I might have to start taking the European Rugby Challenge Cup a little more seriously. I got 10 out of 10 picks riight last weekend!
The problem is that as soon as you start taking it all too seriously it all goes wrong. This still is the lottery cup but we have a much better idea as to who is taking it seriously and who see it as a distraction.
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Castres v Enisei-STM – Castres by 25
Enisei come to the end of their three home games. All of them lost be biggish marginis. The 16 point loss last weekend was the closest. I’ve gone for it being higher this weekend as Castre will be in front of their home supporters. Well that’s the ones that bother to turn-up for one-sided affair.
Brive v Zebre Rugby Club – Brive by 5
With one win from three games, it’s hard to see either of these sides making it into the knockout stages. This is purely for pride and Brive will have more to play for in front of their home fans.
Pau v Cardiff Blues – Cardiff Blues by 10
It’s typical French style from Pau. Big losses away from home to Leicester and Cardiff. They do have a 50 point win at home but that was against amateurs Calvisano. I think that they will put out a much stronger side than last weekend which makes this hard to pick. Results say Cardiff comfortable win. Selections might mean it’s closer than that.
Dragons v Worcester Warriors – Worcester Warriors by 3
This is an important game and will go a long way to deciding who tops the pool. Dragons started the season well but over the last couple of weeks have lost some of the wind in their sails. I think it’s going to be a close one but I’m backing Worcester to backup their 6 point win from last weekend.
Calvisano v Leicester Tigers – Leicester Tigers by 45
Leicester beat Calvisano by over 50 points last weekend. To do that back to back is a tall ask. So I think it will only be a 40odd point win this weekend ini the return fixture.
Bordeaux Begles v Agen – Bordeaux Begles by 50
Agen really threw the towel in last weekend! Clearly they aren’t interested ni the slightest in Europe. Again, a bit like with Leicester I’ve narrowed the margin as keeping your concentration to score that many points is difficult.
Wasps v Edinburgh – Edinburgh by 5
With Bordeaux looking like they will pick up an easy TBP win, Edinburgh know they need to get the win. Wasps are in a mess, they’ll want a moral boosting win but need to save their players for the Premiership. Edinburgh still can fail on the road but I think they’ll have enough this weekend.
London Irish v Toulon – Toulon by 10
Toulon look like they are taking this competition relatively seriously! Tree wins mean they sit proudly on top of the pool. It was a 20 point win over Irish at home. I think they’ll find it tougher away but still get the win.
Stade Francais v Bristol – Bristol by 10
Stade are simply a mess and Bristol look really good this season. Away win and for a trip to France a rather comfortable one you’d have to think.
Scarlets v Bayonne – Scarlets by 10
Scarlets got a good win in France last weekend. There’s no reason that they shouldn’t back that up this weekend. I’m already looking forward to Toulon’s visit to Wales next year!!!
25 from 30 or 83% correct so far. Starting to look fairly impressive!
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