Same, but different this weekend in Europe.
All matches you enjoyed last time, but the other way around, as the Heineken Champions Cup pool takes shape.
By Sunday evening we will have a clearer idea of who is inside, who is outside and much more.
There are riddles everywhere in the store, but never fear, Scrum's that the Word is here.
NEWS FROM THE ROUND OF THE ROUND
Before we go into it – let's explain how everyone is, who is likely to qualify, who does not, and what is still to go. With three laps away and fifteen points available, where do we stand?
Toulouse. Three wins of three and well placed despite a trip to Dublin to come. Secure.
Contests: Wasps (h), Leinster (a), Bad (h).
Leinster. It is conceivable that the champions take a full 15 points, but probably 12 or 13. That they will see as pool winners, depending on how close the game is in Toulouse.
Contests: Bath (h), Toulouse (h), Wasps (a)
Bad. Not completely dead and buried, but the shovel is out. Defeat on the weekend without bonus points makes qualification mathematically impossible.
Contests: Leinster (a), Wespen (h), Toulouse (a).
Wasps. Away. No chance that they now get through with 18 points, the maximum they can achieve.
Competitions: Toulouse (a), Bath (a), Leinster (h).
Cheslin Kolbe scored a brilliant solo attempt when Toulouse won three victories in three last weekend
SWIMMING POOL TWO
Munster. Keys games to get into a tight pool, but win at Castres the moment they cruise.
Contests: Castres (a), Gloucester (a), Exeter (h)
Gloucester. Much to do with two home games of Friday night. Add 12 points and they should continue.
Contests: Exeter (h), Munster (h), Castres (a)
Castres. Very difficult but not impossible. The home advantage in two of the three could be of vital importance.
Contests: Munster (h), Exeter (a), Gloucester (h)
Exeter. Everything except for – the question is how much damage they can do to others.
Contests: Gloucester (a), Castres (h), Munster (a)
Munster will need JJ Hanrahan again on the number with a crucial game against Castres
SWIMMING POOL THREE
Saracens. Seated as top seeds in the competition. Now to strive to stay there with three more wins.
Contests: Cardiff Blues (a), Lyon (a), Glasgow (h)
Glasgow. The race for the qualifying place for the best second place has arrived. Two decent victories should do it.
Contests: Lyon (h), Cardiff Blues (h), Saracens (a).
Cardiff Blues. Defeat Saracens and the dream is over for two profitable matches.
Contests: Saracens (h), Glasgow (a), Lyon (h)
Lyon. The only team without points in their debut season. They may have difficulty buying one.
Contests: Glasgow (a), Saracens (h), Cardiff Blues (a)
The Saracens of Owen Farrell are quite at the top and can stay there with another three victories
SWIMMING POOL FOUR
Race 92. Finalists of the past year are now on a quarter-final, because they will probably end in this group.
Contests: Leicester (a), Ulster (a), Scarlets (h)
Ulster. Will come to a trip to Welford Road, you will feel, in the hunt for a best-second slot.
Contests: Scarlets (h), Racing 92 (h), Leicester (a)
Leicester. Persistent to their claws. Must win at least two and take bonuses to make it.
Contests: Racing 92 (a), Ulster (a), Scarlets (h)
Scarlets. No victories in a very disappointing campaign after the feats of last year. From.
Contests: Ulster (a), Leicester (h), Racing 92 (h)
Racing 92 is now photographing for a quarter final, because they are likely to reach pool four
SWIMMING POOL FIVE
Edinburgh. Could all change, but is currently top. It will be difficult for devils to stay there.
Contests: Newcastle (a), Toulon (a), Montpellier (h)
Newcastle. Win against Edinburgh and they are back at the top, with annoying French ties to come.
Contests: Edinburgh (h), Montpellier (a), Toulon (h)
Montpellier. Strange, in a good place despite being seated third. Two home victories for a trip to Scotland and they are right in the mix knowing what they need.
Contests: Toulon (h), Newcastle (h), Edinburgh (a)
Toulon. Chaotic, bottom, but still eligible if they get their act together – but three will have to win.
