The RaboDirect PRO 12 Preview: Round 3
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The RaboDirect PRO12 continues this weekend with Round 3. The clash of the weekend takes place at the Sportsground with Pat Lam’s Connacht taking on an Ulster side that have lost their opening two games. Munster take on another Italian side in Treviso having spent the last week on a camp in Italy following last weekend’s terrific performance against Zebre. There’s an all welsh clash with the Dragons taking on the Scarlets while the Cardiff Blues welcome Zebre to Arms Park. The other two games see Ospreys taking on Edinburgh and last years winners Leinster travelling to Scotstoun Stadium to take on the Glasgow Warriors.
Prediction: Leinster by 3-5
Last season was a period of transition for Munster as they failed to reach the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs but this time around they have impressed in Rob Penney’s second season at the helm.They followed up a thumping win against Edinburgh by hitting 40 points against Zebre – although they were trailing at half-time – and they remained in Italy to prepare for this weekend’s clash.
Munster are bidding to become the first side ever to begin a RaboDirect PRO12 season with three maximum point victories but Treviso have won two of their six clashes with the Irish province.
Prediction: Munster by 7-12
Connacht have been defeated in their last five encounters with fellow Irish Provinces.
Ulster have lost their last three PRO12 games but have not lost four in a row in the competition since October 2011. The Ulstermen have only once before begun a season with three straight defeats – in 2008/09.
Connacht’s solo victory over Ulster in their last 14 contests since 2005 was 26-21 in Galway in April 2012.