We return to the top flight European rugby competition for the all important double headers. Here are my round 3 predictions.
Here’s a reminder of the round 2 action.
How did your round 2 predictions go?
6 from 9, not my finest hour.
Ulster v Toulouse
Ulster are going OK in the Pro12 but have lost their only game in this tournament so far to Saracens. At home Ulster used to look very good but have disappointed me last season. Toulouse are a team revived this season sitting second in the Top14. They also lost to Saracens but the Paris attacks were fresh and the game should have been postponed. Even with the poor traveling reputation of French teams I think Toulouse will win this one.
Toulouse by 5
Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets
Warriors have had a mixed start to the Pro12 season with so many players missing to the Rugby World Cup and have a loss in this tournament as well. Scarlets on the other hand top the Pro 12 but have registered two losses in this tournament. I think that Glasgow are finding their form and Scarlets results are flattering so I’m backing a home win.
Glasgow Warriors by 7
Racing Metro 92 v Northampton Saints
Both these sides have perfect records in this tournament so far. Racing are going well in the Top14 and have recently welcomed Dan Carter who might make his debut. Saints have improved their results over the last couple of weeks but are still not at their all flowing best. I don’t think that their forwards will be able to dominate Racing so I’m going with a home win.
Racing Metro 92 by 7
Benetton Treviso v Stade Francais
Both these sides have lost all their games so far. Stade are the French champions but have really struggled this season and sit 11th in the Top14 table. Treviso though sit last in the Pro12 and have been poor, not even registering a win. This should be a moral boosting TBP win.
Stade Francais by 10
Exeter Chiefs v Clermont Auvergne
Chiefs are flying high in the Premiership just behind Saracens but opened this competition with a nervous loss. They settled their nerves with a home win the following week. Clermont are the nearly boys who always make the latter stages only to come up short. They are top of the Top14 but have shown signs of fragility in recent weeks. Still I think that this season is a learning one for the Chiefs in Europe and Clermont will power to the win.
Clermont Auvergne by 5
Ospreys v Bordeaux Begles
Ospreys had that opening win over Exeter and backed it up with a LBP and TBP loss to Clermont. They have their World Cup stars back and reintegrated and are looking a better side for it. Bordeaux have a loss to Exeter away and are sitting in the chasing pack in the Top14. I think they will take this opportunity to rest some players as the Top14 is more important for them and so I’m looking at a home win.
Ospreys by 7
Munster v Leicester Tigers
Munster are sitting 3rd in the Pro12 but have not been convincing, as that included a home loss to Connacht. They have won their only game so far but again that was against Treviso. Tigers have been one of the surprise teams this season and have started this competition with two TBP wins and are going well in the Aviva Premiership. So I’m backing an away win.
Leicester Tigers by 5
US Oyonnax v Saracens
This is one of the easier ones to call. Oyonnax are bottom of the Top14 and it’s looking like the installation of a 3G pitch was a mistake. Saracens are the form team in Europe and have won all their games in both the Aviva Premiership and Champions Cup. So I’m expecting a TBP away win.
Saracens by 20
Toulon v Leinster
This is a battle of two European aristocracy however as you can see below Toulon as the clear favourite. Last season Leinster managed to give them a scare but it’s hard to see that happening again. Toulon did lose to Wasps but since then they have been in devastating form and their International stars are starting to fire.
Toulon by 20
Wasps v Bath
Both these sides have won all their games so far. In the Aviva Premiership though it’s been different story. Wasps have been making lots of headlines but only sit 6th with 3 losses and 3 wins. Bath have been struggling, it looks like preseason and integrating players back in has not gone well. I’m backing Wasps to bounce back from their loss to Exeter last weekend and beat a disjointed Bath side.
Wasps by 10
Are your predictions the same? Let me know below.