Fixtures: Montpellier (a), Edinburgh (h), Newcastle (a).
|TEAM||PTS||PTS DIFF||STATUS AS STANDS|
|1 Saracens||14||+55||HOME QF|
|2 Racing 92||14||+43||HOME QF|
|3 Toulouse||12||11||HOME QF|
|4 Munster||11||+39||HOME QF|
|6 Leinster||10||+55||QUALIFIED AS THE BEST SECOND|
|7 Glasgow||10||+27||QUALIFIED AS THE BEST SECOND|
|8 Ulster||9||-17||QUALIFIED AS THE BEST SECOND|
|9 Gloucester||8||-1||OUT – 2N IN SWIMMING POOL|
|10 Newcastle||8||-14||OUT – 2N IN SWIMMING POOL|
|11 Leicester||6||-6||OUT – 3TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|12 Montpellier||6||-7||OUT – 3TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|13 Toulon||6||-17||OUT – 4TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|14 Bad||5||-9||OUT – 3TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|15 Castres||5||-26||OUT – 3TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|16 Cardiff Blues||4||-34||OUT – 3TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|17 Exeter||3||-12||OUT – 4TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|18 Wasps||3||-57||OUT – 4TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|19 Scarlets||2||-20||OUT – 4TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
|20 Lyon||0||-48||OUT – 4TH IN SWIMMING POOL|
Quarter finals as it is:
Saracens against Ulster; Racing 92 v Glasgow; Toulouse against Leinster; Munster against Edinburgh.
Of course it will all get confused, but now you are on speed, let's rip through.
A preview of the World Cup in Gloucester? No, not he, but Ollie Thorley.
The 22-year-old winger was recently a sensation. The Premiership player of the month is big, fast, elusive and has a huge talent.
He reached 261 meters of only 19 carriers in the Premiership in November, his average gain of 13.7 meters per carry was the most of every player in the league.
And in the four games he started this season in the league and Europe, he scored four attempts, made 45 laps for 530m, broke the line 13 times and hit 29 defenders.
We think he has a bit of Ben Smith – the big All Black – about him and give him a star.
Ollie Thorley has the form of his life and it is no wonder he is tipped for his deathbed
BILL & # 39; S GOT THE SKILLS
Bloomin & # 39; & # 39; eck, Viliame Mata is a player, is not it? As if the world needed a fantastic Fijian, the Olympic gold medalist sevens now dominates the top competition in the longer form.
The statistics of Edinburgh No 8 are extremely remarkable. The 6ft 5in 18st 13lbs ahead has played the ball 69 (!) Times in three games so far in the Champions Cup, making 231 meters – obviously the biggest part of all forward. He has also performed seven awesome offloads.
Last season he made 802 meters in 16 stars and only once did his carry number fail to reach double digits. The man is yet another phenomenon. Yes, he probably will not take many turns, or make bundles of tackles – but what does it matter? Why do you want him to do that?
Richard Cockerill gets the best out of this awesome player in Scotland and the 27-year-old pays the bills.
Fiji star Viliame Mata is in charge of things for Edinburgh … statistics show that he has skills to pay the bills
THE GREAT DECREE OF THE WILL WILL BE
Will Skelton, the Saracens lock, has a bit of a mystery about his enormous hands.
Do I stay or am I going now?
Transformed and downsized by two stones into just a stone, at Saracens he lets the wounded wallabies to his door.
Who would not want a monstrous, powerful, skillful second row in their World Cup squadron? The Australians need him.
Naturally, Saracens want the 6ft 8in 26-year-old, who must wear NFL boots for the 2015 World Cup until a Japanese designer makes custom-made shoes that fit his size of 19 feet – to stay.
With this he gives up his test career, at least for the next tournament in 2019.
Will Skelton has a big decision: stay at Saracens or go to the World Cup with Australia
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is very confident & # 39; that the 26-year-old will decide to stay
"It's a big decision for him because he has to give up his international rugby", Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.
& # 39; But we are confident that he will stay here. He is completely taken care of, our performance team is very happy and he also has a great relationship with Maro Itoje and George Kruis who push each other and that is really healthy.
"He and his wife are incredibly happy in St Albans and have settled. He is young enough to get even better, so fingers crossed he will sign up. & # 39;
A few weeks ago we made the case in this column for Josh Adams to return home, but why would Skelton resume his career in North London?
What it once again shows is that this global game is not functioning. When Skelton logs in, he probably misses a World Cup in its prime. That is wrong, but an understandable career choice.
