Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PRO 14: Round 11 Preview

PRO 14: Round 11 Preview

Rugby Players enter a scrum

The Pro 14 will makes its return this weekend after a short-two week sabbatical

Round 11 of the 2018 PRO 14 will provide rugby punters with what should be six cracking European derby games. The pick of the rounds action are the two Irish derbies with Ulster set to lock horns with Munster and Leinster squaring off with Connacht.

Cardiff Blues v Newport Dragons
Friday 21 December
Cardiff Arms Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Cardiff 1/7
Draw 25/1
Dragons 47/10

We kick things off with the first of two all Welsh affairs this weekend as Cardiff square off the with the Dragons. Both sides have enjoyed far from ideal first halves of the season with the hosts currently lying fifth on the Conference A with only four wins from their 10 PRO 14 outings, and Cardiff lying sixth on the Conference B standings with one less victory to their names.

In terms of recent form, both sides heading into this one off the back of consecutive Champions Cup defeats to Saracens and the Dragons making the trip off conceding 40 points in their two Champions Cup defeats to Clermont and Northampton.

Verdict: Blues 1/7
Despite their struggles, the Blues are by far the better team here and should take the spoils by more than eight points.

Ulster v Munster
Friday 21 December
Kingspan Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Ulster 9/20
Draw 17/1
Munster 18/10

Next up with have the first of the all-Irish fixtures with Ulster playing host to Munster. The home side head into Saturday's fixture off the back of a great fortnight in Europe that saw them beat the Scarlets both home and away. Munster make the trip off slightly less impressive form as they registered a home bonus point victory over Castres before going down to the French giants at home the following week.

In terms of domestic form this season Munster have won seven of their opening 11 fixtures, with the most recent victory being a 44-14 victory over Edinburgh, while Ulster have won one fewer and come into this off the back of a narrow 16-12 victory over the Cardiff.

Verdict: Ulster 9/20
These festive Irish derbies tend to always go the way of the hosts. As such, I'm wagering a very small stake on the home side.

Ospreys v Scarlets
Saturday 22 December
Liberty Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Ospreys 5/10
Draw 18/1
Scarlets 16/10

We head back to Wales for Saturday's opener with the Ospreys and Scarlets going-head-to-head at the Liberty Stadium.

The hosts have the most impressive of the Welsh sides and head into Saturday's fixture having won six of their opening 10 fixtures. They performed alright in their last two Challenge Cup games hammering Stade 51-20 at the Liberty before narrowly missing out on a losing bonus point in their 12-3 defeat in the reverse fixture that took place last weekend.

The Scarlets endured a less profitable time in Europe over the past two weeks as they went to Munster in their two ties against the Irish side

Verdict: Ospreys 5/10
Home ground advantage and a superior playing squad should see the hosts take this one by 14 or more.

Edinburgh v Glasgow
Saturday 22 December
BT Murrayfield

To Win (80 Mins)
Edinburgh 11/10
Draw 18/1
Glasgow 15/20

We cross over to Scotland for our next fixture which sees an in-from Edinburgh outfit take on domestic giants Glasgow. The hosts head into this one off the back of two consecutive Challenge Cup victories over Newcastle.

Glasgow also enjoyed a solid two weeks in the Champions Cup beating Lyon by comfortable margins during their home and away clashes with the plucky French club.

Verdict: Glasgow 15/20
The hosts may be in good form but this is a Glasgow side that has only lost two games this term. I fancy the away side to break the festive tradition and bag the points here.

Leinster v Connacht
Saturday 22 December
RDS Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Leinster 1/12
Draw 30/1
Connacht 13/2

The penultimate game of the round should be an absolute cracker with reigning champions Leinster taking on a Connacht side on the up and up. The hosts enjoyed a solid fortnight in Europe beating Bath home and away. Connacht also Perpignan twice and securing bonus points in each of the fixtures.

In terms of PRO14 form, Leinster come into this one having beaten the Dragons by 49 points in their last fixture, while Connacht beat the Cheetahs by four in their last PRO14 match.

Verdict: Leinster 1/12
This should also be an open fixture with both sides fielding attacking backs. My money is on the hosts running victors by 14 points or more.

Zebre v Treviso
Sunday 23 December
Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

To Win (80 Mins)
Zebre 23/20
Draw 18/1
Treviso 7/10

The final fixture of the round pits Italian rivals Zebre and Treviso up against each other. The visitors have enjoyed a much better opening half of the season and currently lie in fourth position on the Conference B standings while Zebre are rooted to the foot of Conference B.

The hosts do head into this one off the back of two impressive Challenge Cup results, however, as the hammered Russian outfit Ensei-STM both home and away. Treviso fared less well in Europe winning their first game against Harlequins before going down by 11-points in their second fixture against the English side.

Verdict: Treviso 7/10
I'm backing the away side to take the spoils here. They're a very good unit who are more than capable of getting the job done.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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