Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, October 10, 2008

Heineken Cup Preview

The Heineken Cup kicks off today as we'll get to see the top clubs around Europe do battle for the next few months. Champions Munster will be determined to defend the title they so famously claimed against Toulouse earlier in the year, but the challengers will be strong.

With talent spread far and wide across Europe at the moment, there are a number of teams that have a genuine chance of making it all the way. Don't be surprised to see any upset or two either, as match breakers in smaller sides could make all the difference.

We're in for a cracking few months of rugby, as the Heineken Cup is now considered one of the top, if not the top, club or provincial tournament in the world. That's up for debate of course, but the fact is that to play Heineken Cup rugby is a real test, and a challenge that someone like Dan Carter himself is relishing.

This is a short advert from Sky Sports for the exciting tournament that should keep us all thoroughly entertained from now until May next year.

At this stage, before the first game has kicked off, anyone care to hazard a prediction as to who will be the two teams in the final? We'll look back at the end of the tournament and see who got it right.

Time: 01:21



  • go ospreys!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous mitch, at October 10, 2008 10:31 am  

  • munster should make it 2 in a row,realistically

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 10:48 am  

  • realistically?? wat does that even mean? like there's a way to rationnalize it...
    personnally I would bet alot more on Toulouse or Stade Francais but again who can tell...

    By Anonymous tehsniper, at October 10, 2008 11:57 am  

  • Toulouse Vs. Clermont

    By Anonymous Will B, at October 10, 2008 1:24 pm  

  • what a stuff!
    Hard to elect 2 finalists..

    i would say stade français vs leicester (revenge of 2001)

    By Blogger Flooz, at October 10, 2008 1:32 pm  

  • Never get sick of seeing Mushy's handoff on Simon Shaw (0:56)!! Munster for two in a row!! The sides i'm worried about are Leciester, Toulose and Wasps.... even though they've had a terrible start to their season, they should make it out of the group and they're always hard to beat in the knockout stages.

    Come on Munster!!

    By Blogger pcasey, at October 10, 2008 2:04 pm  

  • Stade Français is doing really good in the Top 14, Munster as usual is another candidate... and i think leicester is another

    By Anonymous Eric, at October 10, 2008 2:14 pm  

  • If munster play as well as they have been so far, and can maintaint that for the season, there's no reason they shouldn't make it 2 in a row. Apart from that, i'd watch out for toulouse as usual. Leinster have a decent squad this year, don't see them going the whole way, but they could make a decent stab at it.

    By Anonymous Bugsy, at October 10, 2008 2:26 pm  

  • Stade Francais vs Leicester Tigers.

    By Blogger Sea-Bass, at October 10, 2008 2:31 pm  

  • I'll say the advantage goes to the more experienced teams. Munster, Toulouse, Wasps are the 3 last winners.

    By Blogger salem_ok, at October 10, 2008 2:57 pm  

  • Greetings from the USA.

    I have to agree with a lot of what you're all saying. Stade looks real good, despite playing the the girliest kit ever.

    I have to say I feel bad for the Italian clubs that make the Heineken Cup. They never seem to have a chance. Does European Rugby have a profit/financial sharing plan to that benefits the "minnows?"

    By Anonymous Cheesecake, at October 10, 2008 2:59 pm  

  • Heart says munster mind says munster...but who knows heres to a good one

    By Anonymous munster champions 2006, 2008 & 2009?, at October 10, 2008 3:31 pm  

  • Munster to win 2 in a row. Lenister and the dark horses and Stade are Munsters biggest worry. Munster in a new Stadium infront 26000 is goin to be out of this world. The last 47 game unbeaten run WILL be beaten. FACT

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 3:38 pm  

  • G'wan Glawwws. Gloucester should do better this year since they've got rid of patterson and his shite kicking which put munster through last year. But as ever will buckle under pressure and go out in the quarters or semi's most likely.

