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RaboDirect PRO12: Round 3 Preview

RaboDirect PRO12: Round 3 Preview

The RaboDirect PRO12 continues into its third week with the games split once again four to two between Friday and Saturday nights.

The round opens with the all-Welsh affair between the Newport Gwent Dragons and Scarlets at Rodney Parade.

Both teams are pretty evenly matched having won one and lost one game so far, the Dragons ahead of the Scarlets in the table courtesy of a losing bonus point.

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But the trip east will hold no fears for the men from Llanelli as the last time they lost at Rodney Parade was on New Year’s Day in 2008.

The Dragons’ near neighbours, Cardiff Blues, are also in action on Friday night, welcoming Zebre to the Arms Park.

Zebre were leading table toppers Munster 18-9 at half-time in their match last weekend, but could not keep up the pressure in the second half. The Arms Park will be a hard place to go looking for that elusive first victory.

Munster, the only team to claim maximum points from their two games so far, continue with their Italian adventure – this time facing Benetton Treviso on Friday night. The result is far from a forgone conclusion as Munster lost the last time they visited Stadio di Monigo.

The final game on Friday sees champions Leinster take on Glasgow Warriors in a repeat of the 2012/13 semi-final, only this time the Scotsmen have home advantage.

Glasgow are the only other team apart from Munster to have a 100% winning start and will be keen to maintain that record and in doing so avenge their defeat in the play-offs last season.

There are two games on Saturday, one each in Wales and Ireland. The Ospreys are unbeaten thanks to a last minute penalty that saw them share the spoils with Leinster at the RDS last weekend, and are hoping that home advantage will come into play as they return to the Liberty Stadium for their first home game of the season.

The round wraps up on the west coast of Ireland when last season’s beaten finalists Ulster face Connacht at the Sportsground.

Following two opening round losses Ulster find themselves below Connacht in the table, and know that Galway is not the easiest of places to go when looking for a first victory of the season.


Friday, September 20 –

Newport Gwent Dragons (5th) v Scarlets (8th), Rodney Parade, 7.15pm (live BBC 2 Wales)

Benetton Treviso (11th) v MUNSTER (1st), Stadio di Monigo, 8.30pm local time/7.30pm Irish time (live Mediaset/highlights TG4)

Cardiff Blues (6th) v Zebre (12th), Cardiff Arms Park, 7.30pm

Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v LEINSTER (3rd), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live TG4/BBC ALBA)

Saturday, September 21 –

Ospreys (4th) v Edinburgh (9th), Liberty Stadium, 6.30pm (live S4C/BBC ALBA)

CONNACHT (7th) v ULSTER (10th), the Sportsground, 6.45pm (live RTÉ Two/BBC 2 Northern Ireland)