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The Half Time Stock Take


  • The Half Time Stock Take

    The half-way stage has been reached in this year's competition and, so far eight Try Bonus Points and eleven Losing Bonus Points have been gained. Two teams still have 100% records and another team remains unbeaten. Treviso, alone have no points.

    Pool One

    Clermont 3 2 0 1 74 42 32 8 4 1 1 10 3
    Munster 3 2 0 1 60 45 15 4 4 0 1 9 8
    Saracens 3 2 0 1 52 56 -4 6 5 1 0 9
    Sale 3 0 0 3 44 81 -37 4 9 0 2 2
    Remaining Fixtures:

    Round Four: Sat 5:15 Saracens v Sale; Sun 3:15 Clermont v Munster;
    Round Five: Saracens v Munster; Sale v Clermont
    Round Six: Munster v Sale; Clermont v Saracens.

    Munster have the other teams in the Pool exactly where they want them!! They have lulled Clermont into a false sense of security by their performance on Saturday. Clermont will surely rest some players for Sunday's game with a view to upcoming Top 14 fixtures enabling Munster to pounce.

    Seriously though, things are not looking good for Munster at half time in the Pool stages. They are in second place, admittedly but they have played the other two big guns at home and, therefore, must travel to them in the second half. Three wins from here are necessary to win the Pool but even that may not be sufficient. Unless they get bonus(es), Munster's total points will be 21. Clermont could theoretically pass that out with two "fivers" and two points in a loss on Sunday.

    If we assume for the moment that Saracens will beat Sale and Clermont beat Munster next time out, the top of the Table would be
    Clermont 14/15
    Saracens 13/14
    Munster 9/10/11
    A win over Sale in Round Five (probable) for Clermont would mean that Munster could only win the Pool if they beat Saracens and both Sale and Saracens win in the Michelin. Even that might not be enough, depending on how many bonuses Clermont get.
    Of course, Sale might do Munster a favour or two but better not hold your breath.

    Bottom Line: Munster have to get something in France on Sunday.

    Pool Two
    Harlequins 3 3 0 0 72 43 29 5 1 0 0 12 2
    Leinster 3 2 0 1 64 60 4 3 5 0 1 9 9
    Wasps 3 1 0 2 68 65 3 7 7 1 2 7
    Castres 3 0 0 3 42 78 -36 3 5 0 1 1

    Remaining Fixtures:
    Round 4: Sat 7:45 Leinster v Harlequins; Sun 1:00 Wasps v Castres;
    Round 5; Leinster v Castres; Harlequins v Wasps
    Round 6: Wasps v Leinster; Castres v Harlequins

    Harlequins win makes them one of only two teams with a 100% record. The Bonus Point that Leinster got could prove vital in this Pool. (Why did ‘Quins not try for a Drop Goal instead of kicking the ball dead in the end?) 4-0 to Leinster on Saturday would put them top and win the Head to Head over ‘Quins. 4-1 to Leinster would do if they score three tries more than 'Quins do. 4-2 would be a great result for 'Quins. (Unlikely, you might say but possible given Leinster's apparent inability to score a try, these days see below) A “fiver” for Wasps over Castres would leave the table:
    Leinster 13
    ‘Quins 12/13/14
    Wasps 12.
    You would expect Castres to fold at this stage particularly in the RDS in Round Five, leaving Leinster on 18 with the winners of ‘Quins-Wasps probably on 16 (Wasps or Harlequins) or 17/18 (Harlequins). Leinster would need to beat Wasps in High Wycombe EDIT or Coventry to win the Pool. Even that might not be enough if 'Quins were level with them having gotten two bonuses in the RDS.

    Leinster's lack of Tries could be a problem. They haven't scored one since Round One, indeed, their last 13 scores have been Ian Madigan Penalties. (The Super Dooper Cup Website credit him with eight Penalties v 'Quins!)

    Pool Three
    Toulon 3 2 0 1 72 56 16 7 4 0 1 9 5
    Leicester 3 2 0 1 53 54 -1 4 6 0 0 8 10
    Ulster 3 1 0 2 55 57 -2 7 5 1 1 6
    Llanelli 3 1 0 2 42 55 -13 4 7 0 0 4
    Remaining Fixtures:
    Round 4: Sat 3:15 Toulon v Leicester; Sun 5:15 Llanelli v Ulster
    Round 5: Toulon v Ulster; Leicester v Llanelli
    Round 6: Ulster v Leicester; Llanelli v Toulon

    Bit of a setback for Toulon in Leicester but nothing that a win on Saturday won’t put right. The real contest in this pool is the one between Ulster and Leicester for second place. Assuming that both teams lose in Toulon and beat Llanelli, it will come down to the last round in Ravenhill. Bonus points will decide whether the second placed team will qualify or not.

    Pool Four
    Toulouse 3 3 0 0 70 53 17 7 4 0 0 12 1
    Glasgow 3 2 0 1 63 42 21 6 3 1 0 9 7
    Bath 3 1 0 2 59 63 -4 4 9 0 1 5
    Montpellier 3 0 0 3 41 75 -34 4 5 0 2 2
    Remaining Fixtures:
    Round 4: Fri 7:45 Bath v Montpellier; Sat 1:00 Glasgow v Toulouse;
    Round 5: Glasgow v Montpellier; Toulouse v Bath
    Round 6: Bath v Glasgow; Montpellier v Toulouse.

    Toulouse are the second team with a 100% record and seem to be coming into a nice run of form at just the right time. A win for Glasgow on Saturday would put an end to that but Glasgow’s failure to get a bonus point in Toulouse may count against them in the end.
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