POOL THREE

The Rugby Paper - - Feature -

Mont­pel­lier: Ar­guably the tour­na­ment favourites with their pack of griz­zly Ge­or­gian scrum­magers, South African mus­cle and lo­cal boy made good Louis Pi­camoles, be­low, ca­pa­ble of con­trol­ling any game, es­pe­cially as they are now aug­mented by Ruan Pien­aar and Aaron Cru­den at half-back. When they do go wide, look out for Fi­jian gi­ant Ne­mani Nadolo and Ti­moci Na­gusa. Ouch!

Ex­eter: Have yet to re­ally set Europe alight – the Premier­ship has been their ini­tial tar­get and fight­ing on two fronts is dif­fi­cult – but they have learned mul­ti­ple lessons from their cam­paigns and will be keen to kick on. Their open­ing game at home to Glas­gow feels huge. Lose that and they would be on the back foot, win and the Pool could open up for them. Glas­gow: Have be­come a won­der­fully en­ter­tain­ing team to watch in Europe but they have also proved con­sis­tent and steely in the PRO14. The War­riors were out­stand­ing in the pool stages last sea­son – per­haps they left their very best rugby there – be­fore los­ing at Sara­cens in the quar­ter-fi­nals. New coach Dave Ren­nie will be want­ing, at the very least, to reach the last eight. Le­in­ster:

their pool but semi-fi­nal­ists last sea­son and, of course, won three ti­tles be­tween 2009-2012. This is a club that still gets a buzz from Europe and they have so many classy ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers it’s dif­fi­cult to see them not pro­duc­ing an­other ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive cam­paign. Ver­dict: Dif­fi­cult to look past Mont­pel­lier’s prag­matic mix of mus­cu­lar power up front and high oc­tane backs when they slip the leash, but a fas­ci­nat­ing pool with Glas­gow and Ex­eter high priests of the mod­ern high-tempo han­dling game. Le­in­ster are an ef­fec­tive mix. Mont­pel­lier to win the pool and Le­in­ster to scrape though as run­ners-up Pre­dicted stand­ings: 1 Mont­pel­lier (Q); 2 Le­in­ster; 3 Glas­gow; 4 Ex­eter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.