Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Monday Oct 16, 2017

RUGBYDUMP WEEKLY: English struggle in Europe

RUGBYDUMP WEEKLY: English struggle in Europe

This week Shay looks at the performances by English clubs in the opening round of the European Rugby Champions Cup. It was a poor start for most, with two wins against European teams, none of which were away from home.

This puts English teams at the bottom of three of the five pools after round one.

When compared to Irish teams, who were unbeaten in four matches and the French sides who won six out of seven matches, the Premiership sides look off the pace.

With two of the 15 members in Sky Sports’ team of the week representing Premiership clubs, what are the reasons for the lacklustre start?

WORRIED WASPS – Ulster 19 – 9 Wasps

Two of the defeats were away from home in some of the most notoriously difficult stadiums to play at in Europe. Wasps had a short turnaround between their previous game and with 15 injuries in the squad, it would have been tough to get a result against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium.

“We’ve been one of the teams which has had unfortunate things happen,” said Wasps fly half Danny Cipriani. “Someone fell on my leg which is how I got injured, Sam Jones got injured doing judo, unlucky things. It’s frustrating when last year we won all our games early on.”

Stuat Barnes added in his Sky Sports collumn: “A lack of punch up front and variety behind. Elliot Daly looked leaden footed. That sort of sums up Wasps at the moment.”

TOUGH TIGERS – Racing 92 22 – 18 Leicester Tigers

England wing Jonny May scored his seventh try of the season in Leicester’s narrow defeat away at Racing 92 and the visitors made more metres from fewer carries that the Paris-based side.

This suggests that Tigers have more effective ball carriers than the French side and a losing bonus point against the 2016 Top 14 champions is a respectable outcome.

RAMPANT ROCHELLE – Harlequins 27 – 34 La Rochelle

Harlequins were undone by La Rochelle at the Stoop in a fast-moving game of rugby. Geoffrey Doumayrou caused problems for Quins in the centres; contributing to the visitors’ 11 clean line breaks.

The home side should be worried that they lost the game despite making more than double the number of carries and passes than La Rochelle.

WARRIORS CHIEFED – Exeter Chiefs 24 – 15 Glasgow Warriors

Exeter Chiefs took a very direct approach against Glasgow Warriors at Sandy Park with all three tries coming from pick-and-go situations.

The home side were beaten in nearly every statistic except for carries and the score line. It was a well-executed tactic by Rob Baxter who compensated for the wet conditions perfectly.

SAILING SARRIESNorthampton 13 – 57 Saracens

Saracens remain odds on favourites to win this years’ tournament and equal Toulon’s three consecutive titles. The London-based side dominated Northampton in every area on Sunday and Sarries missed 12 tackles during the 80 minutes, the fewest of any English club in round one.

Barnes added: “As for Saracens, they were simply sensational. I watched their performance in a state somewhere close to religious awe. What else can be said about the three time European champions?”

WHITEWASHED IN THE BATH – Bath 23 – 0 Bennetton

Bath also put in a very dominant, commanding performance to keep Bennetton off the score sheet. This makes them the first side to nil a team since Glasgow trounced Leicester in January.

Both wingers played key roles in both of Bath’s tries, but the home side were beaten by Bennetton in metres gained, number of carries, defenders beaten, passes and offloads. This highlights the clinical nature of Bath’s posssession and they will be confident going to play the Scarlets in round two.

Winning home games is the most important thing to do in the pool stages of the competition and if each team collects losing bonus points in away matches, possibly snatching one victory, then qualification for the knockout stage is almost guaranteed.

So despite statistics suggesting a poor start, there is no need for English fans to panic.

Rugbydump Weekly is a new series of features written by former England Rugby reporter and performance analyst Shay Waterworth.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    scottish prop saves fire victim

  • 64 WEEKS AGO

    New Rugby X tournament insane

  • 91 WEEKS AGO

    Vunipola stands by his comments supporting...

ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    It's 30 years since France scored that epic 'Try of the Century' from beneath their posts

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Amazing acrobatic skills set up early try in Pro D2 Friday night clash

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Arguably the most insane three minutes of Fijian rugby history

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Jonny Wilkinson's iconic performance that ripped Ireland apart in 2002

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Jamie Roberts turns back the clock with trademark midfield power for well taken try

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Springbok fans celebrate Liam Williams' game-losing error in 2014

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Huge brawl blows up in dugouts during 1999 Wales Test in Buenos Aires

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Old school highlights show just how brutal rugby really was in the 80s

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Liam Williams suspended despite on field protestations

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Kyle Sinkler banned for going full John McEnroe at referee

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Vakatawa blows crucial try in terrible blooper, similar to Kunitani in 2014

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Old school highlights show just how brutal rugby really was in the 80s

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Highlights and reaction to Saracens shock defeat to Championship regulars Ealing

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Zebo slams Folau over potential return to rugby union

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Steve Thompson's heartbreaking interview which shocked World Rugby in December

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Fijian wing who lifted a referee like Lion King now faces a disciplinary hearing

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Referee JP Doyle reacts to hilarious moment red card was dished out after bizarre celebration

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Without doubt one of the funniest red cards in the history of rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Nigel Owens produces comedy gold by forgetting crucial piece of kit during Pro14 clash

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    The VERY BEST examples of when rugby players celebrate too early

View All

Amateur

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 48 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    The highs and lows of Yoann Huget after he announced his retirement

View All
RUGBYDUMP WEEKLY: English struggle in Europe | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos