Looking At Heineken Champions Cup Round 2

The biggest club competition in the Northern Hemishpere gets its second round underway this weekend. 

In Round 1 we saw a couple of surprises, some close finishes, and a whole lot of Irish domination. Will we see more of the same in Round 2, or are there going to be some changes?

Here's the rundown:

Ulster vs Clermont Auvergne (Pool 3)

11/22 - 2:45 pm (ET)

Clermont will travel to the Kingspan on Friday night looking to build on their cracking opening performance. 

The French giants spent last season playing in the tier-2 Challenge Cup, but have returned to the top flight with a vengeance, taking down Harlequins 53-21 a week ago. 

They're sure to face a much stiffer this week when they travel to Northern Ireland to take on Ulster. The men from Belfast scored a huge road victory last week at Bath, 17-16. 

The Kingspan is always one of the toughest places to play, and with a Friday night home fixture against one of the world's best sides, you can bet the crowd will be rocking. 

Benetton vs Northampton (Pool 1)

11/23 - 8:00 am (ET)

Northampton will head to Italy for their second match of the Champions Cup, aiming to make it two wins from two on the campaign. 

They got a huge performance from flyhalf Dan Biggar a week ago to take down Lyon at home, 25-14. The Saints haven't experienced Heineken Cup success in what seems like ages, so getting off to a 2-0 start would be huge for them. 

Benetton have had a tough start to the year in the PRO14, winning just two of their first six games. On top of that, they suffered a 33-19 loss to 2018-19 runners-up Leinster in Round 1 of the Champions Cup. 

A home win against Northampton would be a much-needed result for the Italians. 

Saracens vs Ospreys (Pool 4)

11/23 - 8:00 am (ET)

In somewhat of a surprise, the Sarries were comprehensively handled by Racing 92 a week ago, 32-12. Granted, they were missing a chunk of their England internationals, but nevertheless you rarely see them take a hiding. 

The two-time defending champions will look to get back on the horse this Saturday against a struggling Ospreys side. The Welsh region went down 32-13 to Munster in Round 1 and have won just one out of six games so far in the PRO14. 

The loser of this match could find themselves in real trouble moving forward. 

Toulouse vs Connacht (Pool 5)

11/23 - 8:00 am (ET)

Toulouse are certainly one of the favorites in the tournament this year, but they nearly lost their opener to Gloucester, just surviving 25-20. 

The reigning French champions will get to play in front of a home crowd this week, and it's not often this lot loses on their own ground. We could see a white-hot Toulouse side on Saturday. 

Their opponents, Connacht, scored a massive win in Round 1, defeating Montpellier 23-20. They were one of four Irish teams to pick up a win last week, and they hope to continue this trend of Irish domination this week. 

Lyon vs Leinster (Pool 1)

11/23 - 10:15 am (ET)

Lyon have been in scintillating form in the Top14 this season, going undefeated through their first nine fixtures.

However, their unbeaten run to begin the season came to a halt last week when they were nipped on the road by Northampton. Playing at home this week, the French unit hope to get back to their winning ways. 

The task won't be easy though, as they are facing one of the world's premier sides in Leinster. 

The men from Dublin have yet to lose all season, and are coming off a comfortable 33-19 win over Benetton in their first game of the Champions Cup. 

This one could be a trying test for Leinster, but given their incredible track record in Europe, it shouldn't be too big of an ask. 

Exeter Chiefs vs Glasgow Warriors (Pool 2)

11/23 - 10:15 am (ET)

Exeter have been outstanding in the Premiership over the past five years, but have failed to translate that into European success. 

Finally, they've gotten off to a good start in Europe, after last weekend's 31-12 win over La Rochelle. 

This week they'll play hosts to the Glasgow Warriors, who scraped out a 13-7 victory over Sale in Round 1. The Warriors lost their head coach, Dave Rennie, during the week when he accepted the job to become the new Australia boss. 

Replacement head coach Danny Wilson hopes to pick up where Rennie left off and keep Glasgow relevant as one of Britain's best sides. 

