The News Review:
- Parma hamstrung by Biarritz butchers
- Weekend Heineken Cup Preview
- Thomas returns with spring in his step
Parma hamstrung by Biarritz butchers
Times nline – Oct 29, 2006
The loss sees Brive leapfrog Newcastle in the pool standings with nine points from their two matches. CARDIFF are set for their biggest crowd in almost 40 years with more than 19000 tickets already sold for their Pool Four match with Leicester Tigers at the Millennium stadium today. The Blues’ record high in the Heineken Cup was the 13500 that crammed into their Arms Park ground for the game against Saracens in 2001 but today’s gate will exceed that as the highest ever pool attendance in Wales since the tournament began in 1995. Cardiff are hoping to break through the 22000 crowd that Leinster enjoyed at Lansdowne Road last weekend to set a season’s high attendance. After that they will have the Heineken Cup Pool record of 34000 for last season’s match between Toulouse and London Wasps in their sights. LNDN IRISH received a boost ahead of the club’s visit to Toulouse today after Riki Flutey and Kieran Roche both passed fitness tests. Both will take their places in the starting line-up for the match at Stade Ernest Wallon.
Weekend Heineken Cup Preview
sportnetwork.net – Oct 29, 2006
Friday’s action kicks-off in Pool ne where Castres host Italian side Treviso at the Stade Pierre-Antoine. Treviso join the Heineken Cup elite this weekend as this marks their 50th appearance in the competition and they will be hoping to catch Castres on an off day as they look to mark this with a victory. However the French side will be smarting after their narrow defeat against Wasps last weekend and need to belatedly open their account here. Although Treviso should never be underestimated it is very hard to envisage anything else other than a Castres win here and with the Frenchmen in fair form at home they should prevail. Sale will have been rocked by their defeat at the spreys last Friday night and whilst it isn’t the end of the world for Sharks fans it is imperative that they pick up a bonus point against Calvisano on Friday. The club has been boosted this week with the news that both coach Philippe Saint-Andre and fly-half Charlie Hodgson have signed long-term extensions to their contracts and this should spur them on to progress in the Heineken Cup.
Thomas returns with spring in his step
Times nline – Oct 29, 2006
We have no fear of our opponents. “We’ve closed the gap with the French and English when it comes to power in contact situations and it showed against Bourgoin and also in our Anglo-Welsh victories over Wasps and Saracens. Last year we found it hard to compete with them at the breakdown but now we are not being outmuscled and it gives you a real boost. ” However with last season’s Wales coach Scott Johnson coming to town in his new role with Australia after four years of mentoring the Welsh Thomas says it is mind games rather than muscle that will be on the agenda when Wales face the Wallabies. “I look at Scott as up there with the best coaches and given the way he used to analyse the opposition when he was with Wales it’s fair to say he probably knows us better than we know ourselves.