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GUINNESS PRO12: Round 13 Preview

GUINNESS PRO12: Round 13 Preview

With the conclusion of the pool games in the European competitions, and the RBS 6 Nations Championship fast approaching, there is a full round of GUINNESS PRO12 games this weekend for teams to focus on their positions in the table.

The round opens in Wales on Friday night with the Newport Gwent Dragons taking on Leinster who have come storming up the PRO12 table over recent weeks and now sit in second place with a game in hand.
The remaining three teams in the play-off zone are all in action on Saturday, perhaps the most significant match in terms of placings being between the table-topping Scarlets and fourth-placed Connacht. While Pat Lam’s men can draw level with the Scarlets with a bonus point win, they cannot overtake the Welshmen who have won more fixtures than their opponents.
Third-placed Edinburgh face the team who have scored most tries in competition to date, Cardiff Blues, and while the Blues have claimed three try-scoring bonus points so far, Edinburgh have recorded just one, so this could prove a difficult trip for the Scotsmen.
The other two clashes on Saturday are both Italy versus Ireland affairs with Zebre hosting Munster and Ulster travelling to Benetton Treviso. For the home sides it is a race with each other to claim the single Italian spot in next season’s Champions Cup – presently Zebre have a 10-point lead over Treviso. For the two Irish provinces, who both have a game in hand and sit equal on 32 points, the challenge is to reclaim a place in the play-off zone.
The round wraps up, as it started, in Wales with the Ospreys hosting Glasgow Warriors on Sunday. Just one point separates the teams in the table but the Warriors have two games in hand, so the Ospreys will need to make home advantage count if they are to maintain their lead over their visitors. 
The GUINNESS PRO12 final will take place at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh on Saturday, May 28. See www.pro12rugby.com for ticket details.


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Friday, January 29 –

Newport Gwent Dragons (11th) v LEINSTER (2nd), Rodney Parade, 7.05pm (live TG4/BBC 2 Wales)

Saturday, January 30 –

Zebre (10th) v MUNSTER (5th), Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 3pm local time/2pm Irish time (live TG4/Rai Sport)

CONNACHT (4th) v Scarlets (1st), the Sportsground, 3pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD/highlights TG4)

Cardiff Blues (9th) v Edinburgh (3rd), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, 5.15pm (live Sky Sports 1 HD)

Benetton Treviso (12th) v ULSTER (6th), Stadio di Monigo, 6pm local time/5pm Irish time (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/TG4/Rai Sport)

Sunday, January 31 –

Ospreys (7th) v Glasgow Warriors (8th), Liberty Stadium, 2.30pm (live S4C/BBC ALBA)