Friday, February 20, 2015

Leinster should beat Zebre if they dig deep!

 Leinster's Shane Jennings. Picture credit: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
 Shane Jennings (picture

After a boring interlude of 6 Nations rugby, it’s back to the high octane Guinness Pro 12.  And what have Leinster been up to in the meantime? Smashed the Dragons at home I suppose? Well, not quite. We all know that now that now Joe Schmidt is in charge of Ireland, Ireland is like Leinster Lite – if any of the other provinces want a player in Ireland, they have to pay Joe – and he charges Munster double – and damn right too!  So even excusing the fact that Leinster have lost a shed load of players to international duty, and that the Dragons on their day are a decent outfit, it’s a pretty ordinary result to lose to them. While on the international side we’re forging ahead, there’s a quiet decline in the provinces in Ireland – only one Champions Cup quarter finalist for instance.

Anyway, Leinster can put that all behind them this weekend – if they dig deep, I’m sure they have it in themselves to scrape a victory over Zebre. This is the week that Shane Jennings announced his retirement from rugby at the end of season – he’s the kind of guy you need when the going gets tough, a grafter, and he’ll be missed.

Ulster should have way too much for Edinburgh, while Munster and Connacht face tricky away ties with the Scarlets and the Dragons respectively. I’d say they’ll both come through though.

Guinness PRO12
Friday, February 20
Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues    19:05
Edinburgh vs Ulster    19:35
Leinster vs Zebre    19:35
Saturday, February 21
Scarlets vs Munster    14:40
Glasgow Warriors vs Ospreys    17:15
Sunday, February 22
Newport Gwent Dragons vs Connacht    16:00

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