Connacht vs Wasps
Competition: European Rugby Champions Cup
Date: 17 December 2016
Kick-off: 18:30 CET
Arguably one of the games of the round, just in the way a tough Pool two is opening up, the Pro12 champions have another bite at trying to topple a Wasps team that looks destined for greatness this season, either in Europe or domestically.
Wasps are undefeated in their three game through the group stages of the European Champions Cup, but they did suffer an odd draw against Toulouse, in France, than many would have baked them to get the outright win in. It matters not however as they are still top of the pile, but have Connacht breathing down on them only three points behind. Wasps, as they have all season, have played an attacking and expansive game and that has been to their benefit as they have scored a whopping 134 points in three games, in that, there have been 18 tries for the English side.
Connacht, while not as potent as they were through all competitions last year when they shocked a lot of people by claiming the Pro 12 championship, are still a force to be reckoned with. They have put themselves into second in Pool 2, but they do have Toulouse breathing down their neck, and they will know the French side are almost certain a win. Connacht can bring a lot of pride to that far outreach of west Irish coast if they can topple the Wasps in their return leg, and it will be a lot tougher for the English side traveling to Ireland as Connacht have made their home ground really inhospitable.
Connacht vs Wasps: Previous encounter
The arrival of Kurtley Beale was always going to be a show stopper moment, and he announced himself with aplomb as he claimed the man of the match award as well as scored a try in the 32-17 win. Connacht grabbed two tries through Parata and Marmion, both converted with a penalty for Carty. But Beale, Hughes, Launchbury and Bassett all scored as Gopperth added three conversions and two penalties.
Connacht vs Wasps: Prediction
It should be a far closer encounter in Ireland, and Connacht have shown they have the pedigree to compete even against a team like Wasps who are top three in the English Premier League. The game will be a lot lower scoring, and probably a bit of a grind, as the Irish side will look to slow the Wasps potent attack. Expect Connacht to sneak this one at home.
Connacht vs Wasps: Tips
This will be one for the kickers so there won’t be many tries in it. Bet on there being less than four tries scored in the game, even with the way Wasps play.