Jump to main content


GUINNESS PRO14: Round 9 Preview

GUINNESS PRO14: Round 9 Preview

The GUINNESS PRO14 is back this weekend and brings with it a whole host of intriguing match-ups, cross-Conference clashes and no shortage of attacking rugby.

Just a few weeks ago Niko Matawalu’s stunning hat-trick inspired Glasgow Warriors to a bonus point win at the Ospreys, while defending champions Leinster hit six tries in their victory at the home of the Isuzu Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

Those wins solidified positions for Glasgow Warriors and Leinster at the top of each conference but round 9 offers opportunities for the other teams to make up ground. Conference A’s second-placed side Munster travel to Zebre while it is second plays third in Conference B as Ulster travel to the Scarlets.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The 2018/19 campaign is well underway and every team has hopes of reaching the GUINNESS PRO14 final on Saturday, May 25 which will take place at Celtic Park – fans can book their places now by clicking here to get their hands on the best seats available.

Round 9 kicks off on Friday night with a trio of mouth-watering clashes, one of which sees Glasgow welcome Cardiff Blues to Scotstoun Stadium in a Conference A clash. These two sides have not met in the Championship yet in 2018, with the Warriors prevailing in both PRO14 meetings in 2017.

The Blues are in strong form, losing just one of their last five PRO14 matches (to the Toyota Cheetahs in round 7) and recording a bonus point win last time out. That Round 8 victory saw an impressive 37-0 scoreline against Zebre at Cardiff Arms Park, Gethin Jenkins coming on for his final professional appearance and Rey Lee-Lo touching down for a double.

Over in Ireland at the same time Leinster host the Ospreys at the RDS with the Welsh region looking to continue their strong season start. The Ospreys may have lost to Glasgow (29-20) in round 8 but have five wins from their opening matches to the season and have already beaten Leinster once in 2018 – a bonus point success in Swansea in March. Leinster, though, are on a roll, winning seven out of eight in the PRO14 and going over the 30-point mark in each of the last three rounds.

The only match on Saturday sees Benetton Rugby travel to South Africa to take on the Cheetahs. Both of these sides fell to narrow defeats in round 8, Benetton going down to Ulster 15-10 and the Cheetahs being pipped by Munster – 30-26. Hooker Joseph Dweba led from the front row against Munster, grabbing two tries, while Sibahle Maxwane is the top PRO14 try scorer with seven tries scored.

On Sunday lunchtime in South Africa the Kings entertain Connacht as both teams look to push their way up the Conference tables. The Kings go in search of their second win of the season, while Connacht are looking for their fifth after a bonus point victory over the Dragons in round 8 (33-12).

Connacht did the damage with a six-minute first half salvo containing three tries, later wrapping things up with further scores from Tom McCartney and Tom Farrell. Andy Friend’s men have won the only previous fixtures between the two sides (32-10 in September of last year) but were defeated by a single point on their only previous visit to South Africa by the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last March.

Munster currently trail Glasgow by eight points and will want to keep up the pressure when they travel to Zebre in what looks to be a testing away encounter. Munster have won all 12 of their matches against the Italian side but Zebre are a team on the up and have only lost one of their last seven home games in all competitions. They will look to their 34-16 round 7 triumph over Edinburgh for inspiration, while Munster were boosted by Mike Haley’s late try that sealed an impressive 30-26 win in Bloemfontein last time out.

Edinburgh’s trip to the Dragons looks set to be an intense Conference B battle. The Welshmen could lift themselves off the bottom of the table with a win and have been competitive at Rodney Parade, beating both the Kings and Zebre while losing narrowly to Benetton and the Blues. In round 8 Edinburgh sealed a five-try win, with Tom Brown and Bill Mata both grabbing brace.

In the pick of the round, the Scarlets welcome Ulster to west Wales on Friday night with just a point separating the sides in the Conference B table. These two teams have already met once this season – John Cooney’s last-minute kick clinching a thrilling win at Kingspan Stadium on a 15-13 scoreline.

The two sides are clearly well-matched, with five PRO14 victories each so far, although the Scarlets have a better points difference (+36 to -17) despite being lower in the Conference table. Last time out the Llanelli outfit went down 31-21 at Edinburgh but Ulster won 15-10 on the road, second half tries from Sean Reidy and Rob Herring getting them over the line at Benetton.


