RaboDirect PRO 12 previews

Round five of the RaboDirect PRO 12 continues this weekend with four games taking place on Friday night, the highlight from an Irish perspective being Leinster’s trip to the Sportsground to face an out of sorts Connacht.

Connacht v Leinster

At Sportsground, 8pm

Connacht has failed to win at home since April and injuries to key players will further hamper their chances on Friday night. The European Champions will be looking for their fourth win on the trot and while connacht did beat them at home in 2010, it’s looking like another hard night at the Sportsground for the Westeners.

Cardiff Blues v Ulster
Cardiff Arms Park, 7.05pm

Cardiff has been victorious in their last two home games verses Irish opposition and will be looking to add Ulster to that scalp. The Irish side postponed last week’s game against Zebre due to the tragic death of Neven Spence and will no doubt want to continue their early season form of three wins from three, in what is expected to be a highly emotional game. The Ulster v zebre has been re-sheduled for November 18th.

Glasgow Warriors v Zebre
Scoutoun Stadium, 7.35pm

Early season whipping boys Zebre make their first trip to Scotland to face an in-form Glasgow Warriors side who have won their two last games against Ospreys and Connacht. Warriors only defeat this season came against the Scarlets while Zebre have already shipped 12 tries in three games and look destined for a hard season. Glasgow have never lost to an Italian team and another defeat is most definitely on the cards for the new franchise that is Team Zebre.

Newport Gwent Dragons v Edinburgh
Rodney Parade, 7pm

The Dragons have won just one of their last eight games in the RaboDirect PRO 12, at home to Zebre and achieved the double over Edinburgh last season. The Scots side have two wins this season so far but have not won away from home since last November and have not tasted victory over the Dragons at Rodney Parade since May 2006.

Bennetton Treviso v Scarlets
At Stadio Monigo, 7.05pm.

Top of the table Scarlets travel to Treviso looking for their fifth win from six games. Treviso defeated fellow Welsh side Ospreys on the opening day of the season but have failed to impress since. Scarlets are looking for a record equallying four away wins in a row, a feat not achieved by the Welsh side since May 2004. Each team won their repsective home games last season but Scarlets have already showed this season they are capable of grinding out results, especailly away from home.

Ospreys v Munster
At Liberty Stadium, 6.30pm

Last season’s champions, Ospreys, have only won once this season at Scarlets and have lost twice at home but never three in-a-row. On the flip side Munster have only won once away from home against Edinburgh but still lie second in the table. Ospreys completed the treble over Munster last season while the Irish province last recorded a victory at Liberty Stadium in April 2011.


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