The 6 Nations is done and dusted but I feel that it’s impact will be felt in this round. There will be a lot of tired bodies that need resting and a few hungover players at training too! There’s also the European Champions and Challenge Cup quarterfinals the weekend after this. For some teams that means a break but for others that means they need fit bodies to progress.
Here is my video with my Pro14 Round 18 Predictions:
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets – Cardiff Blues by 3
Neither of these sides have to worry about Europe but you’d think that their Welsh internationals won’t be in a fit state to play. That means we can use recent form as a guide here. That caused me some issues, as Scarlets have back to back wins so have turned things around. However those were both at home and they still have only won once away from home this season in the Pro14.
Cardiff are looking good with 5 wins in their last 7 games. Their problem though is keeping a wining run going. Their longest winning streak this season is 3 games in the Pro14. They are on 2 wins at the moment, can they keep it going or are we going to see them slip up again. I’m going with home advantage but not with a lot of confidence.
Connacht Rugby v Benetton Treviso – Connacht Rugby by 3
2 more sides that don’t have to worry about the following weekend. I found this one incredibly hard to call! Connacht are a hard side to beat at home, it’s not the easiest place to get to so travel is a factor. Also the weather on the west of Ireland can be difficult to play in. However Benetton haven’t lost int the Pro14 since November last year!
I think that the number of players that Benetton provide to Italy and that it’s away will be the deciding factor here and I’m backing a home win.
Edinburgh v Leinster – Leinster by 3
This is simple isn’t it? Leinster always win. Well that’s not entirely true as they have lost to Scarlets and Munster on the road this season. However Edinburgh has slumped recently with 3 losses in their last 4 games. Those have come to the Kings, Blues and Benetton. Not the biggest names in the league even if 2 of them are going well. So I have to go with the away team even if there is the chance of a 6 Nations hangover.
Ospreys v Dragons – Ospreys by 10
Ospreys have really been poor, they have lost 5 of their last 6 games including away to the Dragons! That was by 1 point though and the Dragons have not won away from home all season so this should be a comfortable home win. The perfect thing to get Ospreys season back on track.
Ulster v Kings – Ulster by 20
After the first 3 games I was thinking that the Pro14 games were harder to call than normal. Then I saw the tail end of the fixtures and everything started to feel failure again. Kings just don’t win away, let’s be honest the rarely win at home either. TBP win for Ulster here.
Glasgow Warriors v Cheetahs – Glasgow Warriors by 10
Glasgow are in a decent run of form despite the 6 Nations. 4 wins on the trot is a good return for them. For the Cheetahs it’s the same old story really. Tough at home and struggling on the road. They had a lot of turnover in the offseason and have overcome that but they still need to learn to travel. Comfortable home win.
Munster v Zebre Rugby Club – Munster by 15
Munster are 7 from 7 at home and Zebre are 0 from 8 away. Home TBP win all day long.
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