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Magners League: Round 19 Preview

Magners League: Round 19 Preview

Leinster’s trip to Limerick to face arch rivals and current leaders Munster is the highlight of round 19 of the Magners League.

Round 18 was a record breaking one. Aironi beat Connacht to claim their first ever Magners League win and Edinburgh winger Tim Visser equalled the all-time record for tries in a season with his 12th touchdown.

Ospreys out-half Dan Biggar also went through the 200 points for a season marker, but attention this weekend will be focused primarily on the race for the play-offs with the top six teams in the table in action against each other.

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And with three of the top four teams level on 55 points, and two teams just one bonus point win behind on 50, things are certainly tight at the top.

Munster, in pole position for most of the season, face familiar foes Leinster at Thomond Park on Saturday night for a game that, should other results go their way, could see the Munstermen be the first qualifiers for the semi-finals. There is much more than provincial pride at stake in this fixture.

Also on Saturday, the fourth-placed Ospreys welcome the Cardiff Blues, who are just below them in the table, to the Liberty Stadium.

The derby clash could go a long way to deciding which Welsh provinces makes it through to the play-offs, as any slip up by the Ospreys could let the Blues into the top-four. Cardiff still have a game in hand over the rest of their opponents in the top six.

A day earlier, the third-ranked team in the table, Ulster, host the sixth-placed Scarlets, in what is another must win match for both teams – even more so for the Scarlets who have the least number of wins of any in the top six.

Also on Friday night, pride is at stake in Galway as Connacht aim for their highest ever finish in the Magners League. Their opponents Edinburgh, meanwhile, will want to cement their position as the top Scottish team.

On Saturday, Aironi will want to build on the success they achieved last weekend, and a victory over Glasgow Warriors, who are only one place above them in the table, must surely be in their sights.

The round wraps up on Sunday with the Newport Gwent Dragons, who with a game in hand, needing maximum points from their game against Benetton Treviso.


Friday, April 1 –

ULSTER v Scarlets, Ravenhill, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/BBC 2 Wales)

CONNACHT v Edinburgh, the Sportsground, 7.45pm (live TG4/BBC ALBA)

Saturday, April 2 –

Aironi v Glasgow Warriors, Stadio Zaffanella, 3.30pm

Ospreys v Cardiff Blues, Liberty Stadium, 6.30pm (live S4C)

MUNSTER v LEINSTER, Thomond Park, 7.30pm (live RTE 2/BBC ALBA)

Sunday, April 3 –

Newport Gwent Dragons v Benetton Treviso, Rodney Parade, 2.45pm (live S4C)