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Challenge Cup 2022/23
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No reason why we can't get 5 points next weekend and stay in 3rd.
If the Champions Cup pools stay as they are (hope not), 10th in Pool B is Ulster
Challenge Cup Pool A 1st v Challenge Cup Pool B 6th
Challenge Cup Pool A 2nd v Challenge Cup Pool B 5th
Challenge Cup Pool A 3rd v Champions Cup Pool B 10th
Challenge Cup Pool A 4th v Champions Cup Pool B 9th
Challenge Cup Pool B 4th v Champions Cup Pool A 9th
Challenge Cup Pool B 3rd v Champions Cup Pool A 10th
Challenge Cup Pool B 2nd v Challenge Cup Pool A 5th
Challenge Cup Pool B 1st v Challenge Cup Pool A 6th
I would fancy Ulster to beat Sale at home and Stormers to beat Clermont.
That would leave Clermont and Sale in 9th/10th (order depending on bonus points)
If we were to beat them at home, we'd be away to 2nd Pool B in the QF (currently Benetton and likely to stay that way if they beat Stade Francais and Scarlets beat Bayonne).
Get less than 5 points in Newcastle and we still play 2nd Pool B, just a round earlier, and then probably away to Bristol in the QF if we win.
So decent chance of a trip to Treviso in April, which would make me likely to cancel any tentative plans to go to Parma in February ...
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pinky wrote: Late try bonus points killed us in the other games. Both Bristol and Toulon looked like falling short of the maximum but pulled it out of the bag.
Home QF seems out of reach again now, having briefly become a possibility.
Even a home last 16 is looking dodgy now. We would need a TBP in Kingston Park to guarantee top 4, as Cardiff look to have top spot wrapped up and Bristol, Toulon and Glasgow should all be favourites to get five points at home on Friday.
What an utterly daft competition format. There is a very reasonable chance that a team with 19 points out of 20 will be away in the round of 16.
It's flipping mental Pinky!! Would prefer if they reverted to the 4 team, 6 match pools.
Am I correct in saying Perpignan could "theoretically" get through with 1 point? That's a JOKE
As you said we could get 19/20 pints and could be away!!
ShaneM wrote: Am I correct in saying Perpignan could "theoretically" get through with 1 point? That's a JOKE
Yes, well one of the bottom five has to get through so if they all lose again, someone gets through without a win.
There could be a mini battle on Friday night between Perpignan, Bath and Zebre to see who can keep the score down enough to get sixth!
The other thing to consider is that any of those five that wins is in poll position to get through, so Newcastle still have an incentive to win (as do Brive). Whether or not either of them particularly fancies the trip to Llanelli for April Fool's Day is another question ...
Just spotted this, nothing really we didn't know but hadn't thought of it:
Cheetahs could potentially finish 4th (if they beat Pau in Parma), but they're not allowed play at home so their R16 game would presumably also be in Parma, probably against Racing. You'd fancy Racing there (unlike in Bloemfontein, where they'd hardly be bothered). If they then won their away QF in Cardiff, they would be away to whoever comes though our likely section of the draw.
So if we make it that far, it could be a home semi against Racing, with a Dublin final as the prize, which would make for a nice climax to a fairly uninspiring season ...
Pinky's updated fixture list is:
Home to Clermont
Away to Benetton
Home to Racing
Home(ish) to Toulon
EDIT: Bookies just put up the handicaps and if those were to be the results, Racing would be 11th, with Lyon, Bordeaux and Gloucester all squeezing past them, so you could replace Racing with Bordeaux in the above. Though that is based on Lyon beating Bulls and Gloucester getting a LBP in Bordeaux, neither of which I personally fancy, so I'm sticking with my prediction. But now I have thoroughly overthought it and my head hurts so I am going to lie down.
1. Cardiff 15 points
2. Toulon 15 points
3. Connacht 14 points
4. Glasgow 14 points
5. Bristol 9 points.
Bristol Bears have been deducted five match points and handed a suspended fine of €10,000 following an independent Disciplinary Hearing arising from the club’s EPCR Challenge Cup, Round 1 and Round 2 fixtures against USAP and Zebre Parma respectively. Bristol Bears were charged with misconduct by EPCR as the club was believed to have breached the 2022/23 Tournament Rules by selecting an ineligible player, Elliott Stooke, as a replacement in their match day squads for both fixtures in Pool A.
So we now just need a LBP for a home R16. If we don't get it, I would fancy Bristol to make up the points difference (17) against Perpignan.
A bonus point win guarantees 3rd and we would also need Brive to get a result at home to Cardiff to sneak into the top 2 (or Zebre to do something away to Toulon but let's not be silly).
In terms of the drop down sides from Heineken Pool B, Clermont in 8th on 6 points are apparently sending the kids to Cape Town. You then have Sale in 9th on 5 and Ulster in 10th on 3. Ulster host Sale on Saturday night.
Yeah, I expect nothing out of Clermont. 9th/10th will most likely come down to the Ulster Sale game.
Sale win: 9. Clermont 10. Ulster
Sale LBP: 9. Sale 10. Clermont
Sale No LBP: 9. Clermont 10. Sale
London Irish or Northampton could get 10th if they win but I doubt either of them will.
Brive v Cardiff now at 3:15pm Irish Time on Saturday due to the weather.
Brive have included more frontliners than usual for tomorrow so won't be a pushover at home, but Cardiff continuing to take this very seriously.
Based on the bookie odds, the winless team most likely to get off the mark is (by some distance) Newcastle
Well I didn't predict those results.
The format still sucks but we knocked a bit of drama out of it.
We can now potentially lose by up to and including 9 points and still be in the top 4.
For third we need a draw or two bonus points.
For second a try bonus point.
And if Cardiff don't win we can potentially be top.
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Bonus Point win: First
Regular win: Second
One bonus point: Fourth
No BP and lose by 9 or less: Fourth
No BP and lose by 10 or more: Fifth
So we can still be home all the way, or away all the way.
Newcastle are out and playing for pride.
Ah here ...
After all Brive, and Zebre, and Elliot Stooke did for us ...
Away to Benetton
If we win that, QF would be either away to Cardiff or home to 10th in Pool B (worst of Ulster/Sale/Clermont as above)
Then it would be away to Toulon in the semi (unless they lose - but they are home all the way).
EDIT: and now we don't even get a chance to play Clermont