It’s back to the day job for the Pro14 players after two weeks of European action for most of the teams. It’s only a week of domestic action before a return to European action. Not for the Cheetahs and Kings however who have had two weeks off or training and them will have another 2 weeks off. Will these breaks give them an advantage?
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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 6.
Munster v Edinburgh – Munster by 7
A fairly easy call to start the weekend off. Munster top Conference B with just the one loss. Edinburgh continue their trend of being very good at home but not so great away. Their only away win was over Cardiff who aren’t looking great this season. I would have gone for a bigger margin but I expect Munster to rest players for European action.
Ulster v Scarlets – Ulster by 5
Second in Conference A host second in Conference B, this is the clash of the round. With Ulster beating Clermont at home last weekend they will be buzzing and they should get a good crowd for this one too. Even though Scarlets are in the Challenge Cup they had to go to Toulon last weekend so not an easy trip. Both sides will probably rest a few players and I think home advantage will be the deciding factor.
NOTE – I’d forgotten about the Wales v Barbarians game this weekend. But that’s obviously means that the Welsh sides are all going to be weaker than normal.
Benetton Treviso v Cardiff Blues – Benetton Treviso by 3
Benetton are struggling to live up to last seasons levels. The Rugby World Cup has impacted them more than most teams. This weekend though they get a visit from another struggling team. It’s an opportunity to get some points but how much will the Heineken Champions Cup have taken out of them? Still Cardiff have only got 1 win in their last 5 trips to Benetton and are having a tough season so you have to go with the home side.
Connacht Rugby v Kings – Connacht Rugby by 10
Another easy one to call even though Connacht will be resting players with away and home games against Gloucester coming up. Kings have only one win so far this season and that was against the Ospreys. Even though that was in their last game and they have two weeks to prepare for this game, I still can’t see the Kings getting anywhere near the win.
Dragons v Zebre Rugby Club – Dragons by 10
Dragons aren’t the worst side in Wales this season! They are 1 place above Ospreys in Conference A with their two wins. Having already beaten Zebre in Italy by 24 points they should get another victor this weekend. I have gone for a smaller margin as I’m expecting Zebre to improve with their returning Italian internationals.
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster – Glasgow Warriors by 3
I’m going against the grain on this one. Having lost their opening two games in the Heineken Champions Cup Glasgow can concentrate on the Pro14. Leinster on the other hand have had a perfect start in all competitions. The reason I’m going for the home team is that with Northampton Saints coming up in the next two games I think we’ll see a much changed Leinster side heading north.
Ospreys v Cheetahs – Cheetahs by 7
Having won a game Ospreys aren’t officially the worst team in the tournament. But losing at home to Kings last round of the Pro14 was perhaps an all time low. Put bluntly Cheetahs are better than Kings and so should pick up their first overseas win of the season.
Record So Far
34 from 42 or 81% right
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