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GUINNESS PRO12: Round 4 Preview

GUINNESS PRO12: Round 4 Preview

Rhys Webb’s second-minute try for the Ospreys in their victory over Edinburgh last Sunday was the fastest scored in the GUINNESS PRO12 so far this season, while Munster’s Simon Zebo, who helped himself to three tries against Zebre, became just the fourth player to score a first half hat-trick in league history.

Their scores helped to raise the tries per match average to a best ever rate of 4.88, and the 10 try-scoring bonus points claimed so far is a new record after three rounds of the GUINNESS PRO12.

And even more fans were enjoying those performances – the aggregate league attendance is over 13% up on the same point last season.
As round 4 approaches only three teams still maintain a 100% winning record, and two of those, Glasgow Warriors and Connacht go head to head on Friday night.

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Glasgow have built up a formidable home record at Scotstoun Stadium, and even though Pat Lam’s men defeated Edinburgh on their last trip to Scotland, they will find it harder against last season’s beaten finalists.
Edinburgh themselves are in action on Friday, but this time against Welsh opponents, the Scarlets, while in Dublin Leinster also welcome Welsh opposition in the form of the Cardiff Blues.

Both hosts have won only one of their three games so far this campaign, so must be hoping home advantage will work in their favour this weekend.
League leaders the Ospreys – the only other side with a 100% winning record – will be pushed to maintain that when they travel to Munster on Saturday for what is, arguably, the game of the round.

Elsewhere on Saturday Ulster face Zebre in Parma. Thanks to an opening day draw and two follow-up wins, Ulster remain unbeaten in the PRO12 so far this season and with the two teams directly above them facing each other, they could see this as an opportunity to climb up the table.
The round wraps up in Newport on Sunday when Benetton Treviso make the trip to Rodney Parade. The last four games between the Newport Gwent Dragons and Treviso have been won by the home side on the day, so Dragons fans must be hoping that is a good omen.


Friday, September 26 –

LEINSTER (7th) v Cardiff Blues (8th), the RDS, 7.35pm (live TG4)

Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v CONNACHT (3rd), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm

Edinburgh (9th) v Scarlets (6th), BT Murrayfield, 7.35pm (live BBC ALBA/BBC 2 Wales)

Saturday, September 27 –

Zebre (11th) v ULSTER (4th), Stadio XXV Aprile, 4pm local time/3pm Irish time (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland)

MUNSTER (5th) v Ospreys (1st), Thomond Park, 6.30pm (live Sky Sports 2 HD)

Sunday, September 28 –

Newport Gwent Dragons (10th) v Benetton Treviso (12th), Rodney Parade, 4pm (live S4C)