Heineken Cup 2012/2013 Predictions: Round 1
Languishing in the bottom half of our Aviva Premiership predictions table, I’m hoping to up my game and redeem myself in the first round of the Heineken Cup. Here are my SuperBru predictions.
Friday night sees the Ospreys taking on Treviso and Ulster against Castres, both games that should be won by the home team. The pick of Saturday afternoon’s fixtures sees Racing Metro take on Heineken giants Munster, both teams currently placed mid-table in their respective leagues with 50:50 win/loss ratios. Once again, I expect the home team to win although wouldn’t be overly surprised if Munster sneaked it with all the European experience in their squad.
Elsewhere Harlequins face a tricky game against Biarritz, another French team with considerable Heineken pedigree, but I expect them to bounce back from consecutive premiership losses with a win. Exeter can expect to be given a European baptism of fire from holders Leinster, and Sarries should have enough to sneak a win at last season’s surprise package Edinburgh.
Sunday’s, and indeed the round’s, biggest game is undoubtedly the clash of two teams with great history in the tournament, Toulouse and Leicester. For me though, it should be a relatively simple win for the French giants – the Tigers have looked far from their best this season and are battling injuries, while Toulouse have unbelievable strength in depth.
Elsewhere, Saints should win fairly comfortably at home against Glasgow after resting their frontline players last week, despite the Scottish side going well in the RaboDirect Pro12. Finally, as the Salford Stadium gets its first taste of European Rugby, Sale go looking for their first win of the season against the Blues, a quest that could end fruitlessly – it should be close though, as the northern outfit do seem to be showing some (minor) signs of improvement after their dismal start.
Ospreys vs Treviso: Ospreys by 10
Ulster vs Castres: Ulster by 8
Edinburgh vs Saracens: Saracens by 4
Racing Metro 92 vs Munster: Racing by 3
Zebre vs Connacht: Connacht by 5
Leinster vs Exeter Chiefs: Leinster by 15
Clermont Auvergne vs Scarlets: Clermont by 13
Harlequins vs Biarritz: Harlequins by 8
Northampton Saints vs Glasgow Warriors: Saints by 13
Sale Sharks vs Cardiff Blues: Cardiff by 5
Toulouse vs Leicester Tigers: Toulouse by 11
Toulon vs Montpellier : Toulon by 12
How do you see the opening round going?