The Scrumdown - Champions Cup - Preview and Predictions
Rugby : Looking to improve on 6.5/10 in the prediction game
Round 2 of the ECC can be make or break time for some teams. On the one hand, picking up a second win can put you on top of the group and in a great position to kick on. On the other hand, a second loss can put you in the doldrums and virtually out of the competition. It’s very rare that teams lose the opening two rounds and come back to qualify for the knockouts. You can’t win the cup in week two, but you can certainly lose it.
Big weeks, then, for Scarlets, who were unlucky to lose away to Toulon last week, Glasgow, Wasps, Montpellier and Leicester, who all had great chances to progress, but are in a spot of bother after round one defeats.
Tie of the week – Scarlets vs Bath
Pool 3 has entertaining ties every week, with Glasgow vs Leinster the pick of the two this week, and La Rochelle vs Ulster should be a blinder on Sunday afternoon, but in terms of drama and high stakes the pool 5 clash between the Pro12 champions and the unpredictable Bath under Friday night lights is a must-watch.
Bath looked undercooked last week, and their injury and suspension crisis is monumental, but they seem to play better when they are the underdogs, which they are here. It is do or die for the Scarlets, and they will be desperate to bounce back from the disappointment of last week.
Player to watch – Rhys Webb
A tough week for the swashbuckling Ospreys and Wales scrum half, who found out his contract with Toulon next season will likely mean he can’t play for Wales. This week, his team travel to the all-conquering Saracens, and the rugby world will be watching to see how Webb reacts.
6 (and a half) out of 10 last week was admittedly not great (and sorry to the editor who placed a cheeky bet on them) I put it down to underestimating the French teams. Again, sorry in advance if you lose money based on my predictions.
Scarlets beat Bath
Glasgow beat Leicester
Clermont beat Northampton
Treviso lose to Toulon
Munster beat Racing
Leicester beat Castres
Saracens beat Ospreys
La Rochelle beat Ulster
Wasps lose to Harlequins
Montpellier beat Exeter