The Friday Forecast – Guinness PRO14
Latest posts by Tony McBride (see all)
- The Friday Forecast – Guinness PRO14 - December 1, 2017
- Previewing Ireland Vs Argentina & Picking A Squad To Do A Job On The Pumas - November 23, 2017
- Ireland Vs South Africa – Preview - November 11, 2017
With 3 games to feast on this Friday night, I look ahead to the weekend’s action and predict two upsets may be on the cards.
Dec 1, Southern Kings v. Edinburgh Rugby
Without a win and devoid of any confidence they began with, the Southern Kings really are staring down the barrel of a shambolic season. It is difficult for a club to pick themselves up having lost the first 9 games of the season. Nevertheless, they did push Scarletts all the way last weekend albeit they were without their International contingent. The competitiveness of the game will have boosted the morale of the Kings players and they will look to go a step further this week. Edinburgh meanwhile suffered a defeat at the hands of the Cheetahs last week, showing once more just how challenging this South African adventure has proved to be for the home nations. This one will be tight and something tells me the Kings have an opportunity to get that monkey off their back before their long festive break.
Verdict: Southern Kings to record their first win of the season
Dec 1, Dragons v Ulster Rugby
The Dragons suffered a heavy defeat to Leinster last weekend, going down 54-10 to the Irish side at the RDS. Having raced into an early 10-point lead, it was astonishing to watch the Dragons then concede 54 points without reply. It was a young and experimental side they had fielded and Coach Bernard Jackman has already indicated that they have targeted this weeks game against Ulster. Ulster left it late last week, when Andrew Trimble crashed over for a try in the closing minutes of the game, to secure a 23-22 win against Treviso. Much will depend on the availability of Ulsters returning International stars. Should Stockdale, Henderson and Best come back into the side, then Ulster will travel to the Rodney Parade in much more confident mood. However it is not expected they will slot straight back in to the starting XV. The Dragons have shown signs of improvement under their new coach and Jackmans knowledge of Irish rugby will give them an extra boost in this fixture. Add to that, the continued struggle at Ulster to find a winning half back partnership and the balance tips slightly in the direction of the Welsh region for this one.
Verdict: Dragons to win
Dec 1, Glasgow Warriors v. Cardiff Blues
One of the easier games to call this weekend as red hot Glasgow welcome a side from the bottom half of the table. Having inflicted one of the heaviest defeats for an away side last weekend (beating the Ospreys 6-47) Glasgow remain the form team and the league favourites given the fact that they only have the league left to focus on. Cardiff have been an exciting side to watch this season with Ray Lee-lo and Willis Halaholo in particularly devastating form. Unfortunately for Cardiff, their excitement has not always translated to results and this weekend looks to be another tough encounter for the Welsh side.
Verdict: A high scoring game and Glasgow to secure the BP and a 20-point margin