We are seeing the Rugby World Cup stars slowly returning for their Pro14 teams. Obviously not the Welsh players yet, who are contesting the Bronze Final against New Zealand. However the other sides are seeing their top players trickle back so you need to take that into account with your predictions.
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As with Super Rugby I’ll be testing my predictions in DrivingMaul v the Bookie. Check out how I did against the TAB in Round 4.
Glasgow Warriors v Kings – Glasgow Warriors by 10
Amazingly enough the Kings have a better points difference than Glasgow at the moment! However they have lost all their games where as Glasgow have won 1. The kings won 2 games and drew 1 last season but they were all at home. Funnily enough those 2 wins were against the 2 scottish sides…. Even so I can’t see them picking up their first away win this weekend.
Leinster v Dragons – Leinster by 15
Dragons have had a decent start to the season with 2 wins from their 4 games. That includes an away win which they didn’t manage last season (yup they were the side that drew with the Kings). Even so beating Leinster away is not the same as beating Zebre in Italy. This should be Leinsters 5th straight win this season and that close call last weekend will be a rocket up their backsides.
Ulster v Zebre Rugby Club – Ulster by 20
This is such an easy call the TAB aren’t even taking bets on Ulster to win. This will be a comfortable home win with a Try Bonus Points as well.
Scarlets v Cheetahs – Scarlets by 5
This is a really intriguing game, both sides have started well with 3 wins and just 1 loss. Both those losses came last weekend so which side can bounce back the best? Scarlets don’t score many points but until last weekend they had a really strong defence, only allowing 4 tries in their first 3 games. Can they get back into that kind of form?
For the Cheetahs it’s about getting a win on the road. It’s something they have struggled to do outside South Africa in both the previous 2 seasons.
Benetton Treviso v Edinburgh – Benetton Treviso by 3
I found this one really hard to call for 2 reasons. First up Edinburgh don’t travel well. They only picked up 2 wins on the road last season and 1 of those was down the road in Glasgow. Also there are the returning Rugby World Cup players nad Benetton are one of the most impacted by international call-ups. I know I’m calling an upset here but I think it has the right ingredients.
Ospreys v Connacht Rugby – Connacht Rugby by 5
Connacht are another that historically don’t travel well. However they did pick up 4 wins from their 10 away trips last season. They have also started this season well as they did 4 years ago. Ospreys on the other hand have had a shocking start and have scored the fewest tries of any team. Sure they have won their only home game so far this season but I still think Connacht will get the upper hand.
Cardiff Blues v Munster – Munster by 7
This is likely to be a close one as all Cardiff’s games so far this season have been decided by less than 10 points. Munster are still a bit of an unknown quantity this year as beating the Dragons, Kings and Ospreys doesn’t tell us much. Still I think they’ll put away a Cardiff side that’s been disappointing so far this season.
Record So Far
22 from 28 or 79% right
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