2022 Lyon OU vs Saracens F.C.

FloRugby Weekly Awards: Round 2 Of The 2022 Heineken Champions Cup

FloRugby Weekly Awards: Round 2 Of The 2022 Heineken Champions Cup

Round 2 of the 2022 Heineken Champions Cup is well and truly in the books. In a weekend jam-packed with action, we dive into the best moments.

Dec 19, 2022 by RugbyPass
FloRugby Weekly Awards: Round 2 Of The 2022 Heineken Champions Cup

As if by magic, the first two rounds of the 2022-2023 Heineken Champions Cup have wrapped up, but never fear rugby fans - the world’s biggest club competition is set to resume in just under a month.

This season’s opening two rounds brought some truly scintillating rugby, as well as some immense battles that highlighted just how tightly packed Europe and South Africa’s top sides truly are.

In addition to brilliant team performances, several of the world’s top players stood up magnificently. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s FloRugby awards for Round 2 of 2022-2023 Heineken Champions Cup.

Try Of The Week

Sean Maitland, Saracens

Scotland and Saracens wing Sean Maitland is this week’s recipient for Try of the Week.

He finished off one of the best scores we are likely to see this season.

Starting deep in their own territory, Sarries launched a beautiful move that ended in the left-hand corner of the Lyon in-goal area. 

The move started with center Alex Lozowski making a scintillating break right through the heart of the Lyon defensive line, before offloading to a charging Jamie George. Upon receiving the ball, George had to make a quick decision as to whether he'd hold up to look for support or take on the Lyon defense. 

The hooker took a third option nobody saw coming and put through a beautiful grubber kick that sat up perfectly for Maitland to shuffle over in the corner. 

Runner up: George Head, Harlequins

Individual Performance Of The Week 

Gavin Coombes, Munster Rugby  

A left-field option when you consider some of the sublime attacking performances on show this weekend. 

More often than not, however, rugby is won in the trenches, and this Munster performance was perhaps one of the most impressive in quite some time. 

To hold Northampton try-less at Franklin’s Gardens is a serious effort, especially when you receive three yellow cards. 

Spearheading the Munster defense and attack was Gavin Coombes, who was ferocious in the tackle, dominant at ruck time and crucially scored Munster’s two tries. 

The 25-year-old No. 8 was immense and proved once again why he is so highly regarded in the province. 

If it wasn’t for the quality of Leinster’s Caelen Doris, then Coombes certainly would have more than just two test caps to date. 

The Bandon Grammar product is one of a host of West Cork natives who are making their way to the upper echelons of Irish Rugby. Performances like this one will only see his stock continue to rise ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Runner-up: Hacjivah Dayimani, DHL Stormers

Team Performance Of The Week

Stade Toulousain 

French giant Toulouse is rightly one of the red-hot favorites to feature in this season’s final in Dublin. 

Simply put, Toulouse is at times unplayable for 90% of the tournament, as the Sale Sharks found out to their detriment this past weekend. 

Toulouse’s forward pack is as powerful as they come, and the backline has the ability to create magic at any moment. 

Confirming this statement was a 45-19 thumping of a classy Sale side. 

What is even more impressive is that Toulouse did not even appear to hit top gear, yet still pummeled the Sharks. 

Pulling the strings yet again was the best halfback partnership in World Rugby in the dynamic duo of Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, both of whom were supreme in everything they did. 

Outside of the halfbacks was Thomas Ramos, who once again was machine-like with his kicking and silky in attack, while center Pita Ahki was superbly powerful. 

Making this result even more impressive is that statistically, there was little between the two sides in terms of territory, possession and carries made, yet Toulouse still made seven clean line breaks, while Sale couldn’t muster one. 

In addition to those seven line breaks, Toulouse forced Sale into missing 24 tackles. 

In summation, it was yet another mind-boggling performance from the French giants.

Runners-up: The Cell C Sharks

Moment Of The Week

Munster and Northampton recreate the Battle Royale at Franklin’s Gardens 

First, we had The Rumble in the Jungle. Then, there was Bite Fight. Now, we have the battle at the Gardens. 

The two sides are steeped in European pedigree and have a long history with one another, which started in earnest in the 2000 Heineken Cup final. There, the Saints famously won. 

Since then, there have been a number of high-profile battles, including the infamous Ronan O’Gara drop goal, which came after 41 phases of play to seal yet another famous Thomond Park victory in 2011. 

This recent clash. as touched upon above, was an arm wrestle from start to finish. 

As often is the way with these tetchy affairs, tensions can boil over. This is, of course, what happened in a manner unlike any we have seen in the past decade. 

Following a rather innocuous bit of pushing and shoving, things truly kicked off, as Saints' second row Dave Ribbens grabbed Munster prop John Ryan by the throat and shoved him to the ground. 

From there, it was all on, as bodies came piling in for an all-out war. The game came to a halt, as the match officials battled to wrestle back control of proceedings. 

While moments like these are rare in the modern game, it was a reminder of just how important the Heineken Champions Cup remains to the top sides in European Rugby. 

Runner-up: Dan Sheehan sublime offload for Jordan Larmour’s try.

‘Funny’ Of The Week

Stuart Hogg wipes the smile off Henry Slade’s face

The past champion Exeter Chiefs appear to be finding their best form at just the right time, as they brushed aside a second-string Vodacom Bulls side at Sandy Park on Saturday. 

A final score of 44-14 highlights the dominance of Rob Baxter’s side which has stated its ambition to dine at Europe’s top table once again. 

Among the sensational rugby on show was a fantastic moment of humor that saw Scottish star Stuart Hogg congratulate his English international teammate Henry Slade in the funniest way possible. 

As Slade was enjoying the adoration of his teammates following his sublime individual try, Hogg came over and quite literally wiped the smile off his face! Check it out below! 

Runner-up: Toulouse getting “too fired up” in the tunnel pre-match

Written by Philip Bendon