Thursday, April 19, 2012

This week - I'm going to get mathematical on your ass as I predict the final PRO 12 standings!

It’s always great to see the PRO 12 starting, then the middle bit, especially in the 6N, is nothing to write home about, but it gets exciting again at the end. Leinster have top position wrapped up, but there is going to be an almighty bunfight to fill the other spots, with the Ospreys, Munster, Glasgow, Ulster and the Scarlets all in contention.

Ospreys, with the Dragons and Treviso to come, should bag 8-10 points, and nail down second spot with 69.

Munster have Scarlets and Ulster, the hardest set by far.  Based on recent form I think they’re going to lose at Parc y Scarlets to a very competitive Scarlets side , but beat Ulster, so that should give them, say 65.

Glasgow have Treviso and Connacht, which is their 10 points to lose, so they’ll finish on 67 I’d say.

Ulster have Leinster and Munster –equally as hard as Munster’s run in. Now, if I was the IRFU, I would call Leinster and Ulster in, get into a huddle, there would be losts of nods and winks afterwards, and Ulster would win. They will probably win anyway, as what’s the point of Leinster risking any injuries? I’ll give them 5 points so finish on 61.

BUT now I've seen the teams I'm going with a Leinster win. So no more wins for Ulster. Leinster have 5 internationals on the bench! Ulster to finish on 56.

Ulster: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Chris Henry, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Nigel Brady, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Adam Macklin, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Robbie Diack, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Adam D'Arcy.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 David Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Brad Thorn, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Nathan White, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fionn Carr.

Scarlets have Munster and the Blues to come. I’m backing them to pick up 9 points, and then finish on 64.
So my reckoning for the final standings is:

Leinster 78
Ospreys 69
Glasgow 67
Munster 65
Scarlets 64
Ulster 56
Good luck to all!

Current Pro 12 Standings   Leinster Rugby       73
   Ospreys                  62
   Munster Rugby       60
   Glasgow Warriors   57
   Ulster Rugby           56
   Scarlets                  55

RaboDirect PRO12 Friday , April 20
Ulster vs Leinster 19:05
Ospreys vs Newport-Gwent D'gons 19:05
Saturday , April 21
Connacht vs Aironi Rugby 17:00
Scarlets vs Munster 18:30
Sunday , April 22
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow 14:05
Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh 14:05
Sat 5 May 19:30  Edinburgh   v   Treviso Murrayfield
Sat 5 May 19:30  Warriors   v   Connacht Firhill Stadium
Sat 5 May 19:30  Munster   v   Ulster Thomond Park Stadium
Sat 5 May 19:30  Dragons   v   Leinster Rodney Parade
Sat 5 May 19:30  Scarlets   v   Blues Parc y Scarlets
Sat 5 May 20:30  Aironi   v   Ospreys Stadio Zaffanella

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