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Disappointlingly Straightforward

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    Disappointlingly Straightforward

    It’s disappointingly straightforward from here. The only complications will be in the race for second place of which more later on in the week.

    For the first time that this writer can remember, exactly half of the teams are out, two teams in each Pool. Ten into eight won’t go, of course, so there will be sorting out to do next weekend. Three Pools (two, four and five) have deciding matches with the losers there possibly missing out, given that the second placed teams in the other two pools are playing a team who are out. This year’s “second place threshold” to coin a phrase could be the highest in years.

    To recap, when two teams finish on equal points, the first tie-breaker is the Match Points in the two games between the teams. Next is Points Difference in the two games and then Tries in the two games. If that doesn’t split the teams or if they haven’t met, then the order is:
    • Overall Points Difference
    • Overall Tries Scored
    • Players Suspended
    • Lots
    As things stand, Leinster and Racing have won their Head to Heads. Munster v Exeter is level, and Saracens lead Glasgow 4-0, 13-3 and one try to none. The Edinburgh – Montpellier Head to Head is of no significance, Montpellier lead but need to win again to catch Edinburgh.
    Pool One P W D L F A PD TF TA TB LB PTS Rank
    1 Leinster 5 4 0 1 157 69 98 23 7 3 1 20 3
    2 Toulouse 5 4 0 1 129 119 10 14 14 1 0 17 8
    3 Bath 5 1 1 3 98 132 -34 12 17 1 2 9
    4 Wasps 5 0 1 4 97 171 -74 10 22 1 1 4





    Fixtures: Sunday 20th 15:15 Wasps v Leinster; Toulouse v Bath

    Leinster did exactly what they had to do by winning the game and the Head to Head and now any win in Coventry wins them the Pool on 24 points at least and gets them a home Quarter Final, unless Edinburgh get a fiver and win by 37 points more than Leinster do. If they win by 36, they would need to outscore Leinster by nine tries. Neither team have had a player suspended so if Edinburgh were to get eight Tries more than Leinster do, it would go to Lots as things stand. Two points of any description will be enough to win the Pool. 20 Points would be enough to set one of the second place spots as long as Edinburgh beat or draw with Montpellier or don’t get any points.

    Toulouse, having lost the Head to Head, need to overtake Leinster’s points total to win the Pool. They need four points more than Leinster, a Fiver with Leinster only getting a Losing or a Try Bonus or a non-Bonus win with Leinster getting nowt is necessary.
    Pool Two P W D L F A PD TF TA TB LB PTS Rank
    1 Munster 5 3 1 1 129 65 64 14 8 2 1 17 5
    2 Exeter 5 2 1 2 117 95 22 17 11 2 1 13 10
    3 Castres 5 2 0 3 73 120 -47 7 13 0 1 9
    4 Gloucester 5 2 0 3 100 139 -39 12 18 0 0 8
    Next Fixtures Saturday 17:30 Munster v Exeter; Castres v Gloucester


    Any result in Thomond except 4-0, 5-1 or 5-0 to Exeter wins Munster the Pool.
    Pool Three P W D L F A PD TF TA TB LB PTS Rank
    1 Saracens 5 5 0 0 147 62 85 18 7 3 0 23 1
    2 Glasgow 5 4 0 1 128 81 47 16 11 3 0 19 6
    3 Cardiff 5 1 0 4 105 160 -55 14 20 1 0 5
    4 Lyon 5 0 0 5 73 150 -73 8 18 0 0 0
    Next Fixtures Saturday 13:00 Saracens v Glasgow; Cardiff v Lyon

    Any result in Hendon except 5-0 to Glasgow or 5-1 or 4-0 and a winning margin of eleven or more or a win by ten and scoring two more tries will win Saracens the Pool. If Glasgow win 5-1 or 4-0 by ten points, scoring one more try than Saracens do, it will go to players suspended. Glasgow have a 1-0 advantage there.

    23 points will be more than enough to get a second place spot should the need arise. Saracens, therefore are in the Quarter Finals at time of writing.
    Pool Four P W D L F A PD TF TA TB LB PTS Rank
    1 Racing 5 4 0 1 150 88 62 20 12 4 1 21 2
    2 Ulster 5 4 0 1 117 115 2 16 15 2 0 18 7
    3 Llanelli 5 1 0 4 112 124 -12 15 17 1 2 7
    4 Leicester 5 1 0 4 102 154 -52 13 20 2 0 6
    Next fixtures Saturday 15:15 Racing v Llanelli; Leicester v Ulster.

    Having won the Head to Head, Racing need two points to win the Pool. 21 Points would be enough for a Second place spot unless Edinburgh v Montpellier goes 2-5 in which case it will go to Points Difference between Racing and Edinburgh which is level at the moment. Racing lead on Tries 20-15

    Ulster need to get four points more than Racing do to win the Pool. a Fiver with Racing getting one or a non bonus win with Racing getting nowt is needed.
    Pool Five P W D L F A PD TF TA TB LB PTS Rank
    1 Edinburgh 5 4 0 1 135 73 62 15 10 2 1 19 4
    2 Montpellier 5 3 0 2 148 89 51 20 10 3 1 16 9
    3 Newcastle 5 2 0 3 78 142 -64 7 17 0 0 8
    4 Toulon 5 1 0 4 107 156 -49 13 18 1 1 6
    Next Fixtures Friday 19:45 Edinburgh v Montpellier; Newcastle v Toulon

    A win, a draw or a 2-4 loss wins Edinburgh the Pool.

