Didn’t the Pro14 just finish last weekend? Don’t be silly the final was on the 12th of September, so there’s been a 2 week off season…. Well there would have been except there’s been European action in the last 2 weekends. Welcome to the world of COVID player welfare.
Well as it’s called the Pro14 at least the South African teams are back. Don’t be silly, we’ve had 11 rounds of game announced and there’ll be no South African teams due to travel restrictions. Also the Kings have gone into liquidation and so left the league.
So it’s the Pro12+1??? Nope they are looking for a replacement team for the Kings and there’s even talk of expansion. How they intend for the Cheetahs and whoever else they ask to join, to catchup their games I have no idea.
You can fuel New Zealand Sport Radio with a coffee over on the right of the page
Zebre Rugby Club v Cardiff Blues – Zebre Rugby Club by 3
This is a game that Cardiff should win. However I’ve thought that too many times over the years only to see Cardiff lose in Italy. I don’t know if it’s the pasta or the pizza that causes Cardiff trouble but they do seam to struggle over there.
Leinster Rugby v Dragons – Leinster Rugby by 15
Leinster only lost 1 game all of last season and that was the Champions Cup quarter final against Saracens. Yup they won all their games all the way to the final in the Pro14.
The Dragons are not the team that’s going to stop that run, especially not in Dublin.
Ulster Rugby v Benetton Rugby – Ulster Rugby by 10
Fairly simple home win call here. Ulster made it through to the final and even though they came up short that will have been good experience for the side.
Benetton have been improving and it’ll be interesting to see how they go especially with the International games coming up for Italy.
Scarlets v Munster Rugby – Scarlets by 3
This is my game of the round and let’s just hope that it lives up to the billing. Scarlets were only behind Munster on bonus points last season. Scoring points was their Achilles heel and they’ll be looking to up their try count.
Munster march on and whilst they bowed out at the semifinal stage last season will be looking to be challenging at the pointy end of the season yet again.
Connacht Rugby v Glasgow Warriors – Connacht Rugby by 5
Connacht would prefer this to be a Friday night game rather than Saturday afternoon. Looking at the stats Glasgow have won the last 3 times these sides have played in Galway.
That makes me question my pick to be honest. I was backing home advantage but it looks like Glasgow have been able to negate that recently. However I’m going to stick with my instincts as this Glasgow team isn’t the same as the one a couple of years ago that challenged for titles.
Edinburgh v Ospreys – Edinburgh by 20
Edinburgh’s only home losses last year came at the end of the season to Glasgow and then Ulster in the semifinal. Ospreys are not in that category and whilst they look better than last season, where they were useless, they haven’t improved enough to challenge Edinburgh at away.
Bye – Cheetahs and whoever is replacing the Kings
Not really a bye as that suggests they are back soon. As I said at the top they haven’t been included in the first 11 rounds. Also the Cheetahs will be taking part in Super Rugby Unlocked/The Currie Cup until January so they will have rugby.
Record So Far
Hey it’s week 1, give me a chance 🙂