Sale Sharks director of rugby Bryan Redpath admits his men face a tough task to make it back-to-back Heineken Cup wins when they travel to play Montpellier on Sunday (Sale 6/1, Montpellier 1/9, draw 33/1 Match Prices with bet365).
The north-west outfit kicked off their European campaign with a superb come-from-behind victory over Cardiff Blues last Sunday and they sit second in the table behind French giants Toulon.
And it is Pool 6′s other side from across the English Channel who stand in the way of the Sale this weekend, with Montpellier looking to bounce back from the hammering they received at the hands of their compatriots last time out.
Redpath has made eight changes, one positional, for their first European away-day this term with mercurial fly-half Danny Cipriani promoted to the starting XV at Stade Yves du Manoir.
Sam Tuitupou and Richie Gray are unavailable through injury, while Tom Brady returns on the right wing, allowing Mark Jennings to switch to centre.
Redpath admits his men will have benefited from their comeback against the Welsh side but is under no illusions as to the size of the task his charges face on Sunday (Montpellier to win by 6-10 points 5/1 with bet365).
“We gained a lot of confidence from the last twenty five minutes last weekend, but not many teams go to France and win against the top six, no matter how well you’ve been playing,” he said.
“It’s a hugely challenging task for us, but one to which we’re looking forward to.”
Tags: bryan redpath, Cardiff Blues, danny cipriani, Heineken Cup betting, Heineken Cup odds, montpellier, rugby union betting, rugby union odds, sale sharks, toulon
Heineken Cup | Rugby Union Betting News | October 20, 2012 16:22 |
Leicester fly-half Toby Flood believes his side will rise to the challenge on getting their Heineken Cup campaign back on track when they face the Ospreys on Sunday (Match Betting – Leicester 2/7, draw 22/1, Ospreys 11/4 with bet365).
The Tigers (20/1 Heineken Cup outright with bet365) got their European season off to a disappointing start last weekend, as they fell to a 23-9 defeat in rainy Toulouse.
Coach Richard Cockerill slammed his players following the loss and both Flood and half-back partner Ben Youngs have come in for plenty of criticism after they repeatedly decided to try and run Guy Noves’ men off the field, rather than play the percentages.
Inexperience was blamed following the defeat, but the England star says this is no excuse due to the number of internationals at Welford Road and the fly-half believes his team will relish the challenge of resurrecting their campaign when they face the Ospreys on Sunday.
“Our guys will revel in that challenge,” he said. “We are a year further down the line in our evolution. I am 27 now and the likes of Dan Cole and Ben Youngs, who have come through the academy, are all a year older.
“We have to look around the changing room at each other, believe in each other and know we are doing the right thing, and that we will follow each other through to the end.”
Tags: Ben Youngs, dan cole, Guy Noves, heineken cup betting and odds, Leicester Tigers, ospreys, richard cockerill, rugby betting and odds, rugby union betting and odds, toby flood, toulouse
Heineken Cup | Rugby Union Betting News | October 19, 2012 16:18 |
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is looking forward to the challenge of the club playing their ‘home’ Heineken Cup encounter with Racing Metro in Belgium on Saturday (Saracens 1/4, draw 22/1, Racing Metro 3/1 Match Betting with bet365).
The London outfit travel to the King Baudouin Stadium looking to build on their 45-0 thrashing of Edinburgh up at Murrayfield last weekend, with a win in one of their registered home games across the Channel.
Sarries (11/1 Heineken Cup outright with bet365) attempted to play one of their Heineken Cup games from last season in Cape Town, South Africa, but ultimately failed to take the match to the southern hemisphere.
However the Aviva Premiership outfit, who are eager to expand the profile of rugby union and the club, have managed to get a game in Brussels.
McCall has admitted it is a risk to their Heineken Cup hopes this term by playing away from their home Vicarage Road but believes it’s one worth taking.
He told BBC Three Counties Radio: “Of course it’s a risk, but we’re a club that likes to take risks.
“We think rugby can sometimes be conservative in nature – so as a club we want to push boundaries. This is another example of that.
“Our away record in the Premiership and Europe is very strong, so it’s not an issue to the players.”
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder has paid tribute to the efforts of hooker Dylan Hartley as the team prepares for Sunday’s Heineken Cup clash with Glasgow (Match Betting – Northampton 1/9, draw 33/1, Glasgow 11/2 with bet365).
The tie against the Scottish outfit marks the Saints’ return to European action following last year’s failure to qualify from Pool 1 (Northampton 7/4 to win their Pool with bet365).
And Mallinder is backing Hartley, who recently scooped the Premiership Player of the Month award for his efforts on the domestic scene for Northampton, to steer the team to victory in tomorrow’s encounter.
