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EUROPEAN RUGBY – RETURN FIXTURES PREVIEWED

This weekend sees the return fixtures of lasts weekends action in the Champions & Challenge Cup.  Fortunes varied amongst the four Irish provinces as Ulster and Connacht had good wins, while Munster and Leinster fell to defeats.

 

Ulster had a throughly impressive win over Toulouse at the Kingspan Stadium where they ran in 5 tries and held the visitors scoreless. This Sunday sees the Ulster men travel to Toulouse for the return fixture. Obviously the team will be buzzing after such a great performance but they will be more than aware that Toulouse are a different animal on home turf and a tough encounter lays in store. Ulster will be confident and if they can get a result in France , a nervous Saracens will be looking over their shoulder and rightly so.

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Connacht were the only other province to achieve victory over the weekend. Much has been written about their injury problems of late but that wasn’t going to be a factor last Saturday night. The westerners put in a fantastic shift and sent the Falcons back to Newcastle the wrong side of a 25-10 scoreline. Unfortunately not much has changed for Connacht on the injury front since, as Pat Lam has announced a 22 man squad for the return fixture. Although depleted, Connacht  will travel with great confidence. Connacht sit top of their pool and will be looking for another big performance from their players Sunday afternoon.

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Munster hosted Leicester last weekend and things did not go their way in Limerick. As a result Munster must now go to Leicester this Sunday evening and win to realistically stay in contension in their pool. Munster will back themselves to turn this campaign around for last weeks defeat wasn’t a case of being outclassed by the Tigers. Munster made errors at critical times and gifted the opposition 3 soft tries. We have no doubt that they can bounce back with a big performance this Sunday.

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Leinster last weekend travelled to France to take on Toulon. They started brightly and put it up to the hosts but unfortunately a strong final 25 minutes from Toulon saw them run out 24-9 victors. Leinster will be looking for revenge this weekend as Leo Cullen has named an experienced side and a victory would be very welcome heading into the Christmas.

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Best of luck to all our clients and their analysis teams involved. We look forward to this weekends action and to a busy Christmas period where we will see some intriguing fixtures between our clients in the Guinness Pro12.

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