Thursday, 26 April 2012

Heineken Cup seminfinals preview

This coming weekend offers us a lot of excitement. On Saturday, in Heineken Cup semi-final, Ulster will play with Edinburgh. This team has so far been the biggest surprise of the tournament eliminating four-times champion - Stade Toulouse on the way to the semifinals . Edinburgh can already consider this year’s competition a success. They are the first Scottish team which reached the semifinals stage. If they manage to defeat their rivals it will be a historic success not only for the team but for the whole Scottish rugby. In this confrontation, however, Ulster is a big favorite. The Irish have already defeated one of the most dangerous team - Munster, so if they fail to achieve the next phase of the tournament, it will definitely be a missed opportunity.

In Sunday's semifinal, last year's champion Leinster will meet French Clermont Auvergne. Both teams are doing very well in their leagues (Leinster is leading the table and Clermont is currently second), so it looks that we will see the clash of titans. Clermont is weakened by the absence of one of their key players - David Skrela, who hasn’t fully recovered from the injury he picked up during quarter-finals. This fact speaks in favor of Leinster but winning on French soil is never an easy task.

If both Ulster and Leinster win, it will only be the second time in history when two teams from the same country play in the finals. This situation occured in the 2002/2003 season for the first time, when Toulouse and Stade Francais met in the final. Who will be the finalist this year? We will find out in a few days' time.