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RaboDirect PRO12: Round 14 Preview

RaboDirect PRO12: Round 14 Preview

The Rabodirect PRO12 makes a welcome return after a five-week break that has seen a record number of the league’s teams through to the knockout stages of the European competitions.

Munster, Ulster, Leinster, the Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh are in the final eight of the Heineken Cup, while the Scarlets make the knockout stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

With those games scheduled to be played over the Easter weekend, there are six rounds of RaboDirect PRO12 to concentrate on before then, starting this weekend with round 14.

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To avoid clashing with the Internationals games, the round kicks off on Thursday evening, with Glasgow Warriors hosting Scarlets and Leinster welcoming Benetton Treviso to the RDS.

Top of the table Leinster are nine points clear of the second-placed Ospreys, and fourteen points clear of the fifth-placed team, the Scarlets, so have a good cushion to keep their campaign for the play-offs on track.

However, just one point separates Glasgow Warriors from the Scarlets and a place in the play-offs, so a win is crucial for either side.

There are three games on Friday, one in each of three Unions – Ireland, Wales and Scotland = the hosts being the sixth, seventh and ninth-placed teams, Ulster, the Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh.

Ulster and the Blues are tied in the table on 31 points, but the Cardiff outfit still have a game in hand over their opponents, and both are facing teams from the lower reaches of the table, the Newport Gwent Dragons and Connacht respectively.

However, any idea of an easy victory for the home teams must be tempered by the realisation that any side can win on their day, as Connacht proved last time out in their final Heineken Cup pool game, overcoming English Premiership leaders Harlequins.

The Ospreys will know that Murrayfield is going to be a hard place to claim the victory they need continue their push for a home play-off spot.

The final round 14 game was due to take place in Viadana on Sunday, but Munster’s clash with Aironi Rugby has been postponed due to worsening weather conditions in Italy.


Thursday, February 9 –

Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets, Firhill Stadium, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Wales/BBC ALBA)

LEINSTER v Benetton Treviso, the RDS, 7.05pm (live RTÉ Two)

Friday, February 10 –

ULSTER v Newport Gwent Dragons, Ravenhill, 7.05pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/RTÉ Two)

Cardiff Blues v CONNACHT, Cardiff Arms Park, 7.30pm

Edinburgh v Ospreys, Murrayfield, 7.35pm (live BBC ALBA)

Sunday, February 12 –

Aironi Rugby v MUNSTER, Stadio Zaffanella, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time (Match postponed due to unplayable pitch)