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GUINNESS PRO14: Round 7 Preview

GUINNESS PRO14: Round 7 Preview

Derby fixtures and intriguing battles in Italy are all the cards for the GUINNESS PRO14 this weekend as teams return from European action. Once the final whistle is blown on round 7, a third of the Championship season will be in the books and already Conference A leaders Glasgow Warriors are looking like the front runners in the race to reach the PRO14 final series.

It is tight in Conference B with just two points between the table-topping Scarlets and the chasing duo of Ulster and Leinster. After the announcement that a play-off game will take place between the two fourth-placed teams to earn the seventh place in the Champions Cup (South African teams are ineligible), there are a whole host of teams who will be keen to keep in touch with the Conference leaders. 

It has been an entertaining campaign so far and bonus points are up across the board with 40 scored after six rounds compared to 29 at this stage last season. The average number of tries has risen to 5.5 per match, ensuring that fans all across the GUINNESS PRO14 are getting plenty of entertainment.

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Sell-out crowds are the theme at Scotstoun Stadium this season where Glasgow Warriors have filled their home ground for all of the PRO14 fixtures this season and they will hope to have a full house this Friday for the visit of the Southern Kings.

The Kings have drafted in some new recruits in Mzamo Majola and Martin du Toit ahead of this game which will be their last in Europe until January. Glasgow have won six from six so far in the PRO14 and a good result here will put them in good stead to face Leinster in round 8.

In Wales, the Ospreys and the Dragons will meet at Liberty Stadium with both teams looking to turn performances into results, and there are likely to be some keen contests between players looking to gain national selection for the November Tests.

Across on the Atlantic coast, Connacht face Munster and they will be keen to recapture their menace of their 2015/16 season where they won the title. The past four meetings between the provinces have been split evenly and this tribal encounter carries even more weight with both teams residing in Conference A. 

On Saturday, the Scarlets welcome Cardiff Blues to Llanelli and the defending champions appear a fierce proposition having lost just once in the last 13 Championship outings. Cardiff will be on a high after their win over Toulouse in the Challenge Cup, but a win at Parc y Scarlets would breathe new life into their PRO14 campaign.

Benetton Rugby go up against Edinburgh, who arrive having lost on two of their last three trips to Italy while their hosts won in Myreside when the teams met in round 3. Benetton, who came close to beating Toulon in the Champions Cup last weekend, have won three out of four in the PRO14 and are level with Edinburgh in Conference B, making this a vital match for both teams. 

The other Italian game of the weekend sees Zebre face the Toyota Cheetahs in Parma, and having served up a total of 93 points in their round 3 tussle, expect plenty of fireworks in this return leg between the Conference A rivals.

Split by just scoring difference in Conference B, Ulster and Leinster clash in an interprovincial derby that could prove pivotal in the hunt for a home knockout berth. Each team has lost only once in the PRO14 this season and boast similar records in attack and defence. Ulster will thrive off a capacity crowd at Kingspan Stadium where they will be buoyed by the current sequence of results between the sides which has seen the hosts win each of the last eight games.


Friday, October 27 –

CONNACHT (6th, Con A) v MUNSTER (2nd, Con A), the Sportsground, 7.35pm (live TG4)

Glasgow Warriors (1st, Con A) v Southern Kings (7th, Con B), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC ALBA/SuperSport 1)

Ospreys (7th, Con A) v Dragons (6th, Con B), Liberty Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Wales)

Saturday, October 28 –

Benetton Rugby (5th, Con B) v Edinburgh (4th, Con B), Stadio di Monigo, 3pm local time (live Eurosport Italia)

Zebre (4th, Con A) v Toyota Cheetahs (3rd, Con A), Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 6pm local time (live Eurosport Italia/SuperSport 2)

ULSTER (2nd, Con B) v LEINSTER (3rd, Con B), Kingspan Stadium, 6.30pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/Sky Sports Action/highlights TG4)

Scarlets (1st, Con B) v Cardiff Blues (5th, Con A), Parc y Scarlets, 7.35pm (live S4C)



Ernst Stapelberg (Toyota Cheetahs) 60
Gavin Henson (Dragons) 56
John Cooney (Ulster) 50
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) 48
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) 47


Torsten van Jaarsveld (Toyota Cheetahs) 5
Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 5
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 5
Alex Wootton (Munster) 5
Mattia Bellini (Zebre) 4
Elliot Dee (Dragons) 4
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) 4
Angelo Esposito (Benetton Rugby) 4
Jean Kleyn (Munster) 4
Barry Daly (Leinster) 4


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 7
Luke McGrath (Leinster) 5
Duncan Williams (Munster) 5
Darren Sweetnam (Munster) 4
Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) 4


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 494
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 470
Matteo Minozzi (Zebre) 437
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 430
Sergeal Petersen (Toyota Cheetahs) 398


Bundee Aki (Connacht) 107
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 80

Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) 78
Tommaso Castello (Zebre) 78
Steff Evans (Scarlets) 78


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 11
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 11
Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 10
Tom James (Cardiff Blues) 9
Mattia Bellini (Zebre) 9
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) 9
Sergeal Petersen (Toyota Cheetahs) 9


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 30
Jeff Hassler (Ospreys) 23
Maxisole Banda (Southern Kings) 20
Bundee Aki (Connacht) 17
Joey Carbery (Leinster) 17

Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) 17
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 17
Mattia Bellini (Zebre) 17


Kieran Marmion (Connacht) 480
John Cooney (Ulster) 466

Marcello Violi (Zebre) 432
Tom Habberfield (Ospreys) 402
Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) 353


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 20
Tom Farrell (Connacht) 14
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 13
Masixole Banda (Southern Kings) 12
Alex Wootton (Munster) 11
Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 11


Carlo Canna (Zebre) 47
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) 41
Ian Keatley (Munster) 37
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) 35
Gavin Henson (Dragons) 34


Paul Schoeman (Toyota Cheetahs) 83
Andisa Ntsila (Southern Kings) 80
Tommy O’Donnell (Munster) 79
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) 79
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues) 77


Reniel Hugo (Toyota Cheetahs) 31
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) 26
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) 26
Dries van Schalkwyk (Southern Kings) 25
Jake Ball (Scarlets) 24


Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) 14
Carlo Canna (Zebre) 8
Michael Willemse (Southern Kings) 7
Jean Deysel (Ulster) 7
Josh van der Flier (Leinster) 6

Sibusiso Sithole (Southern Kings) 6
Braam Steyn (Benetton Rugby) 6
Scott Williams (Scarlets) 6
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) 6
Nick Williams (Cardiff Blues) 6
Tommaso Castello (Zebre) 6
Will Boyde (Scarlets) 6

For more statistics, please visit www.pro14rugby.org/powered-by-opta