Sunday, 10 October 2010

Heineken Cup Round 1: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

The Heineken Cup didn't fail to deliver in the opening round.  So much top quality rugby on display and I've had a brilliant weekend watching it.

But who shone amidst the cream of Europe, and who tried their best to secure their place on the "Brock James Heineken Cup Wall of Shame"?

Wonder no more...

The Good

The try of the weekend came courtesy of some unbelievable skill by Regan King.  Awesome.

Jonny Wilkinson and Paul Sackey linking up to seal a late win for Toulon with this:

Dimitri Yachvili, who kicked four second-half penalties to break Bath's hearts at the Rec.

Dave Walder.  Where would Wasps be this season without their underrated fly-half?  He almost single-handedly won them the game away at Toulouse.  OK, I'm going to overlook his last minute penalty miss as the rest of his game management was that good.

Topsy Ojo.  The London Irish wing is back to full fitness and is on fire, scoring a great interception try in the win over Munster.

The Bad

Goalkicking success (or the lack thereof) at Franklins Gardens.  Bruce Reihana and Shane Geraghty seem to be passing the "let's be inconsistently shit" baton between themselves at the moment.  Come on boys, no-one wants to be called the new Brock James, so pull yourselves together, please.  There are big problems in the goalkicking department for Northampton Saints, but this only falls into the Bad category as they did beat Castres.

Not quite what happened on Friday...
Erik Lund in Biarritz colours.  Not nice to see as a Leeds fan.  As for Iain Balshaw?  Couldn't care less.

London Irish drifting off.  A great win against European rugby supremos Munster, but the Exiles failed to close out the game and let the men from Limerick steal a last-gasp try to seal a losing bonus point.  What do bonus points make?  All the difference, that's what.  Toby Booth's men have made progression from arguably the toughest pool all the more difficult by not slamming the door in Munster's face.

The Ugly

Bath's failure to take a late drop-goal, bang in front of the posts, to regain the lead from Biarritz and win the game.  As it was, Olly Barkley didn't shout loud enough and Michael Claassens ignored him.  A Biarritz win, a home defeat for Bath and progression from the pool looking very tricky for Steve Meehan's men.

Stuart Barnes' nauseating man love for Biarritz number eight, Imanol Harinordoquy.  Listening to Barnes bleat on about his "amazing hands" made me sick in my mouth.  Twice.

Any more to add?

1 comment:

  1. The first try by Scarlets was a champagne-rugby kind of a try that even a French fan would have to toast.

    Will England fans be able to see Johnny Wilkinson and Sackey work their magic in England colors during the November internationals? Great vision on the pass by Johnno.