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BKT United Rugby Championship: Round 6 Preview

BKT United Rugby Championship: Round 6 Preview

A view of a lineout during the United Rugby Championship meeting of Leinster and Munster at the Aviva Stadium last May ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

After an exciting weekend of the BKT United Rugby Championship, focus now turns to see what round 6 will have to offer.

There is the mouth-watering prospect of another big interprovincial derby on Saturday evening as Leinster, the current leaders, lock horns with Graham Rowntree’s Munster at the Aviva Stadium.

Speaking about the build-up, Leinster back rower Caelan Doris commented: “It’s always enjoyable, there’s always a bit of a buzz around the place with any interpro, but probably Munster, in particular at the Aviva as well.

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“So, with the extra dimension of competition for green shirts as well with that coming around the corner too, I’m looking forward to it.

“I think that was probably their best performance of the season (by Munster against the Vodacom Bulls last week), by a long shot really. They started fast and well, they’ve probably shown some evolution, and last season as well, in terms of wider attacking.

“Not just their DNA of being more pragmatic and set-piece dominance and stuff, but also adding another dimension and playing a bit more. So we’re expecting both this weekend.”

On Friday evening, Benetton Rugby welcome the Bulls who look to bounce back with a win, while Connacht, frustrated with that 10-0 loss to Leinster, will have the Scarlets in their sights on the Sportsground’s 4G pitch.

The action continues on Saturday kicking off with Zebre Parma entertaining Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors travel to Johannesburg to face the Emirates Lions, while second-placed Ulster wrap up their South African trip against Cell C Sharks.

Embracing their Durban duel with a Springboks-boosted Sharks side that contains South Africa captain Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth, Ulster defence coach Jonny Bell said: “Our guys played against the Sharks at Kingspan last season when they were also loaded and didn’t let themselves down.

“It’s a different challenge here, I’m not for one minute underestimating it, but that’s the beauty of it, and we’re well up for it.

“The humidity is just another thing you’ve got to adapt to. That’s one of the things we talked about prior to coming down here, being adaptable.

“We don’t know what will be thrown up at any particular time. But we pride ourselves in not having excuses. We want to go out there and give the best account of ourselves.

“The Sharks have multiple threats, but we’ve got to make sure we defend well and don’t give them oxygen in their game.”

The DHL Stormers, last season’s first-time champions, continue their northern tour when they face Welsh Shield leaders Cardiff in the Welsh capital. Sunday afternoon sees more derby action as the Dragons host the Ospreys.


Friday, October 21 –

Benetton Rugby (7th) v Vodacom Bulls (6th), Stadio di Monigo, 6.30pm (live Premier Sports 1/Eurosport 2 (Italy)/URC.tv)

CONNACHT (15th) v Scarlets (13th), the Sportsground, 7.35pm (live TG4/Premier Sports 1/discovery+/URC.tv)

Saturday, October 22 –

Zebre Parma (16th) v Edinburgh (9th), Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 2pm (live Premier Sports 1/discovery+/URC.tv)

Emirates Lions (5th) v Glasgow Warriors (12th), Emirates Airline Park, 4.05pm (live TG4/Premier Sports 1/discovery+/URC.tv)

Cell C Sharks (4th) v ULSTER (2nd), Hollywoodbets Kings Park, 6.15pm local time/5.15pm Irish time (live Premier Sports 1/discovery+/URC.tv)

LEINSTER (1st) v MUNSTER (10th), Aviva Stadium, 5.15pm (live RTÉ 2/Premier Sports 2/discovery+/URC.tv)

Cardiff Rugby (8th) v DHL Stormers (3rd), Cardiff Arms Park, 7.35pm (live S4C/Premier Sports 2/discovery+/URC.tv)

Sunday, October 23 –

Dragons (14th) v Ospreys (11th), Rodney Parade, 3pm (live Premier Sports 1/discovery+/URC.tv)