Latest posts by Will Matthews (see all)
We’re back again this week with another round of RaboDirect PRO12 previews and predictions. This time it’s Round 4 and with only a couple of weeks to go before the group stages of the Heineken Cup- things are heating up. The majority of sides who have not already done so are welcoming back their victorious Lions. The likes of Captain Sam Warburton, Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll will play a part in their respective clubs games this weekend. This weekend is definitely shaping up to be a fantastic weekend of Rabo Rugby.
Ulster v Benetton Treviso
Assistant coach Neil Doak insists Ulster will not underestimate Treviso as they visit Ravenhill in search of a second consecutive Irish scalp.
Treviso upset Munster last weekend with a 29-19 win to pick up their first victory of the new RaboDirect PRO12 campaign after their ill-discipline hosts saw four players sent to the sin bin.
Ulster grabbed their first win of the season as well, sinking Connacht 18-7, and welcome a Treviso side that has won just one of its last eight away games.
Zebre v Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors may be the last side left in the RaboDirect PRO12 with a 100 percent record but head coach Gregor Townsend insists that will count for nothing against Zebre on Friday.
While the Warriors are full of confidence after their revenge win over defending champions Leinster last time out, the Italian outfit are equally buoyant.
They recorded their first-ever win in the competition last weekend against the Cardiff Blues to climb off the foot of the table.
Prediction: We’re Gonna Go With A Glasgow Straight Win @ 2/9
Leinster v Cardiff Blues
Phil Davies believes champions Leinster are the best possible opposition for Cardiff Blues to face on the back of becoming the first RaboDirect PRO12 side to lose against Zebre.
The Blues director of rugby is seeking an immediate response from his players after the Italians were 30-25 victors at the Arms Park
The Leinstermen have lost just once at the RDS in their last 17 games, but have gone two games without a win following their opening-day success at Scarlets.
Prediction: Leinster due a performance- Leinster -17 @ 10/11
Edinburgh v Scarlets
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby has called on John Barclay toprove
his international credentials against Edinburgh this weekend to get his side back on track.
Scotland flanker Barclay will make his debut at Murrayfield on Friday night looking to get one over on a number of his comrades – as well as getting Scarlets back to winning ways after their 23-16 defeat at Newport Gwent Dragons last time out.
Prediction: Edinburgh -1 @ 10/11 Looks Solid
Connacht v Ospreys
Head coach Pat Lam admitted Connacht’s RaboDirect PRO12 season is not about to get any easier as they prepare to welcome Ospreys to Galway on Saturday.
The Welshmen are slowly bringing back their British & Irish Lions stars into an unbeaten team after their first three games.Lam, whose side lost 18-7 at home to Ulster last week, admitted it doesn’t get any easier with the visit of Cardiff.
Prediction: Ospreys will be too strong- Ospreys -5 @ 10/11 Great Value
Munster v Newport Gwent Dragons
British & Irish Lions winner Paul O’Connell admits he is chomping at the bit to return to action after being named on the bench for Munster’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Newport Gwent Dragons.
Lock O’Connell could get his first taste of competitive rugby since breaking his arm in the first Lions Test against Australia back in June.His return couldn’t come at a better time for Munster, who saw their perfect start
to the new RaboDirect PRO12 season ended last time out as they slipped to a 29-19 defeat to Treviso.
Prediction: Munster -13 @ 10/11 Is Very Promising.