Heineken Draught

Heineken Cup 2014

Right now there’s a cold wind blowing through European rugby and it has little to do with the current storms or the weather forecast for the autumn internationals. Having had over a year since the French and English clubs gave notice to quit the Heineken Cup, the ERC have finally got round the table to […]

Heineken Cup Review: Rd 2

Lee Dickson (below) of Northampton passes the ball watched by the Saints and Ospreys pack

Home Safe I’ve said it before I know but I keep ignoring my own advice – if it looks like being a close thing – go for the home side. Well I ignored some of my own advice (again) and forecast 4 away wins at the weekend. There were only three – unfortunately I got […]

Heineken Cup Predictions: Rd 2

Saracens v Toulouse

Forecast Thunder The second round of the Heineken promises more fireworks this weekend. There are plenty of must win games for teams who harbour genuine hopes of making the knock out stages Pool 1 Two major clashes in the toughest pool – Northampton must beat the Ospreys after defeat at Castres whilst the Welsh side […]

Heineken Cup Review: Rd 1

Scott Williams storms over for Scarlets v Harlequins

Expect the Unexpected The general wisdom is to expect the unexpected – and we were not disappointed in the first round of the Heineken! I finished up my predictions prior to kick off by suggesting that there would be some surprising results – well I did at least get that right. It’s too early to […]

Heineken Cup Predictions: Rd 1

Heineken Cup 2014

The Dark Shadow This should have been a very exciting week in European rugby – but there are storm clouds gathering over the Heineken Cup. Rugby’s premier club competition is in danger of coming to a sudden halt come the final whistle at the Millennium Stadium on 24th May next year. There is potentially still […]

Tip of the Iceberg – Heineken Cup saga continues

Saracens v Toulon Heineken Cup

Just imagine the following scenario; Top English clubs fall out with the ruling bodies and sign their own television broadcast deal allowing salaries to balloon which attracts more overseas players leading to the decline of the England team! Couldn’t happen in English Rugby? Maybe not – but the above isn’t fantasy, it did happen – […]

The Heineken ‘Cup Runneth Over’

Rocky Elsom winning the Heineken Cup with Leinster

It is a perilous time for Europe’s premier cup competition  – in the past the biblical phrase has been appropriate but now it may well be that it is about to be’ run over’ or indeed is ‘out of time’ The Heineken Cup has been the biggest club competition in the Northern Hemisphere since it […]

Heineken Cup Semi Final Preview

Saracens v Toulon Heineken Cup

And then there were four. After seven months of bruising encounters between Europe’s club rugby elite, only the strongest quartet are still standing – and the Heineken Cup is almost in touching distance. All Welsh, Italian and Scottish sides have fallen by the wayside, dwarfed by their French, Irish and English counterparts in the pool […]

Super Rugby v Heineken Cup

Super Rugby Scrum

Last Saturday saw the final round of regular season games in Super Rugby. There was high drama all day, especially after the Brumbies’ unlikely loss at home to the Blues saw the reigning champions the Reds pinch the Australian Conference title off them at the last minute. Since it’s off season up here in Europe […]

Leinster – Heineken Cup Champions

Cian Healy at Leinster Heineken Cup final win

When I started Harpin On Rugby back in August 2008, Leinster were about to embark on yet another season in Munster’s shadow, still cursed by the “all style and no substance” tag, with a few far less diplomatic nicknames thrown in for good measure. But still the season-ticket sales were growing by the year, and […]