The European Rugby Cups are off the agenda for most of the Pro12 sides so they can fully concentrate on the League. Here are my predictions for round 13.
How did your Round 12 predictions go?
2 from 3, it was a reduced round due to the postponed European fixtures being caught up on.
Newport Gwent Dragons v Leinster
There are a few easy ones to call this week and this is one of them. Dragons only have three wins this season and two of those were at home to Italian opposition. The only ray of hope is that they did manage a home win over Munster. Leinster were thumped in Europe but have won their last 7 games to put them second in the league with a game in hand. With that kind of run it has to be an away win and the only question is by how many.
Leinster by 10
Zebre v Munster
This is another easy one to call. Zebre have been poor this season even if they have been the better of the two Italian sides. Munster won in Italy last week in the European Cup against Treviso so I don’t know if they stayed in Italy for a week’s holiday or headed home. Either way I can only see another away win but I think that I may have over estimated the margin.
Munster by 20
Connacht Rugby v Scarlets
For me this is the game of the weekend and I asked that reliable source Twitter who would win this one. At the time of writing the voting hadn’t finished but Connacht was leading by a small margin. Both these sides started the season fantastically but have faltered more recently. Scarlets have survived the better of the two sides beating Connacht at home in the last round. I don’t know how many of Connacht’s injured players are back but it has led to a four game losing streak and I’m going against popular opinion as I think that will continue.
Scarlets by 5
Benetton Treviso v Ulster
This is another easy on to pick. Travis haven’t won a game in either the league or Europe all season. Ulster were unlucky to come up against the form side in Europe in their Champions Cup pool and were only a bonus point of two away from qualification. So one of the best sides against the worst means away TBP.
Ulster by 20
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh
This is an intriguing one, at first it looks like an easy away victory as Cardiff sit 6 places behind Edinburgh. However Cardiff’s form has picked up recently and they are on a run of three wins. Edinburgh are also on a run of three wins but have been inconsistent this season losing away to Zebre for example. This one could hinge on which international players the two sides are allowed to field but I’m going with the home field advantage to win the day.
Cardiff Blues by 5
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
This is another good encounter. Ospreys started the season poorly but were on a run of five wins before they lost in the last round to Leinster. They looked a totally different side with their intention starts back. Glasgow have been inconsistent and when they lose something like 17 players to international duty you can understand why. So this is another one that could be highly influenced by the international coaches. Putting that to one side I’m backing the better form of Ospreys to beat the champions.
Ospreys by 5
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