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Guinness Pro 12 Round Five Preview and Predictions

  • Top two battle when Scarlets face Munster on Friday night
  •  Edinburgh put 100 per cent record on the line against winless Zebre
  • Ulster looking to bounce back against Cardiff Blues
Friday 23rd October
Scarlets v Munster
Newport Gwent Dragons v Benetton Treviso
Ulster v Cardiff Blues
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 24th October
Ospreys v Connacht
Zebre v Edinburgh

Marquee Game

Scarlets v Munster
during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom.

van der Merwe during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool D match between Canada and Romania at Leicester City Stadium on October 6, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom.

Something has to give on Friday evening at Parc y Scarlets as the top two face off against each other, both putting their 100 per cent records on the line. Reigning champions Scarlets have home advantage and currently sit in second place after seeing off Leinster last time out, thanks to an impressive debut from World Cup star D. T. H. van der Merwe.

Munster though continue to lead the way after two tries from Mike Sherry helped them beat Cardiff Blues to sustain their undefeated record. They will be hoping for another dominant display from Ian Keatley after he kicked five from five last time out.
Ruck Prediction: In one of the stand out games of any season, these two teams battle for the lead at the top of the division with everything on the line. It will be a close one, by home field advantage will be enough for Scarlets, who will win by three.


Newport Gwent Dragons v Benetton Treviso

Both of these sides come into this game low on confidence after last week’s defeats. Only Newport Gwent Dragons have picked up a win between them, which came in week two when they beat bottom of the pile Zebre 13-0. The Dragons lost to Glasgow Warriors last time out while Treviso pushed Ospreys all the way, but in the end narrowly lost, 22-25 in front of their own fans.

Ruck Prediction: It may not be the most entertaining game of this round, with both teams low on confidence, but Newport Gwent Dragons will come out on top, winning by seven.


Ulster v Cardiff Blues

Ulster will be hoping to put their indifferent form behind them  when they face Welsh outfit Cardiff Blues at Kingspan Stadium. The Irish side have won two and lost two of their four games so far after losing to Edinburgh in round four, which sees them hold fifth place in the league. Cardiff Blues, who lost 35-27 to Munster last time out, are currently three places behind them in eighth.

Ruck Prediction: Something has to give as Cardiff Blues are the highest scoring team in the division while Ulster have the second best defensive record. Here, the Blues may shock a few, winning by ten.


 Leinster v Glasgow Warriors

Only one point separates these two in the table, thanks to an extra losing point for Glasgow Warriors, who currently sit in sixth place. The Scottish side can come into this came full of confidence after picking up their second win of the season last time out, beating the Newport Gwent Dragons 29-15. Leinster, on the other hand, lost to reigning champions Scarlets 25-14, not putting up much of a fight in the process.

Ruck Prediction: Despite being so close in league standings, it should be Glasgow Warriors who come away with the victory in this one. They go into the game fresh off the back of a fantastic result last time out and should be able to force their style of game onto their Irish counterparts. They will win here by 14.


Ospreys v Connacht

Ospreys claimed their first win of the season against Benetton Treviso in round four, in a tight affair. Sam Davies will be hoping for a better performance with the boot this time out as he could have made the game a lot safer if his kicking was more accurate in their 25-22 away win. As expected, Connacht destroyed Zebre, scoring five tries and moving up to fourth in the table. They have only lost one game all season, in week two against the Glasgow Warriors 33-32.

Ruck Prediction: The dominant Irish side will be too hot to handle for their underperforming Welsh opponents. After last week’s dominant display, Connacht will likely claim another comfortable victory, by 17 points.


Zebre v Edinburgh

Zebre, who sit bottom of the league, are still yet to pick up any points from their first four rounds of fixtures. Another loss to Connacht last time out means they are three points behind 11th place Treviso at this early stage. Edinburgh, on the other hand, inflicted Ulster to their second defeat of the season, winning 16-10, which allowed them to move up to third in the table.

Ruck Prediction: There is going to be only one winner here, Edinburgh have won all four of their games while Zebre has lost all four. It should be an easy day at the office for the Scottish side, who will win by 21 points.