With the top four teams all losing in the last round of the GUINNESS PRO12, there was very little movement in the play-off zone – except for Leinster taking the place of their defeated visitors Ulster in fourth spot.
While the Ospreys maintained their position as leaders, last weekend’s results saw a bunching up of the contenders and now just four points separate the top four teams in the table.
The Round 13 games are split evenly over this coming weekend. After their tussle for the 1872 Cup on January 2, both Scottish teams are in action on Friday night. Winners Edinburgh travel to the Sportsground in Galway where Connacht, who are seeking a first ever season’s double over their visitors, are building an impressive home record.
Glasgow Warriors are another team who are difficult to beat on their own turf, the Scarlets’ record there in the past is testimony to that.
Munster and Leinster are both away on Saturday, at Zebre and Cardiff Blues respectively. Neither province has travelled well this season but with both opponents resting in the lower half of the table, these could be the games to turn that luck around.
The round wraps up with the top Welsh and Italian outfits both at home on Sunday. Having missed the opportunity to pull clear at the top of the table after losing to the Scarlets last time out, the Ospreys will be anxious not to slip up again to another fellow region, the Newport Gwent Dragons.
Benetton Treviso’s back-to back victories over rivals Zebre have put them in pole position for the Italian place in next season’s European Champions Cup, but they will find Ulster tougher opponents as they go about that quest.
The PRO12 then takes a break for a couple of weeks while the European competitions and Six Nations Championship take centre stage, but the league will be back with a full round of games on the weekend of February 13-15.
GUINNESS PRO12 – ROUND 13 FIXTURES:
Friday, January 9 –
CONNACHT (6th) v Edinburgh (8th), the Sportsground, 7.35pm (live TG4/deferred BBC ALBA)
Glasgow Warriors (2nd) v Scarlets (7th), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC ALBA/BBC 2 Wales)
Saturday, January 10 –
Cardiff Blues (9th) v LEINSTER (4th), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 2.40pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD/highlights TG4)
Zebre (12th) v MUNSTER (3rd), Stadio XXV Aprile, 4pm local time/3pm Irish time (live Nuvolari TV/highlights TG4)
Sunday, January 11 –
Benetton Treviso (11th) v ULSTER (5th), Stadio di Monigo, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/Nuvolari TV)
Ospreys (1st) v Newport Gwent Dragons (10th), Liberty Stadium, 4pm (live S4C)