Club Rugby Games of the Week!

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There is plenty of club rugby on this week, so for those of you looking to fill the gaps between the 6 Nations matches fear not! With so much rugby on the telly, it will be difficult to know what games to watch, so we at RBP have picked one match from each league that we feel will be the most entertaining, enjoy!

Super Rugby: Waratahs vs Highlanders

The Champions of 2014 square off against the Champions of 2015 in a rematch of the 40-35 Highlanders win in a trial match over the summer. Both sides love to attack, so we should see plenty of good, positive play from these two. Look for a major competition in the back row, as the Highlanders trio of Elliot Dixon, Shane Christie, and Liam Squire come up against the experienced Tahs back row of Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, and Wycliff Palu. Both groups bring an excellent work rate around the park, but also bring a huge impact when running with ball in hand. Kurtley Beale and Lima Sopoaga will go head to head at flyhalf in a very exciting matchup. We would have liked to have seen Teihorangi Walden and David Horwitz face off in a battle of young second five eighths, but that battle will have to wait. Malakai Fekitoa has been in outstanding form, and he will provide plenty of problems for Rob Horne in defense. It’s set to be a classic All Black vs Wallaby matchup at fullback, as Ben Smith takes on Israel Folau. This match should be a high scoring cracker, and we are really looking forward to it.

Prediction: Waratahs 23-Highlanders 30

Aviva Premiership: Leicester vs Saracens

This match carries huge playoff implications. Leicester are currently 5th, sitting just outside of contention for a spot in the quarterfinals, while Saracens are clinging on to the top spot. With Exeter and Wasps gaining rapidly, Sarries cannot afford a loss in this match, but Leicester will know that they need a win in a big way. Leicester, as always, pack a massive punch in the pack, with players like Marcos Ayerza, Logovi’i Mulipola, Ed Slater, and Tom Croft. Saracens will have to go without their England stars, taking a massive sting out of their tail, but they will have confidence in the likes of Schalk Brits, Jackson Wray, and Jacques Burger to get the job done. Freddie Burns and Charlie Hodgson provide a good matchup at 10, while the southern hemisphere battle between Peter Betham and Marcelo Bosch should provide plenty of entertainment at outside centre. Niki Goneva gives Leicester plenty of power and pace out wide, but Saracens can reply in turn with the likes of Chris Wyles or Alex Goode. Both of these sides know this match is a must win, and it is unlikely that either of them will fail to turn up. Leicester always pose a major challenge at home, but I think Saracens have the quality to overcome that challenge.

Prediction: Leicester 19- Saracens 22

Guinness Pro12: Glasgow vs Leinster:
Another matchup between champions of 2014 and champions of 2015, although this time with a slightly more watered down flavour. Neither of these two sides has had the season they wanted, with Leinster failing to make the quarterfinals of the Champions Cup, and Glasgow currently sitting at a lowly 7th in the Pro12. Leinster will need big games from young players like Peter Dooley, Ross Molony, and Dan Leavy, while the likes of Jack Conan and Jordi Murphy will bring a bit of experience in the pack. Glasgow have plenty of dangerous players, with the likes of Leone Nakarawa in the second row as well as Simone Favaro and Adam Ashe. Young Cathal Marsh has been impressive for Leinster alongside the fast climbing Luke McGrath, but Rory Clegg gives Glasgow a very assured presence at 10. Leinster have a devastating centre pairing in Ben Te’o and Garry Ringrose, with Te’o’s power and offloads putting the graceful strides of Ringrose into plenty of space. Taqele Naiyaravoro gives Glasgow a dominant weapon on the wing, but Leinster have some dangermen of their own, with the likes of Isa Nacewa and Adam Byrne at their disposal. Leinster have been going through something of a transition year, and another win over Glasgow would put them in good stead looking to the playoffs. Glasgow are playing for pride at this point, but pride is something they have plenty of, so don’t expect a Leinster walkover.

Prediction: Leinster 19- Glasgow 17

Top14: Clermont vs Toulouse:

If nothing else, these two sides have the pedigree to make this a sensational match. Toulouse need a win to get back into playoff contention, as they currently sit 4 points behind the 4th place side, Bordeaux. Toulouse have no shortage of size in their pack, as they boast the likes of Guthro Steenkamp, Corey Flynn, and Census Johnston. Flip Van Der Merwe will be a key player for Clermont, as he is likely to control the lineouts. Also key will be Vincent Debaty, whose size makes him a valuable asset in the loose and in open play. France legend Thierry Dusautoir will likely be leading the charge for Toulouse, and his physicality should leave a huge mark on this match, as well as his opponents. Toby Flood and Brock James will be pulling the strings from outhalf for their respective sides, and both are capable of true magic at any point. Clermont magician Aurelien Rougerie has the potential to cause a lot of problems for Toulouse, but Ugo Mola’s side have a defensive bastion in Florian Fritz to lock things down in defense. With the likes of David Strettle and Noa Nakaitaci, Clermont have plenty of finishing prowess in the wider channels, but don’t think that Toulouse lack a finishing edge out wide. Paul Perez brings plenty of magic whether on the wing or in the centre, and if Luke McAlister is played at fullback, his decision making and kicking will give Clermont a lot of problems. Toulouse have been very shaky this season, and Clermont have been as solid as ever, but Toulouse is a team that knows how to win big games, and this is a big game. Having said that, winning away to Clermont is not something that is done often, and we can’t see Clermont dropping their current form.

Prediction: Clermont 22- Toulouse 20

Aidan Clarke
Media Intern from America.

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