Happy New Year, I hope you got to celebrate in style. The Pro14 sees the return of the Cheetahs and Kings who last played on the 30th of November. The question is will they come back rested or rusty from this month off?
For the Irish and Welsh sides it’s another round of derby games whilst the Scottish, Italians and South African sides take each other on.
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Cardiff Blues v Scarlets – Scarlets by 3
Normally this would be an easy Scarlets pick. However Cardiff are on a run of 4 wins and have a very similar record to Scarlets this season. Sure Scarlets have a +42 points difference but that mainly comes from their 44-0 demolition of Ospreys last weekend. I’m still going with the away side as now that the Brad Mooar situation has been sorted they can concentrate on the rugby.
Ulster v Munster – Ulster by 3
Another game that’s not easy to call as both sides are having good seasons. Again similar records with Ulster the more attacking and Munster a better defence. In the end it’s home advantage that I’m going with however I can see if going either way.
Benetton Treviso v Glasgow Warriors – Glasgow Warriors by 3
Like the first game, you’d think this was an easy pick. However Warriors are having a tough season having lost so many quality players over the last couple of years.
However Benetton also aren’t at the same level as last season. To be fair to them they aren’t that far off as most of their games have been decided by just one score. That’s led to 7 bonus points from their 9 games so far this season. I’m still just tipping the away side.
Dragons v Ospreys – Dragons by 5
It’s not often that you have Dragons as comfortable favourites. That shows how much of a mess Ospreys are this season. Perhaps that’s a little unfair on this season’s Dragons as Dean Ryan is doing a good job there. Home wins over Glasgow and Scarlets aren’t to be sniffed at. Still it’s a rare week when a home Dragons win is one of the easier picks.
Zebre Rugby Club v Cheetahs – Cheetahs by 3
The pick here isn’t so much about Zebre but about Cheetahs. Well the margin/comfort level at least. Zebre are struggling this season so you’re going to pick against them most weekends. The big question here is how well will Cheetahs cope with the travel (not great normally) and having had a month off since their last game. It’s that second question that means I’ve gone for a close game as I don’t know the answer and that makes me nervous.
Leinster v Connacht Rugby – Leinster by 15
Put simply are Leinster going to lose a game all season? Add into that all of Connacht’s rare recent wins have been at home. Yup easy home win and probably with the try bonus point.
Edinburgh v Kings – Edinburgh by 15
It doesn’t really matter if the Kings come back refreshed or rusty, either way they aren’t going to get a win in Edinburgh. Not only are Kings poor on the road (they aren’t great at home) but also Edinburgh are 4 wins from 4 games at home this season.
Record So Far
It was cool to have my second a perfect round of the season last weekend.
Over all I’m 47 from 61 or 77% right.
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