Friday, October 19, 2012

Heineken Cup Rd 2 predictions : Hook & Lenihan

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Broadcaster George Hook and rugby legend Donal Lenihan have been busy making their match predictions for round two of the Heineken Cup. They are joined by over 1,300 people who are playing Heineken’s Star Predictor, the online match prediction game. In an attempt to retain his position at the top of the Star Predictor pro-league, George Hook has taken a massive punt this week by predicting that Leicester Tigers will be beaten by Ospreys at Welford Road: “The Tigers are massive favourites (1/3) on their home patch, but Harlequins have already shown this season that the two time European champions are not the force they once were.”

donal_and_connacht_fansFormer Ireland and Lions manager Donal Lenihan disagrees with his fellow Heineken Star Predictor pro Hook: “Welford Road is an unbelievably difficult place to go. After losing to Toulouse, Leicester simply have to win at home, that is why I am going with them.”

With weekly prizes of Heineken Cup match tickets up for grabs, a chance of winning an exclusive VIP package to the Heineken Cup final, not to mention an opportunity to ‘beat the pros’, it is not surprising that scores of rugby fans have already signed up to play Heineken Star Predictor. Match tickets can be won each week and fans can sign up to make their predictions for round two by Friday 5.00pm. Among those already playing the game, Irish cricket star Niall O’Brien sits with 33 points, Newstalk’s Ger Gilroy has 30 points while musician and broadcaster Tom Dunne is bottom of the pro league with 24 points from round one.

Lenihan is on record of predicting that Connacht will pick up three wins in this season’s Heineken Cup. So can we expect another historic victory over Harlequins this weekend? “They will beat Zebre at home and pick up one big scalp at the Sportsground, but it won’t be Harlequins, it will be Biarritz.”

Both predict wins for Ulster against Glasgow and Munster at home to Edinburgh. While acknowledging the difficult task facing Leinster, they agree that the current champions will return from Wales with a win under their belts. Calling last weekend’s performance as “shambolic”, Hook says: “I’m sure Joe Schmidt will have read the riot act after a shambolic display against Exeter and if Rob Kearney and Gordon D’Arcy are fit to play, they should have too much experience for the Scarlets.”

the_heineken_rugby_socialThe Corkman was far from certain when asked about his other Heineken Star Predictor choices:  “One match that could throw up a surprise is Northampton away to Castres. I’ve gone for Castres in my picks this week but only because Northampton have a 5 day turn-around from their win over Glasgow…but it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that the Saints could go to France and win on Friday. Certainly, at nearly 2-1, they are worth some serious consideration.”

Only last week George Hook stated that he would buy dinner if he was ‘comprehensively’ beaten at Heineken’s Star Predictor. With over 1,300 people to beat, the broadcaster re-affirmed his confidence when he said; “there are still many matches to go but I am already sitting above the so-called ‘experts’ Brent Pope and Donal Lenihan (both on 30 points each). With 67 matches still to be played, I have plenty of time to stretch that lead to over a dozen points so my wallet will be staying firmly in my pocket!”

To be in with a chance of winning match tickets, and an opportunity of beating George Hook, play Heineken Star Predictor; log on to www.heineken.ie/heinekencup and register by 5.00pm Friday 19th October.

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