Sunday 1 April 2007

Heineken Cup Quarter Finals

Llanelli Scarlets 24 - 15 Munster
I have NEVER seen Munster that badly whupped in the Heineken cup. The men in red weren't just beaten, they were embarrassed. On a day that called for vintage Munster kicking to the corners rugby the Irishmen tried to run the ball, putting width on their game from early on. Far from catching the Llanelli defence off guard it simply played into the Welshmen's hands. The inability of the Munster backline to manufacture any kind of threatening attack was complimented by their bumbling mistakes that often turned the ball over cheaply to the Llanelli backs in dangerous positions. Where the Munster backline had all the hitting power of a wet sponge, the Llanelli attack was a different beast altogether. Their pack were immense, completely dominating the Munster eight throughout. Popham and Rees stood out in particular interlinking well with the backs and consistantly breaking the gainline. Munster simply had no answer to the power of the Welsh pack or the creativity of their backline, their Heineken cup defence dying with a whimper in Stradey Park.

London Wasps 35 - 13 Leinster
Much like their fellow countrymen Leinster entered their away fixture with a reasonable degree of confidence and a considerably strong Heineken cup pedigree. Unfortunately for them, they were also bullied around and battered off the park in exactly the same way as Munster. All the talk prior to kick off had been about the Leinster pack and whether or not they would be able to stand up to the substantially larger Wasps eight. The answer was a resounding no. Whilst the lineout was stable enough the Leinster pack was constantly shunted back in the scrum and had problems all game trying to provide quick ball for their backs. To add insult to injury however, on the rare occasion that the Leinster backs did find themselves in possession they found themselves facing a veritable wall of black and yellow. All day long the Wasps rush defence was up in Leinsters face and their backline couldn't cope. With Contopomi strangled by a lack of go-forward ball and a fearsome blitz defence, D'Arcy struggled to create anything by himself in the midfield. O'Driscoll was sorely missed both in attack and defence. Despite being down to 14 men on two occassions Wasps managed to put up 22 points don a man, a testimony to their extreme fitness and their overall desire. A desire which was sadly lacking from Leinster.

Biarritz 6 - 7 Northampton Saints
Didn't see this but.... bahahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahhaha

Leicster 21 - 20 Stade Francais
Didn't see this either...

Semi Finals
Northampton Saints - London Wasps
Leicster - Llanelli Scarlets

No comments: