Blogs & Opinion


Will Greenwood:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Foden on fire

Foden delights as Saints go unbeaten

Will Greenwood Posted 26th January 2011 view comments

Eight teams are left standing after six spectacular rounds of the Heineken Cup. Leinster flexed their Irish muscles and certainly look like the team to beat however no doubt Leicester will have something to say about that.

Northampton fully deserve their unbeaten record in the Pool stages after beating Castres and they will be confident as they host Ulster at Milton Keynes. Toulouse have chosen to do it the hard way as they threw away a home quarter-final and will now have to travel to Biarritz in one of two all French affairs. The other sees new boys Toulon travelling to Perpignan who look in ominous form.

Foden

Foden

But before that there was the matter of round six and as well as analysing all the action on the Rugby Club, Will Greenwood casts his eye over all the action and selects his Heineken Cup picks... Here is what he liked, and didn't like, in the final round...

Team: Perpignan

A straight win would have given Perpignan one of the best placed runner-up spots but they wanted more than that and put the Scarlets to the sword in brutal fashion. The free-flowing Welsh outfit had hopes of their own but could not match the power or the pace of the Catalans giants.

Player: Ben Foden

Northampton were superb as they went through the Pool stages unbeaten. Foden was once again at the heart of everything they did well. His soft hands saw Joe Ansbro in for a try and he scored himself. It is difficult not to get excited when Foden is looming up in the line, he makes things happen and the electricity he brings gets most of us to our feet

Try: Ben Foden

Some superb hands as Northampton broke from the back of a ruck. Ansbro picked up a lovely reverse pass from Dylan Hartley and broke out of a tackle inside his own half. A desperate ankle tap brought him down just inside Castres' 22 but Foden was on hand to take up the cause - he glided past one defender before showing great strength to power through the desperate cover defence.

Moment: Shane Williams back on the pitch

The Ospreys were lacking in all departments against Toulon before Shane Williams, Mike Phillips and Jerry Collins came off the bench to give them that much needed intensity and direction. Williams' presence was immediately felt in the backline as he created the space and drew the defence before a clever switch pass saw Nikki Walker go over for the try. Like Foden, Williams is a player we all love to watch; it's great to have him back on the paddock.

Villian: Bath

As far as villains of the pool rounds go well I spoke about the Ospreys and Wasps last week. They must be kicking themselves after recording wins in the final round. Bath must also be added to that list for their sorry home performances.

back to top

Other Rugby Union Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby Union:

Stuart Barnes

Boks clever

Smart play from South Africa wasn't enough to beat a resilient New Zealand, says Stuart Barnes....

Latest News RSS feeds

Harlequins battle past Wasps

Harlequins rebounded from last week's 39-0 hammering by Saracens with a battling 26-23 victory over Wasps.

Last-gasp Sarries edge Irish

A last-minute try by Billy Vunipola saw Saracens beat London Irish 36-32 in the Aviva Premiership.

Bath trounce sorry Tigers

George Ford inspired a Bath romp at the Recreation Ground as hapless Leicester were ruthlessly battered 45-0.

Arscott seals Sharks win

Tom Arscott scored a hat-trick as Sale secured their first Aviva Premiership win of the season against London Welsh.

Scarlets thrash Treviso

The Scarlets bounced back from their hammering at the hands of Leinster with a seven-try, 43-0 thumping of Treviso.

Features

The Off Load: The best and worst from the world of rugby

The Off Load: The best and worst from the world of rugby

Trouble is brewing in Toulouse as Clermont Auvergne inflict another loss on the giants of French rugby.

Stuart Lancaster underlines the importance of pride as England Rugby launch new kit

Stuart Lancaster underlines the importance of pride as England Rugby launch new kit

Heritage and passion are very much at the heart of Stuart Lancaster’s coaching philosophy and the England head coach has once again underlined the significance of the Red Rose.

Thinus Delport, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh and Gonzalo Camacho react to the Rugby Championship

Thinus Delport, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh and Gonzalo Camacho react to the Rugby Championship

New Zealand remain top of the Rugby Championship after beating South Africa 14-10 in Wellington on Saturday.