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GUINNESS PRO14: Round 15 Preview

GUINNESS PRO14: Round 15 Preview

With just seven rounds left to go in the GUINNESS PRO14, round 15 promises plenty of fiery competition as six of the seven fixtures are in-conference clashes. The top four teams across both Conference A and Conference B will face off with precious points at stake for those sides eager to stay on track to reach the final series. 

As the South African and Italian clubs are playing away from home this weekend, all games will take place within Ireland and the UK with every game broadcast live. 

Connacht host Zebre on Friday night as they aim to keep building momentum after last weekend’s win over the Ospreys. With the Toyota Cheetahs ineligible for Europe, Connacht are battling it out with Cardiff Blues to grab the final automatic Champions Cup place in Conference A and all three sides could yet reach the GUINNESS PRO14 final series. From that perspective, Connacht cannot afford to slip up against the Italians, who are coached by the province’s one-time boss, Michael Bradley.

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Glasgow Warriors welcome the Toyota Cheetahs to Scotstoun Stadium where there is plenty at stake. The Cheetahs need a win to keep the distance between themselves and Cardiff in third place while also keeping in touch with second-placed Munster in Conference A. Glasgow have a firm hold on a home semi-final berth and will not want to let that slip during this busy four-game period.

Only three points separate Conference B rivals Ulster and Edinburgh who meet at Kingspan Stadium on Friday. This is Jono Gibbes’ second successive home match in charge of the province and another victory could see them draw within reach of either Leinster or the Scarlets, in second place.

The Ospreys take on the Southern Kings in Swansea. Mathematically, the Ospreys can still reach the knock-out stages of the Championship and this game must mark the starting point for any resurgence in form. 

Cardiff are looking to down Conference A rivals for the second week running, with Munster coming to the Welsh capital on Saturday. The Blues can keep Connacht below them in terms of Champions Cup qualification and possibly close the gap on the Cheetahs, but Munster need every win possible in order to keep up their hopes of catching the first-placed Warriors. 

Sunday’s only fixture sees the Dragons host Benetton Rugby and the Italians arrive in red-hot form with four consecutive wins under their belts, looking to set a new record of five wins in-a-row. Benetton are also closing in on their most wins ever in a season (10), but Bernard Jackman is likely to has some of his Wales internationals back for what promises to be a very competitive encounter.

In the match of the round on Saturday afternoon, Leinster and the Scarlets meet at the RDS for the first time since the reigning champions stunned Leo Cullen’s men in last season’s semi-final. The sides are level on points at the top of Conference B, with Leinster first by virtue of their attacking record, and both will be fully focused on ensuring they have home advantage come the final series.

Returning internationals will mix in with some of the Championship’s hottest rising talent, and with Leinster and Scarlets both committed to playing fast and entertaining rugby, this should prove to be a really eye-catching contest.

Buy your ticket(s) for the GUINNESS PRO14 final on Saturday, May 26 via www.ticketmaster.ie.


Friday, February 16 –

CONNACHT (5th, Con A) v Zebre (7th, Con A), the Sportsground, 7.35pm (live TG4)

Glasgow Warriors (1st, Con A) v Toyota Cheetahs (3rd, Con A), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC ALBA/SuperSport 1)

Ospreys (6th, Con A) v Southern Kings (7th, Con B), Liberty Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Wales/SuperSport 5)

ULSTER (3rd, Con B) v Edinburgh (4th, Con B), Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland)

Saturday, February 17 –

LEINSTER (1st, Con B) v Scarlets (2nd, Con B), the RDS, 3.15pm (live Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Action)

Cardiff Blues (4th, Con A) v MUNSTER (2nd, Con A), Cardiff Arms Park, 5.30pm (live Sky Sports Main Event/Sky Sports Action)

Sunday, February 18 –

Dragons (6th, Con B) v Benetton Rugby (5th, Con B), Rodney Parade, 3.30pm (live S4C)



Ross Byrne (Leinster) 96
John Cooney (Ulster) 91
Jack Carty (Connacht) 91

Carlo Canna (Zebre) 89
Ian Keatley (Munster) 80


Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 10
Craig Gilroy (Ulster) 8
Barry Daly (Leinster) 7

George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 7
Angelo Esposito (Benetton Rugby) 7
Alex Wootton (Munster) 7


John Cooney (Ulster) 10
Steff Evans (Scarlets) 8
Shaun Venter (Toyota Cheetahs) 7
Luke McGrath (Leinster) 7


Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 1088
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 874
Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht) 855
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 804
Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 801


Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) 171
Tom Farrell (Connacht) 169
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 154
Bundee Aki (Connacht) 149
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 142


Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 22
Mattia Bellini (Zebre) 17
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 17
Jeff Hassler (Ospreys) 16
Jordan Larmour (Leinster) 16
John Cooney (Ulster) 16

Steff Evans (Scarlets) 16


Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 48
Tom Farrell (Connacht) 47
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 45
Renato Giammorioli (Zebre) 44
Alex Wootton (Munster) 39


John Cooney (Ulster) 959
Marcello Violi (Zebre) 877
Tom Habberfield (Ospreys) 812
Kieran Marmion (Connacht) 796
Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) 550


Tom Farrell (Connacht) 34
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 21

Steff Evans (Scarlets) 20
Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 19
Alex Wootton (Munster) 19


Carlo Canna (Zebre) 90
Jack Carty (Connacht) 86
Sam Davies (Ospreys) 86
Ian Keatley (Munster) 78
Gavin Henson (Dragons) 77


James Benjamin (Dragons) 170
Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) 167
Bobby de Wee (Southern Kings) 155
Andisa Ntsila (Southern Kings) 155
Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues) 151


Reniel Hugo (Toyota Cheetahs) 66
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) 45
Alan O’Connor (Ulster) 41
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) 41
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues) 38


Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) 24
Nick Williams (Cardiff Blues) 18
Michael Willemse (Southern Kings) 12
Will Boyde (Scarlets) 11
Carlo Canna (Zebre) 11
Derick Minnie (Zebre) 11

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