The Pro14 recently announced that some of their rearranged fixtures would be on the same day or after the final. The teams involved have no chance of making the final so from that point of view it doesn’t matter and the games do count towards European qualification. The problem is the optics of the final not being the last game in the season. It’s what we all expect to see and whilst there is sense in the decision it’s a bad look.
You can fuel New Zealand Sport Radio with a coffee over on the right of the page
Anyway you’re here for my predictions not thoughts on rugby administrators.
Benetton Rugby v Connacht Rugby – Connacht Rugby by 7
It’s a simple pick to start the round off with. Benetton haven’t won a game all season and their best players are away with Italy on 6 Nations duty. It should be a regulation win for Connacht.
Cardiff Blues v Munster Rugby – Munster Rugby by 3
Oh dear this one really got me thinking. Both sides are missing players with the 6 Nations obviously and Munster are all but guaranteed a place in the final. Will that mean they rotate more looking after players? I don’t know and if you head down that route you end up dummying yourself and letting in a try. So I’m still going with Munster but not with the confidence I should have.
Ulster Rugby v Ospreys – Ulster Rugby by 5
Another one that I had to think twice about. In the end it’s a home game for Ulster so even though Ospreys are much improved it was from a very low level let’s be honest.
You can check out how my picks are doing against the TAB with my DrivingMaul v The Bookie series
Zebre Rugby Club v Dragons – Zebre Rugby Club by 3
As I come to type this one I’m having second thoughts. Initially my thinking basically is that we have 2 lower table struggling sides so you go with the home one. However after typing above about Benetton’s loss of players to the Italian side it reminds me that the same thing will be happening to Zebre. Sure both these sides have 3 wins this year but that -208 points difference for Zebre is worrying. I’m sticking with my initial prediction (as I’ve learnt long ago that changing tends to be a bad idea) however my confidence is very low on this one.
Edinburgh v Scarlets – Edinburgh by 3
Pretty much the same thought process for this one, 2 sides that aren’t great this season so go with the home one. Edinburgh in seasons past have been very hard to beat at home and maybe their new venue can be built into a similar style fortress for them.
Leinster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors – Leinster Rugby by 7
This is fairly simple. Leinster always win (well except when they don’t but that’s once in a blue moon).
Record So Far
I’m 39 from 58 or 63%, I’m having a shocking season, can we stop it now please?