Friday, December 20, 2013

Four from four again after skipping a week - c'mon Ireland!


After the highs and lows of the Heineken Cup, it’s back to the bread and butter Pro 12. It’s not a who’s who of Leinster stars who run out in Edinburgh on Friday. In fairness, there are a few players who looked like they needed a break. Boss ise back, he was needed off the bench last week, and Zane Kirchener, whose introduction a lot earlier last week might have provided the spark that was needed, gets to start as well. Time to give the bubbling under talent a chance to shine. I’d like to see Jordi Murphy get more opportunities for a start. They need to give the Scots a good pummeling to get back on the horse. Edinburgh’s team looks strong enough, it will probably be a tough, gritty encounter.

Munster have Gerhard van den Heever and Andrew Conway back for the visit of the Scarlets. The Scarlets need to put away, but I’m sure the high the team is on after the last minute win at Perpignan will see them through.

Ulster have Zebre, which should be an 5 point early Christmas present. Good to see Jared Payne in the centre, a role he’s surely likely to take up for Ireland soon.

Finally, Connacht have the Dragons at home. This is the type of match that’ll be an acid test for the men from Galway. If they’re going to establish themselves as a team to be reckoned with, and show that their famous victories in the HC aren’t flukes, they have to start by making their home ground a fortress.  The Dragons are mid table, and will be a challenge, but with the right attitude, and an 80 minute performance, I’m backing Connacht.

RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , December 20
Ulster vs Zebre 19:05
Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys 19:05
Edinburgh vs Leinster 19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso 19:35
Saturday , December 21
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons 17:00
Munster vs Scarlets 19:15

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