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GUINNESS PRO14: Round 10 Preview

GUINNESS PRO14: Round 10 Preview

There will be an added intensity in the fight for match points in round 10 of the GUINNESS PRO14 as six of the seven fixtures are in-Conference clashes. Almost every team in the Championship is still vying for either knockout berths or a shot at the Champions Cup play-off game and this weekend presents a great opportunity for rivals to take points off each other.

Round 9 provided plenty of drama and action with 48 tries and three games going right down to the wire in Belfast, Port Elizabeth and Cardiff. There were also some unique appearances with 17-year-old Dan Babos becoming the first player born in the millennium (March 2000) to play in the PRO14 when he came on for the Dragons during their loss to Leinster. 

In addition, Ruaridh Jackson put in an incredible double shift by first appearing as a late replacement in Scotland’s victory over Australia on Saturday before then making his way to Swansea to feature for Glasgow Warriors as they grabbed a bonus point win over the Ospreys.

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On Friday night the Southern Kings host Edinburgh in Port Elizabeth, and the visitors will be on their guard given that Deon Davids’ side have picked up four bonus points in their last two outings. Edinburgh came up short to the Toyota Cheetahs and will be out to ensure their South African tour returns some valuable points as they aim to stay in the hunt for a Champions Cup play-off berth.

Glasgow Warriors face Cardiff Blues in Scotstoun knowing that a victory sets them up for a cracking pre-Christmas derby with Edinburgh. Glasgow have won nine games to start the season and two more triumphs would see them equal Ulster’s record of 11 – the best-ever start to a Championship season in 2012/13.

On Saturday, Zebre host Connacht in Parma, and with access to their returning Italian internationals, they will be hopeful of securing a win that will put them back in contention for a Champions Cup play-off spot. Leinster will also travel to Italy to take on Benetton Rugby, who will share the same ambitions as Zebre, and this could prove to be a very challenging weekend for the travelling Irish provinces.

Munster meet the Ospreys at Irish Independent Park and the hosts need to collect maximum points in order to keep up with Glasgow who are now 12 points clear at the top of Conference A. The Ospreys come into this one off the back of a record defeat at home to the Warriors and a shock result in Cork could re-invigorate their season.

Finally, in the only inter-Conference fixture of the round, the Scarlets finish their tour to South Africa where they face the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, looking to add to their bonus point win over the Southern Kings. Both teams know how valuable these points are with the Cheetahs looking to solidify their hold on third place in Conference A, while Edinburgh have a firm grip on the Champions Cup play-off berth in Conference B.

The Dragons welcome Ulster to Rodney Parade on Friday night, buoyed by the news that Wales international Ross Moriarty will join the region next season. Ulster have been pushed close lately by the Kings and Benetton Rugby, and this fixture could be another tight affair where the visitors need the points to ensure Leinster do not usurp them for second place in Conference A.


Friday, December 1 –

Dragons (6th, Con B) v ULSTER (3rd, Con B), Rodney Parade, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/TG4/BBC 2 Wales)

Glasgow Warriors (1st, Con A) v Cardiff Blues (4th, Con A), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC ALBA)

Southern Kings (7th, Con B) v Edinburgh (4th, Con B), Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 7.30pm local time (live SuperSport 1)

Saturday, December 2 –

Zebre (6th, Con A) v CONNACHT (5th, Con A), Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 2.15pm local time/1.15pm Irish time (live TG4/Eurosport Italia)

Benetton Rugby (5th, Con B) v LEINSTER (2nd, Con B), Stadio di Monigo, 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time (live TG4/Eurosport Italia)

MUNSTER (2nd, Con A) v Ospreys (7th, Con A), Irish Independent Park, 5.30pm (live Sky Sports Action/highlights TG4)

Toyota Cheetahs (3rd, Con A) v Scarlets (1st, Con B), Toyota Stadium, 7.35pm local time (live SuperSport 1/S4C)



Ernst Stapelberg (Toyota Cheetahs) 72
Gavin Henson (Dragons) 65
John Cooney (Ulster) 65
Ross Byrne (Leinster) 63

Carlo Canna (Zebre) 61


Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 9
Alex Wootton (Munster) 7
Rory O’Loughlin (Leinster) 5

Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 5
Andrew Trimble (Ulster) 5
Torsten van Jaarsveld (Toyota Cheetahs) 5
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 5
Elliot Dee (Dragons) 5
Angelo Esposito (Benetton Rugby) 5


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 8
Darren Sweetnam (Munster) 6
Duncan Williams (Munster) 5
JJ Hanrahan (Munster) 5
John Cooney (Ulster) 5

Steve Shingler (Cardiff Blues) 5
Luke McGrath (Leinster) 5


Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 683
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 646
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 609
Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 580
Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht) 574


Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) 124
Bundee Aki (Connacht) 117
Tommaso Castello (Zebre) 106
Tom Farrell (Connacht) 102
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 99


Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 16
Steff Evans (Scarlets) 15
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 12
Mattia Bellini (Zebre) 12
Tom James (Cardiff Blues) 11
Andrew Trimble (Ulster) 11


Steff Evans (Scarlets) 34
Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Blues) 31
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 29
Tom Farrell (Connacht) 27
Alex Wootton (Munster) 27


John Cooney (Ulster) 619
Tom Habberfield (Ospreys) 562
Kieran Marmion (Connacht) 553
Marcello Violi (Zebre) 553
Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) 423


Tom Farrell (Connacht) 23
Steff Evans (Scarlets) 20
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 16
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 15
Alex Wootton (Munster) 14


Jack Carty (Connacht) 66
Gavin Henson (Dragons) 59
Carlo Canna (Zebre) 58
Sam Davies (Ospreys) 53
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) 49


Andisa Ntsila (Southern Kings) 112
James Benjamin (Dragons) 111
Paul Schoeman (Toyota Cheetahs) 105
Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) 102
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues) 101


Reniel Hugo (Toyota Cheetahs) 49
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) 33
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) 32
Jake Ball (Scarlets) 29
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 28


Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) 18
Scott Williams (Scarlets) 8
Michael Willemse (Southern Kings) 8
Tommaso Castello (Zebre) 8
Carlo Canna (Zebre) 8
Derick Minnie (Zebre) 8
Nick Williams (Cardiff Blues) 8

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