Preview: European Cup, Round Four

Thu, 12 Dec 2013 13:07
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The Irish teams will be looking to back up their clean sweep last week in the second half of the European Cup double-headers this weekend.

The Irish teams will be looking to back up their clean sweep last week when the second half of the European Cup double-headers get underway this weekend.

All four Irish provinces were on the winning side last week, and the challenge now is for them to repeat the feat against the same opposition at different venues in Round Four.

Leinster and Connacht will play at home this weekend, with lowly Connacht aiming to do an unlikely double over four-times champions Toulouse, whilst Munster and Ulster will have to travel to Perpignan and Treviso respectively.

Glasgow Warriors had hoped to be cementing their push for quarterfinal qualification when they welcome Cardiff Blues to Scotstoun on Friday but instead it is the visitors who are in pole position to challenge Toulon for top spot in Pool Two.

Glasgow headed to Cardiff last week knowing that victory in the Welsh capital would have seen them sitting pretty at the halfway stage of the campaign and with two home games still to come.

Defeat at the Arms Park has left them with at the foot of the table, though, and they now face an uphill struggle to reach the last eight given that Toulon won at Exeter on the same weekend.

Gregor Townsend's men failed to even pick up a losing bonus point in Round Three, meaning a maximum point haul on home soil is now even more important to their hopes of a maiden quarterfinal.

As for the Welsh outfit, Phil Davies' troops are on a major high after receiving rave reviews for their performance last time out. Victory over holders Toulon in Round Two was a huge result for the region but they still weren't expected to back it up given that they sit ninth in the Pro12, some 13 points behind third-placed Glasgow thanks to just three league wins all season.

But back it up they did, and in some style, too. The Blues bounced back from a 31-6 mauling by Munster in their previous outing at the Arms Park despite missing a host of big names through injury, including British and Irish Lions skipper Sam Warburton. Warburton won't be fit to feature on Friday, either, as he is awaiting specialist advice on a 'stinger' problem with his shoulder.

Lions wing Alex Cuthbert marked his return from ankle damage with a well-taken try last week but the Blues' injury crisis has since deepened with the news that centre Dafydd Hewitt won't be available for selection. Hewitt becomes the fourth midfielder to be ruled out, with Owen Williams, Cory Allen and Gavin Evans already out of action.

All the teams and match details:

Friday, December 13

Ospreys v Castres

(Liberty Stadium - Kick-off: 20.00; 20.00 GMT)


Ospreys: Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Aisea Natoga, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Ben John, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ryan Jones (captain), 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Lewis, 5 James King, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Tyler Ardron , 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Grabham.

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Paul Bonnefond, 11 Remi Grosso, 10 Remi Tales (captain), 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Michael Coetzee, 19 Christophe Samson, 20 Ibrahim Diarra, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 23 Max Evans.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Dean Richards (England), Robin Goodliffe (England)
TMO: Geoff Warren (England)

Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues
(Scotstoun Stadium - Kick-off: 20.00; 20.00 GMT)


15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Ed Kalman, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 DTH van der Merwe.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Rhys Patchell, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Rory Watts-Jones, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Sam Hobbs (captain).
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 James Down, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Andries Pretorius, 22 Lewis Jones, 23 Dan Fish.

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Saturday, December 14

Toulon v Exeter Chiefs
(Stade Felix Mayol - Kick-off: 14.35; 13.35 GMT)


Toulon: TBC

Exeter Chiefs: TBC

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
TMO: Dermot Moloney (Ireland)

Treviso v Ulster
(Stadio Comunale di Monigo - Kick-off: 14.35; 13.35 GMT)



Ulster: TBC

Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Steve Lee (England), Roy Maybank (England)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (England)

Scarlets v Clermont Auvergne
(Parc y Scarlets - Kick-off: 15.40; 15.40 GMT)



Clermont: TBC

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Nigel Carrick (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

Saracens v Zebre
(Allianz Park - Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)



Zebre: TBC

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Kieran Barry (Ireland)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ireland)

Perpignan v Munster
(Stade Aime Giral - Kick-off: 16.40; 15.40 GMT)


Perpignan: TBC

Munster: TBC

Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Leinster v Northampton Saints
(Aviva Stadium - Kick-off: 18.00; 18.00 GMT)



Northampton Saints: TBC

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Sébastien Clouté (France), Patrick Pechambert (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Connacht v Toulouse
(The Sportsground - Kick-off: 18.00; 18.00 GMT)



Toulouse: TBC

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Chris Williams (Wales)
TMO: Paul Adams (Wales)

Sunday, December 15

Harlequins v Racing Metro
(Twickenham Stoop - Kick-off: 12.45; 12.45 GMT)



Racing Metro: TBC

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Gary Conway (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Gloucester v Edinburgh
(Kingsholm - Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)


Gloucester: TBC

Edinburgh: TBC

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon (France), Stéphane Boyer (France)
TMO: Jean-Pierre Pellaprat (France)

Montpellier v Leicester Tigers
(Stade Yves du Manoir - Kick-off: 16.00; 15.00 GMT)



Leicester Tigers: TBC

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

There are currently no matches being played
Mon, 08 February 2016
Wits v TUT 16h30 Johannesburg
UWC v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Stellenbosch
UJ v NMMU-Madibaz 16h30 Johannesburg
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 17h00 Cape Town
Fri, 12 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Zebre 22h00 RDS Arena
Sat, 13 February 2016
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Saracens v Wasps 15h00 Allianz Park
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 16h00 Kingston Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
Mon, 08 February 2016
UP-Tuks v NWU-Pukke 15 | 38
Sun, 07 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 16 | 16
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 11 | 14
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 20 | 13
Sat, 06 February 2016
Scotland v England 9 | 15
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 3 | 10
France v Italy 23 | 21
Harlequins v Northampton Saints 23 | 27
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 9 | 8
Fri, 05 February 2016
Bath v Gloucester 11 | 15
Ulster v Dragons 17 | 15
Mon, 01 February 2016
Fort Hare v UWC 8 | 15
UKZN-Impi v Wits 26 | 18
Sun, 31 January 2016
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 26 | 19
Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 15 | 30
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6