European Club Top 10—January 21, 2014
It’s time for our European Club Top Ten!
1. Clermont (Last Week: 1): It’s sad when you think that a 28-3 win, which is what Clermont put up over Racing Metro, isn’t enough. In reality it is but the expectations of Clermont at this point are pretty high. Pressure is on to hold on in the Top 14.
2. Munster (2): Munster had their Heineken Cup quarterfinal berth secure heading into the weekend but their big win over Edinburgh was still impressive.
3. Saracens (4): Needing a big performance Saracens saved one of their best of the year in a big blowout win over Connacht. David Strettle continues to impress making his England non-selects even more questionable.
4. Leinster (3): The lads from Dublin did everything right in their win over the Ospreys but the Saracens win was just that much more impressive. Even though they trail in the RaboDirect Pro12, Leinster are still considered the favorite to win the title at year’s end.
5. Toulouse (5): Sure, they had qualification all but assured over the weekend but they certainly weren’t impressive against Zebre winning by only 10 points.
6. Toulon (6): Like Toulouse, Toulon were not impressive. It’s been an up and down season for the team and they will need to be better if they want to win trophies. They’ll face a tough ask in Leinster during the quarterfinals.
7. Northampton (7): The Saints will be extremely disappointed to not make the Heineken Cup quarterfinals but at least they have a good chance in the Amlin Challenge Cup and the Premiership.
8. Stade Francais (9): They struggled in the first half against Lusitanos but they got the job done and advance over London Irish on a tie-breaker. Plus, they sit in a good position in the Top 14.
9. Castres (8): Castres knew they couldn’t advance in the Heineken Cup and they played like it in a disappointing loss to Northampton.
10. Ulster (NR): The men from Northern Ireland finished with the best record in the Heineken Cup. Add in the fact that they don’t trail in the RaboDirect Pro12 by too much and they could be moving up the table soon.