With only five full rounds left in this season’s Magners League, everyone has an eye on the prize of a top four finish and a place in the inaugural Magners League play-offs come the end of the regular season in May.
And the situation at the top of the table could not be tighter with just one match point separating the top four teams currently in the play-off zone, with two of those teams, Munster and Glasgow Warriors, meeting at Thomond Park on Friday night.
Glasgow will have to overcome Munster’s impressive home record if they are to take the points from this game and complete a season’s double over the reigning Magners League champions.
Elsewhere on Friday night, the Cardiff Blues entertain Ulster at Cardiff City Stadium, and both teams are in need of a win if they are to maintain any possible challenge for a coveted top four spot.
History may favour the hosts as Ulster have only ever won once on Cardiff soil, back in 2005.
The final game on Friday is in Scotland with Murrayfield the setting for Edinburgh’s clash with they Scarlets. History again favours the home side in this fixture as the Scarlets have never won in the Scottish capital.
Saturday sees two same-union derbies – Leinster welcoming Connacht to the RDS, while the Ospreys make the long trip down the M4 to play Newport Gwent Dragons.
League leaders Leinster, with one eye on the result from Thomond Park on Friday, will be hoping to extend their current four-point lead at the top of the table with victory over their western rivals.
For the Ospreys and Dragons, both just outside the play-off zone, a win is vital to give either team a chance of still making the top-four by the season’s end.
MAGNERS LEAGUE – ROUND 14 FIXTURES:
Friday, March 26 –
Cardiff Blues v ULSTER, Cardiff City Stadium, 7.05pm (live Setanta Sports 1/ BBC Wales)
Edinburgh v Scarlets, Murrayfield, 7.30pm
MUNSTER v Glasgow Warriors, Thomond Park, 8pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland)
Saturday, March 27 –
LEINSTER v CONNACHT, the RDS, 4.30pm (live Setanta Sports 1)
Newport Gwent Dragons v Ospreys, Rodney Parade, 6.30pm (live S4C)