Thursday, May 10, 2012

Is it going to be a semi exciting weekend, or an excitling semi weekend?

It’s semi final time in the Pro 12 and the Premiership, with some season defining moments on the way.

Munster and the Ospreys get things going on Friday night at the Liberty Stadium. The Ospreys are a pretty formidable team – they have a great pack of forwards, and some talented backs to back them up , so to speak. They also have the Welsh grand slam momentum. Justin Tupuric is in doubt which is good news for Munster. Munster arrive without Paul O’Connell – It’s like the army arriving without their heavy artillery. What I’m hoping is that Munster take a few selection chances – leave DOC on the bench, go with younger players like Tommy O’Donnell, play a midfield that can create something ( and not put Earls there) , and that they stand up and fight! I’m going with the Ospreys with home advantage though.

On Saturday, Leinster will welcome Glasgow to the RDS. It’s been a great season for Glasgow, their form players of Grey, Hogg and Weir have given them a cutting egde. It’s been an awesome season for Leinster thus far. But, having said that, we’ve won nothing yet, and shouldn’t be taking anything for granted. The weather looks like it may suit a running game, which is where we want to keep it, and not get dragged down into an arm wrestle. This is Leinster’s to lose, they have all the assets, with Sexton, Kearney, Nacewa, Heaslip and Healy in the form of their lives, and will surely win unless they completely underestimate the Scots.

Across the water, Quins and Northampton are up first, with Quins’ flair coming up against the power game of the Saints. I think Harlequins day is coming and that home advantage will see them through.
Leicester Saracens is a real heavyweight bout. It’s likely to be a cross between rugby and combat. Sarries seem to have fallen off the pace a little, while the Tigers have timed their run to perfection, as usual. To me, the Tigers have more structure to their game, and will use their home advantage to set up a final against Quins.

RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , May 11
Ospreys vs Munster 19:35
Saturday , May 12
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , May 12
Harlequins vs Northampton 14:45
Leicester vs Saracens 17:30

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