EDDIE & # 39; S WORLD CUP WATCH
Kingsholm is this season for the fifth time this season for Eddie Jones, but instead of looking at Danny Cipriani, Ollie Thorley might be at the door.
Alec Hepburn and Ben Moon also play for Exeter, just like Ben Morgan for the Cherry & Whites.
Alec Hepburn (L) and Ben Moon (R) will both be present at Eddie Jones & # 39; World Cup watch this weekend
Steve Hansen, the All Black head coach, leaves after the World Cup.
His current record as top man since 2012 is: Played 95, won 84, Drew 3, Lost 8.
Steve Hansen will resign next year as the All Black head coach after the World Cup in Japan
SCRUM SOAPBOX – PACK THE TACKLES
A short plea. Please do not complain if a player is being sent for a dangerous tackle – this week in particular.
On Thursday we heard the tragic news that Nicolas Chauvin, a 19-year-old youth player with Stade Francais, died after a rugby match.
He was addressed, broke his neck, got a cardiac arrest and then brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. Desperately, an emergency operation could not save his life.
These terrible and shocking incidents are not rare enough. He is the second youngster to die after a game this season after 21-year-old Stade Aurillacois center Louis Fajfrowski collapsed in a changing room after being replaced by a heavy tackle.
The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has contacted World Rugby to organize an urgent meeting to discuss the safety of players in the light of this accident.
The FFR wants to discuss the safety of players after a Stade Francais player has died after a match
It is still said that a death in a high-profile contest is the only incident that brings about a real change in the game – let's pray that this never happens, and for heaven's sake accept that some players have to be broadcast, some games have to be & # 39; ruined & # 39; to drastically change behavior. A hard blow to high hits is for the well-being of the game and its players.
We have to lower the height of the tackles, shut out the neck rollers, be vigilant for concussion and protect heads because of the life of players. It is really that serious.
Some calls may seem hard, but this game is dangerous if not properly controlled.
Nobody can ever leave the house to play rugby and never come back.
A match is never more important than the life of a young man or woman.
Seventeen defenders beaten by Santiago Cordero for Exeter against Gloucester last weekend, no other player has more than 13 reports in a Champions Cup match because this data was recorded in 2009/10.
Eleven years since the Scarlets won on Irish or Northern Irish soil. She last won against Ulster in January 2007.
Zero match points scored by every team against Saracens this year – no one has won a bonus point or beat the English champions in Europe.
Fifty-nine tackles made by Glasgow lock Jonny Gray – most in the tournament. He only missed two.
Glasgow-lock Jonny Gray (left) has made the most tackles in the tournament so far (59)
2006 – the last time Wasps lost all three European opening games. They have never succeeded in winning their first four.
Eleven since Munster won both back-to-back games in December. They both won pairs in 2005, 2006 and 2007, but they are no longer.
Six of the last eight home defeats of Leinster have come against the British opposition – but the champions have not been lost in Europe since Wasps and Toulon defeated them in consecutive weeks in 2015/16.
Tree defeats in their last five home games for Leicester, losing only one in 34 earlier. Racing 92 has never won three away games, but has won the first two so far.
Two parties have already led their matches halfway, Racing 92 and Newcastle.
EUROPE CONTEST GUIDES
ULSTER against SCARLETS Friday at 7:45 PM Kingspan Stadium LIVE BT Sport 3 at 7:30 PM
Ulster is unchanged after their tight victory last week, so Rory Best, Will Addison and Jacob Stockdale all start.
The Scarlets are actually from Europe, but still choose a strong side. Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Gareth Davies, Rhys Patchell, Steff Evans, Hadleigh Parkes and Jon Davies are the Welsh Test players that start.
Prediction: Home victory – boys in Belfast to complete the doubles over the Western rulers.
GLOUCESTER v EXETER Friday at 7.45 pm Kingsholm LIVE BT Sport 2 from 7.00 pm
Exeter misses Alex Cuthbert, Matt Kvesic, Henry Slade, Stu Townsend and Nic White who also watched last week – so choose an unknown team.
However, Santiago Cordero, Gareth Steenson, Don Armand and Alec Hepburn all play.
Gloucester gives a first start to Springbok second row Franco Mostert. Ollie Thorley continues on the wing and Jason Woodward returns to full back.
Prediction: Home victory – Chiefs seem to have forced their hand with their selection.
