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GUINNESS PRO12: Round 3 Preview

GUINNESS PRO12: Round 3 Preview

The try-fest continued in round 2 of the GUINNESS PRO12, the aggregate number of tries scored (57) now being the best total for the first two rounds since the home and away format was introduced in the 2003/04 season.

Newport Gwent Dragons’ Angus O’Brien made his league debut last week, and his four successful penalty attempts elevated him to joint top penalty kicker in a game so far this season, along with Rhys Patchell.

All four Irish provinces recorded wins last weekend, but will not be able to repeat that feat as Friday night sees two of them go head-to-head when Connacht welcome Leinster to the Sportsground. The westerners are the only province still with a 100% winning record in this season’s PRO12.

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The two other games on Friday night see the remaining Irish provinces in action, with Munster hosting Zebre at Thomond Park and Ulster travelling to Wales to face the Cardiff Blues.

Zebre have never won in Ireland, while Ulster have only been victorious once in Cardiff since 2005, so both visiting teams will have their work cut out for them.

There are two Welsh v Scottish games in round 3 – the table-topping Ospreys are in action on Sunday when Edinburgh visit Liberty Stadium, a ground they have not won at since 2009.

Second-placed Glasgow Warriors take centre stage with their trip to Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon and will be hoping to reverse the result of last season when the Dragons did the double over them, the only team to do so in 2013/14.

The remaining round 3 fixture is in Llanelli on Saturday evening when Benetton Treviso are the visitors. Following a draw and a loss in the opening two rounds, the Scarlets will be looking for their first win and will be keen to avoid history repeating itself as it is just under two years since Treviso pulled off a shock result at the ground.


Friday, September 19 –

MUNSTER (6th) v Zebre (11th), Thomond Park, 7.30pm

CONNACHT (3rd) v LEINSTER (5th), the Sportsground, 7.35pm (live TG4)

Cardiff Blues (8th) v ULSTER (4th), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/BBC 2 Wales)

Saturday, September 20 –

Newport Gwent Dragons (10th) v Glasgow Warriors (2nd), Rodney Parade, 2.40pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD)

Scarlets (9th) v Benetton Treviso (12th), Parc y Scarlets, 6pm

Sunday, September 21 –

Ospreys (1st) v Edinburgh (7th), Liberty Stadium, 4pm (live S4C)