    By Anonymous Shed Head, at October 10, 2008 4:01 pm  

  • Good video with exception to the completely random and pointless bloody free running.

    What place does it have in such a video? I know you guys didn't make it. But what posesses the people over at Sky to say "I know, lets put alot of completely random and utterly pointless clips of free running throughout the video".

    I hate free running and i hate this video ;)

    Roll on Heineken cup!

    By Anonymous Rancid, at October 10, 2008 4:12 pm  

  • The retarted acrobatics were completely unnecessary. I don't see what point they had in the video. How is that supposed to get me excited for rugby?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 4:44 pm  

  • Ospreys will take it home! I wouldn't be surprised to see Frenchie team opposite of them in the final again, either. But no matter - Ospreys will reign!

    By Anonymous K Lu, at October 10, 2008 5:29 pm  

  • The free running is there to show the cities of Europe. Didn't you people do media studies? Sky's productions are always 2nd to none.

    By Anonymous geoff, at October 10, 2008 5:33 pm  

  • munster play boring rugby they will lose because the gods will punish them for it

    By Anonymous tehsniper, at October 10, 2008 5:47 pm  

  • "Sky's productions are always 2nd to none." - you obviously dont watch Sky Sports or News. Muck

    candidates = Munster, Stade, Leicester, Leinster + Toulouse. Ospreys are outside bet but dont have the bottle IMO

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 6:34 pm  

  • LMAO@ the comments about the streetjumpers...I thought it was only me who felt that was some stupid shit.

    By Blogger Don, at October 10, 2008 6:35 pm  

  • geoff said...

    The free running is there to show the cities of Europe. Didn't you people do media studies? Sky's productions are always 2nd to none.


    You need free running to show the cities of Europe? That's retarded.

    The production is shit. As are most Sky productions. Infact it's embarassing watching Sky, just on how far behind the world they are on production and presentation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 6:36 pm  

  • Munster have got a gd chance of 2 in a row i think, Toulouse are probably their biggest threat imo but i agree with some of you that Stade Francais are in with a good chance as well. Munster vs. Toulouse in the final and munster to win it again.

    By Anonymous Carson1091, at October 10, 2008 7:19 pm  

  • I think Biarritz and Clermont are going to do something this year.

    But go TOULOOOUUUUUUSE !!!!!!!!

    The Stade Français will have to play as well as in championship to win. But they f...... never succed to do that at the European level !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 7:33 pm  

  • no i didn't do media studies because i don't lick windows!!

    and the running/ acting like a gimp is a load of shite!

    By Anonymous eating is cheating, at October 10, 2008 8:08 pm  

  • shit video

    on-t munster ftw

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at October 10, 2008 8:10 pm  

  • Stade and munster will both take some beating and are my fancies for the final. If they avoid each other before that is.

    By Anonymous Benoir, at October 10, 2008 8:46 pm  

  • For me i think candidat are Munster, Stade Francais, Leicester and Toulouse, but i think Toulouse and Munster in the final again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 9:39 pm  

  • Ospreys, if healthy, have just as a good of chance as anyone else from Mangners, including Munster, but if Ospreys aren't full force I agree Munster has a pretty good chance of repeating. Toul or Stade will probably be waiting for them on the other side. But injuries are almost a certainty . . . so depends on who's left standing as we get into the later rounds.

    By Anonymous K Lu, at October 10, 2008 10:07 pm  

  • Typical childlike comments from the majority. The Stephen Berkoff trailer from previous years showed little rugby either and had a guy in a darkened room. It's just a trailer, it's not an indepth rugby documentary. Get a grip kiddies.

    As for Sky's producitons being "muck". Try watching Setanta, and then draw a comparison. The productions, commentary and puditry on Sky is 2nd to none, fact.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 10, 2008 10:26 pm  

  • Typical childlike comments from the majority. The Stephen Berkoff trailer from previous years showed little rugby either and had a guy in a darkened room. It's just a trailer, it's not an indepth rugby documentary. Get a grip kiddies.

