Heineken Cup fixtures announced for 19-21st Jan

Despite Serge Blanco’s best efforts the Heineken Cup is still up and running this year. Yesterday the tournament organisers announced the fixtures for round 6 on the weekend of 19th to the 21st of January 2007.

HEINEKEN CUP 2006 / 2007 – ROUND 6

FRIDAY 19 JANUARY, 2007

  • Pool 2 Gloucester Rugby v Leinster 19.30 Sky Sports/RTE
  • Pool 2 Edinburgh v Agen 19.30

SATURDAY 20 JANUARY, 2007

  • Pool 1 Castres Olympique v London Wasps 14.30 FR2/Sky Sports
  • Pool 1 Perpignan v Benetton Treviso 14.30
  • Pool 3 Stade Français Paris v Rugby Calvisano 16.30 Canal+
  • Pool 3 Sale Sharks v Ospreys 15.30 Sky Sports
  • Pool 4 Cardiff Blues v Bourgoin 17.35
  • Pool 4 Munster v Leicester Tigers 17.35 Sky Sports/RTE

SUNDAY 21 JANUARY, 2007

  • Pool 5 Llanelli Scarlets v London Irish 13.00 Sky Sports
  • Pool 5 Toulouse v Ulster Rugby 14.00
  • Pool 6 Overmach Rugby Parma v Border Reivers 16.00
  • Pool 6 Northampton Saints v Biarritz Olympique 15.00 Sky Sports/FR2

Heineken Cup – Round 4 results

Catching up with the weekend just gone, the Irish sides had a great weekend of it last weekend, with Round 4 wins for Leinster away to Agen , Munster at home to Cardiff , and Ulster at home to London Irish . The table looks pretty good from the Irish rugby perspective.

Leinster look to have cemented place in knock-out stage

Leinster’s 13 – 25 away win was somewhat against the odds with the French side expected to put on a strong performance, and Leinster with their key playmaker Comteponi still injured. It was a scrappy first half, honours even, with a strong showing from Agen early in the second, but Leinster clinched it with a strong final quarter. Dunne shone through as replacement kicker with a drop goal and conversion when he came on, both scores in injury time, after D’arcy and Dempsey once again proved how badly Comteponi is missed in that department.

Leinster are top of pool 2 with 3 wins, 1 loss and 3 bonus points, their rivals Gloucester have 2 wins, 2 draws and 3 bonus points, with Agen close behind.
Agen: Elhorga; Ahotaeiloa, C Stoltz, Mirande, Caucaunibuca; Miquel, Morlaes; Van Niekerk, Narjissi, Meeuws; W Stoltz, Koulemine, Lievremont, Yukes, Soucaze. Replacements: Fulton for Morlaes (71), Guinazu for van Niekerk (46), Socol for Koulemine (53), Tiatia for Lievremont (73), Culine for Yukes (65). Not Used: Faaletino, Mignardi.

Leinster: Dempsey; Horgan, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Hickie; Warner, Whitaker; McCormack, Blaney, Wright, Hogan, O’Kelly, Keogh, Gleeson, Heaslip.
Replacements: Dunne for Warner (80), Jackman for Blaney (23), Corrigan for Wright (47). Not Used: Finegan, Jowitt, Easterby, Fitzgerald.

Munster roll on

The Munster machine is not lacking this year, they’re sitting pretty at the top of pool 4 with 4 wins from 4 and 2 bonus points after a hard fought 32 – 18 victory over Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

Munster: S Payne; J Kelly, B Murphy, T Halstead, I Dowling; R O’Gara, P Stringer; D Hurley, F Sheahan, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell (capt), A Quinlan, D Wallace, D Leamy. Replacements: Pucciariello for D. Hurley (64). Not Used: Kyriacou, Wyatt, O’Sullivan, O’Leary, Manning, Mafi.

Blues: B Blair; T James, J Robinson, T Shanklin, C Czekaj; N Macleod, M Phillips; J Yapp, T Rhys Thomas, T Filise, B Davies, D Jones, S Morgan, M Williams, X Rush (capt). Replacements: Stcherbina for James (34), G Williams for Thomas (58), G. Powell for Filise (51), Lewis for Jones (52), N Robinson for Stcherbina (57). Not Used: White, Evans.

For the record

Munster are unbeaten 12 games in the Heineken Cup now, and their 31 game unbeaten home record is screaming for someone to knock it over…

Our home record is something we are very aware of. We talk about it before matches and none of us wants to be in the team that finally loses a Heineken Cup tie at the ground. Of course we know it is going to happen sometime as records are merely there to be broken. It puts pressure on us and there is certainly a bit of a fear factor involved.

Paul O’Connell speaking after their Round 3 game at Cardiff.

Ulster win too late to save them

Ulsters strong 29 – 13 win over London Irish was well fought, but appears not to be enough as Llanelli Scarlets achieved a brilliant 41-34 away victory over Toulouse. This means that to top the group Ulster now need to achieve bonus-point wins against the Scarlets and Toulouse in January and hope that Llanelli also slip up at home against London Irish.

In other news from Friday’s game in Ravenhill it appears that London Irish are to lodge a formal complaint over alleged racial abuse

Smith said that he had already verbally lodged the complaint to ERC chief Derek McGrath, who attended Friday’s game.

The London Irish coach added that there was “no love lost” between the sides after the two recent games.

“It starts from number one to 22 and carries on through the management.”

Ulster chief executive Michael Reid said that he was “comfortable that the allegation is unfounded”.

Connacht disappoint in European Challenge Cup

Montpellier beat Connacht 35-22 in a battle of the also-rans. Connacht were a man up almost all game, after the Montpellier out-half was shown red in the 5th minute, and managed to run in 4 tries for the second week in succession. Match report from ConnachtRugby.ie implies the penalty count was strongly to blame (I’m sceptical).

What’s left in the Heineken Cup?

ROUND 5: 12 / 13 / 14 January, 2007
ROUND 6: 19 / 20 / 21 January, 2007
QUARTER-FINALS: 30 / 31 March / 1 April, 2007
SEMI-FINALS: 20 / 21 / 22 April, 2007
THE 12th HEINEKEN CUP FINAL – TWICKENHAM STADIUM – Sunday, 20 MAY, 2007

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