brits both competing for the number 2 jersey.
Prediction: With the influential Yachvilli out injured, we think that SARACENS will travel back to England with at least 4 points.
Date & Time: 19/11/2011 3.40pm K.O
Most will see this as a Premiership fixture but the stakes are much larger and both teams will feel they have a point to prove. Gloucester were unlucky to come away from Toulouse with only a bonus point and will be hoping that “The Shed” will get behind them on Saturday afternoon. On the other hand, Harlequins have had a great start to the season which continued with their win over Connacht. There was an added bonus for the Quins as England scrum half Danny Care made his return from injury. With this in mind, the travelling Harlequins fans will be expecting a positive result.
Prediction: After a stunning start to the season, we can see HARLEQUINS coming away with the victory.
Either way, we are in for another great weekend of rugby… but what are your predictions?