Thursday, October 31, 2013

Leinster could struggle, and so could England...


Leinster get things going for Ireland this weekend with a visit to Rodney Parade to take on the Dragons. Mat O’Connor did a sterling job in talking up the Dragons on the Leinster website, and in fairness they are only one place below Leinster in the league. They normally give Leinster a tough game at home, and the men in blue have  all their internationals gone. They have Zane Kirchener starting, which is a boost, and Lote Tuquiri as well.   I don’t know the Dragons too well – they seem to be an emerging talent pool for French Clubs at the moment, so there’s a bit of turnover going on there.  But they are having a decent season so far and don’t contribute much to Wales so with the way Leinster are playing I’d actually think the Dragons are going to take this.

Connacht have to take on Glasgow, surely smarting from their loss to Munster last week. Just pretend they’re Leinster, Connacht and you can do it! Glasgow will probably shade it.
Ulster go to the Scarlets, and as the Irish team with proper depth at the moment, I’d expect them to have Scarlets number, especially with the internationals gone from the Scarlets. With the new stand coming along well at Ravenhill, it all seems to be happening for Ulster at the moment.

Finally, Munster welcome the Ospreys to Musgrave Park for a top of the table clash. Gerhard van den Heever is arriving/has arrived this week, although it may take a bit of time to get him into action. Munster seemed to do just fine last week without a lot of their big names, and with a home crowd behind them they should make it a trip to forget for the Ospreys.

England Vs Australia should be entertaining, and an opportunity for England with Australia’s recent stuttering form.  I don’t really like the look if the Aussie side that’s been picked – Nick Cummins chief attribute is that he looks like a honey badger, and there are too many bog standard, passenger type players on the team. I’m not all that sure about the England team either – I wouldn’t pick Dickson, and neither have Tompkins and Twelvetrees together – lets go big! But good to see Yarde there. It’s toss up who’ds going to win – England will be rusty, while the Aussies have played a lot together, just not very well. I think the Wallabies could well win.

RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , November 1
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster 19:05
Edinburgh vs Zebre 19:45
Saturday , November 2
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso 14:30
Connacht vs Glasgow 17:00
Scarlets vs Ulster 18:30
Munster vs Ospreys 19:15

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