    As for Sky's producitons being "muck". Try watching Setanta, and then draw a comparison. The productions, commentary and puditry on Sky is 2nd to none, fact.

    By Anonymous geoff, at October 10, 2008 10:26 pm  

  • When you say Stade, you mean Stade Français or Stade Toulousain ?

    By Anonymous Ben, at October 10, 2008 10:41 pm  

  • Stade Francais v Sale Sharks lol
    i dont care really i'm still going 2 the final

    By Anonymous no 9, at October 10, 2008 11:00 pm  

  • Allez Toulouse

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2008 12:32 am  

  • Stade Français

    By Anonymous Cheis, at October 11, 2008 1:24 am  

  • Munster arent guaranteed to win just because of last years performace, if gloucester had a decent kicker they would have beaten them in the quarter finals. only reason munster won was toulouses game plan was naive and french, unlike munsters slow and boring, which ultimately won it for them. if guy noves has learned his lesson, toulouse plus clermont and stade pose a good threat. cant see any english teams being strong enough to win it, nobodys put in a solid performance yet. unless munster or leinster pull it out the bag, its gotta be heading to france!

    By Anonymous caucau's no.1 fan, at October 11, 2008 2:00 am  

  • This years advert is rubbish, the free runners is complete nonsense!!

    last years advert was better, rugbydump see if you can get it! it had an old guy talkin on there!

    and lastly i'd love the ospreys to win it, but they can't close games out like munster!!

    munster or perpignian (hope thats spelt correctly)

    GAME ON!!

    By Anonymous Abs7, at October 11, 2008 2:57 am  

  • sorry for my poor spelling!! i just finished work..

    after second thoughts i think ospreys can do it.

    By Anonymous Abs7, at October 11, 2008 3:08 am  

  • Ben - I don't know if your stade question was for me, but I was talking about stade francais. I just don't see toulouse or munster returning to the final again, too much competition across the board.

    By Anonymous K Lu, at October 11, 2008 7:11 am  

  • Wooooo!!! Connacht 2009/10!!!! Woooo!!!

    Oh, and for this year? I don't know, but it's going to be a great run. I'm counting on some upsets though since those usually make for great rugby. It'd be amazing to see Italy in the quarter finals, for example.

    By Anonymous elliot, at October 11, 2008 7:55 am  

  • tehsniper said...
    munster play boring rugby they will lose because the gods will punish them for it

    Don't you love it when people who have no clue about rugby decide to make comments!
    First of all, Munster did not play a boring style of Rugby last year they played a great style of rugby up until the last 5 minutes of the Heiniken Cup.... and then decided to knuckle down and win the thing.
    Second of all this year Munster are playing a far more open style of play, utilising Mafi, Tipoki, Earles and Howlett out wide... almost got punished for that last night against Montauban. Its great to watch but there needs to be a balance between the running game and the kicking for territory game to win the Heiniken Cup again.

    Munster vs Stade Francais/ Toulouse in the final.

    By Anonymous DDC1990, at October 11, 2008 11:47 am  

  • Would love to see Bath get back in the mix with it, but can't see us doing much damage against Toulouse away - shame as we're playing some lovely running rugby at the moment, pity about the kicking.
    After seeing Munster struggle last night Toulouse vs Clermont final.

    By Anonymous littlecook, at October 11, 2008 12:03 pm  

  • munster played boring rugby more or less all season, fact is none of their tries was shown on RD which is to me a first proof. and then they played an insult to rugby for the last 25 minutes of the HC.
    now they won it, fair enough, blablabla. people don't pay tickets to see a team hide the ball for 25 minutes.

    By Anonymous tehsniper, at October 11, 2008 12:47 pm  

  • I'd love to see Munster-Toulouse again, and as a Frenchman I must admit that beating Munster in Edinburgh (in front of mainly Munster supporters that is) would be a fitting revenge. Toulouse this year have all their best players (compared to last year's many injuries) so they might have a better chance this time round. Otherwise Sale and Stade Français look dangerous, but it'll be a tight one, the teams seem more and more equal.

