A France Encounter

When I did my predictions earlier in the week I didn’t include the two Challenge Cup semi-finals.

If I had I would have gone for La Rochelle in last night’s game!

After all, they were at home, currently lead the Top14 and haven’t been beaten at Stade Marcel-Deflandre this season. Their lead in the Top14 is 9 points and they are already guaranteed a play-off place as well as Champions Cup qualification for next season.

By contrast Gloucester have had a mixed season – they’ve won only 7 matches in the Premiership and lie 8th.

A no-brainer right?


Gloucester were immense last night and they had to be – if there are bigger packs on the planet than at La Rochelle they must be sponsored by McDonald’s and Krispy Crème.

Former Springbok number 9, Rickie Januarie must now weigh more than most of the Gloucester pack and looks like he’s a fan of les grand pasties du porc, washed down with lashings of pastis.


Gloucester had heroes all around the park and it would be unfair to pick individuals out – but then when have I ever been fair?

Special mentions should go to –

Gloucester: Marshall; May, Trinder, Atkinson, Halaifonua; Burns, Heinz (capt); Hohneck, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Thrush, Moriarty, Rowan, Morgan.

Replacements: Matu’u, McAllister, Thomas, Galarza, Ludlow, Laidlaw, Twelvetrees, Sharples.

It was a brilliant performance and I hold my hands up that I would never have predicted that one.

Full marks to David Humphreys team – and none to me!

The second semi-final is on now and I’m recording it as I’ve been out all morning helping clean up our estate – so for the last 4 hours I’ve been rubbing out rude graffiti and picking up Happy Meal boxes.

It quite reminded me of doing Community Service – only kidding, CS was much bleeding easier. Still joking, I’ve never had to do CS – haven’t been caught, obviously!

I’ll watch both today’s semi-finals when I’ve finished scribbling.

I’m going with Bath – despite them being the away team. I’m banking on Toby sorting out Sergio.

In the other game I’ve already picked Clermont (‘Pride of Place’).

Right just 2 posts today – I’m bored with trying to avoid the scores in the semi’s (nudge nudge) and expect you are too (bored not getting a semi)


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