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GUINNESS PRO14: Round 20 Preview

GUINNESS PRO14: Round 20 Preview

With only two full rounds left in the GUINNESS PRO14’s regular season, the focus is now fully on making the final series or Champions Cup play-off with 11 teams having something still to play for.

Munster and Cardiff Blues continue their travels in South Africa, Munster’s victory over the Southern Kings last weekend confirming their place in the final series alongside Glasgow Warriors from Conference A. 

Two of the top three teams in Conference B go head-to-head when Edinburgh face the Scarlets at BT Murrayfield. A second consecutive loss for Edinburgh could leave the door open for Ulster, who have a game in hand, to qualify for the final series at the expense of the Scotsmen, leaders Leinster having already qualified.

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The final stretch of the season has never promised so much and all of these teams have their minds set on reaching the GUINNESS PRO14 final at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, May 26. For ticket information, see www.ticketmaster.ie or www.pro14rugby.org/final.

Two former champions Glasgow Warriors and Connacht, face each other at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday night. The Warriors are still trying to secure home advantage in the final series, a win here could do just that.

Munster have a first visit to the Toyota Cheetahs. With only seven points separating them in Conference A, this game could be classed as a real ’10-pointer’ with a win for either side having the benefits of denying their direct opponents the points, with home advantage in the semi-final qualifier at stake.

Finally on Friday, Ulster face the Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium. With victory over Edinburgh last weekend, and with a game still in hand, Ulster are making a late challenge for the final series, and another home win would help that cause, while the focus for the Ospreys, also with a game in hand, must be European qualification. 

On Saturday Zebre host the Dragons at Stadio Frattori in L’Aquila, only the second match the Italians have taken away from Stadio Lanfranchi. Zebre are still searching for the win that would give them their best ever return in the Championship.

Leinster face Italian opposition for the second time in as many weeks when Benetton visit the RDS on Saturday night. Having secured a place in the final series last time out, Leinster will be trying earn a home qualifier with the right result here, while Benetton could set themselves a new record for wins in the Championship.

The Southern Kings revert back to their usual home ground, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, for their fixture against Cardiff Blues. While the Kings cannot make the top-three themselves, victory here would help their compatriots, the Cheetahs, ease their way into the final series. Conversely, the Blues will be looking to keep ahead of the Ospreys, who have a game in hand, in the race for European qualification.

Edinburgh face the Scarlets at BT Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon in a game where neither team can afford to slip up. A week after losing to another of their close rivals, Ulster, a loss here would have Edinburgh looking over their shoulders, while victory would put pressure on the team ahead of them, the Scarlets, in the race for a home qualifier.


Friday, April 13 –

Toyota Cheetahs (3rd, Con A) v MUNSTER (2nd, Con A), Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, 7.35pm local time/6.35pm Irish time (live Sky Sports Mix/SuperSport 1)

Glasgow Warriors (1st, Con A) v CONNACHT (6th, Con A) Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live TG4/BBC ALBA)

ULSTER (4th, Con B) v Ospreys (5th, Con A), Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm (live BBC 2 Northern Ireland/BBC 2 Wales)

Saturday, April 14 –

Edinburgh (3rd, Con B) v Scarlets (2nd, Con B), BT Murrayfield, 3.15pm (live Sky Sports Action)

LEINSTER (1st, Con B) v Benetton Rugby (5th, Con B), the RDS, 7.35pm (live TG4)

Southern Kings (7th, Con B) v Cardiff Blues (4th, Con A), Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, 7.35pm local time (live S4C/SuperSport 1)

Zebre (7th, Con A) v Dragons (6th, Con B), Stadio Fattori, L’Aquila, 5pm local time (live Eurosport Italia)



John Cooney (Ulster) 141
Jack Carty (Connacht) 118

Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) 117
Ross Byrne (Leinster) 110
Carlo Canna (Zebre) 106


Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 10
Barry Daly (Leinster) 10
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 9
Monty Ioane (Benetton Rugby) 8
Craig Gilroy (Ulster) 8
Alex Wootton (Munster) 8


John Cooney (Ulster) 10
Luke McGrath (Leinster) 9
Ross Byrne (Leinster) 9

Shaun Venter (Toyota Cheetahs) 9
Marty Banks (Benetton Rugby) 9


Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 1255
Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht) 1162
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 1010
Clayton Blommetjies (Toyota Cheetahs) 984
Alex Wootton (Munster) 960


Tom Farrell (Connacht) 207
Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) 198
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 193
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 187
Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht) 184


Makazole Mapimpi (Toyota Cheetahs) 22
Jeff Hassler (Ospreys) 22
Matt Healy (Connacht) 21
John Cooney (Ulster) 20

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 19
Steff Evans (Scarlets) 19


Tom Farrell (Connacht) 55
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 55

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) 53
Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Blues) 52
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) 51


John Cooney (Ulster) 1287
Tom Habberfield (Ospreys) 1127
Marcello Violi (Zebre) 930
Kieran Marmion (Connacht) 911
Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) 752


Tom Farrell (Connacht) 41
Charles Piutau (Ulster) 28
Alex Wootton (Munster) 21

Francois Venter (Toyota Cheetahs) 20
Berton Klaasen (Southern Kings) 20
Alberto Sgarbi (Benetton Rugby) 20
Steff Evans (Scarlets) 20
Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 20


Jack Carty (Connacht) 116
Carlo Canna (Zebre) 111
Ian Keatley (Munster) 109
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh) 100
Sam Davies (Ospreys) 98


Bobby de Wee (Southern Kings) 244
Andisa Ntsila (Southern Kings) 222
Paul Schoeman (Toyota Cheetahs) 214
Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues) 203
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues) 195


Reniel Hugo (Toyota Cheetahs) 79
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues) 57
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) 55
James Cannon (Connacht) 55
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 54


Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) 37
Nick Williams (Cardiff Blues) 21
Michael Willemse (Southern Kings) 21
Robin Copeland (Munster) 15
Jean Deysel (Ulster) 15

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