The Pro12 is about to kick-off and it promises to be one of the most competitive yet. The Welsh sides have brought back players, all the 4 Irish sides will be competitive and Glasgow will be gunning for the title also. Here are my predictions for round 1.
First here is a link to the DrivinMaul season preview by DragonWales 9.
My 30 second 1 line predictions, read below of the reasoning.
Leinster v Benetton Treviso
The weakness of the Pro12 is evident in the opening 3 fixtures. Leinster will beat Treviso with a TBP and the only question is by how many points. I’m going for around 3 tries with a couple of conversions thrown in.
Leinster by 20
Ospreys v Zebre
Similarly again the home side will be looking for the TBP. This will be a good game for the Ospreys to settle into the season as they look to make a sustained challenge for the playoffs.
Ospreys by 20
Ulster v Newport Gwent Dragons
This one should be a bit better but with the Dragons up for sale there will have been a lot of uncertainty off the pitch over the summer. We won’t know how this has impacted the players and coaches until after a couple of games really. If it has got to the squad then this one could easily blow out.
Ulster by 15
Scarlets v Munster
The first real contest of the weekend sees one of last seasons surprise packages against a perennial contender. Munster dropped off a little last season and have brought in a South African Director of Rugby. It’s going to be interesting to see how quickly he can influence things on the pitch. At this stage I think that the strengthened Scarlets will take an import early home win.
Scarlets by 7
Connacht Rugby v Glasgow Warriors
The tie of the round sees the champions from the last 2 seasons square off again. The big question on everyone’s lips is can Connacht do it again or was last season a 1 off? Connacht have lost a couple of key players whilst Glasgow still are stacked with Scottish internationals. I’m going to back Pat Lam to continue to bring the best out of this squad and get some important early season momentum.
Connacht Rugby by 5
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh
I’m hearing a lot of optimism around the Blues for this season. They might have missed the playoffs by 15 points but they were still in with a shout with 2 rounds to go. Edinburgh have made a coupe of good signings but I still think the men from the Welsh capital will take a relatively close win.
Cardiff Blues by 5
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