“Dylan has led the team very well in September, and the Player of the Month award reflects his personal performances and how well he has led the team,” said Mallinder, who has guided Saints to top of the Premiership table at this early stage of the season.
“He works very hard on his skills, and has matured into an excellent captain, and I am sure he will be at the centre of things for us tomorrow.”
The Saints have taken an impressive 22 points from their first six matches, though Harlequins, Leicester and Saracens remain hot on their trail.
Mallinder has identified both competitions as priorities for Northampton in 2012/13, and success at home and in Europe would provide a welcome boost to the club following a drought of major trophies in recent seasons.
The Saints last won the Heineken Cup in 2000, though they did finish as runners-up in the competition two years ago.
Tags: dylan hartley, glasgow, harlequins, Heineken Cup, jim mallinder, leicester, match betting, northampton saints, outright betting, rugby union bet, rugby union betting, rugby union odds, saracens
Heineken Cup | Rugby Union Betting News | October 13, 2012 17:56 |
Ulster (12/1 Heineken Cup outright with bet365) coach Mark Anscombe says his side will need to improve if they’re to win the Heineken Cup, despite their impressive 41-17 victory over Castres on Friday.
The Irish province reached the final of the competition last season and are understandably one of the favourites to win the tournament this time around after another strong start to the campaign.
However, they face a tough task if they’re to get out of their group, having also been drawn alongside Northampton and Glasgow.
The 1999 champions (8/11 to win Pool 4 with bet365) got their campaign off to the perfect start against Castres but had to wait until the final moments to seal a bonus point for scoring four tries.
Anscombe admits he was disappointed with his side’s lack of firepower and says they’ll need to be more clinical if they’re get through to the knockout rounds.
“That’s what we set out to do (get a bonus-point win) as I said to the guys we had to set out to achieve that and we did,” he said. “But we know we’ve got a lot to do and we’ve got to do it next week. But we achieved what we needed to do tonight.
“It might have been fortunate but we did it. Our execution, though, became a bit too loose at times.”
Former All Blacks star Doug Howlett has been confirmed as the new Munster captain for the 2012-13 season (Munster 12/1 – Heineken Cup Outright).
The veteran winger, 33, replaces Paul O’Connell although he has often done the job in the past in the absence of the province’s international stars.
Munster have recently overhauled their coaching structure and one-time British and Irish Lions skipper O’Connell says the time was right to step aside after six years in the job.
Howlett has described his promotion as “a great honour” and is now looking to bring glory to the men from Limerick.
He also told the club’s website: “I know I’ve got big boots to fill following Paul, Axel (Anthony Foley), Mick Galwey and Jim Williams.
“And I’m also aware of the number of leaders in this squad, people well capable of doing this job and that makes my appointment all the more worthy and humbling.”
Munster will face Saracens, Racing Metro and Edinburgh in Heineken Cup Pool 1 this season and are the 13/8 favourites to win it with bet365.
Rob Penney’s men are 4/1 chances with bet365 to win the Grand Final of the RaboDirect PRO12 in 2012-13.
Tags: doug howlett, edinburgh, Heineken Cup, Munster, Paul O'Connell, RaboDirect Pro 12 odds, racing metro, rugby league odds, rugby union betting, saracens
Heineken Cup | Rugby Union Betting News | August 24, 2012 15:34 |
Leinster (1/3 RaboDirect Pro12 Grand Final outright with bet365) captain Leo Cullen has praised coach Joe Schmidt’s “relentless pursuit of excellence” following the province’s latest Heineken Cup win on Saturday.
Cullen and his side thrashed Ulster 42-14 at Twickenham to claim their second successive Heineken title and their third in four years.
The margin of victory is a new record in the final of European club rugby’s biggest competition and adds to the other benchmarks the Dubliners have set this year, after also breaking previous bests for both try scoring and points amassed in a single season
Leinster now switch their attention to next Sunday’s RaboDirect Pro12 final with the Ospreys, where they will be hoping to complete what would be an historic double (Leinster 4/11, draw 22/1, Ospreys 12/5 with bet365).
Despite winning their first Heineken Cup title in 2009, Cullen says his team have stepped up a level since Schmidt took over in 2010 and believes the Kiwi’s desire to win is what’s been driving them to glory.
“Joe brings a relentless pursuit of excellence,” the 34-year-old lock said. “He demands high standards, and it is great for the players. All the coaching staff work so hard with this squad.
“It wasn’t pretty when we won the Heineken Cup in 2009, we sort of fell over the line in the final against Leicester at Murrayfield, but the belief was there and we knew we had to kick on after that and he has taken us to an different level.”
