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Guinness Pro 12: Previews, Predictions and Line-Ups for all this weekends games

  • Second bottom Newport Gwent Dragons face second from top Leinster
  • Top four clash as Connacht host Welsh region Scarlets
  • Treviso still searching for first win of the season after 12 games
Friday 29th January
Newport Gwent Dragons v Leinster
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 30th January
Zebre v Munster
Connacht v Scarlets
Benetton Treviso v Ulster
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh

Marquee Game
Connacht v Scarlets
There is only one place to start in the Guinness Pro 12 this week, with first placed Scarlets travelling to fourth place Connacht.

The home side have dropped in form as of late, slipping to fourth in the league, five points behind the current league leaders. The two actually met in week 12, with Scarlets winning a close one 21-19.

The away side have every chance of stretching their lead at the top of the division, but could be pegged back as they have a tough run of fixtures ahead. Next week they host third-placed Edinburgh.

RUCK PREDICTS: The battle at Galway Sportsgrounds will be a close one, much like the reverse fixture was, where both sides could come out with the win. It will go to the wire but Scarlets will once again be too strong. Scarlets by 12

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Eoghan Masterson, 7 Jake Heenan, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Aly Muldowney, 4 George Naoupu, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 James Connolly, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Craig Ronaldson, 23 Rory Parata

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gareth Owen, 12 Hadleigh Parkes (c), 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 4 Tom Price, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Peter Edwards, 19 Jack Jones, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Connor Lloyd, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Michael Collins


Newport Gwent Dragons v Leinster
Newport Gwent Dragons slipped to defeat in their match in the Guinness Pro 12 when they travelled to Ulster.

They are struggling to find any sort of form and currently sit in 11th place in the league standings.

Meanwhile, despite their European struggles this season, Leinster have had no problems for consistency, sitting in second place hoping to leapfrog leaders Scarlets, who are just one point ahead of them. Last time out Leinster destroyed Ospreys 22-9.

RUCK PREDICTS: It should be a fairly easy one where second from top plays second from bottom. Leinster may be on their travels to Wales, but they have played some magnificent rugby in the Pro 12 this season and should win this one comfortably. Leinster by 20

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Rhys Thomas (captain), 1 Boris Stankovich
Replacements:  16 Elliot Dee, 17 Phil Price, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Cory Hill, 20 James Benjamin, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Nick Scott

Leinster: 15 Zane  Kirchner, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Cathal Marsh, 9 Luke McGrath (captain), 8 Peter Dooley, 7 James  Tracy, 6 Michael Bent, 5 Ross Molony, 4 Hayden Triggs, 3 Dominic Ryan, 2 Dan Leavy, 1 Jodi Murphy
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 Oisin Heffernan, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Peadar Timmins, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Noel Reid


Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors
Both sides will be looking to close the gap on the top half of the division as the top six are slowly starting to pull away from the rest.

Ospreys currently lead the chasing pack, sitting in seventh place on 28 points, four behind sixth placed Ulster. Last time out they suffered a heavy home defeat at the hands of Leinster 9-22.

Glasgow Warriors are just behind on 27 points in eighth place after an indifferent season which has seen them win five and lose five of their ten games. In their last Guinness Pro 12 games they lost against Scottish Rivals Edinburgh 11-14.

RUCK PREDICTS: Home field advantage will be enough in this one to see the Ospreys home. It will go right to the wire, with either team possibly claiming the win, but the home side will come away with the points. Ospreys by 9

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Tom Grabham, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Brendon Leonard (c), 8 Dan Baker, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Ben John, 23 JJ Engelbrecht

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Ryan Wilson (c), 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant
Replacements: 16 James Malcolm, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19. Josh Strauss, 20 James Eddie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Glenn Bryce


Zebre v Munster
Italian side Zebre have picked up as of late, putting in some good performances in Europe despite defeat and have moved above Newport Gwent Dragons in the table

In their last league game, they overcame the struggling Treviso to register an impressive fourth win of the season for the traditional strugglers.

Munster,  on the other hand are somewhat underachieving in fifth place, losing only four games so far this term. In their last game, back on the 2nd of January, they overcame Ulster 7-9.

RUCK PREDICTS: The home side have picked up as of late, scoring a big away win over their Italian rivals, but the game against the impressive Munster will be too much. The Irish side will come away with an impressive win here.  Munster by 15

Zebre: 15 Kayle Van Zyl, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Michele Visentin, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Pietro Ceccarelli, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Emiliano Coria, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Guillermo Roan, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Filippo Cristiano, 21 Giulio Toniolatti, 22 Mils Muliaina, 23 Ulrich Beyers

Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O’Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Tomás O’Leary, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Billy Holland (c), 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Dave Foley, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Mario Sagario, 19 Dave O’Callaghan, 20 Shane Buckley, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Cian Bohane, 23 Gerhard van den Heever


Benetton Treviso v Ulster
After 12 games in the Guinness Pro 12 in the 2015/16 season, Treviso are yet to register their first win, losing last time out to fellow Italian side Zebre in front of their own fan base.

They only have seven points on the board, losing every single game so far this campaign.

Ulster currently lie in sixth place, with 32 points knowing a convincing win here could put them in the top four. They will need to put their last result in the Pro 12 behind them however, as they lost to Leinster.

RUCK PREDICTS: Sadly it will again not be the day for the home side to stop the rot and register their first win of the season. Ulster, like every other team in the league, will once again prove to be too strong and walk away with maximum points. Ulster by 30

Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Enrico Bacchin, 12 Alberto Sgarbi (c), 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Alberto Lucchese, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Andrea De Marchi, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Filo Palmer, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traorè, 18 Filippo Filippetto, 19 Jeff Montauriol, 20 Abraham Steyn, 21 James Ambrosini, 22 Simone Ragusi, 23 Andrea Pratichetti

Ulster: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Rory Scholes, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Clive Ross, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 Rob Herring (c), 1 Callum Black
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Bronson Ross, 19 Pete Browne, 20 Lorcan Dow, 21 Dave Shanahan, 22 Luke Marshall, 23 Jacob Stockdale


Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh
Edinburgh are a team on good form, soaring up to third place in the league standings after recording a solid 28-13 win against Treviso in their previous fixture.

A match against top of the table Scarlets is on the horizon so they will want to enter the game in good form.

Cardiff Blues inflicted the leaders with only their third defeat of the season in their previous fixture in a truly stunning game, where they wowed the home fans to win 29-27. They will need more of that if they wish to finish higher than their current position which is ninth.

RUCK PREDICTS: The home side shocked fans last time out beating the league leaders, but lightening wont strike twice as Edinburgh will prove to be too good and claim the win here as they look to cement a top four place. Edinburgh by 12

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Aled Summerhill, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Ellis Jenkins, 5 James Down, 4 Jarrad Hoeata,3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Thomas Davies
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Bradley Thyer, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Elis-Wyn Benham

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks,14 Dougie Fife, 13 Michael Allen, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Phil Burleigh, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Mike Coman (c), 4 Alex Toolis, 3 John Andress, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Rory Sutherland
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Magnus Bradbury, 20 George Turner, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Will Helu, 23 Blair Kinghorn


 

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