Ashton to be top tryscorer in Heineken Cup

Heineken Cup

Rugby Union
Published: 17/10/2013

The Heineken Cup got underway last weekend and with the talks of a new Anglo-French competition set for next season then the winner this season could be the final champion of the European Rugby Union event. The format sees six pools of four teams with the winners from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals along with the two best runners up Toulon won the event last year and are the 3/1 (SKYBET/BETVICTOR/paddy Power) favourites in a market that is dominated by the French sides. The defending champions got their campaign off to a strong start with a comfortable 51-28 victory over Glasgow and should have too much for Exeter, Glasgow and Cardiff.

In Pool one it is Leinster who are the 8/15 (SPREADEX) favourite ahead of Northampton (who lost their opener) at 7/2 (GENERAL) and Castres who are 8/1 (boylesports). The Ospreys are the 40/1 (GENERAL) outsiders.

In Pool three it looks close between Aviva Premiership leaders (Saracens), third in France (Toulouse) while the other two sides (Connacht and Zebre) are expected to make up the numbers. It is a tough one to split with bookmakers pricing both at 10/11 (GENERAL). Pool four is likely to be dominated by the runners-up from last season Clermont Auvergne. Clermont lost the final season by just one point and are 6/1 (GENERAL) second favourites to go one better this season and lift the trophy. They should comfortably win their group and are 8/11 (SPREADEX) to do so ahead of Racing Metro, Harlequins and Llanelli.

The most interesting pool is the fifth one that could be an intriguing three way battle between Ulster, Leicester and Montpellier with Treviso the expected whipping boys. I like the look of the French side here as they are the bigger priced of the three. They currently sit joint top of the French league after nine games and are 11/4 (STAN JAMES/WINNER) to top this pool. The sixth pool features Munster who are 6/4 (SPREADEX) to finish top while Perpignan are 5/2 (ladbrokes), Gloucester are 3/1 (GENERAL) and Edinburgh 14/1 (BETVICTOR). Sticking with the Heineken Cup and I think it has to be worth an interest on Chris Ashton to be the top Tryscorer in the tournament. He is available at 14/1 (BETVICTOR) and this looks a good price seeing as his group has the whipping boys of Connacht and Zebre in it. Ashton netted a try in the first group game and has looked in good form in the domestic campaign.

In addition those looking for a bet for the second round of fixtures might want to consider the evens on Racing Metro to see off Llanelli. The French side saw off the highly-fancied Clermont in their opener while the Welsh side sit just eighth in their domestic league. Take the evens then with STAN JAMES on a Racing Metro victory this weekend.

New Zealand and Australia are also in action on Saturday (07:35,SKY) in the Bledsoe Cup and it is hard to see past the All Blacks though odds of 1/7 (888 SPORT/unibet) do not inspire . The All Blacks have won the recent meetings between the sides and you have to go back to 2001 for the last time they last a home Rugby Union international to Australia.

The best bet for those looking to get involved in the game is to side with Ben Smith in any player markets that become available. Smith is likely to start at centre after a stunning eight tries from six games in the Rugby Championship out wide.


GOLD: Chris Ashton to be top Tournament Tryscorer, EW, 14/1 (BETVICTOR)
SILVER: Racing Metro to beat Llanelli, evens (STAN JAMES)
BRONZE: Montpellier to top Pool 5 at 11/4 (STAN JAMES/WINNER)

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (17/10/2013) but are subject to change.

17/10/2013     © Frixo 2018

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