It has been a hectic season so far in domestic Rugby Union this season and one of the sport’s biggest prizes is up for grabs this weekend as English club, Saracens take on the mighty French side, Racing 92 in the European Cup final in Lyon. In recent times the competition has been dominated by the French giants, Toulon who had one 3 years on the trot. But as is the way in most sports, a surprise was bound to happen and in this years competition that is exactly what happened as fellow French side, Racing 92 with the brilliance of Dan Carter, were able to come up with the goods and dump out the defending champions in the quarter finals. Certainly a key figure for Racing this season has been the acquisition of legendary Kiwi fly-half, Dan Carter. His phenomenal kicking ability has been one of many factors that have propelled Racing to the final of the Champions cup and 4th in the race for the Top14 championship in France. Even with Dan Carter at the helm I still thinks its good be hard going for Racing as they just seem to have more chinks in their defence than the Saracens and they are up against an English side who are rather eager and hungrier for that European glory.
It’s also been another hell of a season for Saracens, who themselves have some great talent within their ranks. The duo of Maro Itoje and George Kruis in the second row have been nothing short of spectacular this season and they were both extremely key figures in England’s grand slam win in the six nations. It is also unbelievably hard to ignore the contribution of number eight, Billy Vunipola. The loose forward has been so such a bullish ball carrier and it seems like it takes an age for oppositions to be able to stop him. if he getting going this weekend then I think Racing will certainly have a hard time stopping him. Even more so for the likes of Owen Farrell. If the England fly-half has his kicking boots on I think it could certainly be a tight contest between himself and Carter. With all this in mind, will the Saracens be the ones lifting the trophy on saturday evening? Well history is slightly against them. The reached the final not long before but were succumbed to defeat against Toulon. Also the competition itself over the last years ten years has been completed dominated by French and Irish teams. The London Wasps were the last team to win the competition back in 2007 and they one of only 3 English teams to have won the coveted trophy. But still I think the way have looked in these last couple of seasons, if any English club were going to break the chain it’s going to be Saracens and I wouldn’t bet against them at all becoming the 4th English team to win the European Cup.
I have always said I prefer Rugby Union to Rugby League. When I’m out and about maybe going out for a drink with friends or family, the topic of sport always seems to creep up into any conversation. And me being me I always like to get people’s opinions about which form of Rugby is the best and there just seems to be a similar answer each time. That is that they prefer to watch domestic Rugby League to domestic Rugby Union. The general theme being that Rugby Union at club level is just too boring or is just too much about kicking. What?! The sheer pain on my face is always clear to see when this is brought up. In my eyes this is just not true. For me there seems to be no better atmosphere or better spectacle in sport than a huge Rugby Union game, whether it be at club or international level. It’s hard to put your finger on it there just looks to be this sense of tension and excitement unlike anything else. I seriously urge and encourage you all, especially Rugby League fans to watch this game at the weekend as it promises to be an absolute cracker of a game and one that will not be in the slightest bit boring.
But what do I know seriously……