    By Anonymous Who is toulouse this time?, at October 11, 2008 4:49 pm  

  • Abs7 > that advert was for 06/07 originally not 07/08 and the "old guy" was Stephen Berkoff reciting a ripped off passage from the Pacino movie Any Given Sunday..

    It's all over YouTube and has been posted on RD before. It showed no rugby at all in its first instance (they added a couple of clips later on) so in that effect this years is 100x better.

    By Anonymous geoff, at October 11, 2008 5:43 pm  

  • Damn, I told some months ago that I was sure Montauban was going to make a surprise in this HCup, yesterday it was close... But still, a newcomer losing by 1 against the champion, I'm happy for them

    By Anonymous Ben, at October 11, 2008 5:44 pm  

  • I meant losing by 2 points, sorry

    By Anonymous Ben, at October 11, 2008 5:47 pm  

  • cheers Geoff, thanks for correcting me... i just thought personally it was a better advert..
    but whatever sells rugby, i'm all for it!!

    By Anonymous Abs7, at October 11, 2008 6:12 pm  

  • It WAS a better advert. Without question.

    Why? Because it had relevance.

    I have little to no problem with videos having non rugby material, given it holds some relevance. Ala the Pacino quote from the other year.

    But free running is completely non relevant. Media studies or not, you don't need a degree to realise that you can represent certain cities without a bunch of tits running around buildings and that.

    And Sky are NOT second to none. You HAVE to work for them to believe such nonsense. They are atleast 5 years behind most the western worlds leading sports channels. Their production is poor, their presentation is diar, and their commentary is god awful.

    Really. And most will agree. Doesn't hold a candle to say Channel 9 in Australia. Fox... Or ANY American sports station, or alot of European stations for that matter.

    By Anonymous Rancid, at October 11, 2008 6:26 pm  

  • Stade Fran9ais of course!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 11, 2008 8:37 pm  

  • I think it´ll be Stade Français and Wasps year.

    Even supporting Toulousse and Leicester, i think these 2 teams are in top form this year in their national competitions.

    I also think that Munster can give som trouble to those teams.

    I don´t think Perpignan and Clermont can make it happen.

    Sale Sharks are also great contenders, but just to semi finals i think.

    Regards, Fuhrer.

    By Blogger Pedro, at October 11, 2008 11:30 pm  

  • Stade Français to beat Ospreys in the final by 5 points.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2008 1:17 am  

  • Rancid Thank You, thats what i was trying to get at...
    you are a legend.
    Ospreys tomorrow, come on the boys!!

    By Anonymous Abs7, at October 12, 2008 3:13 am  

  • if the ospreys beat leicester then it'll take a hell of a lot to stop them
    munster vs ospreys final
    but i feel munster will take it again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2008 5:01 am  

  • Munster vs Stade Francais


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2008 6:52 am  

  • Shed head
    How could you possibly say chris paterson is a shit kicker! he's probably the best kicker in world rugby right now. He had a perfect 17 from 17 in the world cup a perfect six nations and missed only one in the tour to argentina. get your facts right before u dish out comments like that and anyway gloucster didnt get rid of him, he chose to leave, any club to get rid of chris paterson would be mad

    By Anonymous Bazza, at October 12, 2008 7:44 am  

  • Rancid > Relevance? It's an adapted speech about Grid Iron that showed no rugby at all in its original form. How is that more relevant? The free running was just to break between the actual clips of previous highlights and to show landmarks of European cities (as it’s a European trophy believe it or not).

    You do realise that Fox is a sister of Sky? And that Sky introduced interactive match selection, HD and feature length punditry shows whilst Oz still watched monochrome pictures on sets with dials. As for US stations, they've broadcast in game advertising since the late 1990's and cut for commercials during games more now than ever before. If you prefer your matches to have Nike swooshes bouncing around the screen, well that's up to you.

