Ulster look to repeat 2012 heroics against Tigers
October 10, 2013
Ulster and Leicester met recently in pre-season © Getty Images
Ahead of the start of this season's Heineken Cup, ESPN brings you a selection of some of the best stats ahead of the Round One matches.
Ulster Rugby v Leicester Tigers
Ravenhill, Friday, 8.00pm
- The last time these two sides met Ulster consigned Leicester to their heaviest defeat in their proud Heineken Cup history, romping to a 41-7 victory at Ravenhill in January 2012.
- Honours are even between these two sides in Europe, with each claiming two victories apiece in previous encounters.
- Ulster have lost just once in their last 15 home matches in the Heineken Cup.
Castres Olympique v Northampton Saints
Stade Pierre Antoine, Saturday, 4.40pm
- These two sides have been familiar foes in Europe in recent times, with Saints picking up four victories to Castres' two in six encounters since 2010.
- This is the second successive season they have both been drawn in the same pool, with Castres winning 41-22 at home before Saints eased to a 45-0 victory at Franklin's Gardens in the return fixture - the heaviest in the French club's history - though neither side were able to progress from the pool behind RaboDirect PRO12 pair Scarlets and Munster with three wins and three defeats each.
- Castres have traditionally struggled against English teams in the Heineken Cup, winning just five of their 18 matches in the competition, drawing one.
Ospreys v Leinster Rugby
Liberty Stadium, Saturday, 6.00pm
- Though reigning league champions Leinster and Ospreys are the two most recent winners of the Pro12 this will be their first-ever Heineken Cup meeting.
- Leinster are undefeated in their last 11 matches against Welsh opposition, while Ospreys have been a bit less successful against Irish opponents in the tournament - winning three and losing four, with every victory coming on home soil.
- These two sides have met once already this season, when a late Dan Biggar penalty earned Ospreys a share of the points in a 29-29 draw at RDS in the second match of the domestic campaign.
Gloucester Rugby v Perpignan
Kingsholm, Saturday, 6.00pm
- These two sides have not met since the pool stage of 2002-03 tournament, in which they shared a home victory each - with Gloucester winning 33-16 at Kingsholm and Perpignan claiming a 31-21 victory in the reverse fixture.
- The Cherry & Whites have won just one of their three league encounters at Kingsholm this season, while Perpignan will travel to the West Country on the back of an 18-12 victory at Biarritz in the Top 14 last weekend.
- Perpignan averaged 43 points per game last season in the Amlin Challenge Cup, with only Worcester (59) averaging more.
Toulon v Glasgow Warriors
Stade Felix Mayol, Sunday, 4.00pm
- This is the first-ever Heineken Cup meeting for the two sides currently sitting at the summit of the Top 14 and the PRO12.
- Last season's champions Toulon won all but one of their matches in last season's competition, a defeat to Montpellier in their final pool match having already qualified for the knockouts, and remained unbeaten at home in the process.
- The Warriors have lost three times as many games (18) against French clubs as they have won (six) in this competition, drawing two.
The best of the rest
- Zebre, who lost all six pool matches in their Heineken Cup debut last season, will have a tough test at Stade Ernest Wallon against Toulouse, who have won all eight games they have played in the competition - scoring over 30 points in six of those encounters.
- 2012 Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins will be looking to extend their winning streak over Scarlets to three matches at Twickenham Stoop, having won 29-24 at home and 29-22 away when the sides last met during the 2004-05 competition.
- Exeter Chiefs will welcome Cardiff Blues to Sandy Park on Sunday knowing their Welsh opponents averaged an impressive 109 tackles per game in last season's Heineken Cup, the second highest in the competition.
- Despite playing 130 Heineken Cup matches, Munster's two meetings with Edinburgh last season were the first time they had faced a side from Scotland in the competition. They travel to Murrayfield on Saturday for their third meeting as they take on Edinburgh again.
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