CARDIFF BLUES v SARACENS Saturday 13.00 Cardiff Arms Park LIVE BT Sport 3 from 12.30 pm
George Kruis returns for Saracens, after being recovered from a calf injury.
He and Ben Earl came in for Nick Isiekwe and Jackson Wray – the former moved to the bank, the latter injured.
Josh Navidi, the flanker of Wales, returns for the Blues while Samu Manoa shifts to the blindside flank and Nick Williams starts on a huge back-row.
Prediction: Weg win – A sold out Arms Park, but they will not win home victory.
GLASGOW v LYON Saturday 13.00 pm Scotstoun LIVE BT Sport 2 from 12.30 pm
Stuart Hogg and Tommy are two of a couple who keep their place for Glasgow – who change a lot of their pack.
George Turner, Siua Halanukonuka, Tim Swinson and Ryan Wilson and Ali Price exchange scrum half with George Horne and Niko Matawalu plays the grand piano instead of DTH van der Merwe.
Carl Fearns is only on the bench for Lyon, as Deon Fourie comes in at number 8.
Prediction: Home victory – A victory to place the Scots in the mix for a best second place
TOULOUSE / WASPS Saturday 15.15 hours Stade Ernest Wallon LIVE BT Sport 3 from 3 pm
Wasps have changed a lot with Nathan Hughes (hip) and Brad Shields (only) injured and Lima Sopoaga fell on the bench.
Ben Morris, Nizaam Carr and Billy Searle joined Charlie Matthews and Ashley Johnson.
Romain Ntamack enters the center for the French who have electric Cheslin Kolbe and All Black Jerome Kaino in their hands.
Prediction: home victory – and with it the hope for an official qualification of Wasps.
CASTRES / MUNSTER Saturday 5.30 pm Stade Pierre Fabre LIVE BT Sport 3 from 5.15 pm
Conor Murray plays his 120th Munster match and the incoming Joey Carbery goes into the half back.
The number 10 start is their only change compared to last week's victory. Castres has Benjamin Urdapilleta fly by half.
Prediction: Home victory – French to seriously throw a spanner in the Pool 2 works.
LEINSTER v BATH Saturday 5.30 pm Aviva Stadium LIVE BT Sport 2 from 5.15 pm
Joe Cokanasiga is injured so Cooper Vuna comes in Bath – and Jacques van Rooyen carries number 1 instead of Nathan Catt.
They are the only two changes for Bath, so Sam Underhill, Francois Louw and Charlie Ewels all start with James Wilson by half.
Johnny Sexton captains a Leinster side with 14 Ireland Test players – James Lowe the only uncapped man.
Prediction: Home victory – No chance for Wespen at the champions home, you will find.
LEICESTER v RACING 92 Sunday 13.00 Welford Road LIVE BT Sport 2 from 12.30 pm
Ben Youngs returns to the bank after a week off while Leicester wants to revive his European ambitions.
Jonah Holmes, Manu Tuilagi, Matt Toomua, Jonny May and George Ford all start.
Racing remains largely with the team that won last week, but Donncha Ryan plays in the second row while Bernard le Roux flanks.
Prediction: Home victory – A response from Leicester required and a defensive performance at the latest.
NEWCASTLE / EDINBURGH Sunday 3.15 pm Kingston Park LIVE BT Sport 2 from 3 pm onwards
Mark Wilson is one of the 11 returning Falcons who come back for this crunch clash.
The flanker from England comes in with Sinoti Sinoti, Vereniki Goneva and Toby Flood – as well as the old boy from Edinburgh, John Hardie, who was fired in Scotland for alleged cocaine use.
Prediction: Home victory – Key people back, and an important result against Newcastle's closest rivals.
Edinburgh has started Bill Mata, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Hamish Watson and Blair Kinghorn all again.
MONTPELLIER v TOULON Sunday 15.15 Altrad Stadium LIVE BT Sport Extra 2 from 3 pm onwards
Josua Tuisova is the newest winger who is tried on the midfield for Toulon while playing next to Malakai Fekitoa.
Liam Messam, Guilhem Guirado and Mamuka Gordodze all start for the triple champion.
Montpellier has Ruan Pienaar, Louis Picamoles and Yacouba Camara in their XV.
Prediction: Home victory – Revenge after last week, and one to throw out Toulon properly.