    Any other result wins Montpellier the Pool.



    As things stand, the Quarter Finals (on Brexit Weekend!!) would be

    Saracens v Toulouse

    Racing v Ulster

    Leinster v Glasgow

    Edinburgh v Munster

    with the Semi Finals

    Saracens/Toulouse v Edinburgh/Munster in England if Saracens win, in Scotland if Toulouse and Edinburgh win and in Ireland if Toulouse and Munster win.

    Racing/Ulster v Leinster/Glasgow in France if Racing win, in Ireland if Ulster and Leinster win and in Scotland if Ulster and Glasgow win.

    For what it's worth, the PK prediction is that the only change in the rankings will be Glasgow losing to Sarries and dropping to 8th with Toulouse getting the Bonus v Bath and overtaking Ulster who fail to get the bonus in Leicester.

    But, of course, My score in the Prediction Thread is 33/50 or 66% so don't put the Mortgage on it.


    Last edited by Piquet; 15th-January-2019, 15:10.

    #2
    Thanks PK- it does seem unusual to have all groups so simple at this stage- do you have a feel for whether groups have all just gone according to initial seedlings?

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks (again) Piquet for saving us so much headwreck.

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        #4
        If you were Toulouse though, would you not prefer a 7th seeding (against Racing) than a 6th or 8th? Away to Sarries or Leinster is game over at this stage
        Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by scotscor View Post
          If you were Toulouse though, would you not prefer a 7th seeding (against Racing) than a 6th or 8th? Away to Sarries or Leinster is game over at this stage
          Good point. Playing on Sunday at 3.15 might mean (on any other year) that Toulouse could weigh up options. From Piquet's work though it looks as if that's not a runner this year.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jagawayagain View Post
            Thanks PK- it does seem unusual to have all groups so simple at this stage- do you have a feel for whether groups have all just gone according to initial seedlings?
            Pos Seed Pos Seed Pos Seed Pos Seed Pos Seed
            Leinster 1 1 Munster 1 3 Saracens 1 1 Racing 1 2 Edinburgh 1 3
            Toulouse 2 3 Exeter 2 2 Glasgow 2 2 Ulster 2 4 Montpellier 2 1
            Bath 3 4 Castres 3 1 Cardiff 3 4 Llanelli 3 1 Newcastle 3 2
            Wasps 4 2 Gloucester 4 4 Lyon 4 3 Leicester 4 3 Toulon 4 4


            To summarise, two of the Top Seeds are in first, one are second and two are third
            of the second seeds, one are first, two are second, one are third and one are fourth
            of the third seeds, two are first, one are second and two are fourth
            of the fourth seeds, one are second, two are third and two are fourth.

            Pool Three is the only Pool where the top two seeds are in those positions as well

            Comment


              #7
              I watched the Glasgow Sarries game and Glasgow could have won with a bit more nous, but they wanted to blow the bloody doors off and blew the game instead.
              Winning v Sarries would make their season. I know theyve really dipped lately but I'd give them a shot as Sarries are through anyway. That's how we lost our first ever HEC game in Thomond Park to Leicester, we had qualified in Round 5.
              Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Piquet View Post



                To summarise, two of the Top Seeds are in first, one are second and two are third
                of the second seeds, one are first, two are second, one are third and one are fourth
                of the third seeds, two are first, one are second and two are fourth
                of the fourth seeds, one are second, two are third and two are fourth.

                Pool Three is the only Pool where the top two seeds are in those positions as well
                Potentially you could have three, third seeds in the last eight
                Life is good

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by munstershane View Post

                  Potentially you could have three, third seeds in the last eight
                  Also (or maybe just another way of looking at it) 2 top seeds are already out and a third one looks probable to go out.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by AwayFromHome View Post

                    Also (or maybe just another way of looking at it) 2 top seeds are already out and a third one looks probable to go out.
                    There’s an odd contrast between that, suggesting top seeds not doing well, and the bottom two in each group already out.

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                      #11
                      We need to win.

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                        #12
                        Yes.

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                          #13
                          At the moment, Munster are like Schroedinger's Cat squared.

                          They are:
                          • In a home QF as Pool winners.
                          • In an away QF as Pool winners.
                          • In an away QF as Pool Runners up.
                          • Out.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I expect Glasgow to lose away to Saracens, Ulster to win in Leicester, and Toulouse to win at home to Bath. In this case, Glasgow would come last and play Saracens away. It would be between Ulster and Toulouse to come 6th and 7th and play Racing and Leinster. If Toulouse get 5 points but Ulster only get 4, it will come down to points difference, with Toulouse probably topping it. Ulster need a winning BP, or points difference Vs Toulouse, to avoid playing Leinster.

                            So I expect:
                            Saracens v Glasgow
                            Racing v Toulouse
                            Leinster v Ulster
                            Edinburgh v Munster

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Other than issues with who plays who, we have a playoff competition that has 5 teams from a 14 team league with 7 qualifiers, 2 from a 14 team league with 6 qualifiers, and 1 from a 12 team league with 7 qualifiers. Better performance by PRO14, worse by Top14, Permiership remains- despite the Nigel’s best endeavours, trailing badly (again this year). There’s a massive gulf between Saracens/Exeter and wasps, Bath, Leicester, Gloucester, Newcastle- can you imagine how the rest of the premiership would have fared? The irony is that by reducing the number of groups- Premiership teams have been less successful at qualifying for the play offs.

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