Monday, 8 April 2013

Heineken Cup semi-finalists

Four teams remain in the race for the first place in Heineken Cup.  Clermont, Saracens, Munster and Toulon are one step closer to reach the glory.

Last Saturday in the all French clash, Clermont beat Montpellier 36:14. The key to success was fantastic performance of the former All Black - Sitiveni Sivivatu. He wreaked havoc with the defensive lines of his rivals. Special mention deserves the fact that numbers 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 scored tries for Clermont. It confirms high quality of backs in the team which is full of superstars.

In the second Saturday’s game Saracens defeated Ulster 27:16. Although Saracens don’t play in spectacular style, they are very efficient. As usual English team showed good tactical skills. They took their chances when they had them and kept scoreboard ticking by adding points from the tee. Ashton and Fraser scored tries but the match was won by the solid defense.  Saracens were almost perfect at it, they let Ulster score a solitaire try but it was in the last minute of the game and couldn’t change anything.

On Sunday, surprisingly, Munster beat English champions 12:18. After the first half, Harlequins were leading 9:6 but the second half belonged to Munster. The Irishmen were determined aggressive and dominated their rivals who could then only defend themselves. Harlequins seemed surprised by Munster’s attitude and came second best. It means that the dream of triple crown is over for them. Munster’s victory will certainly give them a morale boost as many doubted them. 

In the last game Toulon beat Leicester Tigers 21:15. Although the game was very tense all points were scored from kicks. The undisputed hero of the match was Jonny Wilkinson who succeeded in six penalties and a drop goal. Once again he proved to be one of the best fly-half in the world. 

I the semi-finals we will see Clermont playing with Munster and Saracens will face Toulon.