It wasn’t the busiest week around Europe with only the LV= Cup and the Top 14 factoring into our rankings but they did have a large impact.
1. Munster (Last Week: 2): Munster didn’t even play over the weekend but thanks to poor results elsewhere they slid into our top spot.
2. Saracens (3): Two matches in two days? Not a problem for the Saracens who beat the Sharks 23-15 in an exhibition and then spanked Newcastle 41-8 in the LV= Cup. The wins show just how deep and talented they are as a team.
3. Leinster (4): Like Munster they were idle yet move up our rankings.
4. Clermont (1): Losing to a team that is fighting to avoid relegation is inexcusable for a team that had sat a top the table. Sure, every team has a slip-up but Clermont were supposed to be deep enough for this not to happen.
5. Stade Francais (8): Who would have thought that Stade Francais would be the leaders in the Top 14 this late in the season. Full credit to the team for making it happen, including their big win over standings rival Castres.
6. Northampton (7): The Saints faced horrific conditions against the Dragons over the weekend but still came away with a big win. They were also missing several key players.
7. Toulouse (5): Losing to Racing Metro 25-5 is embarrassing and will not do Toulouse any favors in the standings. With nine weeks left in the season they now sit eight points behind the league leaders.
8.Toulon (6): Even worse than Toulouse’s defeat was Toulon’s 23-10 loss to Brive. Sure they were missing some players but their large overseas contingent is supposed to prevent against slip-ups like this.
9. Ulster (10): Again, the beneficiary of slips elsewhere.
10. Castres (9): At least they lost to the now league leaders. Plus, they are in third place.