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Heineken Champions Cup Predictor: Big Jim vs the RPI

By Jim Hamilton
John Cooney celebrates a try against Harlequins in the Champions Cup. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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Heineken Champions Cup predictor: It’s another big European weekend, with most of the teams running out across the continent still with a lot to play for.

Here are my predictions for the 10 Round 5 matches and we’ve compared them to how the RugbyPass Index (RPI) is predicting each game.

Pool 1

Leinster vs Lyon

Lyon are now out and Leinster will top the group. I predict a bonus-point win for Leinster who are the form team in Europe right now, with Exeter the only other side on 19 points going into these matches.

Leinster by 15

The RPI:

Heineken Champions Cup predictor

Northampton vs Benneton

As much as I like Benneton Treviso, Europe is too much of an ask for them. Northampton are one of the form teams in the Premiership (which they will focus on now).

Northampton by 10

The RPI:


Pool 2

La Rochelle vs Sale

Both teams are effectively down and out. France is always a tough place to play. Glasgow had a good win down there earlier in the group. Sale had a big win in the Premiership last week and all their focus is probably on the Premiership and resting front line players.

La Rochelle by 8

The RPI says:

Heineken Champions Cup predictor

Glasgow vs Exeter

Difficult one to call. What team will Glasgow put out at Scotstoun? Exeter are the joint form team in Europe on 19 points with Leinster who are on 19 points in pool 1. The Chiefs are very motivated and want to make a statement.


Exeter by 5.

The RPI says:

Heineken Champions Cup predictor

Pool 3

Bath vs Quins

A complete dead rubber.

Quins by 5

The RPI says:

Heineken Champions Cup predictor

Clermont vs Ulster

Game of the weekend. The Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin is one of the toughest places to play in Europe. One point separates them. Ulster won the match between them at Ravenhill and are flying at the minute on all fronts.

Clermont by 6.


Pool 4

Ospreys vs Saracens

Poor Ospreys. AWJ is back which will help. This is a defining match for Saracens. If they win this with a bonus point they will be in a position to qualify – and in the knock-out stages they have the squad to go all they way. Can you imagine?

Saracans by 15

The RPI says:

Racing vs Munster

Racing top the pool and Munster still have a chance so this will be a good one. Simon Zebo and Donnacha Ryan are up against their old club again. Finn Russell is playing so well and if you remember that ridiculous nut-meg to score in the game between them earlier in the group, I’m telling you: he will try that again.

Racing by 10

The RPI says:

Pool 5

Connacht vs Toulouse

Toulouse are unbeaten in Europe. We will see what they are made of this weekend. Connacht have giant killer performances in them and I would not be surprised if they beat Toulouse.

Tough one… f*** it:

Connacht by 5

The RPI says:

Gloucester vs Montpellier

Not much to say here. Disappointed with Montpellier. Love Gloucester but Europe’s gone.

Gloucester by 8

The RPI says:


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