    You even mentioned other European channels. You do realise the majority of European broadcaster’s still show games in 4:3 format. Sky Sport Italia even has a channel dedicated to 16:9 as though it's a special feature. The only broadcaster worth mentioning is Csat with their RUGBY+ package but even then they stick the pundits 2cm from the camera and use title graphics from the early 70s.

    Rancid...more like Retarded

    By Anonymous geoff, at October 12, 2008 12:08 pm  

  • Geoff, whats wrong with u, i dont see why your getting so defensive about a tv channel, we dont care about the fancy picture quality, the fact is that the add is crap and so is sky judging by that add. Anyway i doubt many people if any agree with your strange opinion u talk crap, im pretty sure rancid knows what he's talkin about.

    By Anonymous bazza, at October 12, 2008 1:46 pm  

  • bazza > open your eyes, it's more a case of rancid getting upset about a tiny commercial than myself defending it.

    And you highlight my biggest point, the old advert had no rugby in it, the new one has a bucketload in comparison. On top of that, Sky dedicate a lot of resources to rugby coverage, both live coverage and "magazine" shows.

    I know for a fact that rancid doesn't know what he's talking about because his statements were untrue.

    By Anonymous geoff, at October 12, 2008 2:37 pm  


    As a Sale fan, i would like Sale to win.

    The thing with Sale is their consistency and not their talent. Even before they bought in all these big names.

    If Sale stay at around this level all year, it could be a special year for us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 12, 2008 5:51 pm  

  • How much are Sky paying you, Geoff?

    How is what i said untrue? Nobody agrees with you lol. Because the ad IS shit. And using free running to advertise certain cities is a RETARDED idea.

    Typical of Sky Sports diar production and all round presentation.

    Stop being an argumentative little prick and move on.

    By Anonymous Rancid, at October 12, 2008 7:22 pm  

  • You mean dire?

    Its factual information that your statements were untrue as you said other European broadcasters had better presentation when in fact they don't. That was confirmed by your lack of examples and the fact that you use a ruck of Sky clips in your compilations. All of which ripped from YouTube?

    Get out your dictionary and look up the word hypocrisy, it applies to the majority of your statements. (Calling people argumentative when it was you that had a tantrum over a short advertisement that nobody made you watch)

    By Anonymous geoff, at October 12, 2008 7:36 pm  

  • geoff you came across as a argumentative little dick...... stop typing pointless crap that nobody gives a shit about!!

    By Anonymous eating is cheating, at October 12, 2008 7:55 pm  

  • Haha you lot - it isn't an extremely bad ad. A little disappointing maybe, but why get your knickers in a knot about their choice of depicting european cities?

    Having lived all over the world, Sky's rugby is no doubt right up there with the best in terms of all round production.

    'They are at least 5 years behind most the western worlds leading sports channels' lol come on man that's ridiculous. Perhaps why geoff felt the need to correct you there rancid mate.

    I'll give you one thing about Sky though - they don't show enough rugby when they could. Besides that, top notch imo.

    By Anonymous Shaft, at October 12, 2008 9:05 pm  

  • Munster Toulouse final again id say with Bath cauing some surprise along the way

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 1:22 pm  

  • Does no one else generaly not a fan of sky sports for taking sport away from terrestrial tv? Done it with the cricket, done it with the footy internationals(well, setanta, but you know what mean).

    If they try and touch the 6nations...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 13, 2008 1:31 pm  

  • leinster v stade francais

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 14, 2008 10:18 am  

  • sale sharks look very dangerous. I wouldnt be surprised if they reached the final

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at October 16, 2008 6:18 pm  

  • Leicester x Clermont

    By Anonymous Grilo_NRFC, at October 18, 2008 8:53 pm  

  • leinster or munster id go with leinster but im bias v leicester

    By Anonymous leinster fan 4 life, at May 05, 2009 8:20 pm  

  • its funny how wrong every1 was french teams er....

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