The first round is now completed and we can see where all the clubs are at and who has a chance of progressing. Here’s my review of the two games and how we stand at the halfway mark of the group stage.
How did the predictions go the week?
1 out of 2, the easiest chance to get a clean sweep with only two games and I miss again! The hunt for that elusive perfect predicting week goes on.
Cardiff Blues 19 v 13 Scarlets
This one was a tight game all the way through with neither side getting more than one score ahead. After an error strewn kicking duel in the first half, the second was lit up by a try to either side before the boot gave the Blues a little breathing room. This result keeps the Blues in the mix and means Scarlets can forget about this competition now.
Ospreys 35 v 51 Dragons
Dragons to this try fest it what nearly turned into a lesson of why you playing for the full 80 mins. Dragons were up 48-0 early in the first half before Ospreys produced a fight back that was in part to the Dragon players switching off as they thought it was won. The scoreline never looked like Ospreys were really going to make it, but that wasn’t the feeling in the ground. This record result puts Ospreys out of this competition and allows them to concentrate on more important matters such as the Pro12.
Dragons give themselves a shout of making it out of the group stages, even if they still need Saracens to stumble. Their problem is that we have seen good results from them before but never the consistency to string them together. So let’s see if this is another one-off result or if they can use this as a spring-board.
A quick overview of the groups
Pool 1 – Saracens lead the way with 2 wins, all the other teams are 3 points behind with a win and bonus point. So Saracens are in the driving seat but Dragons, Bath and Gloucester are all ready if the Fez Heads stumble.
Pool 2 – In the tightest pool, Saints are just a bonus point ahead of the Blues. Sale are looking out of the running at 3 points further back as they need both teams to lose points. Irish, who I predicted to take this group, are not going to progress and can concentrate on other things.
Pool 3 – Tigers lead the group with Wasps ready to pounce just 2 points further back. Why couldn’t the teams be the other way round? It would make the pounce comment so much better. Anyway Falcons and Scarlets can forget about this competition for another year.
Pool 4 – Chiefs have their destiny in their own hands leading Quins by 3 points. Ospreys and Welsh are affectively out of this competition, with Welsh being the only side with no points.