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Munster a good bet to win Heineken Cup at 16/1

By Frank Quinn
The new ‘fangled’ draw and match system for the Heineken Cup 2022- is playing out and we are down to the serious business, the Quarter Finals (QF’s), Pure and simple knockouts. Thank goodness all the other stuff is done and dusted. We finished the back to back round, we finished with the aggregate score business. we are in the cup stage, the ‘nowhere to hide time’ in the QF’s. Winner takes all.
We have eight heavy weight clubs left in our list of fixtures:
T0-morrow, Saturday, 7th May 3 pm, Aviva Stadium – Munster v Toulouse. And at 5.30 pm Leicester v Leinster at Welford Road. At 6.30 La Rochelle v Montpelier.
Sunday, 8th features the clash: Racing 92 v Sale Sharks in Paris La Defense Arena at 4 pm.
The final: Saturday, 28th May 5.45 Stade Velodrome Marseilles
The Paddy Power barometer – betting:
The QF’s: Toulouse 4/9 – Munster 21/10, Leinster 1/2 – Leicester 21/10, La Rochelle 3/14 – Montpelier 6/1, Racing 92 1/6 – Sale 6/1
Outright betting:currently for the Heineken Cup : Leinster 19/10, La Rochelle 5/1, Racing 92 7/2, Leicester 10/1, Toulouse 9/1, Munster 16/1, Montpelier 20/1 Sale 25/1
Its best to start at the top with Toulouse – The champions five time winners and current champions. They won the first Cup in 1996 at the Cardiff Arms Park by beating the home Club 21-8 ( AET) before 21,800 spectators. Their record stretches 1996 – 2021
They play Munster at the Aviva Stadium, the Reds have played a huge part in the success of the Heineken Cup – winners –in 2006 and 2008 and that was their last final – (more memorable as they beat Toulouse in the final 16-13 in front of 74,534 spectators in Cardiff), Munster has some catching up to do in the record books – but they are capable of performing on the big day – and this is it.
Next to Leinster – another great Club with history – no less than four time winners – the last one in 2018 where they beat Racing 92 by 15-12 in the unlikely Spanish San Mames Stadium in Bilbao before 52,282 spectators. Just give the credit to their performances in the competition – they are one of the legends. Leinster are drawn away to Leicester Tigers at the famous Welford Road ground – both the ground and the team are part of the Heineken Cup folklore. they have been out of fashion of late – like 13 years late. They appeared in a final in 2007 and were beaten by Wasps and in 2009 they were beaten by Leinster in Murrayfield. they did enjoy two wins back to back at the turn of the century in 2001 and 2002
Racing 92 are establishing themselves as Heineken Cup heroes – they have been in three finals without a win. Beaten by Saracens, Leinster and Exeter in 2016, 2018 and and 2020 – they just need to win a final – but first they have to overcome the Heineken QF outsider’s Sale Sharks in Paris. Sale are currently 7th in the Premiership with ten wins from 22 games with a points difference of 32. This is a huge game for them and a win would make it a memorable season.
In the fourth QF, it is an all French affair with La Rochelle last years beaten finalists taking on Montpelier, the other newcomer this year – currently the number one team in the French Top 14 Championship with 14 wins from 24 games. . La Rochelle will have the experience of the 2021 final under their belt. They currently lie seventh in the Top 14 winning 13 from 24 games but just 7 points behind the leaders.
The betting speaks for itself but it has to be backed up with a win. Talking is done, home advantage is a big bonus, the quality of the teams speaks for itself. You have to make up your own mind about who moves on to the semi finals and we look forward to three weekends in succession of top class rugby.

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