Friday, November 23 –

Glasgow Warriors (1st, Con A) v Cardiff Blues (4th, Con A), Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm (live Premier Sports/deferred eir Sport 2)

LEINSTER (1st, Con B) v Ospreys (3rd, Con A), the RDS, 7.35pm (live eir Sport 1/TG4/Free Sports)

Scarlets (3rd, Con B) v ULSTER (2nd, Con B), Parc y Scarlets, 7.35pm (live Premier Sports/eir Sport 2)

Saturday, November 24 –

Toyota Cheetahs (7th, Con A) v Benetton Rugby (5th, Con B), Toyota Stadium, 2.30pm local time (live SuperSport 1/Premier Sports)

Sunday, November 25 –

Isuzu Southern Kings (6th, Con B) v CONNACHT (5th, Con A), Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth, 3pm local time/1pm Irish time (live SuperSport 1/eir Sport/Premier Sports/DAZN)

Zebre (6th, Con A) v MUNSTER (2nd, Con A), Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 4.30pm local time/3.30pm Irish time (live DAZN/eir Sport 1/Premier Sports)

Dragons (7th, Con B) v Edinburgh (4th, Con B), Rodney Parade, 5.30pm (live S4C/eir Sport 2/Premier Sports)


Friday, November 2 –

Edinburgh (4th, Con B) v Scarlets (2nd, Con B), BT Murrayfield, 7.35pm (live Premier Sports 1/eir Sport 2)

Ospreys (2nd, Con A) v Glasgow Warriors (1st, Con A), Liberty Stadium, 7.35pm (live Premier Sports 2/eir Sport 1/SuperSport 1)

Saturday, November 3 –

Benetton Rugby (5th, Con B) v ULSTER (3rd, Con B), Stadio di Monigo, 4pm local time (live Premier Sports 1/eir Sport 1/DAZN)

CONNACHT (5th, Con A) v Dragons (6th, Con B), the Sportsground, 5.15pm (live TG4/Premier Sports 1/S4C)

Sunday, November 4 –

Cardiff Blues (4th, Con A) v Zebre (6th, Con A), Cardiff Arms Park, 2.45pm (live Free Sports/DAZN)

Isuzu Southern Kings (7th, Con B) v LEINSTER (1st, Con B), Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth, 2.45pm local time/12.45pm Irish time (live eir Sport 1/Premier Sports 1/SuperSport 1/highlights TG4)

Toyota Cheetahs (7th, Con A) v MUNSTER (3rd, Con A), Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, 4.45pm local time/2.45pm Irish time (live eir Sport 1/Premier Sports 2/SuperSport 1/highlights TG4)



Sam Davies (Ospreys) 71
Simon Hickey (Edinburgh) 68
Jack Carty (Connacht) 63
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) 57
Masixole Banda (Isuzu Southern Kings) 57


Sibahle Maxwane (Toyota Cheetahs) 7
Rey Lee-Lo (Cardiff Blues) 5
Yaw Penxe (Isuzu Southern Kings) 5
Bjorn Basson (Isuzu Southern Kings) 4
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 4
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) 4
James Lowe (Leinster) 4
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) 4
George North (Ospreys) 4


Jordan Williams (Dragons) 595
Sibahle Maxwane (Toyota Cheetahs) 508
Malcolm Jaer (Toyota Cheetahs) 465
Henry Speight (Ulster) 411
Bill Mata (Edinburgh) 407


Bill Mata (Edinburgh) 125
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 96
Marcell Coetzee (Ulster) 93

Luke Hamilton (Edinburgh) 92
Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht) 82


Sibahle Maxwane (Toyota Cheetahs) 15
Jason Harries (Cardiff Blues) 13
Malcolm Jaer (Toyota Cheetahs) 12
Harlon Klaasen (Isuzu Southern Kings) 11
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) 10


Jordan Williams (Dragons) 26
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) 25
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) 25
George North (Ospreys) 22
Tom Farrell (Connacht) 21


Tom Farrell (Connacht) 14
Mattia Bellini (Zebre) 14
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 12
Iliesa Ratuva (Benetton Rugby) 12
Marcell Coetzee (Ulster) 10
Jayden Hayward (Benetton Rugby) 10


Nico Lee (Toyota Cheetahs) 101
John-Charles Astle (Isuzu Southern Kings) 96
David Bulbring (Scarlets) 90
Jarrad Butler (Connacht) 89
Scott Otten (Ospreys) 82


Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues) 13
Marcell Coetzee (Ulster) 12
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) 10
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues) 10
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster) 9


Junior Sipato Pokomela (Toyota Cheetahs) 7
James King (Ospreys) 5
George Biagi (Zebre) 5
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 4
Scott Fardy (Leinster) 4
Braam Steyn (Benetton Rugby) 4
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) 4
Cory Hill (Dragons) 4
Tadhg Beirne (Munster) 4

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