Now the Rugby World Cup is over we can concentrate on domestic matters like the Pro14. Not all the players are back and the impact will be felt right to the end of the season like it was in 2015-16. Also we only have 1 week until the European competitions kick-off! No rest for the wicked or rugby players.
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As with Super Rugby I’ll be testing my predictions in DrivingMaul v the Bookie. Check out how much I won off the TAB in Round 5.
Connacht Rugby v Leinster – Leinster by 5
This is a clash between two of the inform teams of the competition. Connacht going well after an opening round loss to Scarlets. The Loose Head has taken a look at the 4 Irish provinces and done a Twitter thread for each, I’ve put them all in here as I think they’re worth a read.
A great start by Connacht and they’ll want to take advantage of players missing still. Leinster on the other hand are the defending Champions and they are that due to the depth of their squad. A perfect start in terms of wins if not performances as the 0-3 victory a couple of weeks ago shows. I just can’t see Leinster losing many this season.
Edinburgh v Dragons – Edinburgh by 10
Edinburgh are back home where they have a formidable record and many sides better than the Dragons will struggle there. To be fair to the Dragons they have had a good start to the season with two wins. But three losses by over 20 points shows how brittle this side is. A comfortable home win here.
Ospreys v Kings – Ospreys by 7
Ospreys have had a shocking start to the season with their only win being over Benetton at home. Luckily for them the Kings have been even worse in losing all their games. It should be a home win but don’t expect a rout (even though the Kings were beaten heavily last weekend) as teh Kings have picked up a couple of LBPs already.
Zebre Rugby Club v Glasgow Warriors – Glasgow Warriors by 10
Glasgow are yet to win on the road but that 50 point win over the Kings last weekend will have done their moral the world of good. Especially as they kept the Kings scoreless. Zebre are yet to pick up a win but should improve as their internationals integrate back in. Still I’m expecting the Warriors to be riding on a wave of confidence to a win.
Cardiff Blues v Cheetahs – Cheetahs by 3
This is such a hard one to call. Cardiff have only had that opening round win over the Kings so far this season and are getting hammered by their fans on social media. However the Cheetahs are showing that they really struggle on the road. The Cheetahs road losses have come to form teams Connacht and Scarlets so this is the ideal place for them to break that away duck.
Munster v Ulster – Munster by 3
Check out The Loose Head’s threads on these two provinces as well.
Another two sides that are tracking really well with 4-1 records. Interestingly both of them picked up their only loss to the Cheetahs in South Africa. It’s a tough one to call but Ulster haven’t won away to Munster since 2014. WIth that in mind I’m backing the home team.
Scarlets v Benetton Treviso – Scarlets by 3
Scarlets have started really well like they did back in 2015 when they went on to win the title. Normally I’d therefore go with a comfortable home win. However Benetton have righted the ship with 2 back to back win after losing their opening 3 games. I’m still backing the home side but remember this is a Benetton side that qualified for the European Rugby Champions Cup as of right last season (no more just being the token Italian representative).
Record So Far
29 from 35 or 83% right
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