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Rugby: Expect early fireworks in potential cup thriller.

Byline: GRAHAM WOODS

EXPECT some fireworks when Toulouse and Wasps meet in a potential thriller of a Heineken Cup showdown live on Sky today.

Toulouse are in pole position in Pool Six and like to put a lot of pace on their game, but Wasps are 100 per cent up for this match and could well look to fight fire with fire as they try to stun a French side who have put in shaky performances in their last two outings.

There is a small disagreement between the firms over their first-try-time lines, with Cantor going 20-23 while Sporting pitch their line at 24-27. Getting short at the higher mark looks the way to go.

Gareth Thomas crossed for Toulouse in the 15th minute at the Causeway Stadium the last time the teams met, while in the 2004 Heineken Cup final it was Wasps' Stuart Abbott who broke the deadlock on 19 minutes.

Before that heavyweight clash Cardiff and Perpignan slug it out at the Arms Park, and the Blues' Kiwi No. 8 Xavier Rush looks a value try-minutes buy at eight.

The burly back-rower found his touch in the last round of the Heineken Cup, albeit against minnows Calvisano, and his powerful running could come to the fore if the visitors turn up the heat in the pack.

Rush's back-row colleague Martyn Williams could also come into the reckoning at a similar price.

Recommendations

Sell time of first Toulouse v Wasps try 2pts at 24 (Sporting)

Buy X Rush try minutes 1pt at 8 (IG, Sporting)

CAPTION(S):

Cardiff's Xavier Rush touches down in the Blues' Heineken Cup victory over Calvisano last month
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2006
Words:274
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