A French guide to the Heineken Cup

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Time for Clermont to kick on: the Yellow Army of Clermont Auvergne, led by Brock James, will want to go all the wayBy Gavin MortimerLet’s for a while forget the future and enjoy the present. Yes, the Heineken Cup is upon us and though it may well be the last of its kind, this season promises the usual doses of agony and ecstasy. Last season the final was an all-French affair but what shape are our Gallic neighbours in this time around? Gavin Mortimers runs his eye over the seven French sides Pool3: Toulouse v Zebre, Friday 21hToo much power: Toulouse should have enough to beat ZebreToulouse begin their European campaign on the back of a resounding 28-10 victory over Stade Francais, a win that lifts the four-times Heineken Cup winners into third in the Top 14. With memories of their failure last year to reach the quarter-finals still fresh in their mind, Toulouse will want to start well and the Italians shouldn’t offer too much of a challenge. Beaten in all six of their Heineken Cup outings last season, Zebre chances of springing a surprise are minimal, particularly as Toulouse welcome back Thierry Dusautoir into their squad after a long lay-off with injury.Verdict: Toulouse are too good for ZebrePool5: Treviso v Montpellier, Sat, 13h35Treviso have turned their little patch of Italy into something of a fortress in recent seasons – at least as far as French teams go. Biarritz and Perpignan have both lost at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo, while last season Toulouse only pulled clear in the last quarter. That said, Montpellier have played some irresistible rugby of late, hammering Oyonnax on Saturday 45-20 and a fortnight earlier routing Clermont 43-3. Blessed with two of the in-form scrum-halves in Europe right now in Jonathan Pelissie and Benoît Paillaugue, the Mediterranean side should be too strong for their Italian hosts. But Montpellier are one of those French sides that attach far more importance to the Top 14 than they do the Heineken Cup and a trip to Treviso might induce complacency.Verdict: Treviso claim another French scalp What a clash this promises to be, two teams with plenty of stars and plenty of inconsistency so far this season. In between running up convincing wins over Bordeaux and Toulouse, Clermont – last year’s beaten European finalists – have suffered defeats to Toulon, Oyonnax and that incredible 43-3 thumping at Montpellier. Not that Racing have had their fans jumping out of their seats in excitement after nine rounds of the Top 14. The Parisians have managed just nine tries this season and on Saturday suffered the ignominy of a 22-20 home defeat to Grenoble. Bolstered by the return this week of Springbok lock Juandre Kruger and Argentine pair Juan Imhoff and Juan Martin Hernandez, Racing will need Jonny Sexton to bring all his Heineken Cup experience to bear if they’re to see off Clermont.Verdict: Home advantage sees Racing home by the skin of their teeth. Verdict: Northampton avenge last season’s defeat at the Stade Pierre-AntoinePool 6: Gloucester v Perpignan, Sat 18hPerpignan have produced some moments of good rugby this season, most notably in defeating Montpellier 28-16 last month. Full-back James Hook is his normal reliable self and the assured performances of Camille Lopez at fly-half have given the Catalans more bite in attack. With Gloucester reeling from their 29-12 defeat to Exeter at the weekend – their second reverse this season – Perpignan should travel to Kingsholm without trepidation. USAP could give a run out to Luke Charteris, back to fitness after 10 months out with a knee injury, but whatever team coach Marc Delpoux selects he’s promising they’ll head to England “completely relaxed”.Verdict: Gloucester grind out a win Pool 2: Toulon v Glasgow , Sun, 15hVipers: Toulon could bite Glasgow WarriorsThe leaders of the Top 14 take on the leaders of the RaboDirect Pro12, the only difference being Glasgow are unbeaten after five games while Toulon have lost three of their nine matches. The Scots have won well away from home this term, beating Ulster and the Scarlets, but heading to the Cote d’Azur will be a step-up. Unlike some French teams Toulon take the Heineken Cup seriously – as they showed in winning the trophy last season – and in Matt Giteau they have arguably the form player in France right now. The former wallaby fly-half has been sensational this season and was chosen ahead of Jonny Wilkinson for the clash with Clermont last season. Toulon won that encounter and their mighty pack will take some stopping if Glasgow are to get a win in the south of France.Verdict: Toulon take the spoils Pool 4: Racing Metro v Clermont, Sun 20hcenter_img Chasing their tails: Castres have stumbled in the Top 14Pool 1: Castres v Northampton, Sat, 15h40Castres edged home 21-16 when the two sides met in last season’s pool but neither managed to progress from a group dominated by Ulster. Castres went on to win the Top 14, stunning Toulon for their first title triumph in 20 years. But how distant those days now seem. Humiliated 34-0 by Brive on Saturday, Castres languish in 11th spot and according to reports this week in the French press the squad is being pillaged by the rest of the league. Scrum-half Rory Kockott has allegedly agreed terms with Toulon while Brice Dulin and Antonie Claassen are in talks with Racing. It’s all going wrong for Castres but pride may yet produce the sort of passion that characterised their performances last season. Toulon’s Maxime Mermoz celebrates after scoring a try during the French Top 14 rugby union match Toulon vs Clermont-Ferrand on October 5, 2013 at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET (Photo credit should read JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images) last_img read more

The Disco Biscuits Announce Free Webcast For Three-Night NYE Run

first_imgThis time around, the Disco Biscuits are ringing in the New Year at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. History confirms that it’s going to be awesome, as the band always goes the more interesting route with their sets during the holidays. Whether it’s throwing in something new or old, tDB always find a way to play Santa Claus and deliver the goods to the Bisco faithful during the New Year celebration.The band has just announced that they will be providing a free webcast on their official YouTube page for all three nights: December 29-31. They will hit the stage at 9:45PM on the first two nights, but will start a little earlier around 8pm on Saturday to celebrate the New Year with three solid sets. All information can be found in the post below:last_img

Sandra Lee Thayer

first_imgSandra Lee Thayer, 83, of Lawrenceburg, Indiana, passed away Wednesday, March 14, 2018 in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.She was born January 13, 1935 in Ohio County, IN, daughter of the late Lucian McPherson and Dorotha McPherson.She worked at the Switch Board and as a Receptionist for Schenley Distillers.She was a member of Aurora United Methodist Church, and sang in the choir. Sandra was an auxiliary member of the Aurora American Legion. She enjoyed singing, crocheting and being outside tinkering in the yard. She loved to travel, and loved to golf, and was even on a couple golf leagues, Time with her family was her greatest joy.Surviving are children, Debra A Thayer of Aurora, IN, Robert W. (Deena) Thayer of Lawrenceburg, IN; Sister, Bonnie (late Vic) Willis of OR; grandchildren, Dustin Thayer, Travis Thayer, Kyle (Alan) Miller, Katie Thayer, Kara (Andy) South; great-grandchildren, Ryan Miller, James Jeffery South, Nolan South.She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of almost 60 years, Charles Thayer, son, James L Thayer, sister, Linda Jackson.Friends will be received Saturday, March 17, 2018, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Rullman Hunger Funeral Home, Aurora, Indiana.Services will be held at the funeral home at 1:00 pm with Pastor Ellaine Hussung officiating.Interment will follow in the River View Cemetery, Aurora, Indiana.Contributions may be made to the family for a monument . If unable to attend services, please call the funeral home office at (812) 926-1450 and we will notify the family of your donation with a card.Visit: www.rullmans.comlast_img read more