In which I look at the Heineken Cup following yesterday's results.
In which I look ahead to the sixth round of the Heineken Cup - and a crunch set of games for Wasps.
This weekend, Wasps play Edinburgh at home in the Heineken Cup. Last weekend, Wasps managed to squeeze out a win at Edinburgh, meaning that qualification is in our hands. The table at the moment looks like this:
- Leinster - played 4 - 15 points
- Wasps - played 3 - 8 points
- Castres - played 4 - 5 points
- Edinburgh - played 3 - 4 points
If we get a win at home against Edinburgh, Wasps will be on 12 points. A bonus point win (scoring 4 tries) would make that 13 points.
In January, we play Leinster (at Twickenham) - and a win there would put us at the head of the table if we beat Edinburgh. It isn't easy, but it's in our hands. We also have to play away at Castres, which again won't be easy.
To qualify for the quarter finals we must top the pool, or be one of the two highest scoring second teams (from six pools). In practice, we cannot rely on that, so passing Leinster is the only real option - and to do that, nothing less than a win tomorrow will do.
Wasps haven't been playing well this season - the premiership performance has been disappointing to say the least. Wasps are currently in the bottom half of the table, and only two points mean that we're not in 11th position.
- London Irish - played 8 - 27 points
- Gloucester - played 8 - 27 points
- Bath - played 8 - 26 points
- Sale Sharks - played 8 - 24 points
- Harlequins - played 8 - 24 points
- Leicester Tigers - played 8 - 21 points
- Saracens - played 8 - 20 points
- Worcester Warriors - played 8 - 14 points
- London Wasps - played 8 - 12 points
- Northampton Saints - played 8 - 11 points
- Newcastle Falcons - played 8 - 10 points
- Bristol - played 8 - 7 points
Our next premiership game is against Saracens, who are based in Watford (Wasps play in High Wycombe, just off the M40). A win would go a long way to improving my mood with regard to Wasps fortunes. Despite the meteoric rise last season to ultimate victory, I think this is beyond Wasps right now - I hope I'm wrong, but 'lightning doesn't strike twice'(*). What I'm hoping for in the premiership this season is a change in fortunes, some coherent play, some convincing wins, and a top six finish (for Heineken Cup qualification next year).
Doing well in the Heineken Cup could be just the catalyst to kickstart the Premiership. Fingers crossed.
(*) Physics caveat. Yes it does. Quite often.... but you know what I mean.