Being a Payne

Jared Payne red card v Saracens

Ever since the 5th minute of the Heineken Cup Qtr. Final at Ravenhill the internet and media have been awash with the ‘was it? / wasn’t it?’ debate about the red card given to Jared Payne after the collision with Alex Goode. I had expected it to have finished by now – but there is […]

And then there were 8 – Heineken Cup review

Heineken Cup 2014

Predicting the last 8 for the Cup this season wasn’t too difficult last week – five teams had already qualified for the April quarter finals and the outsiders needed a number of results to go their way. In the end it all places were confirmed by Saturday night – with just the pairings in doubt […]

Getting Through – Heineken Cup preview

Sarries score bonus point in Parma

At this point in time there are five teams that have qualified for the quarter finals. Technically, there are six teams that can secure one of the three remaining places. In reality it would be a major shock if they don’t go to Toulouse, Saracens and Leinster. The rank outsiders are Northampton, Cardiff Blues and […]

No Quarter – Heineken Cup review

Heineken Cup 2014

The penultimate round of the Heineken pool stage has sorted out the weak from the champs and we now have a much clearer view of who will contest the quarter finals – and as importantly who will not. Pool1 Northampton won 29 – 17 at the Ospreys but their failure to pick up a bonus […]

Second to Last Chance – Heineken Cup preview

Heineken Cup 2014

This week sees the penultimate round of the Pool stages and by Sunday evening we should have some idea as to who is likely to be contesting the quarter finals. In Pool 1 Northampton have an outside chance following their fine win in Leinster in the last round. They are away to the Ospreys who […]

What a difference a week makes!

Heineken Cup 2014

The back to back reverse fixtures this week turned up some surprising results – not least in the games featuring two of the Irish sides who triumphed in some style on the previous weekend. They say a week is a long time in politics – although 5 minutes is a long time in that profession […]

Mirror Image – Heineken Cup preview

Craig Burden playing hooker for Toulon

The big news this week isn’t the return reverse fixtures in a mirror image from last week but the announcement that the RFU are trying to find a way for English clubs to play in the Heineken Cup next season. Very laudable but I’m not sure how the clubs feel about that and I’m guessing […]

Irish eyes are smiling – Heineken Cup review

Brian O'Driscoll flick through legs

There will have been big celebrations in the Emerald Isle after this weekend’s Heineken Cup Round 3 games – with all four provinces picking up big wins! At the halfway stage in the group Pool 1 is virtually settled – the Ospreys are out of it and Leinster are almost certainly going to qualify – […]

Cup of Whoa – Heineken Cup drama continues

Heineken Cup 2014

In the midst of the latest rounds of the Heineken Cup it seems certain that, whilst it will continue next season it will not involve the clubs from the English Premiership. The history of the dispute is well documented, not least by me on these pages – what is less certain are the overall implications […]

Another round of Heineken please guvnor!

Heineken Cup 2014

So we go into the next round of the Heineken Cup still not sure of the future of the competition. There have been some announcements and I will be posting a summary of the latest positions (or lack of them) sometime next week – when hopefully things will be a bit clearer for the 2014/5 […]