Leinster have named Brian O’Driscoll and Rob Kearney in their starting XV for Saturday’s Heineken Cup final against Ulster at Twickenham after both overcame injury concerns (Leinster 2/7, tie 25/1, Ulster 3/1 – match betting with bet365).
The two-time European champions were left sweating over the fitness of talisman O’Driscoll after he underwent minor knee surgery last week to have some cartilage removed.
Leinster fans were made to wait for news on the Irish skipper in similar circumstances last year when a knee injury meant he was a doubt for the clash with Northampton.
On both occasions O’Driscoll has battled back in time to be included in the starting line-up, taking his place alongside Gordon D’Arcy in the Leinster midfield once more.
Elsewhere, Kearny returns to take his place at full-back having overcome a back problem, with Leinster opting to make three changes in total from the semi-final win over Clermont-Auvergne.
Eoin Reddan returns in place of Isaac Boss, while Fergus McFadden and Kevin McLaughlin replace Shane Jennings and Luke Fitzgerald at wing and flanker respectively.
As far as Ulster’s team news is concerned they have been boosted by the returns of forwards John Afoa and Chris Henry.
Afoa has missed the last four games through suspension, while back row Henry has been sidelined recently with a ankle injury.
Young fly-half Paddy Jackson keeps his place in the starting line-up ahead of Ian Humphreys, who is a replacement.
Tags: brian o'driscoll, Fergus McFadden, Gordon D'Arcy, heineken cup final odds and betting, ian humphreys, isaac boss, john afoa, Leinster, luke fitzgerald, paddy jackson, Rob Kearney, rugby union odds and betting, Shane Jennings, twickenham, Ulster
Heineken Cup | Rugby Union Betting News | May 18, 2012 14:04 |
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley claims his side do not fear being labelled as underdogs for their Heineken Cup semi-final with Ulster (Ulster 1/3 tie 22/1 Edinburgh 5/2 Match Betting with bet365).
The Scots travel to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for Saturday evening’s game and Bradley has selected the same starting XV that beat Toulouse in the quarter-finals.
Indeed, Bradley managed to rest a number of his top players last weekend and Steven Turnbull’s coming in for Stuart McInally – who has failed to recover from a hamstring problem – on the bench is the only change among the 23-man squad for match day.
Bradley admits there is ‘great pride’ among his players in representing Edinburgh (6/5 team to score first with bet365) in the Heineken Cup semi-finals and they know Ulster pose a ‘huge test’, but he is not scared of entering such a huge game seen as underdogs by many.
“Our form in this competition is such that we can rightly approach this match with a lot of confidence,” said Bradley.
“The character and resolve of the players has been well tested in this competition and we have prevailed.
“It’s a one-off game and the underdog tag is one we wear well as a team.”
For Ulster, Paddy Jackson is named at fly-half, preferred to Ian Humphreys, while Willie Faloon comes in for the injured Chris Henry and Declan Fitzpatrick gets a start due to John Afoa’s suspension.
Tags: aviva stadium, chris henry, declan fitzpatrick, edinburgh rugby, Heineken Cup, ian humphreys, john afoa, match betting, Michael Bradley, paddy jackson, rugby union bet, rugby union betting, rugby union odds, stevn turnbull, stuart mcinally, toulouse, Ulster, willie faloon
Heineken Cup | Rugby Union Betting News | April 27, 2012 17:21 |
Having booked their spot in the Heineken Cup semi-finals at the fourth attempt, Clermont captain Aurelien Rougerie is desperate for the team to finish the job and lift the trophy (Clermont 7/4 to win the Heineken Cup – bet365).
The French outfit face defending champions Leinster in their last four clash on Sunday, having recorded a comfortable 22-3 victory over Saracens at the quarter-final stage.
Clermont have enjoyed a strong season domestically and in Europe. They sit level on points with Toulouse at the top of the French Top 14 and have shown fine form in the Heineken Cup since the group stages.
They are the last surviving French club in the competition, after title rivals Toulouse were eliminated in the last round by Edinburgh.
And there is extra spice to Clermont’s showdown with Leinster this weekend (Clermont 1/1, draw 18/1, Leinster 4/5 – 80 minutes bet365), as one of the coaches from their title-winning campaign of 2010, Joe Schmidt, is now head coach of the Irish provincial side.
“We must keep calm and not get too excited because there is still a long way to go,” said French international Rougerie.
“It is great that we are in the Heineken Cup semi-finals but we need to keep working because we have not won anything yet. If we can really perform and win the Heineken Cup title it would be unbelievable for the club.”
Tags: 80 minutes, Aurelien Rougerie, Clermont, first scoring play, Heineken Cup, Leinster, match handicap, outright winner, total points
Heineken Cup, Rugby Union | Rugby Union Betting News | April 24, 2012 17:30 |