Scarlets vs Toulon
Competition: European Rugby Champions Cup
Date: 18 December 2016
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
Toulon will probably feel that they can lock out the second qualifying spot, behind Saracens who seem unstoppable, if they can defeat the Scarlets for the second time in a row. However, away from home, things won’t be too simple.
Saracens are flying, and Toulon, a very proud European Cup team, will be desperate not to face the embarrassment that Racing have had to face by being knocked out so early. They are in a good position, currently second in their pool ahead of the Scarlets, but a win for the Welsh team could turn things on its head as they are only five points behind. Although on paper, you would say that Scarlets would have no shot against a team like Toulon, the way the French side has been struggling this season domestically and even in Europe, there could be the chance of an upset – especially with Toulon on the road.
Scarlets will be fighting for their lives here because they will know that a double blow by one of the most successful European Cup team will spell the end of their campaign. They have only managed the one win for their four points, which came against Sale who have not a point to their name. Toulon were a challenge at home, but the Scarlets made a real go of it and will feel confident heading back home to Wales to welcome the French side that has been decidedly flat this year.
Scarlets vs Toulon: Previous encounter
As was to be expected, it was a win for the French side in France, but the winning margin of only 11 points told a different story as the Scarlets kept in touch in the 31-20 loss. It was only the physicality in the game that really seemed to stump the Welsh side. Leigh Halfpenny grabbed a try, four conversions and a penalty while French hooker Guilhem Guirado, Romain Taofifenua and Mamuka Gorgodze also got over the white wash. For the Scarlets, it was Ken Owens and John Barkley with the scores.
Scarlets vs Toulon: Prediction
It could end up quite a fascinating encounter as Toulon will be desperate to win, but just as much will be Scarlets who are playing for their survival. It will really depend if Toulon can get over their troubles of traveling away from home to win. However, it must be said that most French sides do better when playing in Europe.
Scarlets vs Toulon: Tips
It will be another close encounter, but it will also be a game full of points, so bet on Toulon to march on and not cause too many upsets, but for there to be over 60 points in the game.