Leaders the Ospreys may be the only unbeaten team in the GUINNESS PRO12 following Glasgow Warriors’ 29-9 loss in round 6, however it is the Scotsmen who lead the way in Europe, heading pool 4 with nine points out of a possible ten, and are currently the top seeds in the European Champions Cup.
Of the seven unbeaten teams in this season’s top tier European competition, three are from the GUINNESS PRO12, Munster, Leinster and of course Glasgow Warriors, joined by three French sides with Toulon, Toulouse and Racing Metro 92, along with English club Harlequins.
And it is not just in the top tier where PRO12 teams are tasting European success, as Edinburgh top Pool 4 of the European Challenge Cup while Cardiff Blues are joint leaders in Pool 1 with ten points out of a possible ten.
In fact of the twenty European Champions Cup matches played so far, PRO12 teams have won eight, Top 14 teams seven and Aviva Premiership clubs five games, while in the Challenge Cup PRO12 teams have won seven out of the ten matches they have been involved in to date and Zebre recorded their first ever European victory.
The PRO12 round 7 games are split evenly this weekend, with three games on Friday night and three on Saturday, and the top four contenders in the play-off zone are also split evenly over the two days, leaders Ospreys and second-placed Glasgow in action on Friday with Ulster and Munster taking to the pitch the following day.
Of those four games, Munster’s trip to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park looks the most intriguing. While the Blues have not beaten Munster on Cardiff soil for over five years, both sides will be buoyed by the fact they are coming off back-to-back victories in Europe.
The Ospreys will be hoping to put the disappointment of their loss last weekend to current English champions Northampton Saints to one side. Victory over Connacht would see them equal their best ever start to a PRO12 season.
Another two teams unbeaten in Europe clash on Friday night, Leinster hosting Edinburgh at the RDS, a ground where the home team are building an enviable unbeaten record.
In the final game of the round, Ulster will want to their experience in Europe behind them and concentrate on the fact they are only four points behind the leaders. Should other result go their way, Neil Doak’s men could end up topping the PRO12 table at the end of this round.
GUINNESS PRO12 – ROUND 7 FIXTURES:
Friday, October 31 –
LEINSTER (6th) v Edinburgh (8th), the RDS, 7.35pm (live TG4/BBC ALBA)
Ospreys (1st) v CONNACHT (5th), Liberty Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Wales)
Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v Benetton Treviso (12th), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm
Saturday, November 1 –
Cardiff Blues (10th) v MUNSTER (4th), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 5.15pm (live Sky Sports 2 HD)
Scarlets (7th) v Zebre (11th), Parc y Scarlets, 6pm
ULSTER (3rd) v Newport Gwent Dragons (9th), Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/S4C)