Harlequins vs Bath (Pool 3)

11/23 - 12:30 pm (ET)

Two English sides coming off of opening round losses, Quins and Bath will both be extremely eager to pick up a win. 

The Harlequins are a young side that has tons of room for growth, but they were handed a real whooping a week ago to Clermont. They'll need to put that one in the rear-view mirror as soon as possible. 

Bath, on the other hand, lost a nailbiter at home to Ulster last week. They had a real shot to win it at the end, but their winger was just bundled into touch before they could score right at the death. 

Expect a very intense, physical encounter here between two teams that know each other very well. 

Munster vs Racing 92 (Pool 4)

11/23 - 12:30 pm (ET)

Munster and Racing were two of the most impressive sides of Round 1, so this encounter on Saturday night has the makings of a fantastic one. 

Munster continued their flying start to the season with a big victory over Ospreys in their first European outing. Following their run to the semifinals a year ago, the men in red are determined to go all the way this time. 

Racing 92 had perhaps the surprise of the weekend last week, when they crushed the two-time defending champion Saracens. In a pool with three of the top teams in the world, results like that will go a long way in the final standings. 

The winner of this match will be in excellent position moving forward. 

Sale vs La Rochelle (Pool 2)

11/24 - 8:00 am (ET)

Both Sale and La Rochelle will be looking for their first Heineken Cup win of the season this Sunday. 

Sale were close a week ago against Glasgow, and did manage to secure a losing bonus point in the effort. With Faf de Klerk, Tom Curry, and company returning for this fixture, they should turn in a better performance. 

La Rochelle were handily defeated last week by Exeter, but it doesn't mean they're out of it. They still have a very strong team, and if their free-flowing style of rugby is coming off, they are extremely difficult to beat. 

Montpellier vs Gloucester (Pool 5)

11/24 - 10:15 am (ET)

Each of these two teams suffered close defeats in their first contests of the competition, Montpellier falling 23-20 to Connacht, and Gloucester 25-20 to Toulouse. 

This game figures to be a very exciting one, with two teams who like to play running rugby going at it in a must-win fixture. 

A win for either side puts them back in the mixer in the pool, while a loss could mean a very long road to the quarterfinal stage. 

5 Things To Get Excited About This Weekend


Here are five big things going on across the World Rugby landscape this weekend:

Great Day 1 Has The Eagles In The World Schools 7s Quarters

The U-18 Eagles were mighty impressive on Thursday at the World Schools 7s, competing hard against the defending champion New Zealand Condors, and then putting wins over Rugby Academy Fiji and Australia Indigenous 7s. 

Texas, Pacific Northwest Dominate All Star Challenges

This past weekend, eight women's teams competed in the TRU All Star Challenge. Over 140 women participated in the tournament, as well as a player-development clinic put on by USA Eagles head coach Rob Cain. 

Watch: World School 7s on FloRugby

Tune in tomorrow and Friday to see some of the best young talent in the United States and Canada take on the the top nations in the world at the World School's 7s tournament in New Zealand. 

Men's Collegiate Championships Dream Team

This past weekend we saw a bunch of high quality rugby players compete at the USA Rugby Fall Collegiate Championships. 

Iowa Central Claim 1st Ever DI-AA Title

On Sunday morning in sunny Charlotte, NC, Iowa Central Community College completed a journey five years in the making by defeating Western Michigan in the DIAA national championship, 36-21.

Air Force Women Are Back-to-Back Champs

In what might have been the hardest-hitting game of the weekend, Air Force held off a determined Navy team to win their second straight national title. 

Redemption & National Title For Winona State

Winona State fought through two extremely tough games to become the 2019 DII National Champions. 

Queens Dominate To Win National Title

Queens were simply ruthless over the weekend, as they put in two dominant displays en route to winning their first ever national championship just two-and-a-half years into their existence. 

Men's DII Collegiate Semifinal Preview

The men's DII collegiate field will be trimmed from its last four teams to its last two on Saturday, when Wisconsin-Whitewater, Missouri S&T, Norwich University, and Queens University compete in the DII semifinals.